2013-06-16 16:45:57Chinachem Group Officially Launches Tree Fossils Tour at Nina Fossil Garden - Hong Kong’s First and Only Park Space Dedicated to Tree Fossils Specimens from Millions of Years Ago Inspire Green Living
(Hong Kong, 16 June 2013) Chinachem Group today held a grand opening ceremony to officially unveil its latest contribution to the community in environmental conservation – “A Journey into the World of Tree Fossils” at Nina Fossil Garden, Hong Kong’s first and only urban oasis themed on tree fossils, with 127 rare specimens on public display. The longest tree fossil on display measures 25 metres. The Garden offers the community an opportunity to appreciate the importance of nature conservation through learning about tree fossils. This is Chinachem Group’s latest initiative in helping raise the community’s awareness of the importance of protecting our natural heritage, thereby broadening the foundation for sustainable development.
“Through Nina Fossil Garden, we hope to promote green education in Hong Kong by providing the public with an opportunity to appreciate tree species from millions years ago.” said Dr. Kung Yan-sum, Executive Director and Chairman of the Chinachem Group. “Free guided tours will broaden their knowledge of tree fossils; and our professional eco-tour guides will help visitors learn about the history of fossil development as well as plant evolution and conservation, thereby further fulfilling our commitment to sustainable development through conservation.” It is estimated that there will be 200 members of the public and students joining the free guided tours each week.
“We have also initiated a “Train the Trainers” programme to provide eco-tour guides with knowledge about tree fossils. We are glad to have invited tree fossil experts Professor Zheng Shao-lin and Professor Zhang Wu, both from Shenyang Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources of Ministry of Land and Resources, to host the first-ever seminar in Hong Kong to share their expertise on the subject. With nearly 80 years of experience in tree fossil research worldwide combined, they will equip our guides with the knowledge and insights needed to develop fun and educational eco-tours to promote green Hong Kong.” Dr. Kung continued.
Precious Tree Fossils with Conservation and Research Significance
Nina Fossil Garden boasts 127 pieces of tree fossils, all of which were handpicked from South East Asia by the late Mrs. Nina Wong, former Chairman of Chinachem Group. Each piece is a valuable subject of conservation as it went through a long process of fossilisation.
Professor Zhang Wu said, “Each piece of tree fossil is a fossilised tree trunk. But only one out of a million tree trunks develops into a tree fossil. These precious fossils, therefore, are rare and sought after for exhibition display. Since fossils preserve both the external shape and the internal structure of the tree, visitors can learn about the fossilisation process by observing the growth rings and colours of the tree fossils.”
“Tree fossils are also highly valued for research purposes. Each piece has witnessed the climate and geological changes that took place over the past millions of years. It is also an embodiment of ancient vegetation, providing vital clues for research in palaeontology and geography. We are pleased that Chinachem Group has introduced this collection of tree fossils to Hong Kong. They are an invaluable resource for the promotion of public awareness of environmental protection and for academic research,” added Professor Zheng Shao-lin.
Community Care through Conservation Promotion,
Always committed to fulfilling its social responsibility, Chinachem Group has been actively promoting conservation and greening initiatives. On a mission to promote conservation and sustainable development, the Group has organised a number of campaigns, working together with members of the public, people with disabilities and underprivileged groups to help foster a greener Hong Kong. Past campaigns included Environmental Conference — “Sustainable Development: A Better Quality of Life 2012”, Green Hong Kong Photo Contest, Chinachem TEE Action, and starting in 2011, Chinachem Walkathon.
Chinachem Group is in collaboration with “Live Nature”, a social enterprise, to offer “A Journey into the World of Tree Fossils” guided tours. The Group also initiates a “Train the Trainers” programme to further equip eco-tour guides with additional knowledge. The first activity under the programme is a discussion forum between two fossil experts from China - Professor Zheng Shao-lin and Professor Zhang Wu - and eco-tour guides. The trained guides are expected to provide the public with scientific information about tree fossils. Furthermore, the Group will collaborate with The Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service to offer training to young generation about being a guided tour of environmental protection and tree fossils.
“We are honoured to help promote environmental awareness through the appreciation of tree fossils, a new subject for our eco-guides. Through the training provided by Professor Zheng Shao-lin and Professor Zhang Wu, they have gained a good grasp of the topic. We hope to give back to society by offering free tours and share knowledge about tree fossils with the public,” said Mr. William Chan, General Project Manager for Live Nature.
In addition to promoting environmental conservation, Chinachem Group is committed to caring for the underprivileged in society. To deliver green messages to a broader spectrum of society, the Group invited 17 people from low-income families to join the Garden’s first-ever eco-tour after today’s opening ceremony.
“A Journey into the World of Tree Fossils” is open to the public. Interested individuals can register at the Customer Service desk on 1/F of Nina Tower. Reservation for a group tour can be made via email at email@example.com.