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Conservation inc Mai Po access should not be for elite

Conservation inc Mai Po access should not be for elite

An email I sent WWF HK and some people, in response to discussion on infrastructure work underway at Mai Po. See if any hkbws members find at all valid:

I used to think WWF HK membership pricey, at HK$400 for year - partly for me, but also surely very costly for many Hong Kong people.
Startled at the latest price for this; though I’m told this was from outgoing CEO, who previously had a very comfortable salary by standards of many here.

Not to discuss here; but just to highlight how it seems to me conservation is something for richer people.
- while it actually affects each and every one of us; indeed, less well off people tend to suffer more from weather events, rising prices etc.

And to lead to comment re the Mai Po discussion:

Widths of footpaths etc relatively trivial, when I believe much bigger issue is highly restricted access to Mai Po.

Given this, only tiny numbers of Hong Kong people have the chance to visit, appreciate nature there.

Treated a little like a prized museum collection.
And yes, I know that AFCD at least was keen on keeping it that way; idea that Wetland Park is for many visitors - yet it is also far far far far worse for wildlife.

I remember first arriving in Hong Kong, was used to various reserves in the UK, and found it very surprising to walk around Mai Po and often encounter no one, or just a handful of people. [When not encountering school groups.]

In a naive view - as AFCD I think! - keeping human numbers so small benefits wildlife.
Of course, understandable; and it’s very nice to have a reserve almost to yourself.

Against which, visitors bring benefits too; like can be source of revenue, can help report issues.

But also, more people who know and love a place, boosts support for conservation.
- Tai Long Wan some years ago, for instance.
Along with broader conservation support; for instance, it is also deeply sad that protecting Mai Po hasn’t led to more wetland reserves around Hong Kong.

Also, seeing the Oligarchs’ Hong Kong Foundation [oops, typo: Our Hong Kong Foundation] now advocating housing construction projects around Inner Deep Bay.
- even in these days, public opinion has a bit of impact; and the more wetland “fans”, the better.

Anyway, my two cents for the day.
- and lest anyone hold up hands in horror at notions of Disneyland style crowds, that’s not at all what I believe in, nor what is possible.
I’ve earlier talked with Ken Searle, Lew Young and others; Ken told me of ideas for a circular walk open to many people, allowing people to experience part of Mai Po. Something like this.
May remain just a pipe dream anyway, partly if opposition within AFCD, easier to just say No… [and “Yes” to the Oligarchs]
Hong Kong Outdoors enjoying and protecting wild Hong Kong. DocMartin includes H5N1 and wild birds info

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Yes. I believe access should be easier, the real problem about wetland park is that visitors are not aware of HKBWS guidelines, causing them to wear flashy clothing, talking loudly, etc. The real solution seems to educate visitors about birding guidelines, not simply by blocking the reserve.

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This is Hong Kong (and China now) not European, serious problem will come if many ppl access to MPNR...
Actually you don't need to pay money to get the MP permit,
but I will say the WWF membership is crazy expensive now after the increase this year, so it stop many birder from boardwalk permit

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MPNR is situated at the 'border' of Hong Kong. It is quite a sensitive place where people are restricted visiting there unless you obtain a permit from the Hong Kong Police. Yes, the permit to access Mai Po Board Walk, Northern and Southern Floating Hide is issued by the Police. I guess WWF acts like a middleman who collects members' application and pass to the Police. I would not say MPNR serves only the elite (at least I am not) but only because its special location.

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