Green Power

26 Dec

Green Power was founded in 1988 by a group of dedicated volunteers who were concerned about local environmental problems. Since their formation, they have been promoting environmental education as they believe education is the ultimate means of transforming thinking and behaviour.

Here are a few examples of projects Green Power is involved in

Hong Kong’s First Coral Transplant Project:
Hong Kong has a long coastline and as many as 84 species of hard corals; one tenth of the total number of reef-building corals in the world. Corals are known as the “tropical forests” of the ocean as they provide complex microhabitats for many marine species to shelter and breed, enriching the marine ecology.

However, corals are very vulnerable to adverse impacts and require high water quality. Slight changes in sea water temperature, salinity or clarity can lead to their bleaching or even their death. Observations made by Green Power divers reveal that the number of hard corals and their related ecosystems have been decreasing in recent years. For example, at Double Island, Sai Kung, the coral population has declined by up to 80% in the last decade. There are various reasons for this reduction, including global warming, pollution, net fishing and leisure water sports, which all affect corals to different degrees.

As hard corals grow and recover rather slowly, they are hard rebuild from damage through natural regeneration alone. However, artificial transplants can accelerate their recovery. Places around the world such as Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore have all succeeded in artificial transplantation. Now, Hong Kong is carrying out its first project.

The first step of artificial coral transplantation is to collect suitable corals from other areas. In order not to harm the original coral colonies, divers will only collect coral fragments that have fallen off due to a variety of reasons such as typhoon damage. Divers will check the health status and species of the coral fragments, and transplants can be conducted upon suitability being confirmed. As corals can reproduce asexually, when divers fix the coral fragments in suitable target growing locations, the fragments will grow slowly and achieve restoration eventually.

Green Power working with Eco-education & Resources Centre and a group of local divers, carried out its first artificial coral transplant in June 2014. The present stage is rather experimental, focusing near Double Island. 1,500 square metres of hard corals are expected to be restored in 3 to 5 years.

Black Kite Surveyors:
Black Kite is the most common raptor in Hong Kong, which is one of the few places around the world where you can see this bird close in the urban area. Yeung Chau, a 5-hectare uninhabited small island opposite Sai Kung Pier, is a major habitat of Black Kite. Over 400 individuals have been recorded on the island. White-bellied Sea Eagle, a Second Grade National Protected Species, is also observed. Only 10 to 14 pairs of the species are known across Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the government has previously proposed developing Yeung Chau into a tourism spot. The island is also favoured by war gamers. The local birds are seriously threatened.

Since 2017, Green Power has been recruiting secondary school teachers and students to form a Black Kite Surveyor Team. After classroom and outdoor training and assessment, the qualified surveyors will regularly record the numbers and behaviour of Black Kites on Yeung Chau. The ecological databank will be used to advocate the designation of Yeung Chau as a nature reserve to protect the species in the long term.

River Monitoring Teams:
River Monitoring Teams consist of secondary school teachers and students, monitor six major local rivers: Lam Tsuen River, Kam Tin River, Tung Chung River, Shan Pui River, Shing Mun River and Tuen Mun River. Green Power members visit the upper, middle and lower courses and estuaries of the monitored rivers, collecting water samples to measure the river’s environmental information and observe its ecology. The data collected can help compare the changes in water quality and environment, thus, playing a valuable monitoring role.

Furthermore, given the Government’s Tung Chung New Town Expansion Project, Green Power has been dedicated to monitoring the Tung Chung River in recent years. They collect environmental data at different sections and estuaries of the river so as to monitor the impact of the New Town Expansion Project on the river and to provide required statistics for the conservation of the Tung Chung River.

Volunteer: If you are interested in volunteering to help Green Power in their efforts, please contact Green Power at info@greenpower.org.hk

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: