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Earth Day 2016: 118 trees planted at Lautau Island, Hong Kong

April 2016 │ Hong Kong

Deutsche Bank Hong Kong celebrated Earth Day 2016 by planting 118 trees on Lantau Island as part of its In the Community programme. 2016 marks the 46th year since the launch of the Earth Day concept. Since then, the Earth Day Network has grown into a worldwide movement.

On April 23, the Deutsche Bank team of 20 adults and children, including Donna Chang, Deutsche Bank Hong Kong’s Country Chief Operating Officer, and volunteers from several divisions across the Bank, planted tree saplings on Lantau Island. More than 100 people from various corporations joined in the tree planting, in celebration of Earth Day. In total, the Deutsche Bank team planted 118 tree saplings, the highest number of saplings planted by any group that day.

In the morning, the volunteers took the ferry to Lantau Island, where they met up with Ark Eden Foundation team leads who explained the current state of the trees and the estimated tree loss per year due to fires.

Alarmingly, the rate of Hong Kong’s tree loss is up to 1 million per year, mainly caused by man-made fires from grave sweeping and other traditional rituals involving burning. Grave sweeping is a tradition observed by visiting ancestors’ graves to pay respects. Additional side effects of tree loss include landslides, flooding, loss of habitats, soil degradation and water depletion. With 15 years required for regeneration, soil degradation is a challenge.

After the talk, the volunteers moved deeper into the Lantau woods to pick up tree saplings, fertilizer and tools. From the base, they climbed a steep hill to an area Ark Eden nicknamed “Deutsche Bank Hill”, after the first group of people who planted trees at the location: Deutsche Bank Interns.

Midway through the hike, the volunteers took a break and watched a full tree planting demonstration by Jenny Quinton, one of Ark Eden’s founders. Carrying the tree saplings, tools, and their personal water, the volunteers lumbered up the hill. Fortunately, the overcast weather that morning provided some relief, and the volunteers patiently helped one another during the climb.

When the volunteers finally reached the destination, they had to maneuver down the slope to the designated planting area. Though the area was densely filled with trees and bushes, the volunteers spread out and managed to successfully find a location for all 118 tree saplings. The final step was to record and list the tree numbers, and measure the girth and height of each sapling. The mission concluded with Ark Eden leaders doing a final walkabout to ensure that the saplings were correctly planted, to increase their chances for successful growth.

Ark Eden’s aim is to preserve Hong Kong’s ecological, geographical, historical and cultural heritage by following a sustainable lifestyle and by providing inspiring educational and eco-tourism opportunities for children, adults, residents and tourists. Since 2012, Deutsche Bank has partnered Ark Eden to preserve Lautau’s environmental ecology, and is involved in other environmental projects around Hong Kong. The Ark Eden foundation understands which native trees are suitable for planting in the environment, helping to avoid challenges and mistakes that can result from planting non-native trees.

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Last Update: May 18, 2016
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