WCS China Program Wins Ford Green Pioneer Award

NEW YORK (December 4, 2013) -- The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced that the WCS China program has won the prestigious 2013 Ford Green Pioneer Award.

Ford Green Motor Company foundation annually presents 10 environmental awards in support of outstanding environmental initiatives from both NGOs and individuals in China. This year, the WCS team led by Liu Peiqi received the award for its work restoring the habitat of Amur tigers and Amur leopards in northeast China.

Liu Peiqi, and his team Ren Yi, Zhu Zhiwen, and Li Dan, have been working in Jilin province since 2006, reversing the decline of the wild Amur tiger population by tackling the poaching of both tigers and their prey.

A large focus has been on extensive capacity training of local law enforcement personnel. Since 2007 WCS has pioneered the introduction of law enforcement monitoring tools to rangers, which has improved effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency of law 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 protected areas.

With WCS support, in 2008 the Hunchun National Nature Reserve was the first protected area in China to adopt this new monitoring system. Through the recent development of an innovative new tool – SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) – the practice has since been extended to the Wangqing and Changbai Nature reserves, and adopted by the Hunchun Forestry Police. The evidence and experience collected so far proves the validity of this methodology; further expansion can play a significant role in promoting nature conservation in and around protected areas in China.

Joe Walston, WCS Executive Director for Asia Programs, said: “WCS is 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. We would like to share this honor with the Hunchun and Jilin province Forestry Police, and the Hunchun and Wangqing National Nature Reserves as this achievement is a partnership.”

For more information about the award, go to: www.fordgreen.com.cn

STEPHEN SAUTNER: (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org)
JOHN DELANEY (1-718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org)

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit www.wcs.org.

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