Kyle Obermann: Winner of the WildChina Explorer Grant 2017

WildChina > In the News > Kyle Obermann: Winner of the WildChina Explorer Grant 2017

We’re excited to announce that environmental photographer and writer Kyle Obermann has been named the WildChina Explorer 2017, a title that comes with a USD$5000 travel grant.

Our esteemed panel of judges deliberated long and hard, and the standard of this year’s finalists was the highest we’ve ever seen. But it was Kyle’s project, to explore and document 10 backcountry, grassroots conservation communities in China’s remote Hengduan Range, that came out on top.


Kyle shared our enthusiasm about him being named the WildChina Explorer 2017, ‘It’s truly amazing. I feel like I’ve poured myself into creating and brainstorming and preparing for this project for the last 6 months. I’m more excited about having the opportunity to access WildChina’s resources than just winning the grant. The power of the project will be determined by how many people I can touch with the story, and I’m really excited to have such an organization backing me.’


Starting in July 2017, Kyle will begin his project ‘Beyond the Smog: Backcountry Conservation in the Hengduan Mountains’, that will take him on a nine-month journey of exploration and environmental documentation along the full length of one of China’s wildest and most scenic landscapes.


Kyle will be visiting select local organizations and movements in three provinces: Yunnan, Sichuan, and Qinghai. He’ll get to know the locals there, participate in their environmental patrols and document their conservation work through photography and narrative.


For Kyle, the importance of this project lies in the fact that ‘when the world sees not just the value of China’s backcountry, but the fact that the Chinese can protect it themselves, funding for these remote environmental organizations will grow, their presence and ability to attract volunteers will strengthen, and China’s wild will be seen not as a lost cause but a resource worth protecting.’


This year’s WildChina Explorer Grant focused on the importance of sharing your exploration with others and after completing his project, Kyle will return to Beijing where he will work with us to create a journey to the Hengduan Mountains for all to enjoy.

We’re excited to be joining Kyle on this adventure and will be broadcasting updates via our Facebook and Instagram while he’s on the road.

The WildChina Explorer Grant is an annual travel grant that helps empower adventurers to achieve their exploration dreams. To receive updates regarding the WildChina Explorer Grant 2018 email