Following Super Typhoon Mangkhut in September, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the authority of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark (Hong Kong Geopark) reached out to support the recovery of the affected sites and to rebuild them to be more sustainable and resilient to future disasters.
Over 100 park rangers and management staff were immediately deployed to the affected sites to conduct damage assessment, to get in touch with the affected communities to see how we could help, to clear fallen trees and barriers, to deliver maintenance services, and to coordinate volunteer programs with over 300 participants from the geopark schools and the community.
With the concerted efforts of the respective government offices, village communities, geopark partners and volunteers, almost all the geo-trails are now open for public enjoyment. Essentials like water, electricity and public transport are back to normal, and the local communities are offering guided tours, geopark gourmet food and other visitor services at the geo-heritage centres once again. The geosites that were hardest hit, including Ma Shi Chau and Tung Ping Chau, are undergoing repairs and maintenance.
Although the super typhoon had a devastating impact on the geopark infrastructure, it offers a valuable chance to raise public awareness of the importance of environmental protection and the impact of climate change; and strengthen local people’s sense of belonging to Hong Kong Geopark. As the geopark communities recover from the damage caused by the super typhoon, together with the young volunteers from the geopark schools, they are looking more closely at how they can prepare for natural disasters and adapt to the changing climate for a greener and safer future.