Conservation and Sustainability in China: In Conversation With Kyle Obermann (Event #49)
“Sprawling new national park system of 10 pilot parks, spread across 12 provinces, whose goal is to protect habitats of endangered species. These animals range from the Siberian tiger on the Russian border to the world’s last 30 Hainan black crested gibbons in southern China’s tropical rainforest. By uniting hundreds of protected areas managed by various municipalities and provinces, the new system’s goal is to streamline and strengthen conservation under the central authority of the new National Forestry and Grassland Administration. Already, these test parks—which should be officially approved by the end of 2020—cover an area two-thirds the size of the U.S. national park system. The largest, Sanjiangyuan National Park in Qinghai Province, is about the size of Mississippi.”
Excerpt from Kyle Obermann’s August 2020 piece in National Geographic
Join Mei Zhang from WildChina and Kang Wei from The Nature Conservancy as they explore China’s national parks while talking conservation and sustainability with environmental photographer, and WildChina Explorer Award winner, Kyle Obermann.
Kyle Obermann (欧阳凯) is a Mandarin and English-speaking environmental photographer based in Chengdu, China. His photography specializes in telling the human story behind conservation, highlighting the work and lives of forest rangers protecting nature reserves, national parks, and wild lands. He is the founder of Explore to Conserve, a movement dedicated to connecting China’s outdoor industry and environmental movement, and an environmental KOL working online with Chinese platforms such as Weibo, Bilibili, and Kuaishou, on TV (Informal Talks Season 6) and large companies like Alipay and The North Face. His photography and bilingual writing has been featured in Chinese and English language publications, including: The BBC, National Geographic, Chinese National Geography, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, People’s Daily, The Explorers Journal, and more.
Kang Wei has over 20 years of experience promoting sustainable development and nature conservation in China. Before he joined The Nature Conservancy, Kang Wei served Heifer International and Jet Li’s One Foundation on poverty alleviation and disaster rehabilitation. His work with endangered species in China has taken him to the Tibetan plateau where he observed Black-Necked Cranes hatching their young peacefully amidst Tibetan farming communities and to Qinghai where he assisted in the first-ever population count of the endangered Przewalski gazelle, resulting in efforts to expand their habitat and promote growth among the species. Kang Wei’s past work includes his leadership role in the establishment of the first land trust conservation for Giant Pandas in China (a 27,000-acre park), as well as his leadership in efforts to extend the land trust conservation for Golden Monkeys in Yunnan Province, which aided in preserving their habitats and ecosystems.
- Mei ZhangFounder 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.