Club Lunch – Our House Is on Fire: Climate Change and Biodiversity in Hong Kong
Date: 1 Nov 2021 12:30 PM — 02:00 PM | Venue: Dining Room
Our House Is on Fire: Climate Change and Biodiversity in Hong Kong
|As world leaders prepare to gather for a crucial climate change conference in Glasgow, the FCC has organised a fascinating lunch event with distinguished speakers from WWF Hong Kong, KPMG China and the University of Hong Kong to help members understand the science behind the headlines. Just a few weeks ago, another UN conference in Kunming called for “urgent and integrated action” on biodiversity – the variety of life on Earth, in all its forms and interactions. Humans need to start cleaning up the environmental havoc they’ve wrought – but is there still time to do so?
|Plant and animal species loss is now at its fastest rate in 10 million years, and the number of animals living on Earth has plunged by half since 1970. Meanwhile, the world continues to heat up, hurtling towards tipping points that could push us into new and irreversible territory. How are these issues playing out on the ground in Hong Kong and the wider region? And what can we do, both as a society and individually, to try and prevent further destruction? Moderated by FCC Correspondent Member and AFP journalist Rebecca Bailey.
Professor Laurence McCook is currently Director of Oceans Conservation for WWF Hong Kong. Laurence has a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University, in Canada, and around 35 years’ experience working on coral reefs in Australia, Indonesia and the “Coral Triangle”, the Pacific and Caribbean, as well as temperate ecosystems. He has worked with government, academic research, non-government and industry sectors, and international bodies such as the United Nations. Laurence’s work in China aims to strengthen management of coral reefs and tropical marine habitats generally. He is particularly interested in using natural capital and ecosystem service accounting to redress the mistaken perception that human development comes at the cost of nature conservation.
Irene Chu is a partner of KPMG China in the audit practice and heads up the New Economy sector as well as Life Sciences industries for the Hong Kong Region. She started her career with KPMG in Toronto, Canada. She works with innovative and emerging companies across different industry sectors, and collaborates with the Hong Kong government, investors, universities and corporate entities to support and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem, new economy opportunities and the life sciences sector in Hong Kong. She is currently the Chair of Finance Committee and Member of the Executive Council of WWF Hong Kong.
Dr. Billy Hau is a terrestrial ecologist and conservationist. His research focus is ecological restoration, especially for terrestrial habitats in degraded tropical East Asia. He aims to bring back native forest and the associated forest biodiversity into the degraded landscape in Hong Kong and South China. He founded the Native Tree Nursery of the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) which promotes the use of native plant species in forest restoration work. He is also one of the founders of the China programme of KFBG which aims at halting biodiversity loss in South China. He has been teaching ecology and biodiversity at HKU for more than 10 years and is currently the Programme Director of the MSc in Environmental Management.