Panda conservation volunteering in China

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Panda conservation volunteering in China

Environment

This project is committed to conserving the local wildlife and it provides a safe haven for rescued pandas in a country where they need all of the help they can get. This project rescues pandas which are in need of help, and it provides them with a safe, secure, and stimulating home in which they can live without fear of habitat encroachment from humans. Whilst there is no release programme in place at this centre, any young pandas which are born here and show promise are transferred to the sister site and are then prepared for release back into the wild. The pandas which remain here, however, are cared for extremely well with two enclosures, one inside and one out. Pandas play a crucial role in the local ecosystem in the Chengdu region, and without the help this centre provides in indirectly rehabilitating and releasing giant pandas the local environment would lose a key link in its food chain.

Whilst at the sanctuary transportation in vehicles is kept to a minimum, and the volunteers are encouraged to explore the sanctuary on foot. This helps to reduce pollution in the local area and it prevents the pandas from breathing in any harmful toxins. This initiative of encouraging a reduction in emissions and pollution is crucial in an area that is still relatively untouched by human activity. It helps to ensure the green and natural surroundings of the area remain so. Pollution from vehicle emissions is rife in China and by limiting the use of vehicles used at the site, this project is standing out from the rest and really playing its part in keeping emissions down in the local area.

Community

Through the research which is taking place at the centre, there is the knock-on effect of a campaign for change taking place in the local area. The awareness that is being raised thank to efforts at the centre will affect the local perception of these vulnerable bears, and if all goes to plan it will have a positive impact on bear conservation efforts throughout the country. The project also helps to support the local area through sharing the income the volunteers bring to the area. On the first part of this trip volunteers stay in a hostel in a nearby town and are encouraged to visit the local area and put money back into the local community. By encouraging volunteers to explore and spend money in the local area this helps to ensure local people will have jobs for a long period of time.

This project also helps to promote travelling with respect, as international volunteers get the chance to volunteer with local residents whilst learning all about the Chinese culture. The activities that volunteers take part in whilst at the project include; learning the Chinese language, Chinese calligraphy lessons, and lessons on how to play the ancient Chinese game of Mahjong. This immersion in Chinese culture helps non-Chinese volunteers to learn more about the local culture and as a result respect the customs and traditions of the country they are volunteering in. This helps to promote an element of multiculturalism and could help to create lifelong international friendships!

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