“I have always loved the ocean growing up and found serenity in the water. My happiest place on earth is being on a boat out at sea, disconnected from the world. Even though I’ve felt a strong connection with the environment since I was young, life sometimes takes you on a different journey. My family is in the fashion business in France and, after starting my career there, I worked in luxury fashion for many years. In my late twenties, and after the sudden passing of my father, I started to question a lot of things. It was a wake up call that nudged me to reassess my life. My lightbulb moment came when I watched a documentary about shark finning. I saw a beautiful shark being finned and dumped into the water. It slowly drifted down to the seabed, still alive but completely helpless. I found myself in tears and felt a strong sense of empowerment - I knew I had to do something to protect our environment. So, with no prior experience in this field, I started to knock on doors. With a mix of determination and luck, I finally got a volunteer role at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in 2014."




Marine Thomas  

9:00 - 17:00 

”Since then, I’ve worked with TNC on our youth education programme, fundraising projects, launched Hong Kong’s first oyster restoration project and now lead our entire Hong Kong conservation strategy.  There is a huge gap in ocean conservation projects in HK and, in particular, oyster reefs - which are the most endangered marine habitat on earth, with over 85% global loss. Apart from getting hands-on to restore shellfish reefs, we also develop scientific research in partnership with the University of Hong Kong to help build awareness of the ocean systems and the importance of protecting these habitats - including their impact on water quality, biodiversity and coastal protection. We also aim to tackle policy gaps in marine conservation to drive the initiative forward and reach larger and longer lasting impact. Change doesn’t happen overnight and after seven years, we are now finally starting to scale up our restoration projects to make more sustainable and extensive change!"

”It’s been 10 years since my career shift and I’m so grateful that I now get to do what I love - I get to be outdoors in the ocean, work with young people, inspire where I can for a cause that is dear to my heart. As a mum of two, I can’t bear the idea of future generations growing up in a world without the beauty of nature. Nature is so powerful - it nurtures our wellbeing, health and minds. I would strongly encourage young people in HK to spend more time outdoors to connect with and be in nature. Kids growing up in our concrete jungle may initially feel very much outside of their comfort zones - but just give them a few minutes, and you’ll see them transform and set free! I believe that the first step towards wildlife conservation is for people to fall in love with nature. We protect what we love – and we can’t love what we don’t see, so let your kids run wild!”






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