move over panda.

Posts tagged “Conservation; China; Panda; Ivory; Wildlife Trafficking; Social Marketing

The Conservation Movement in China

I’ve been getting more and more interested in learning about the Conservation Movement, and I was curious to find out about what’s going on in China at the grassroots level. Predictably, my first step was to search for “Conservation Movement China” on Google, and I have to say that I was rather disappointed with the results.

The top (first) four results were links to a Facebook page called Stop Made in China: A Global Conservation Movement. Honestly, I was disturbed to find that the most popular site this search returns is one that advocates the boycotting of all products made in China, if only because I was hoping for some more positive, uplifting information than what I found. That being said, whoever is behind Stop Made in China has done a great job of curating content on wildlife trafficking, and I recommend that you check it out if this is an area of interest to you. While a lot of the material is geared towards the ivory trade, there does seem to be some effort made to represent a broader set of wildlife conservation issues. The site identifies a number of “wanted” kingpin traffickers, and I thought that it was interesting to read about some of the individuals who are behind the trade. For example, check out Return of the Lizard King, and Al Jazeera exclusive on Anson Wong, one of the most infamous traffickers out there.

Unfortunately I was also unsurprised by the next few Google results, which were all about Pandas. As you may know (if you read my About the Moon Bear page) I don’t have anything against Pandas, but it really bothers me that they take so much of the limelight when it comes to conservation and activism.

I was feeling discouraged, but then I hit on pay dirt: a blog post about a Chinese film festival dedicated to raising awareness about conserving our oceans.

Check out this excerpt from Human Nature: Conservation International Blog:

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It’s so great to see this kind of initiative going on (and I am especially happy whenever I see any kind of collaboration with the arts)! I think that public education is very important, and in China there has historically been very little awareness about the importance of maintaining the health of our oceans, so this is definitely a positive step.

I was also able to dig up a blog post from a site called Rare Dispatches (admittedly from 2008) about the organization’s first ever conservation training program, based at Southwest Forestry University in Kunming, China. Rare is a leader in “social marketing,” which means that they develop awareness campaigns to change attitudes about social and environmental issues. They specialize in conservation and work in a variety of different international contexts. You can read their post about the training program and “Rare China,” here.

At any rate, I was happy that, despite the overwhelming number of entries about pandas, I was able to wade through it all and find some information about other grassroots conservation activities in China! I hope that we will be seeing more and more of this in the future.