2012 Chengdu 'Pambassador' Recruiting Campaign kicks off

Updated: 2012-09-19 14:26

By Gai Shuqin(chinadaily.com.cn)

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2012 Chengdu 'Pambassador' Recruiting Campaign kicks off

The event will select three "Pambassadors" to work as volunteers for panda protection and promotion.

The Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding (Chengdu Panda Base), WildAid and the Yao Foundation launched the 2012 Chengdu "Pambassador" Recruiting Campaign in Shanghai on Sept 10.

The event will select three "Pambassadors" to work as volunteers for panda protection and promotion.

Present at the launching ceremony were Dr. Zhang Zhibo, director of the Chengdu Panda Base, Peter Knights, founder of WildAid, an international non-governmental organization with a mission to end wildlife smuggling, and Yao Ming, representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and sponsor of the Yao Foundation in China.

The event continues the Pambassador campaign held two years ago. During the ceremony, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a letter to the Chengdu Panda Base praising the activity as a contribution to panda protection and breeding that will arouse public consciousness to conserve biodiversity.

Ali from Sweden and Yumiko Kajiwara from Japan, two Pambassadors from 2010, also attended the ceremony, sharing their unforgettable experiences as 2010 Pambassadors.

The project also gained attention from the UNDP. The UNDP advocates sustainable development and utilization of natural resources. It focuses on improving public awareness for environmental and biodiversity protection.

Yang Fang, assistant at UNDP's China office, said pandas have received great attention worldwide for many years. This has not only enhanced China's progress in natural protection, but has also promoted general public wildlife protection awareness. Pandas serve as undisputed ambassadors, especially in international communication and interaction.

Yao Ming also attended the ceremony. When asked whether he would be selected as a Pambassador, Yao said the selection is meaningful but also "competitive", as Pambassadors can have a chance to learn how to contact and live together with wild animals.

He also added, "The Yao Foundation aims to support education in poor areas, but I think education is diverse. Wildlife protection education should start from childhood. Natural protection is an important skill that enables children to protect and develop their hometown."

The recruiting activity chose Facebook and Tencent as official network platforms. Overseas applicants may logon to www.facebook.com/ChengduPambassador to learn more. Domestic applicants can visit www.cdpanda.qq.com or sign up directly at Tencent's microblog, micro-letter or mobile phone QQ.

All applicants will participate in races in four sub-contest areas in accordance with their application regions, including Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and the Chinese mainland. All 16 sub-contest winners will proceed to the finals in Chengdu in late October.

This year's three Pambassadors will serve a one-year term advocating panda protection after receiving systematic training at the Chengdu Panda Base.

They will visit all the countries and regions that currently house pandas, including the United States, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Britain, Austria, France, Spain, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.