Speaker: Marc BRODY
Founder & President, Panda Mountain
Topic: Resettlement of indigenous villagers: challenges for panda conservation
A UNESCO World Heritage report confirms that the Wolong Nature Reserve and the surrounding protected areas comprise “the largest and most significant remaining contiguous area of panda habitat in China and thus the world.” Wolong is receiving historic Reconstruction funding after the 5.12 earthquake, and presumably the Reserve and this World Heritage site would be an ideal model for China’s policies for “harmonious development” and the “People First” reconstruction campaign. Mr. BRODY is Wolong’s Senior Advisor for conservation and sustainable development. Based on a decade of work in Wolong, he believes Wolong’s villagers could be trained and employed to restore panda habitat and thereby reconcile World Heritage goals, Chinese policies, and current Reconstruction practices.
However, Wolong’s future as a model for conservation and sustainable development is uncertain. Sichuan’s Reconstruction plans are resettling Wolong’s indigenous communities in large, dense housing developments along Wolong’s main highway. Conversion of some agricultural lands to panda habitat is a worthy goal, however Wolong is not addressing a key World Heritage recommendation: “Local people should also be informed and involved, where possible, in management of the property (Reserve).” Mr. BRODY will share his views on the above.
In 1983, BRODY started traveling in China for a family business and in 1993 he started managing environmental programs in China. Mr. BRODY received a Masters of Science from the Institute for Environmental Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. When not working in Wolong, he lives 35 kilometers west of the University on a rugged rural property where he and his family are actively restoring an oak savanna and upland prairie.
Speaker: Marc BRODY,Founder & President