India-China Friendship Association for Environment
‘Wilderness Training and Reintroduction for Giant Panda’
Environment Field Research Expedition
We are looking for THREE open-minded and environmentally-driven Indian candidates between the age group of 18 to 21 years to participate in an exciting and fully-sponsored environment field research expedition in Wolong Panda Wildness Training Base near Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.
Participants will get to learn about the Giant Panda and work closely with ‘Trainee Pandas’ to track and monitor Pandas living in the wild.
What is the expedition about?
TERRE Policy Centre, India and Operation Earth, China have joined hands to form the ‘India-China Friendship Association for Environment’ to promote the exchange of young ideas and create youth-to-youth (Y2Y) network between Indian and Chinese minds. In the first year of the association, they are bringing you a unique opportunity to learn and work with the world’s most iconic adorable endangered animal- The Giant Panda through ‘Wildness Training and Reintroduction of Giant Panda’.
In the world’s largest panda base in Wolong, Sichuan province of China, you will work up close with pandas in captivity. You will help them adapt to life in the wild, so that they may be reintroduced into the wild for breeding, and live longer and healthier lives.
At Wolong panda wildness training base, you'll monitor 'trainees', record their behavior to assist with their wildness training and evaluate how prepared they are to survive in the wild.
You may even have the opportunity to put on a panda suit and deliver bamboo to these charismatic bears. You'll also survey and monitor wild panda populations in the Wolong Reserve, where you may possibly spend a night in camps.
On your last night at the Wolong Reserve, Tibetan and Qiang communities will present an evening fire party with a barbeque and traditional dancing.
Why choose Giant Panda for a research expedition?
The Giant Panda was once widespread in southern and eastern China, Vietnam and Myanmar (Burma). They are currently limited to the mountains in a few Chinese provinces in southwestern China. The Giant Panda has lived in coniferous forests with a dense undergrowth of bamboo at elevations of 5,000 to 11,000 ft for centuries. Today, these forests are under attack due to dramatic increase in human population. Agriculture, ranching, logging, trapping and human settlement threaten their habitat. Bamboo, the Giant Panda’s main food source, is decreasing due to increased logging and clearing of land for agricultural uses. In addition to these problems, the 8.0 earthquake of 2008 was in Sichuan Province, home to the Giant Pandas. The quake buried most of the bamboo under tones of mud and heavy rocks.
Collectively, your contribution and participation will work towards the long-term goal of reinforcing small and isolated populations of wild panda in the region, through the strategic release of captive pandas. Your experience will last a lifetime, and it could help the Giant Panda population grow! The expedition is also aligned with two of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations: SDG 15 - Life on Land and SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals.
When will the expedition take place?
The expedition will take place in the first week of October 2018 (1st Oct - 7th Oct). Candidates will be selected after a rigorous application process, which will include a short application form, a two minute self introductory video, and a personal interview. The application process will be completed by mid of August and selected individuals will be declared shortly after.
Where will the seven days of the expedition be organized?
Day 1: Arrival
Selected individuals will be travelling to Chengdu International Airport, and from there to the Wolong Panda Wildness Training Camp. Participants will visit the earthquake ruins of the Yingxiu town on the way.
Day 2: Phase 1 of Field Training Ground in Hetaoping
Acquaintance giant pandas under the guidance of the Operation Earth researchers; observe wildness training process for giant panda and the field training environment as well (wear panda costumes); watch the documentaries about pandas for further understanding. In the afternoon, record pandas’ activities (daily behaviors) through monitoring record.
Day 3: Phase 2 of Wildness Training Ground in Tiantai Mountain
Determine the location of the giant panda "trainees" in the mountain with the help of the radio tracker; ensure the security of the environment around the Nature Reserve under the guidance of Operation Earth local researchers.
Day 4: Dengsheng Conservation Station
Track wild giant panda traces at Wild Giant Panda Habitat; observe the natural environment for giant pandas’ habitat in the primeval forest. Observe the abundant flora and fauna.
Day 5: Hetaoping (Walnut Terrence) Phase I training ground of Reintroduction of Giant Panda
Prepare food for pandas with raw materials which are rich in nutrition. Observe and Record the behavior of captive giant pandas; Observe and monitor captive pandas’ rhythm of daily life, so that to make comparison with the behavior against that of the wild giant pandas.
Day 6: Gengda Shenshu Base
Get into the giant panda captivity base and observe their living conditions. Work together with the researchers to take care of the captive giant pandas.Clean the “panda suits" and prepare food for the pandas. Feed pandas with the "buns" made by you.Prepare and present the research summary in the afternoon. Enjoy the Tibetan-style farewell song and dancing party in the evening.
Day 7: Return to Chengdu
Wolong to Chengdu International Airport. End of the field expedition.
How to apply for the expedition?
Interested individuals can apply for the expedition on the link given below. We will be short listing 15 candidates from the first round, who will then be required to submit a 2 minute video of self introduction and why he/she is best suited for the expedition. The video submission needs to be supported with a reference letter from the head of their institute. The videos and reference letters will be closely reviewed by the jury and six candidates will be selected for a personal interview.
The final three candidates will be decided on the basis of the interview.
- Last Date to submit application form (First round): 31st July.
- Declaration of selected individuals from first round: 4th August.
- Announcement of video submission (Second round): 4th August
- Last date for video submission: 12th August.
- Personal Interviews (Third round): Last week of August.
- Declaration of Selected Individuals: Last week of August.
CLICK HERE for the Application form (The first round of selection process)
For any additional queries, please reach out to :
Dinah Gengmei (Project Leader) or Subhag Dolke (Project Coordinator) on 020 25448650 / 020 25448488