4 causes Hong Kong companies needs to be taking extra curiosity in native bogs and birds
However urbanisation and unsustainable consumption are affecting the fragile relationship between human beings and the surroundings. Our compact metropolis is characterised by densely built-up areas. Fortuitously, although, 40 per cent of our terrain is reserved for nation park use and the federal government has spelled out the course of the town’s conservation efforts in a Biodiversity and Sustainability Motion Plan.
Companies can play a task in defending Hong Kong’s biodiversity. Research worldwide have highlighted the financial worth of preserving pure sources, from native livelihood help to tourism earnings. However the intrinsic profit lies in “shared worth”, a enterprise idea coined by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer of the Institute for Technique and Competitiveness at Harvard Enterprise Faculty. They suggest that an organization’s competitiveness and the well being of the communities and pure surroundings round it are mutually dependent.
At first look, there could not appear to be any connection between wetlands and companies. Nevertheless, there are 4 causes companies needs to be taking an curiosity in Hong Kong’s marshes.
First, wetlands are an vital consider mitigating local weather change. Timber and vegetation seize carbon dioxide and the foundation networks in wetlands stabilise the soil construction whereas absorbing water and appearing as a method of flood management. Coastal wetlands are an vital safety towards excessive climate occasions corresponding to typhoons.
There are usually not some ways for mankind to restrict the rise in world temperature to 1.5 levels Celsius above pre-industrial instances regardless of the rhetoric on the current COP24 summit in Poland. Carbon depth ranges could stabilise by 2030 for big emitters like China however we’ve an extended option to go to cut back complete emissions by 29 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equal by then to satisfy the purpose of limiting world warming.
Reforestation is an possibility however will take many years to be efficient. It’s subsequently within the curiosity of companies to retain pure sources like wetlands, which may act as huge carbon sinks. Think about Mai Po multiplied a number of thousand instances over within the reaches of mighty river basins and coastal deltas the world over.
Excessive-density improvement close to Mai Po should be resisted
For governments to behave on this initiative requires company help. Companies that imagine local weather change won’t have an effect on them have to assume twice as extreme climate can deliver not simply direct injury to property and belongings but additionally industrial losses resulting from disrupted provide chains.
Second, corporations may study so much from nature. Biomimicry includes specializing in strategies which have developed over centuries in nature and deploying them in trendy functions. There’s an excessive amount of emphasis positioned on expertise and discovering man-made options to our issues when usually the reply is staring us within the face.
Take photo voltaic cells, as an example. The perfect developments in photovoltaics can solely muster a conversion effectivity of daylight to electrical energy of round 25 per cent. Vegetation have been changing daylight into helpful biomass for the reason that starting of time by way of photosynthesis. Equally, waterproof supplies and camouflage coatings have been developed taking a cue from duck feathers and chameleons respectively. The sources of inspiration for innovation abound in biodiverse settings like wetlands.
How biomimicry pushes science ahead
Third, wetlands are repositories for uncommon species of vegetation, a few of which have medicinal properties. White willow, a riverine plant, is a supply of salicylic acid, is utilized in aspirin and skincare merchandise, whereas bogbean, a species that thrives at excessive latitudes in bogs and shallow water, is commercially authorised in Germany to deal with higher belly discomfort and lack of urge for food. Labrador tea, a widespread bathroom bush, has many well being advantages and can also be a mosquito repellent. Such species are greatest cultivated within the wild than grown on farms. The distinctive situations of wetlands permit this.
Lastly, visits to wetlands are highly effective stress relievers, particularly for these residing in a quick and high-pressured city setting like Hong Kong. Corporations may do no worse than ship confused staff to spend a restful day or two on the Mai Po nature reserve periodically to recharge and study first-hand concerning the fascinating species that stay there. For the extra energetic, there are volunteer programmes to filter out mikania, an invasive weed species that threatens the wetland ecosystem. Whereas Mai Po could not match the glamour of a safari or ski resort, it supplies an enormous alternative to foster a extra caring and thoughtful company tradition.
Amid the hubris of busy city residing, we have to recognise nature conservation as one of many defining traits of a contemporary but sustainable metropolis. Corporations can play a serious half on this – and the enterprise rationale for doing so exists. If a bustling centre like Hong Kong, the place commerce and commerce dominates, may spend the effort and time to protect nature and safeguard the survival and restoration of species, the highly effective message it will ship to the world can be that others can, too.
Dr Thomas Tang is CEO and founding father of PJ Sustainability Consulting Restricted. [email protected]