Close encounter with nature

Close encounter with nature

Last week, our Hands On workshop took us to the Hong Kong Wetland Park. Ten of our junior reporters started off the journey by exploring the park. Our guide Ricky was very helpful and we realised we still have a lot to learn about the environment we live in. The weather was so hot, though, we were quite happy to go back in and learn about Young Post columnist Cameron Dueck's expedition to the Arctic. Dueck sailed to the Arctic to learn more about climate change. Here, our junior reporters share their impressions about the trip to the park.

Billy Lo Nok-ting

During the trip I realised that even though I love animals and insects, I hardly knew anything about them. For example, a damselfly is not exactly like a dragonfly, and every creature has its own characteristics that make it unique. So thanks for opening my eyes and broadening my horizons.

Ella Chan Yik-tung

Visiting Wetland Park was an inspiring experience. I had never explored nature like this before. I'm so glad Hong Kong still has such a place. This workshop educates youngsters about the diversity of Hong Kong's wetland ecosystem and raise their awareness about the need to protect it.
Also, Cameron's talk was very interesting. It's hard to imagine that such a small group of people could sail as far as the Arctic to learn more about climate change.
Cameron's stories were really exciting and worrying as well. I didn't know climate change could do that much damage to the natives of the Arctic. Soon, it will affect us, too. Let's act now to protect the earth!

Janet Tam Ka-wing

I really enjoyed visiting the "What are Wetlands?" gallery. I was able to explore wetlands through interesting illustrations and interactive activities. I found out that wetlands have various functions. They trap waste and break down pollutants; protect our shorelines against storms, floods and erosions; and provide us with food and medicine.

Minnie Yip Ming-yuen

I really enjoyed the visit to the park, but what I liked most was Cameron's speech. It really touched me. It made me realise if we don't stop polluting the earth, it will affect the innocent Arctic people. They will have less food and the ice in their homeland will melt. I hope we can save this beautiful place and the natives' way of life.

Jade Lam

The most enjoyable aspect of the workshop was observing insects and small animals in their natural habitat. It was fascinating to learn how they adapt to their environment, and it was great to see wildlife living happily in the wetland. I learned a lot of interesting facts about those animals and birds. It also made me think about how lucky I am, not having to fend for myself in the wild!


After listening to Arctic explorer Cameron Dueck, our junior reporters realised that everyone can play their part to help stop climate change. It is wrong to believe that your opinions don't count just because you are young. So the budding journalists decided it was time to voice their opinions...

Dear Hong Kong teenagers,
How many of you have had to skip dinner because of bad weather? No one surely. Living in Hong Kong, it seems like food and water is unlimited and the weather isn't important. It seems like climate change is a vague concept. But have you ever thought about those who live in the Arctic?
I met Cameron Dueck at an Eco Journey workshop organised by Young Post and he made me realise climate change doesn't only affect animals.
Because the Arctic ice is melting, natives can't hunt for food the way they've been hunting for centuries. So if you want to act on climate change, take a shower instead of a bath, buy clothing made from natural products, use less crude oil and things such as water bottles and plastic bags.
And if you think it's a drop in the ocean, think again. Your actions count a lot more than you think. Let's work together to save the world. Let's do it!

Billy Lo Nok-ting

Dear Mr Edward Yau Tang-wah (Secretary for the Environment),
I am writing to express my concern about Simon Lo Lin-shing's recent purchase. The businessman acquired land of about 10,000 square metres on the Tai Long Wan coast. The land is being developed into a private and recreational lodge. Tai Long Wan is a large bay with white sandy beaches, the sea is relatively unpolluted and the water quality is good. Many nature lovers go there for hiking and water activities. The construction, which started in May, has already affected the environment. Some streams have been diverted, and greenery in the area is vanishing. This might seem like a personal project. But if we don't do anything now, other tycoons could buy land from poor villagers and build private villas.
I want the construction to stop so that everyone can enjoy Tai Long Wan's beautiful surroundings.

Janet Tam Ka-wing

Dear Mr Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple),
I am a 12-year-old Hongkonger who likes green living. I am writing in the hope your company can promote more green activities. Because of your global popularity, even a small step from you can have a big impact on our planet.
Last month, my uncle bought one of your fabulous products, the iPhone 3GS. The whole world is crazy about this phone. So if the production is not eco-friendly, it will have a serious impact on earth. But if your company acts responsibly, there will be huge benefits to the environment.
There are many things your company could do. It could lower its carbon emissions and use recycled paper for packaging. Also, the iPhone's protective shell could be made from eco-friendly material. I believe your company can help make the world a better place.
Yours sincerely,

Minnie Yip Ming-yuen

Dear Mr Tony Hayward (CEO of British Petroleum),
I am an 11-year-old girl living in Hong Kong who is concerned about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Do you have any idea how this could affect our future? Thousands of birds were killed by the spill. And it's not only birds. Thousands of fishes, crabs and other sea animals were found washed up on shore, dead and covered in oil. You must think of a way to make sure such a disaster won't happen again.
Sincerely,

Charlotte Chan

Dear Ms Eva Cheng (Secretary for Transport and Housing) and Mr Edward Yau (Secretary for the Environment),
People in Hong Kong are always on the move so efficient transportation is very important for them. Why not build new roads that could be reserved for public transport? If taking public transport meant taking a short cut, more people would use it and we would save lots of fuel.Your department could also limit the import of private cars. Car companies would certainly seek compensation, but you could pay them off with the extra money you make as more and more people take public transport.
I hope you will take my suggestions into consideration.
Yours sincerely,

Lucy Wong Yin-chi

Dear Mr Yeung Ming-tai (chairman of the Waste Disposal Appeal Board Panel, EPD),
I am writing to express my views on waste reduction and management by the government. It seems that people are still throwing away tonnes of trash, and nothing much has been done to stop it. This is bringing pollution to our city, and using limited landfill space. If we don't take action now, soon we will have no place to dump our trash.
It appears that it is almost impossible to stop people from generating waste, so we need to enforce the concept of recycling. What's more, waste needs to be managed better.
I hope your department can stop using incinerators to get rid of unwanted materials. The toxic gases given out can be deadly.
Maybe you can organise campaigns and broadcast advertisements to get people's attention. We need to show people how their household waste is contributing to the destruction of the environment.
Yours sincerely,

Jade Lam

To Hong Kong families,
We leave the lights on
We let the water run
Oh dear what have we begun?
Take showers not baths
Save your concert for another time
When you are no longer covered with slime
Recycle, Reuse and Reduce
Acting on the three R's
Would be a good place to start
Justine Yau

Justine's "to do" green list
Get your neighbours and friends involved
Turn on the air-con only in the living room and leave your bedroom door open
Take public transport even with your family
Visit www.climateers.org to calculate the carbon footprint of your family and find out what you need to work on.

Cameron is available to speak at schools. Contact fo@openpassageexpedition.com

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