The Wildlife Conservation Society China program is proud to announce having been awarded the prestigious Ford Green Pioneer Award 2013.
Ford Green Motor Company foundation annually presents 10 environmental awards in support to outstanding environmental initiatives from both NGOs and individuals in China. This year, our team lead by Liu Peiqi has successfully secured this significant acknowledgement for its work restoring the habitat of Amur tigers and Amur leopards in north-east China.
Liu Peiqi and his team (Ren Yi, Zhu Zhiwen, and Li Dan) have been working in Jilin province since 2006, researching on the causes of the wild tigers plummeting population. The findings of our research have pointed out two major causes for this decline: poaching and decreasing prey population.
As part of our response, WCS China has promoted periodic snare removal campaigns, with extensive local media coverage and the collaboration of local authorities as well as individual volunteers. We have also a long experience liaising with local communities to promote sustainable practices within and around the Hunchun and Wangqing National Nature Reserves.
Our flagship activity, however, has been the extensive capacity training of local law enforcement personnel. Since 2007 we have pioneered the introduction of the innovative Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), allowing for improved effectiveness and measurability of the enforcement actions. This approach has increased the commitment of the forestry rangers, and optimized the impact of their work on illegal activities within and around the premises of the nature reserves. Through the SMART patrol system we managed to achieve a better understanding of the existing dynamics in the region, not only through the standardization and digitalization of the data collection, but also thanks to a more effective data management and processing.
Snares collected during one of our latest snare-removal campaigns.
With our support, in 2008 the Hunchun National Nature Reserve was the first one in China to adopt the SMART patrol system. This practice has been soon extended to the Wangqing and Changbai Nature reserves, and adopted by the Hunchun Forestry Police. The evidence and experience we have collected so far have proven the validity of this methodology, and we are convinced that its extensive adoption can play a significant role in promoting nature conservation in and around protected areas in China.
At WCS, we feel honored to receive the 2013 Pioneer Award from the Ford Green Foundation as an acknowledgement of our efforts in promoting wildlife and wild habitat conservation in China. This will serve as a strong encouragement for us to continue in our work with the same passion and determination in year ahead.
We are glad to seize this opportunity to personally thank Peiqi, Yi, Zhiwen and Dan for their outstanding work in the north-east China landscape, and express our appreciation to the Hunchun and Jilin province Forestry Police, and the Hunchun and Wangqing National Nature Reserves for having contributed to this achievement.