This year IUCN Countdown 2010, in partnership with the EU-China Biodiversity Program (ECBP), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Global Village Beijing (GVB), organised a week long event (May 16-22) to showcase biodiversity conservation in China. Biodiversity Week 2009 featured biodiversity films, speaker nights, exhibitions and a children’s day. The final day of events coincided with the International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22nd.
Biodiversity Week helped raise awareness about the issues facing biodiversity both within China and throughout the world. Films, images, drama and expert speakers examined topics such as invasive species and the effects of human activity on the environment, as well as the efforts individuals and organisations to help conserve the world’s remaining biodiversity.
The week was launched at Beijing Zoo with prominent guest speakers including: Nicholas Costello, the First Counsellor of the EU program in China; Professor Xue Dayuan, a biodiversity expert from the Ministry of Environmental Protection; Dr. Xie Yan, the Director of WCS’ China program; and Zhuang Hao, IUCN China’s Program Coordinator.
GVB also launched a new campaign: Green Handkerchiefs “Save Paper, Save Trees”. This campaign highlights the choices individuals can make to save forests and forest biodiversity, for example, by using traditional handkerchiefs rather than paper based products such as tissues and paper napkins. The handkerchiefs were made by the victims of the recent Sichuan earthquakes, with sales of the handkerchiefs directly supporting villages affected by the disaster.
Films and art were on display in exhibitions titled “Bio Habitats and Me” at the Australian Hall at the Beijing Zoo and at the Sony ExploraScience Museum. The exhibitions included biodiversity documentaries, the GVB green handkerchief collection, and a 71 metre long traditional painting of China’s bird species by a famous young Chinese artist, Li Li. The exhibition also featured the first showing of new posters depicting Chinese provincial animals and plants
A the Beijing Zoo, over 80 students learned about wildlife preservation by participating in WCS’ animal drama. Students from Beijing Fendou Primary School and the Primary School under Peking University took to the stage with WCS, visited the “ Bio, Habitiats and Me” exhibition and went on a tour of the zoo.
Two biodiversity film and speaker nights were also held around Beijing during the week. Some of China’s leading biodiversity and conservation experts, including Li Bo from Friends of Nature and Dr Xie Yan from WCS, gave talks. University Students from Beijing Normal University, members of China’s environment movement and the general public discussed biodiversity conservation in China at these evening events.
The week concluded on the International Day for Biological Diversity with a university student debate co-organised by WCS, ECBP, and Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection. Beijing Foresry University was host to an impressive display of intellect and talent as the four finalists debated for the top prize.
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