Natural way to learn about conservation

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 April, 2006, 12:00am

Want to learn more about Hong Kong's ecologically important and endangered sites? Join the fourth annual Eco Race and you can have fun, test your problem-solving skills and learn about conservation issues, all at the same time.

The race, to be held on April 23, is organised by The Conservancy Association, which last month also organised a poll of the city's top 10 ecological 'hotspots'.

The poll was aimed at encouraging the public to learn more about nature and cultural heritage conservation, and raise awareness of environmental affairs and news in Hong Kong.

It received more than 200 nominations from the public. A panel of judges, which included a Conservancy Association representative, lawmakers and academics, selected the top 10 entries.

The judges chose the following as the city's most important environmental and cultural heritage issues or sites: the reclamation of Victoria Harbour, the illegal logging of Buddhist pines, the Central Police Station complex, Pottinger Street's stone-slab steps, Mai Po, Tai O's wooden houses, Sa Lok Tung, Lai Chi Wo, Long Village and Sai Kung Hoi Ha Wan.

For the Eco Race, the organisers will select a number of these 'hotspots' and then provide participants with clues as to where they are. Competitors will then have to design the fastest route to reach the highest number of checkpoints, using the most environmentally-friendly means of transportation possible.

The competition will be divided into two categories: the 'Eco Race Challenger' for open, company and organisation teams, and the 'Eco Race Education' for families and students.

Entrants have to raise funds for the association's conservation campaigns to be eligible to enter.

'This fundraising activity is aimed at enriching the participants' knowledge of environmental, natural and cultural heritage conservation,' said Betty Ho Siu-fong, chair of The Conservancy Association. 'It will also help promote team spirit among participating team members, and parent-child communication.'

The competition will run from 9am to 4pm. A maximum of 500 teams of three to four people are allowed. The deadline for applications is April 8. Visit or call 2272 0321 for details.