Peter Cornthwaite (OS 1979) is CEO of WWF-Hong Kong. He joined in 2016, after a 35 year career with Hong Kong Police Force. Peter is helping to drive forward WWF’s mission to ‘Transform HK into Asia’s Most Sustainable City.’
'According to WWF’s Ecological Footprint 2019, Hong Kong is a consumption-driven city, relying heavily on resources from other parts of the world. It also states that HK’s per capita Ecological Footprint* is the 2nd worst in the Asia-Pacific region, and the 10th worst in the world.
Whenever I meet young people during Our Planet Activities, whether in Hong Kong or overseas, I am acutely aware they get the seriousness of the situation. With threats of climate change and degradation of biodiversity that are facing our planet right now, they realise we only have a narrow window over the next 10 years to implement changes to live more sustainably.
Here in Hong Kong, my WWF team is involved in conservation work both locally and in the Asia Pacific Region to protect coastal wetland ecosystems, close illegal wildlife trade markets and increase the protection of oceans. We engage with all sectors of the community working on sustainable green city issues and leading environmental education activities.
It was for me, my time at Sevenoaks School with activities at Knole Park, and the surrounding Kent countryside, I remember volunteering on the digweed programme and clearing a community pond near Seal. This had a lasting impression on me to be both aware of native species and habitats, and to take some responsibility for our impact on them.
I wish everyone involved with the Sevenoaks School Green Week every success in their activities to inspire and empower friends, families and the community. To come together to change the way we live and reduce our impact on the planet and species. What we need is a new deal for nature and people!'.
* Ecological Footprint measures the biocapacity humanity utilizes across six land types: cropland, grazing land, forest area for products, fishing grounds, built-up land, and forest area for carbon sequestration.