The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)'s Post-quake Reconstruction Support Work in Sichuan Completion Ceremony cum Sharing Session on Reconstruction of the Wolong National Nature Reserve was held today (October 28). Representatives of organisations and volunteers who participated in the support work shared with about 200 students and youths their experience in carrying out the reconstruction projects.
Officiating at the ceremony, the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, said that the event today had dual meanings. It marked not only the conclusion of the HKSAR's post-quake reconstruction support work in Sichuan that lasted eight years, but also the start of a new chapter in promoting further exchanges and collaboration between Sichuan and Hong Kong on nature conservation and youth matters founded on the fruitful outcomes of the support work.
After the massive earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan, in 2008, the HKSAR funded 190 reconstruction projects with a total of $10 billion. Among these projects, 151 were undertaken by the HKSAR Government, covering road infrastructure, education, medical and hygiene services, social welfare and reconstruction of the Wolong National Nature Reserve. A further 32 were taken forward by non-governmental organisations, covering education, medical services, physical and psychological rehabilitation, social welfare and public facilities, while seven were supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, covering education, medical services and rehabilitation software services.
Mrs Lam said that a top priority of the HKSAR's support work was the post-quake reconstruction of the Wolong National Nature Reserve. Wolong is not only a national nature reserve and part of the Sichuan giant pandas' habitat, which is a world natural heritage site, but also a Special Administrative Region that accommodates more than 5,000 residents. The HKSAR's support work in Wolong therefore attached equal importance to both ecological conservation and the restoration of infrastructure for people's livelihood. As a token of thanks for the HKSAR's donations towards Wolong reconstruction, Hong Kong people have been able to visit the giant panda bases in Shenshuping and Dujiangyan with free admission since May this year. More than 2,000 Hong Kong people have toured these two bases since then.
Also officiating at the ceremony, the Chief Executive of the Ocean Park Corporation, Mr Matthias Li, shared the experience of Ocean Park as the honourable technical advisor for reconstruction in Wolong. A special guest of the HKSAR Government, the Director of the Sichuan Wolong National Nature Reserve Administration, Mr Zhang Hemin, introduced the post-quake reconstruction work for the Wolong National Nature Reserve and scientific research for conservation of giant pandas.
In addition to attending the event today, Mr Zhang delivered a speech at a Hong Kong-Sichuan scientific research workshop organised by the Education Bureau and local universities yesterday (October 27). He will meet about 300 students at Ocean Park tomorrow (October 29) and talk about the conservation efforts and scientific research for protection of giant pandas.
To enhance the knowledge of the public about the HKSAR's post-quake reconstruction support work in Sichuan, a roving exhibition will be held from tomorrow to December 29 at various locations on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon and the New Territories to showcase the HKSAR's efforts and the fruitful outcomes. Admission is free. Details are available in the annex.
Ends/Friday, October 28, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:30