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Leave No Trace is a concept originated from the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, when outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, trekking and camping gained popularity in the post-war period. The increased visits of countryside nevertheless led to growing disturbance to the natural environment – not just the ecology and habitats, but historic heritage and soils also experienced varying degree of damages.

In view of this, the US government, scholars, as well as conservation and hiking organisations launched a ‘Leave No Trace’ campaign in the 1980s to promote and educate the public the value of respecting nature, taking real actions to minimize negative impacts brought by leisure activities to natural habitats. To date, ‘Leave No Trace’ has developed into a global conservation education movement.


The ‘Leave No Trace’ concept can be classified into seven basic principles:

Plan ahead and prepare


Travel and camp on
durable surfaces


Dispose of waste properly


Leave what you find


Be considerate to
other visitors


Minimize campfire impacts


Respect wildlife



What can
you do


Treat food waste at home


Take your litter and anything that does not belong to the
wild home. Leave No Trace


Reduce consumption of disposable products, such as tissue paper,
wet wipes, bottled water, etc.


Prioritise trails with regular maintenance


Avoid creating shortcuts


‘Stay on track’ and avoid damaging surrounding vegetation


Do not set up fires in forest or any non-designated area


Have a respect for antiques, monuments and landscapes


Leave what you find


Do not make graffiti on any surface


Do not take away any object from ruins or nature, such as rocks,
shells, antiques, etc.


Avoid climbing architecture with fragile structure or rocks that
are easily weathered


To wildlife animals and plants


Do not disturb or attack wildlife animals. If an animal
approaches you, stay calm and try to keep as much distance
from it as possible


Do not feed wildlife animals


Keep food securely in backpacks to avoid attracting animals


Do not pick or destroy any plant for the sake of ‘checking in’ on
social media platforms


Do not climb trees and vines, especially old trees and protected plants


To other visitors / local residents


Sharing is caring. All users (including hikers, cyclers, campers)
should show care and respect for one another, and conduct activities
in designated areas


Show concern for other visitors while taking photos and avoid
staying at one particular location for too long


Do not make loud noises or play music too loud


Avoid smoking


Be quiet when passing through villages


Respect the lifestyles of local residents. Do not trespass on
private land or touch any facilities and objects in the villages