Nature School: Connect and Reward

Drawing the urban public closer to nature, guiding them in their appreciation of nature’s values, and helping local guardians benefit from eco-products in market places.

Nature School: Connecting urban people and nature

  • Better appreciation through being involved, resulting in a change to behavior and philosophy
  • Eco-products as vehicles in the market place that benefit the local guardians.
  1. Shan Shui Communication Forum
  2. Shan Shui Partners
  3. Through Their Eyes
  4. Lead and Beyond
  5. Conservation Fellowship Program

Shan Shui Communication Forum provides a communication forum for nature loving people of diverse backgrounds, to help maintain a sense of social responsibility. Participant can hike through mountains and glide on waters with a guided tour that promotes a refreshing and beneficial exchange with nature. While experiencing the beauty of nature, participants are better able to appreciate the need for everyone to contribute to safeguarding nature. Activities include exhibitions, lectures in urban settings, and expeditions in the wilderness.

I didn’t know there are so many beautiful mountains in China. We were astonished by the natural sceneries in America and Europe, however, we did not know that our Jinsha-Yangtze River is much more beautiful and of greater historical significances. We have seen such magnificent sceneries throughout the journey of rafting. But when I think about how a few people have devastated the River at Liyuan Dam for their own benefit, I am very angry as if I see a group of people squeezing the throat of our mother river.
——Zeng Qiang: Scholar, entrepreneur in China Network Information Industry
Participatant of Shan Shui’s “the Last Rafting in Jinsha River” in 2009

Shan Shui Partners explore ways to honor ecological values in the market place. This is done through the production of ecological products like “Panda Honey” and ecological journeys like “natural schools.” These programs provide the vehicle to reach urban people with high-quality eco-products and new experiences in protected area. The revenue goes to community-based conservation and scientific research.

When I reached the pandas’ habitat “Guanba village”, it felt different from what I had imagined. I realized that on-site conservation was not easy. Much more hard work needed to be done. I am deeply touched by their work as well as their perseverance. It amazes me that Shan Shui and local villager have been on this important course for so many years.
——Zhu E: Representative of Songlei Design Center Packing Design Director of “Panda Honey”, Volunteer

Through Their Eyes is a video plan promoted by Shan Shui in 2007, aiming to help local people documenting, in their eyes, the cultural tradition, values, shocks and changes to communities. These videos will be used to promote an exchange in communication between communities and cities. Eight cultural and conservation organizations from the headwaters of the Three Rivers and Southwestern Mountains cooperated with Shan Shui to carry out this plan.

The story I have recorded is named “Gift of Nature”. It describes how nature helped people deafeat the odds during the nationwide famine in 1961. Nowadays, even native young people have a hard time believing such events ever happened. The sense of trust in, respect and protection for nature are gradually dying out. To testify and convince the youth to the legitimacys of these stories, I interviewed elderly individuals who had experienced the famine and then made this documentary.
——Zhaxi Sange: Tibetan nationality, member of Nianbao Yuze Conservation Association
Partner of “Vision of Village”

Lead and Beyond aims to cultivate a group of leaders who can maintain a good balance among economy, society and environment, and who value honesty and solution-driven action at the interface of conservation and social innovation. The LAB hopes to construct an action-oriented network for practitioners and their supporters. The organizer is Shan Shui Conservation Center, Fuping Development Institute, Peking University Center for Nature and Society, and the NPI.

I have to say that LEAD and Beyond has opened up my minds, an artisy city girl to learn what I do not normally know about China. We have taken part in lectures of different topics such as economics, ecology, demography, philosophy, and arts, and have met people from villagers and pastoral area. I have learned what is a cooperative and overall urban-rural development. I also went to Sichuan Wanglang Nature Reserve and Japan. All these experiences make me vigilant to real heart beat of nature.
——Tian Chen: Vice Chairwoman and Producer of Hasai Center
Trainee of the 2nd “LEAD and Beyond”

Conservation Fellowship Program provides potential young fellows or junior experts with opportunities to be exposed to nature conservation in real wilderness settings. Such experiences can help them appreciate the beauty of nature and strengthen their committment to conservation. We hope to distill innovative conservation philosophies in them regardless of what their future jobs might be.

Everything felt fresh when I came to Nianbao Yuze in the very beginning. With time passing by, I had misunderstandings and quarrels with local partners. But at last, we have become friends and family. I feel lucky that I have stood to the challenges and survived the turbulent cultural shock, and find my restful home in Nianbao Yuze.
——Gao Yifang: Grade 2007 Bachelor in College of Life Science of Peking University
Research Student in the headwaters of the Three Rivers