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Laurel Chor on photojournalism and Hong Kong’s ‘incredible biodiversity’

22 / 05 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

Laurel Chor is a Hong Kong-based photojournalist and filmmaker. A National Geographic Explorer, Ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute-Hong Kong, and founder of Hong Kong Explorers Initiative,  she will be speaking at Ecosperity, June 5-7 in Singapore, and will also act as a judge for Shoot for Sustainability, a regional photo competition organized by National Geographic and Temasek. In the run-up to that, Mongabay caught up with Laurel to ask about her work. Erik Hoffner for Mongabay: Hong Kong is a city of 7.3 million and isn’t known for its biodiversity, but rather for its steel and concrete. Yet there is a good amount of undeveloped land, can you describe its natural heritage? Laurel Chor: Hong Kong harbors an incredible biodiversity, with many endemic species living in its forests and rivers, while pink-hued Chinese white dolphins and finless porpoises swim in its waters. The city has more coral species than the Caribbean and more reef fish species than Hawaii. Only a quarter of the land is developed, while an eye-boggling 40% is protected, with an additional five marine parks on top of the vast country parks. The best part is that much of these wild areas are easily accessible to the public by train, bus, car or ferry. Western lowland gorillas in the Central African Republic. Image courtesy of Laurel Chor. Did exposure to the city’s nature spur your early interest in the environment? As a child, I never had much exposure to nature in Hong Kong. Before I was born, my…

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