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Creating life-long memories with
“Flow with Nature”

The natural world and its incredible biodiversity are crucial pillars of support for human civilisation. Nature provides a wealth of services – giving us food, stabilising the climate, protecting coastlines, and performing countless other services. Yet despite its overwhelming presence, we often overlook another irreplaceable and critical role that nature plays in our lives: enhancing our physical and mental health.

Numerous research studies show that spending time in nature benefits us physically and mentally; but today’s immersive technology and the rapidly-growing virtual recreation and entertainment industries are leading people to spend increasingly larger amounts of time indoors on electronic devices. This is reducing human contact with nature, especially in our younger generations.

WWF believes that it is essential for humans to build stronger connections with nature. This contact enables us to enjoy the beauty and benefits of nature, and increases people’s willingness to contribute to nature conservation. In 2021, to advance this agenda, WWF-Hong Kong launched the “Flow with Nature: Youth Action Project” with generous support from the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Hong Kong. Flow with Nature is the first project in Hong Kong to integrate elements of positive psychology with environmental education, seeking to inspire young people to discover their strengths, explore their potential and enable them to experience a state of “flow” – complete immersion in nature that will help them find meaning in their lives.

Over the past 20 months, over 100 young people and secondary school students have completed their “flow” journey with us, finding the experience enriching and rewarding. By observing and exploring nature through different habitats, these young people have gained a sense of happiness and achievement and experienced nature’s healing power. Let’s hear what some participants had to say…

"Unlike hiking, which I normally do, the programme’s activities helped me calm down within nature, allowing me to feel my emotions and release my stress. Through exploring nature with different senses, I seemed to “re-activate” these senses and observe the details of nature surrounding me.”
-Chloe, a youth participant

“When I opened the windows of the bird hide, [I saw a] spectacular view with reeds, many kinds of foraging migratory birds like black-faced spoonbills and little egrets, and mudskippers on the mudflat. It was a truly fantastic experience for me.”
-Wong Hoi Tung, a secondary school student

The participants are encouraged to observe nature from different angles and use different senses.


Meaningful engagement is an effective way to improve people’s relationship with the natural world. The young people participating in Flow with Nature gain a sense of achievement by contributing to wetland management work in Mai Po Nature Reserve, including reedbed restoration, perch pole construction and the removal of invasive species.

Flow with Nature youth participants experience field management work at Mai Po Nature Reserve, including planting reeds and removing invasive species.

Spending half a day building an eight-metre-tall perch pole was one of many remarkable moments for the young participants.


To further build their connections with nature, Flow with Nature participants brainstorm conservation ideas and turn them into concrete action projects. So far, 20 teams have been formed with the participants developing, leading and executing projects in schools and communities with support from WWF staff. Sample projects include a card game that promotes local biodiversity and a social media campaign encouraging the public to adopt sustainable lifestyle practices in their everyday lives. Pitching sessions are organised at the end of each Flow with Nature cycle, during which teams can share their project outcomes and learning journeys. The most outstanding teams are rewarded with invitations to participate in exclusive overseas expeditions.

In December 2022, several outstanding secondary school teams took part in an overseas expedition to Taiwan. During the trip, the students got involved in a citizen science survey and got to experience the lifestyle of a local farmer in Yilan.

“To me, the most memorable part of the trip was my conversation with one of the local farmers in Taiwan. I was especially touched by her dedication to practicing sustainable farming on their land for the sake of her next generation, which made me realise the strength of Taiwanese people’s sense of belonging towards nature. Our relationship with nature can be as close as family.”
 -Lam Cheng Fai, a secondary school student.

Through hands-on farming and by interacting with farmers in Taiwan, the students gained a better understanding of sustainable farming and deepened their connection with nature.


Just afterwards, in January 2023, several outstanding teams from the youth sector of the project visited the Kota Kinabalu wetland, a Ramsar site in Sabah. There, they experienced the beauty of Borneo and performed conservation work in a mangrove forest, where the participants found themselves amazed by the rich biodiversity and beauty of the wetlands. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“The wetlands offered us so many things to see!”

“Wetlands will always be my go-to place for birding! We saw so many birds!”

“I found it very relaxing to just watch the ants walk by, it was very comforting.”

The wetland scenery also seemed to capture their hearts, with many participants specifically mentioning the sunset:

“We were fascinated by the wetland sunset. The view was amazing, and something that city people like us don’t get to see on a daily basis.”

When asked about their feelings towards the wetlands, many found that they felt insignificant when facing Mother Nature…

“During the mangrove forest tour, we were surrounded by a seemingly endless group of mangroves. It gave me a feeling that humans are very small.”

“I won’t lie, my first impression of the wetlands was they were muddy and dirty. Especially when we were doing mangrove planting, it took some time and courage to not mind the mud and the smell! But once you learn more about them, you have a breakthrough – you forget about your city norms and enjoy your time there.”

These young participants got involved in mangrove restoration work in Sabah by physically planting mangrove trees.


The most precious and memorable moments are often beyond words, and we hope that the memories these young participants made during their time in nature will last forever. WWF will continue to work to create more opportunities for young people and our many other supporters so that they can generate their own treasured memories of nature and contribute to the well-being of nature and humanity.