About Shan Shui Conservation Center
To Empower Nature Guardians
Humans are part of the biological chain of the earth’s ecosystem. No matter how technology develops, human well-being still depends on a healthy ecosystem. However, by the second half of the 20th century, human activities had significantly changed the face of the Earth. 60% of the ecosystem was in a state of continuous degradation, and 2/3 of natural resources had been depleted. In the next three decades, China is facing a severe test: continuous high-speed economic growth is still largely at the cost of irreversible environmental losses; losses caused by environmental pollution and ecological damage have largely offset GDP growth. Freshwater, air, soil, climate, and biodiversity are facing crises, and therefore we will be threatened by more natural disasters, energy and resource shortages, diseases, and the growing gap between rich and poor. Is it to continue rapid but unbalanced economic growth, or to rebuild the balance between development and protection? Society must make choices. There is no doubt that in the coming decades we will face the final battle for the defense of natural homes. Although the public and the government’s awareness of ecological protection is constantly increasing, letting the destruction “brake” depend on more local guardians and the extensive support and participation of society to form a joint force.
Who We Are
Shan Shui Conservation Center (hereinafter referred to as “Shan Shui”) is a Chinese nongovernmental organization dedicated to conservation practices rooted in Chinese society and culture. Since establishing our team in Beijing in February 2007, we have strived sticking to our root in science and culture when directing multiple facets of fieldwork in the remaining parts of western China – where change can happen. We create value by safeguarding nature. We benefit local villages through various means, including experimenting with new mechanisms to balance ecological, economical, and community interests. To seek social and public support, we promote local publicity, production, and participation in a way that links conservation with Chinese mainstream society. We also undertake effective conservation initiatives to show that we are worthy of greater inputs and long-term support from these social and public channels.
Our young, professional, and aspiring team consists of 36 full-time workers and 25 long-term consultants, fellow researchers, and volunteers.
Our strategies incorporate field practices, fellowship programs, and value chains. In the context of this report, “field practice” refers to consistent efforts to carry out research and practical work, to train nature guardians, and to pilot nature safeguarding mechanisms. “Fellowship programs”, on the one hand, help to convert field experiences into know-hows and the mechanisms for extension and, on the other hand, to promote the applicability of theories and findings in the course of action. Along these “value chains” are a variety of “eco-equity” products (e.g. : Bee-PANDA Honey, Nature School Tours, etc.) that are intended as a means to raise public awareness of ecological values and through their sales, to open up eco-value feedback channels which involve the public.
Shan Shui Conservation Center was established in 2007. It is a civil nature protection organization in China. The team has more than 20 years of experience in scientific research and practice in nature protection. Shan Shui cooperates with communities, academic institutions, governments, enterprises, and media to take root in the Sanjiangyuan region and the Mountains of Southwest China (Qinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi), China’s richest biodiversity, to assist local innovating community-based protection model to make ecological protection a daily public issue in the community services and integrate into local cultural values and economic life, and promote policy recognition and support for community protection. At the same time, Shan Shui insists on carrying out conservation-oriented multidisciplinary research, traditional knowledge discovery, and ecological monitoring in the field for a long time. Based on this, it evaluates the value and threats of ecosystems and their services. Governments, communities, and the conservation community are recommended effective and practical protection measures and effectiveness evaluation methods to provide a basis for policy and law formulation. Shan Shui also hopes to become a bridge between nature and the urban public, let the public know, recognize and give back the value of nature, and jointly support local communities to become strong natural home keepers and benefit from protection. The work of Shan Shui is divided into three modules: field practices, fellowship programs, and value chains.
Staff and Awards
Up till now we have 23 employees, among whom 13 have Master’s or doctoral degrees. We also work with 21 long-standing, non-resident consultants, and one of them specializes in organizational management, one in publicity, one in a general area, 11 in project leadership, and 3 are fellow researchers.
We have provided 30 staff training sessions, 26 of which are internal and 13 external, all completely inclusive to cultivate a creative and open mindset for learning. Topics included work skills, team communication skills and general knowledge about ecology and anthropology.
We are entitled to “tax exemption against non-profit organizations in Haidian District in 2018 to 2022.”
We have been awarded the title “Model NGO for Internal Control Process Building in Beijing.”