Climate change, the depletion of natural resources, habitat loss and species extinction are creating a planetary emergency. While this topic has become increasingly mainstream in recent years, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) has been at the forefront of environmental protection in Hong Kong and beyond for decades.
The farm was founded in 1956 to support agricultural workers while also providing a green and relaxing destination for city residents. Over the years, the organization grew and shifted its focus toward environmental protection and education, and the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Corporation was established in 1995.
It remains a popular visitor site in Hong Kong, while its activities now include undertaking rigorous science-based species conservation and ecosystem restoration, and offering new ways of thinking and living to respond to the world’s environmental crises.
“Our work brings hope and improvement through its focus on nature conservation, sustainable living and holistic education, re-connecting people with nature,” said Head of Partnerships Michael Wong.
In addition to organizing a range of educational courses, workshops and special events, KFBG also runs a number of projects throughout Hong Kong, South China and parts of the Indo-Burma biodiversity region.
One of the local programmes is the Forest Restoration Project, a nature-based solution to climate change. Under this programme, a methodology has been developed to bring back native, diversified and sustainable montane forests, which can preserve endangered local plants, provide a home for wild animals, as well as achieve high levels of carbon capture.
“We hope to provide greater diversity to the hills of Hong Kong, and at the same time to share our learning with other organizations and locations around the world,” Wong said.
Outside of Hong Kong, another KFBG project aims to protect the Hainan Gibbon – endemic to Hainan, it is the rarest primate on earth. Unusually, the adult males and females are very different in appearance – the males have black fur while the females are golden with a black crown.
KFBG believes in science-based solutions to conservation challenges. Its experts work on the ground providing fact-based remedies for wildlife and habitat preservation. It conducts species and habitat surveys, and provides advice on biodiversity protection to help wildlife across the region. With a team of ecologists, conservationists and scientists working on practical and applied scientific methods, KFBG is able to address biodiversity loss and climate change, and protect the delicate balance of ecosystems.
With people paying more attention to environmental issues, signs of change are happening globally with people seeking cleaner air, waste reduction and nature conservation. Support for sustainable urban agriculture and social enterprise is also growing as farmers’ markets, community co-operatives, eco-living and “buy local” become mainstream. These changes are more than just a trend – they are part of a profound shift in the way people live their lives in relation to nature.
In Hong Kong, many businesses are increasingly concerned about the environment and are taking action to mitigate climate change while also promoting more sustainable lifestyles. KFBG, with its decades of experience, can help companies on this journey.
“We play a strong role in nature conservation and we are seeking a closer collaboration with the business community via HKGCC to accelerate nature-based solutions to address climate change,” Wong said.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, KFBG’s Sustainable Living Department set up the ad-hoc Community Supported Agriculture scheme to help farmers distribute their products. The Education Department also developed a series of online resources to enable the public to connect with nature in alternate ways. Many of the rest of KFBG’s activities have continued despite the pandemic challenges.
“We continue to rescue wildlife and support the illegal trade enforcement work of the authorities,” Wong said.
Looking to the future, KFBG will continue its work to develop sustainable solutions to climate change, provide ecological advice on Hong Kong’s development, and protect endangered species. At the same time, it will remain true to its original remit of helping people in Hong Kong access the many benefits of spending time in the outdoors.
“We will also develop programmes to help people find mindfulness, peace and connection with nature,” Wong said.
Company : Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Corporation
HKGCC Membership No. : HKK0497
Established : 1995
Website : www.kfbg.org
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