WildChina On-Air: China’s Great Rivers With Ed Norton (Event #71)

WildChina On-Air: China's Great Rivers With Ed Norton (Event #71)

WildChina On-Air: China’s Great Rivers With Ed Norton (Event #71)

In 1999, Ed M. Norton came to Yunnan as senior advisor to The Nature Conservancy, with his late wife, Ann McBride Norton. The Nature Conservancy had been asked by the Yunnan government and the Government of China to assist in establishing some of the first National Parks in China and adding to China’s system of Nature Reserves. As founder of the Grand Canyon Trust, an NGO which played a leading role in the protection of the Grand Canyon, Ed was an expert on national parks and river systems.

Ed and Ann ended up staying in Yunnan for 5 years, falling in love with the province and its people. For them, this was more than just a job assignment, it was also a family affair. Ed’s son, Jim Norton, a well-respected River Guide, came to explore the possibility of rafting the upper-reaches of China’s Great Rivers: the Yangtze River (the Jinsha (Gold Sand) River), the Mekong (Lancang) River, and the Salween (Nujiang) River in Northwest Yunnan. Ed’s other son, Edward Norton, expressed his relationship with China’s rivers on the big screen, with his leading role in “The Painted Veil”, a movie adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s novel.

In a culmination of their efforts, the whole family came together to produce the documentary “The Yunnan Great Rivers Expedition”, which documented their whitewater expedition through the upper Mekong, Salween and Yangtze rivers.

For Earth Day, we could think of no greater environmentalist to speak with than the pioneering, Ed Norton. We look forward to seeing you there!


Watch - The Yunnan Great Rivers Expedition - here


China's Great Rivers



China's Great RiversEd M. Norton

Chair @Conservation Lands Foundation

Ed Norton is Chair of the Conservation Lands Foundation. From 1999 to 2004, he was Senior Advisor to the Yunnan Great Rivers Project and The Nature Conservancy’s China Program and from 2005 to 2008, Deputy Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Asia Pacific Program based in Indonesia. He was the Founding Chair of The Rails-To-Trails Conservancy. From 2009 until 2020, he was Senior Advisor to TPG Capital, a private equity firm, focused on Environmental, Social and Governance. Ed is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

The event is finished.


2021 Apr 23


China Time
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: 2021 Apr 22
  • Time: 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm


In Conversation With...
Watch the replay


  • Mei Zhang
    Mei Zhang
    Founder and CEO of WildChina

    Mei Zhang is the founder and CEO of WildChina. Under her leadership, WildChina flourished from a small Hutong operation into an award-winning business. Mei’s own expertise has led her to win a number of personal awards, including Travel and Leisure’s A-List of Top Travel Advisors, Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialist, and Wendy Perrin’s #WOW List of Travel Experts. Mei is an Aspen Institute China Fellow and currently serves as a member of Harvard Business School’s Alumni Board.