Giant Panda Expedition
‘India-China Friendship Association for Environment’
First Joint Field Research Expedition
Three Indian students have been selected as ‘Volunteers’ after a nation-wide selection process to join the environment research expedition ‘Wildness Training and Reintroduction of Giant Panda’ in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China under full sponsorship.
TERRE Policy Centre (India) and Operation Earth (China) have joined hands to form ‘India-China Friendship Association for Environment’. The first of its kind, this Association is aimed at promoting the Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) network between India and China.
“We are taking the wish of our leaders, PM Modi and President Xi further to enhance people to people dialogue,” said the joint statement issued in Beijing by Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE Policy Centre and Former Director UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and Chen Liangzhong, Founder CEO of Operation Earth and Former Consultant of World Bank. Both TERRE and Operation Earth are the members of IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature.
As a first activity under India-China Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) initiative, TERRE and Operation Earth are organizing a joint environment field research expedition - ‘Wildness Training and Reintroduction of Giant Panda’, in the first week of October 2018. This exciting expedition of seven days in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan China will provide a learning experience to the volunteers. They will have an opportunity of ‘reinforcing’ small and isolated populations of wild pandas in the region through strategic release of captive pandas.
In the world’s largest panda base in Wolong, Sichuan province of China, the volunteers will work up-close with pandas in captivity. Under the guidance of conservationists and scientists, the volunteers will monitor 'trainee pandas', record their behavior to assist with their wildness training and evaluate how prepared they are to survive in the wild. They will also survey and monitor the wild panda populations in the Wolong Reserve.This unique partnership between India and China follows on close heels of the informal Wuhan summit between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi that emphasized the need for people-to-people dialogue. The initiative is also in-line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 15 Life on Land and SDG 17 Partnership for Goals). TERRE and Operation Earth believe in achieving goals through effective collaboration and with innovative programs targeting the current generation in bringing tangible contributions to national and international goals toward environment and Sustainable Development.
The nation-wide online selection process was conducted throughout the month of August in three steps: first - applying online, second - taking part in video campaign competition and finally, personal interview.
Selected Indian volunteers are:
1. Tejas Bagrecha, Third year student in IIT Indian School of Mines - Dhanbad, Jharkhand
2. Devashree Joshi, Third year student in MAEER's Arts, Commerce and Science college - Pune, Maharashtra
3. Kishore Reddy, Third year student in National Institute of Technology - Durgapur, West Bengal
The final three Indian volunteers would be joining the twelve Chinese volunteers in Wolong, who are selected by Operation Earth team in Beijing.
After their successful expedition, we are sure that these three volunteers would be considered as India’s first Eco-Ambassadors to promote Youth-2-Youth dialogue.