To incubate a sustainable development option for rural areas and villages in Hong Kong, the HKU Kadoorie Institute, together with the Hong Kong Countryside Foundation, Produce Green Foundation, the Conservancy Association and inhabitants of a traditional Hakka village in Lai Chi Wo, launched the “Living Water & Community Revitalisation – An Agricultural-led Action, Engagement and Incubation Programme at Lai Chi Wo” (the Programme) in April 2016 after two years of preparation.
Supported by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) and endorsed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of the HKSAR Government (AFCD), the Programme is the first cross-sector partnership of its kind implementing sustainability initiatives and innovation in farming, training, education and research.
HKU President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mathieson said: “HKU is the first university locally and internationally that pledges in our vision that we will respond purposefully to the modern day’s challenges identified by the United Nations through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The sustainable Lai Chi Wo Programme is a perfect example of how a university can take a leading role and incubate sustainability innovations.”
Ms Diana Cesar, Chief Executive, HSBC Hong Kong, said: “The revitalisation of Lai Chi Wo demonstrates how much is possible when local residents, academia and the private sector work together to care for Hong Kong’s living past. HSBC is proud to have supported the conservation of a valuable part of our rural heritage through a project that brings to life a historical village for people today to enjoy and understand. We have been deeply connected with Hong Kong for 151 years and are committed to investing for the future in its environment and communities.”
The launch ceremony held on April 30, 2016 was celebrated by many contributors and supporters of the Programme.