Beyond the Concrete Jungle

City, Nature, and Environmentalism in Hong Kong

Environmental protection and education is one of the most pressing, prevailing, and problematic challenges of the 21st century, especially for urban areas. This project explores the intersectionality, interaction, and initiatives among organizational, economic, and cultural interests in combating environmental issues through an in-depth study of World Wide Fund for Nature-Hong Kong (WWF-HK). The sustainability of major cities like Hong Kong is inextricably bound to the conservation of the nature and resources as well as promotion of environmental awareness among their citizens. Established in 1981, WWF-HK has been an integral part of this effort, not only as an independent branch of a global NGO network but also a partner with the local Hong Kong government in managing nature reserves, conserving biodiversity, and advocating for environmental education. Following an ethnographic and cultural studies approach, this project examines the works of WWF-HK and identifies several key areas in which specific interests come into contact and conflict with one another. Interviews and participant observations explore the ways in which a leading local actant grapples with the complexities of a global city. Through literature review, interdisciplinary research, and digital documentation of both the natural and urban experiences of this metropolis in Southern China, the research team investigates the role of human behavior, the interplay between development and urban sustainability, along with the future of environmental protection and education in Hong Kong.