The dragonboaters standing guard over Hong Kong's seas

January 24, 2019

Photo credit: Green Dragon HK Facebook 


For the world leaders, economists and the soothing dulcet tones of Sir David Attenborough's famous voice converging upon Davos for the World Economic Forum this week, climate change is certainly high on the agenda. 


However, just as salient the narrator of BBC's vaunted Planet Earth and Blue Planet series' imploration towards "businesses and governments to come up with practical solutions" is, the nature of the consumerist society we live in may well necessitate a shift in attitudes and a positive change in the dynamics between man and nature coming from bottom-up, instead of top-down. 


Keeping things a little more local, that is precisely what drives a volunteer group of Hong Kong-based dragonboat paddlers called the Green Dragons HK (GDHK). 


With a significant number of teams such as the American Women's Association (AWA), Globe Paddlers, the Spanish Dragons and SoFrench already on board, GDHK has made a number of pledges not only to cut out single-use plastic at their events, but also participate in a beach cleanup after every race. 


Photo credit: Green Dragons HK Facebook


Their initiatives do not stop there; the group has plans to find eco-friendly fabric kit suppliers for a growing list of teams involved with the GDHK for the 2019 season. 


Sportswear giants Adidas have led a similar campaign with regards to environmentally-friendly jerseys, fashioning Spanish football club Real Madrid's third kit by utilising recycled plastic acquired from the sea.  


Suzanne Younan, founder of GDHK, hopes that the dragonboat community can serve as an example and spearhead a shift towards cleaner, pollutant-free seas. 


"Plastic is everywhere and although useful and necessary in some industries, there is a lot of single use plastic that is unnecessary or is only useful for such a short time and then discarded," Younan said. 


"We have an obligation to the next generation to leave them the nature and wildlife we grew up with. Instead, we are creating a toxic environment and it simply has to change."



Green Dragons HK are hosting a get-together this Saturday (26th January) with a hike from Wong Nai Chung Gap to Stanley Beach starting at 10.00am, where they will organise a beach cleanup and picnic- contact Jonathan at +852 9181 2046 for more information. 


Alternatively, you are welcome to skip the hike and join them at Stanley Beach at 12.30pm.



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