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Eco-Tour to Tai O
Date: October 3, 2018

Date: 22 September 2018

Organizing Partner: Greenpeace East Asia

“Mangkhut” was an exceptionally powerful super typhoon. Although typhoons are nothing new to the people of Hong Kong, they are still worried about the huge devastations brought about by super typhoons like “Mangkhut”. Low-lying Tai O is a village that frequently suffers from flooding during typhoons. What measures of resilience have been built in Tai O in the past years? How is climate change affecting the present and future of Tai O? And how are the government and local residents coping with those natural disasters?  

Co-organised by Carboncare InnoLab and Greenpeace, an Eco-Tour to Tai O was held on 22 September 2018. Participants were led to take a walk around Tai O, in order to see the infrastructure and contingency measures for disaster prevention, the development plan launched by government, as well as to have an overview of the Tai O community. The tour was postponed to a week after “Mangkhut”, giving the tour participants the perfect timing to observe the impacts of a super typhoon. An elderly local resident was also invited to share his experience after many years of facing windstorms.

Tai O residents still harbour a lingering fear after Typhoon Hagupit’s attack in 2008, during which astronomical tide and storm surges caused serious flooding threatening people’s life and bringing great economic loss to business and shops. After Hagupit, the Hong Kong Government began to step up disaster prevention and resilience measures from both the software and the hardware side. So starting from the aftermath of “Hagupit”, we explained to the tour members the various disaster prevention measures installed in Tai O, as well as the challenges brought by climate change. As the tour covered the mangrove wetland in Tai O, the significance of its conservation was also explained to the participants. The Hong Kong Government has also constructed a series of facilities to improve community living and boost local economy in Tai O. Whether such constructions are effective enough to help Tai O still remains to be seen.

Extreme weather events become more and more frequent under climate change. Rising sea levels lead to an upshift of coastlines, meaning that global warming is not only going to affect Tai O but many other coastal areas as well. Through such tours, we hope to alert the people of Hong Kong of the urgency to tackle climate change. People should take more actions to reduce carbon and also be prepared to adapting themselves to climate change.


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