Green fighters need golden hearts in toxins war

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am


Known as the world's factory, China is a popular destination for investors from around the world keen to build production plants. These factories provide job opportunities for locals - but this often comes at the expense of the natural environment.

Factories release all kinds of toxins into the environment during the production process, contaminating water, air and soil. Ada Kong (right), Greenpeace campaigner for East Asia, is determined to help the nation find the right balance between development and environmental protection.

But a campaigner must be an all-rounder. He or she needs to have a knowledge of science, excellent communication skills, and be physically fit. 'We prefer campaigners with a science education background since we need to understand the various issues on how different toxics harm the environment,' Kong says, adding that the key to success as a campaigner is to have a caring heart for society and to be proactive.

'There is no one to assign work to you - you have to find out the issues that need to be tackled. A lot more has to be done to help the environment. It is always an uphill battle but all our hardship is worth it for the sake of the Earth,' Kong adds.

She hopes Hong Kong's press freedom can help focus attention on mainland environmental issues. 'I feel lucky to be in a place where there is press freedom, and that I am able to tell the world about the situations I have seen. This is really important in terms of raising awareness of the environment,' she says.