pandas and people

Two decades of studying pandas in a remote corner of China have provided lessons in sustainability that have resonated across the globe. The work is synthesized in the book "Pandas and People - Coupling Human and Natural Systems for Sustainability." 

Turns out, there’s a lot we’ve learned from pandas. Learn more...

 



 

 In the media

shadow

Perhaps the most revelatory lesson from pandas and people is that the lessons hold even without pandas.

The truths learned from 20 years in Wolong resonate in other parts of the world, even if the particulars are different. Consider Nepal: Benign pandas inspire adoration, while Nepal’s tigers have their own fans, but with an element of fear.  Pandas, after all, eat only bamboo. Tigers, on occasion, attack people.

shadow

Words that describe the Wolong Nature Reserve:  Remote. Rural. Rustic.

Global.

Yep. Global works. Understanding how the flora and fauna in Wolong coexists with the people who live there offers a model with how that web of connection spans the globe.

In today’s world of hyper connectivity, “remote” isn’t so much anymore. Let’s talk about the pandas themselves: Between 2004 and 2010 alone, 63 Wolong pandas have been loaned to zoos in China and throughout the globe (you can see them in Washington, DC, and San Diego, CA). 

shadow

Elegant policy carefully informed by good interdisciplinary science sounds like a dream ending, right?

Think again.

Wolong has taught us even successful policy really is just a lovely introduction to a new chapter of a coupled human and natural system. The real test comes in sticking with that situation to carefully monitor and continuing the research. It needs to be just the beginning of holistic relationship. 

shadow

Science is all about data points, but insight comes from not just doing research – but living it.

In Wolong, the research team has dissected what motivates people to act in the best interest of the environment and questions such as the role money plays in sustainability – when it motivates, when it doesn’t and when other things matter more.

Yet data alone does not fully give insight that helps strike a successful balance between people and the environment.

shadow

Understanding coupled human and natural systems is key to sustainability – and holds the promise of recovery – from natural disasters like earthquakes to the ecological affronts of mismanagement and exploitation.

shadow

Two decades of studying pandas in a remote corner of China have provided lessons in sustainability that have resonated across the globe. The work is synthesized in the book "Pandas and People - Coupling Human and Natural Systems for Sustainability." 

Turns out, there’s a lot we’ve learned from pandas. Learn more...

 


 

 In the media

shadow