Pandas and People - The Book

Pandas and People book cover

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.

Wolong is a beautiful mountainous spot in southwestern China in which some of the most elemental struggles play out daily between nature and the humans who live amongst it. The biodiversity hotspot is not only home to the iconic, endangered giant panda, but also some 5,000 people who depend on the forest.

Michigan State University’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability calls Wolong its “excellent laboratory” because its truths have proven universal: Honor the needs of both people and nature and acknowledge the dynamic, complex nature of that relationship and sustainability is possible.

Now, sustainability scholars from MSU and around the world, led by CSIS director Jianguo "Jack" Liu, join to apply lessons learned in Wolong to challenges rooted in climate change, trade, habitat conservation and resource and ecosystem service management. They bring input from many sciences – from ecology, plant and wildlife sciences to social, economic and behavioral sciences.

This holistic approach, which has helped shaped the current nature reserve, has been applied around the world. The coupled human and natural systems approach has solved problems. Made things better.

From the pandas, and people, has come an approach of action. And hope.

In this wonderful book, Jianguo Liu and his colleagues synthesize their long-term research on pandas-people interactions, their significance for the world, and our reasons for hope.

-- Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel

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Sue Nichols,; 517-432-0206