HONG KONG, Nov. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Forum, co-organised by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Civic Exchange, was held on 27th October 2023 with resounding success. The event witnessed the attendance of over 90 in-person participants, including representatives from government, related industries, and interested corporates. This Nature-based Solutions-themed forum provided a platform for stakeholders to delve into the transformative potential of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and their role in climate mitigation and adaptation.
From left to right: Dr Felix Leung The Nature Conservancy, Mr Tobi Lau Worldwide Fund for Nature Hong Kong, Dr Ting Fong May Chui University of Hong Kong, Ms Marine Thomas The Nature Conservancy, Mr Robert Gibson Civic Exchange, Dr Billy Hau School of Biological Science, University of Hong Kong, Mr Chiu-ying Lam Hong Kong Countryside Foundation HK2050isNow, Mr Lawrence Iu Civic Exchange
NBS involves the protection, management, and restoration of natural and semi-natural ecosystems to effectively address climate change- related challenges whilst benefiting both people and nature. These solutions have the potential to contribute up to 30% of the cost-effective mitigation required to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030. Additionally, NBS offers multiple other socio-economic and environmental co-benefits.
Addressing the forum, Ms Lulu Zhou, Director of Strategic Partnerships (Asia Pacific) and Hong Kong Program Lead at The Nature Conservancy, emphasised the urgent need for a holistic and integrated NBS policy in Hong Kong. She stated, “Nature-based solutions are nothing new, but we realize the science is evolving, and we have to take more bold actions to integrate practices and policies to keep up with the increasing threats from climate change.”
The distinguished speakers at the event shared their expertise and insights, highlighting the potential of NBS in various contexts. Dr. Billy Hau , from the University of Hong Kong, emphasised the impact of reforesting the Northern Metropolis, stating, “Reforesting the Northern Metropolis can get an additional gain of 340,000 tons of carbon, also bring co-benefits such as hill fire control, reduced flooding and cooling of urban areas.”
Mr. Lam Chiu Ying, representing the Hong Kong Countryside Foundation, former Director of Hong Kong Observatory, and an advocate for wetland conservation, affirmed the importance of nature. He suggests expanding wetland conservation in Hong Kong and proposes that Hong Kong should become a Ramsar Wetland City. He states, “Nature is the fundamental answer to all problems, without Nature, civilisation would not exist.”
Echoing the sentiment, Mr Tobi Lau from WWF-Hong Kong, speaking at the forum, envisioned a wetland-rich Hong Kong, saying, “We can uplift Hong Kong to a Wetland City, not just the Deep Bay area but an international demonstration site, that shows that Hong Kong is ecologically civilised.”
Recent research by Dr. Han Baolong, Assistant Professor at the Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Science, The Chinese Academy of Science, shed light on the importance of oyster and mangrove restoration strategies in Hong Kong. He shared that, “The risk of sea level rise and population increase at the Northern Metropolis by the end of this century will increase 50% of the coastal vulnerability risk, whilst oyster and mangrove restoration strategies will reduce 20% of the risk from sea level rise.”
In his closing remarks, Mr. Lawrence Iu, the Executive Director of Civic Exchange highlights the need to develop a platform that brings together corporate and conservation experts to work collaboratively. He concluded, “By embracing nature as our ally and integrating nature-based approaches into our policies and practices, we can forge a path towards a sustainable and resilient future for our city and the Greater Bay Area.“
The Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Forum successfully brought together stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange. The event concluded with a shared hope that the insights and ideas generated during the forum would contribute to meaningful actions in tackling the climate crisis. The Nature Conservancy extends sincere gratitude to J.P. Morgan for their support of this event.
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About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the world’s leading international conservation non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting natural places and preserving life on Earth for future generations. TNC follows a science-based conservation approach to create innovative solutions to global conservation challenges and enable both nature and people to thrive together. We are currently addressing climate change at an unprecedented scale by protecting lands, waters, and oceans in sustainable ways, providing food and water resources, and helping cities become more sustainable. Our projects span 76 countries and territories, using collaborative approaches with local communities, governments, private sector, and others, to carry out various conservation projects and activities, including biodiversity conservation, forest conservation, marine conservation, climate change, and sustainable land use. In addition to the photo contest, TNC also organises various community projects and educational activities, aiming to promote public awareness and action towards environmental protection and sustainable development and to raise public awareness of natural environments and wildlife. TNC was awarded the 2019 Lui Che Woo Prize – Prize for Sustainable Development. For more about TNC’s work in the Asia Pacific region, please visit: The Nature Conservancy (tnc.org.hk)
If you also care about environmental protection and wildlife conservation, please support TNC’s work, participate in our community projects and activities, and work together to protect the natural environment and wildlife, follow TNC Hong Kong’s social platforms for more environmental conservation information:
About Civic Exchange
Civic Exchange is an independent public policy think tank with a vision to shape a liveable and sustainable Hong Kong. Our mission is to engage society and influence public policy through research, dialogue, and the development of practical solutions. Civic Exchange has been ranked among the top 50 environment policy think tanks in the world by the University of Pennsylvania since 2011. To know more, please visit: https://civic-exchange.org/
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