China’s huge population, growing prosperity, and traditional culture places it front and centre in the global effort to protect our planet’s biodiversity. Yet, a burgeoning demand for endangered wildlife products, combined with China’s rapidly growing influence and interdependence with the global economy presents both challenges and opportunities for those seeking to reverse the destruction to our environment. The country has the highest demand on wildlife in the world owing to traditional beliefs, cultural habits, and greed. This insatiable appetite must change in order to protect and preserve biodiversity as we know it. As China develops, attitudes are changing at an impressive rate so although a daunting task, I’m confident it can be achieved because we are a practical and adaptable people.
As examples, throughout Hong Kong and Southern China, we are seeing a more than 70% decline in demand for shark fin; Campaigns to urge people to ‘Bring Your Own Bag’ and use less plastics are being implemented on a massive scale; A complete trade ban on ivory is planned; …and we have never been more aware of pollution, environmental, and conservation issues. To quote, on the 5th of March, 2016 at the Twelfth National Congress of China, the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China: Mr. Keqiang Li stated that it is vital to aggressively instill an environmentally conscious lifestyle for all walks of life in order to achieve accelerated improvement and protection of China’s ecological environment. That we must all work towards a beautiful China with clear blue skies, lush greenery, and pristine waters.