Engage Nature for 5 Pledge

Engage Nature for 5 Pledge

Let's Engage with Nature

Have you recently taken a walk in a park or gone for a hike? The beauty of nature not only brings peace to the mind and benefits the body, but it also serves as an environmental educator. By immersing yourself in nature, you can experience its awe-inspiring greatness and tap into its mysteries, as well as learn about ecology and the environment.

To this end, we have launched the Pledge “Engage Nature for 5”, and we invite all of you to sign it. From July 2023 to May 2024, we encourage everyone to seek out the majesty of nature using the methods we suggest, and to bask in the benefits of nature.

Nature refers to the biodiversity, including various organisms and natural environments. Hong Kong is blessed with the distinctive advantages, boasting about three-quarters of our land being rural areas and a long and diverse coastline. Hong Kong's rich biodiversity is truly amazing, with nearly 40% of bird species in China found here. The city centre and the countryside are just a stone's throw away. Even in the urban areas, as long as we are willing to open our senses and connect with our surroundings, we can all engage with nature.

Disconnected from Nature

Despite Hong Kong being a bustling metropolis with beautiful nature and rich biodiversity, many people lead busy lives in the city and may have most of their time occupied by work, digital entertainment and daily routines. The research indicated that Hong Kong citizens spent around 86% of their time indoors1, which means that we are gradually distancing ourselves from nature as we spend more time indoors.

Children are also facing the same problem. The book Last Child in the Woods published in 2008, introduced the concept of "Nature-deficit Disorder," which describes how people are becoming disconnected from the natural world2. This disorder can cause children to become indifferent to the environment, leading to attention problems, depression and other mental disorders, as well as increasing the risk of certain physical problems, such as myopia and obesity.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic not only caused health problems for the public, but also greatly affected our opportunities to connect with nature due to various restrictions on going out and socializing. Therefore, it is crucial that we seize the opportunity to reconnect with nature now.

The Benefits of Engaging Nature

Many studies have shown that exposure to nature can have positive effects on physical and mental health, learning abilities and environmental awareness.

General Public

Physical Health
2 Hours
People who spend more than 2 hours in nature per week can improve their health.3
  • To strengthen the immune system4, 5
  • To improve sleep quality6
  • To reduce the likelihood of developing chronic diseases7, 8
  • To lower the risk of developing dementia in old age9
  • To reduce the likelihood of severe obesity10
  • To reduce mortality rate11
Mental Health
5 Minutes
Exercising in nature for at least 5 minutes at a time can effectively improve mood and boost self-confidence.18
  • To help relieve stress12, 13, 14, 15
  • To reduce anxiety3, 8, 16, 17
  • To boost self-confidence18
Environmental Awareness
People who visit the countryside every day can recognize 15% more local species on average compared to those who rarely visit.21
  • To encourage pro-environmental behaviours19
  • To enhance local sense of belonging and civic engagement20
  • To enhance ecological literacy and knowledge21


Learning Abilities
By integrating the environment into subject teaching, 98% of teachers reported that their students’ enthusiasm and engagement in learning have been significantly increased.24
  • To improve academic performance22, 23, 24
  • To enhance thinking skills24
  • To increase learning motivation25
  • To improve focus and self-discipline25, 26, 27
Environmental Awareness
Age 11
Increased exposure to nature before age 11 can help cultivate environmental awareness in later life.28
  • To increase environmental awareness and encourage pro-environmental behaviours28, 29
  • To enhance local sense of belonging and civic engagement30
Physical and Mental Health
3 Hours
Daily exposure to nature for 3 hours can reduce the risk of myopia.33
  • To benefit overall health31
  • To reduce the likelihood of developing chronic diseases32, 33
  • To help relieve stress34
Interpersonal Relationship
1 Hour
Participating in outdoor activities for about 1 hour per week can significantly boost children's self-confidence after 8 months of continuous engagement.36
  • To promote family harmony35
  • To help to establish a positive self-image and self-confidence36

What's “Engage Nature for 5”

"Engage Nature for 5" is a public commitment activity for individuals, schools and organizations aimed at enhancing Hong Kong citizens' connectedness with nature and promoting local outdoor environmental education.

By providing a range of activity recommendations, this pledge encourages the public, especially schools, parents and students, to engage more with nature and participate in outdoor environmental education activities. Increased exposure to environments can provide short-term benefits such as happiness, relaxation and stress reduction, as well as long-term benefits such as increased satisfaction with family, work and life. By gradually increasing the time spent in nature, participants can improve their physical and mental health, establish a connection with nature, and deepen their sense of belonging and environmental awareness.

Promoting "outdoor environmental education" is our guiding principle. By participating in outdoor education activities, such as visiting parks, forests, mountains, beaches and other outdoor leisure areas, engaging in ecological appreciation, photography, hiking, camping, sports and other leisure activities, everyone can have a deeper understanding and interaction with nature, helping to establish positive relationships with themselves, others and the environment.

Connecting with nature is the core of environmental education, which is an important method for achieving sustainable development and improving people's physical and mental health. With the "Engage Nature for 5" pledge, we hope to create opportunities for all sectors of the society to build a better future for individuals, society and the environment.

Engage Nature for 5 Pledge

Duration of Pledge
July 2023 to May 2024

For general public

  • During the pledge period, visit natural environments (including urban parks) for at least two consecutive 5-day periods, spending at least 15 minutes each day using all 5 senses to connect with nature.
  • Plan 5 trips to rural areas or country parks (an average of one per month) and visit at least one during the pledge period (participation in activities organized by external organizations also counts).

For parents

  • During the pledge period, choose 5 natural sites to visit and play with your children.
  • Encourage children to record their journeys and thoughts about playing in nature, write five diaries using words or drawings, and then share them with others.

For school teachers or
activity organizers

  • During the pledge period, organize at least one outdoor environmental education event for the school or organization, with a total duration of at least 5 hours for all the organized outdoor activities, which can be self-organized or in collaboration with outdoor environmental education institutions.

Sign the Pledge

Are you OWL Friends? Register now

Personal Data Collection Statement

Share Your Stories of Engage Nature for 5!

Reward a FREE Admission to Participate in Exciting Outdoor Activities!

Share your heartwarming stories of Engage Nature for 5 on social media and have a chance to participate in a designated activity organized by Outdoor Wildlife Learning Hong Kong (OWLHK) for free.

  • Upload a post to your personal account during the pledge period and set it to be public.
  • The post must include the location of the activity, an outdoor photo, a description of at least 100 words (in Chinese or English) and your personal thoughts about the activity. Additionally, you must use the following hashtags (#EngageNaturefor5 #與自然為五), and tag OWLHK's account (Facebook: @owlhk2016; Instagram: @owlhk; LinkedIn: @owlhk).
  • OWLHK will select 10 featured posts in August, September and October respectively, and the selected authors can participate for free in our designated activities on November 12th or November 19th, and can bring one child or one other family member to attend the activity together.
  • For more details, please refer to the terms and conditions.


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