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Ocean Park Celebrates the Return of Sichuan Nature Conservation Week and Signs New Collaboration Agreement for Additional Red Pandas


Ocean Park is putting the spotlight on Sichuan’s rich biodiversity and sustainable development philosophy, from today until 30 November, by hosting the 2023 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week in partnership with the Forestry and Grassland Administration of Sichuan Province (SCFGA), Chengdu Municipal People's Government and the Environment and Ecology Bureau of the HKSAR Government for the first time, under the theme of “Rediscover the Kaleidoscope of Sichuan. Embark on an Enchanting Journey in Chengdu”. In addition, the partnership will also introduce a group of adorable red pandas to be joining Ocean Park as animal ambassadors, with new and engaging ways for visitors to interact and connect with them.
2023 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week has given us a chance to promote the natural beauty and rich biodiversity of Sichuan Province. The return of the Sichuan Week event allows visitors to deepen their understanding of China's natural ecology, and learn to protect the environment as our city develops. Additionally, we are delighted to have signed two memoranda of collaboration, supporting conservation efforts, scientific studies, breeding programme, public education initiatives and talents training. We are also thrilled to announce the plan to introduce additional red pandas to the Ocean Park family. The new animal ambassadors will support us to extend our efforts in the conservation, breeding and scientific research on red pandas,’’ said Paulo Pong, Chairman of Ocean Park Corporation at the launch ceremony.

Representatives who attended the prestigious kick-off ceremony included Mr Li Tianman, Director of the Forestry and Grassland Administration of Sichuan Province; Dr Leung Siu Fai, Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation of the HKSAR Government; and Mr Zhou Ling, Secretary of the Party Committee, Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Park City Construction and Management. They were joined by Ocean Park Corporation representatives, including Mr Paulo Pong, Chairman; Mr Ivan Wong, Chief Executive; Ms Ysanne Chan, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer; and Ms Judy Chen, Chairman of Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong.
“Sichuan Nature Conservation Week does not only serve as an event to promote the idea of ecological protection, but also an opportunity to deepen the knowledge about our country,” said Dr Leung Siu Fai, Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation of the HKSAR Government. “I encourage every citizen and tourist, especially young people, to take part in this event. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will remain actively engaged in the collaboration between Sichuan and Hong Kong on conservation matters and continue to foster the bond between the two places.”
“Sichuan, a biodiversity hotspot, is home to valuable species like giant pandas. We are dedicated to safeguarding its natural environment and landscapes while developing into a ‘Park City’. Visitors from Hong Kong are invited to personally witness Sichuan's beauty and abundant resources. We are enthusiastic about strengthening cooperation with Hong Kong,” said Mr Li Tianman, Director of the Forestry and Grassland Administration of Sichuan Province.
Bringing conservation efforts in Sichuan to the fore
The 2023 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week showcases the remarkable conservation efforts in Sichuan as the centre stage of the exhibition, educating visitors about the latest developments in the Giant Panda National Park, and the planning of the National Botanical Garden. The exhibition will also showcase the latest “Park City” development in Chengdu to create a harmonious and integrated nature-city environment. It will have a section dedicated to rare animal and plant species, highlighting the rich biodiversity of Sichuan, with an XR experience for the chance to virtually interact with a giant panda cub.
Visitors can also further broaden their knowledge about conservation with a series of educational talks organised during the 2023 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week. They can hear animal and plant experts from Chengdu share fun and behind-the-scenes facts about giant pandas and other precious Sichuan animal and plant species.
New memoranda expand long-term, cross-border partnership
During the kick-off ceremony, Ocean Park and SCFGA officially signed a five-year agreement which encompasses a range of initiatives, including ongoing programmes that highlight the remarkable conservation efforts taking place in Sichuan and Ocean Park respectively. The partnership will focus on a designated nature reserve in Sichuan each year, emphasising nature conservation efforts in that specific area. The collaboration serves as a catalyst for active engagement in conservation and education tasks in both Hong Kong and Sichuan. Through the staff exchange programme, Ocean Park can foster on-the-ground involvement, promoting knowledge sharing and benefiting from the opportunity to learn and grow through the exchange of expertise. Furthermore, Ocean Park will organise an internship programme in Sichuan for students in partnership with the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau, expanding its impact on inspiring individuals to gain valuable conservation experiences.
Ocean Park has further strengthened its commitment to animal conservation through the signing of an additional agreement, which involves Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, with a focus on a long-term loan of red pandas. The stay for the current three red pandas, Tai Shan, Cong Cong, and Rou Rou, will be extended for another 20 years, in addition to a group of new red pandas joining Hong Kong as part of the plan.
Originally serving as educational exhibits, the red pandas will now play an even more significant role through this new agreement. The expanded scope of activities includes breeding, scientific research to advance their conservation as well as enhanced public education efforts.