Hong Kong youths begin giant panda volunteer service and ecology tour in Sichuan as part of HKSAR 20th anniversary celebrations (with photos)

     Around 50 youths participating in a giant panda volunteer service and ecology tour programme in Sichuan started their seven-day visit today (August 6) at the Wolong National Nature Reserve. The programme is one of the celebration events of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
     The tour is organised by the Sha Tin District National Education Committee (STDNEC), co-organised by the Sha Tin District Office and the Sha Tin Youth Service Corps (STYSC) and sponsored by the Sha Tin District Community Fund and the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education.
     To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, the STDNEC organised the tour for youths in Sha Tin District to witness the fruition of the HKSAR's reconstruction support work in Sichuan following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. The tour also aims to enhance participants' understanding of the nature conservation policy and ecosystem of the country, as well as national development and how the country is applying the idea of sustainable development in Wolong's reconstruction, through their life experience gained in Wolong.
     To enable the participants to gain better knowledge of the HKSAR's efforts in the post-quake reconstruction support work in Sichuan, the STDNEC invited Mr Mak Chai-kwong and Mr David Tong, who have worked on the Development Bureau's Sichuan reconstruction projects, to be the advisors of the tour. Before the tour, Mr Mak and Mr Tong hosted a pre-trip briefing session for the participants to share with them the unforgettable memories of the post-quake reconstruction work in Sichuan and the unbeatable spirit of the victims in rebuilding their homes.
     The delegation, comprising 30 youths living or studying in Sha Tin and 19 members of the STYSC, is being led by the Head of the delegation and Chairman of the STDNEC, Mr Pun Kwok-shan, and the District Officer (Sha Tin), Miss Amy Chan, to visit Chengdu, Wolong and Dujiangyan in Sichuan. The Convenor of the tour's Working Group, Mr Wong Ka-wing, is the Tour Captain and the Vice-Convenors of the Working Group, Mr Devin Sio and Mr Kwok Kam-hung, are the Vice-Tour Captains. 
     The participants will have the opportunity to have close encounters with giant pandas at Gengda Shenshuping Base and Dujiangyan Base of the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda to gain a better understanding of the daily life of pandas and the scientific research into the species. They will have the chance of being dietitians through making "wo wo tou", a kind of food for giant pandas, and helping breeders to prepare food and feed the animals. The participants will also visit the "51 shed", which is a giant panda wildlife observation post to conduct field research on their habitat. In addition, the delegation will visit several natural attractions of ecological value including Balangshan and Dengsheng to learn more about the ecological conservation work of Wolong. The trip will also include visits to a number of completed post-quake reconstruction projects by the HKSAR Government in Wolong, Dujiangyan and Chengdu.

     The tour is one of the celebration events of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR of Sha Tin District. To share updates on the tour with members of the public, the STDNEC will upload the highlights of the daily events to the Facebook page "20A Sha Tin Junior Reporters". For enquiries, please contact the Sha Tin District Office at 2158 5327.

Ends/Sunday, August 6, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:12