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Mai Po

Future Proofing Wetland Stewardship

© WWF-Hong Kong

To create a better future for life on Earth, it is important to combine creative solutions with human discipline. Utilising design thinking and social innovation skills may help us find new paths and new ways in which to coexist with nature. Securing the future of wetlands is a vital pathway: the world needs more people to become engaged in wetland stewardship and drive collaborative efforts to conserve wetlands.

Wetland stewardship has multiple areas of involvement, with fishponds being an important component. Participants can start by examining different threats, and then use design thinking and social innovation to develop sustainable solutions for wetland management.


Walk & Pitch Competition

Walk & Pitch Competition
© WWF-Hong Kong

Are you full of innovative conservation ideas, but...

have no way to implement them?
Have you had trouble finding a teammate?
Do you not have enough money to get started?
Experiencing difficulty getting a mentor?

Then the “Walk & Pitch Competition” is for you!!

Making aquacultural stewardship a sustainable industry requires the collaboration of people with talents in business management, innovative technology and social sciences. This competition will select participants who will pitch their innovative ideas and solutions on a five-minute wetland walk. During that time, they must grab the attention and spark the curiosity of the judges – not an easy task! The chosen teams will compete for a project start-up fund of HK$50,000 that will turn their imaginations into reality. We hope this competition will create valuable opportunities that will help all participants realise their ideas and promote their start-up projects.

Goal of the solution:  
•  Preserve or even enhance the ecological value of fishponds and aquaculture farms e.g. Maintain fishponds and aquaculture farms for water birds to feed and rest, provide breeding grounds for diverse animals  
•  Fishponds aquaculture farms serve as a “sponge” to mitigate flood  

Participants may pick one of the challenges to tackle:  
1) Incubate additional or alternative income streams and strategies for local aquacultural ponds  
2) Create an innovative business models that will increase demand for or the accessibility of local aquacultural products.  
3) Develop a community programme to increase public knowledge about and the relatability of local aquacultural ponds and/or aquacultural products.  

How to Participate:  
•  Eligibility: 18 years old or above
•  You may compete individually or form a team of between two and five people. We may also suggest teammates to individuals according to ideas proposed in the submitted draft pitch decks.
•  Ideally attend the “Walk & Pitch Competition” Online Briefing to gain an understanding of the local aquaculture industry (Click here to watch the recording)

Competition timeline:

7th Oct 2022

Registration deadline for "Walk & Pitch Competition” Online Briefing

8th Oct 2022

"Walk & Pitch Competition” online briefing (click here to watch the recording
- Learn about current challenges to local aquacultural pond management
- Get more details on the competition  

30th Oct 2022 (Sun)

Competition enrolment deadline  

12th Nov 2022 (Sat)

In-depth Workshop

26th Nov 2022 (Sat)

Pitching Day

2022 Early Dec

Announcement of the finalists

2022 Dec to 2023 May

In progress!
Advisors assigned to guide and facilitate the finalists as they develop their proposals  

2023 Jun

Final Pitch Day  


Judging Criteria:

  • Creativity, individuality, meeting the goal, conservation outcome, fun/ interesting  

Youth Innovator

 Youth Innovator
© WWF-Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, fishponds provide freshwater fish for consumption. They also have high ecological value because of the ecosystem services they provide – specifically, buffer areas for climate mitigation and habitats for large numbers of birds. Meanwhile, humanity’s next generation is facing a number of challenges as the impacts of climate change begin to rapidly multiply. Protecting nature has become an enormous, worldwide task.

This section of the Wetland Incubator project recruited a group of youth innovators in September 2021. With support from MaD (Make a Difference), these young innovators learned to collaborate with different stakeholders, understand wetland-related social issues and create innovative solutions to pressing problems. The youth innovators were divided into three groups, each focusing on either research, educational promotion or product making. Their outputs include questionnaires and data analysis, a “Something’s Fishy” Facebook page that debunks myths about freshwater fish and an informative leaflet and video that provide freshwater fish recipes.

Sharing from participants

This is a complex challenge – what techniques did you use to create a solution?

Group 1 – Sonics:
Our team wanted to perform research. We thought the best way to tackle freshwater fish issues was to first look at what policies and schemes are being implemented in Hong Kong to encourage sustainable fisheries. We designed an online questionnaire to collect data and understand what the public knows about the Accredited Fish Farm Scheme (AFFS) and received 144 responses. The results were interesting: they showed that of the 80% of respondents who said they would eat freshwater fish, more than half said they would eat it two or three times a month, the rest would eat it more frequently. Nearly half of the 35% of respondents who were aware of the AFFS would support the scheme, and nearly 90% would be willing to pay more for fish from the AFFS.

Group 2 – Ivory:
Going to supermarkets and local wet markets to interview people about their thoughts and preferences on freshwater fish was quite a lengthy process. It was interesting talking to fish shop owners and customers – we discovered that a lot of them share the same opinions: that freshwater fish have too many bones, have a distinct muddy taste and are generally less clean and hygienic. We discovered many iconic freshwater fish dishes that people enjoy, but they just weren’t as popular as marine fish dishes. This prompted a brainstorming session on the reasons behind this perception.


Group 3 – Megan:
To restore public confidence in freshwater fish, we started by eliminating a few misconceptions and misunderstandings held by Hong Kong citizens. Our team produced an online video of a carp recipe to reach out to more people. We added local seasonal vegetables to the recipe to make the idea more down to earth and environmentally friendly.