Under the auspicesof the Wildlife Conservation Department of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the 2019 Annual Conference of the Chinese Committee of Giant Panda Breeding Techniques with the theme “Research on Giant Panda Breeding and Technology” was launched in Chengdu on the morning of Nov. 12. The event was sponsored by the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, organized by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and co-organized by the Sichuan Academy of Giant Panda and the Chengdu Research Foundation of Giant Panda Breeding.
The opening ceremony saw the presence of heads of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, Sichuan Provincial Forestry and Grassland Administration and Chengdu Municipal Government, who all delivered speeches. More than 360 people attended the opening ceremony. These included the following: leaders, experts, delegates and invitees from national, provincial and municipal competent authorities, domestic and foreign protection agencies, partner organizations, scientific research institutions such as governmental and related organizations at all levels (the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the Sichuan Provincial Forestry and Grassland Administration, the Chengdu Municipal Government and the Chengdu Municipal Park City Construction Administration); associations (the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens and the China Wildlife Conservation Association); 18 units in international partnership with China in giant panda breeding (the Adventure World in Shirahama, Wakayama in Japan, the Berlin Zoo in Germany, the Beauvel Zoo in France, the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark and the San Diego Zoo in the United States); 14 universities and institutes collaborating with China in scientific research (Iowa State University and the Smithsonian Institute of Conservation Biology in the United States, and the Leibniz Association in Germany); renowned domestic research institutions, (the Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Military Veterinary Institute, and the Academy of Military Sciences); giant panda ex-situ conservation agencies (the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, the Shaanxi Research Center for Rare Wildlife Rescue and Breeding, Beijing Zoo); 23 giant panda exhibition establishments (Hangzhou Zoo and Shanghai Zoo); 7 giant panda research cooperation universities(Sichuan University and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China); and the Sichuan Liziping Natural Reserve and the Yingjing County Daxiangling Nature Reserve.
Since its first conference in 1989, the annual conference of the Chinese Committee of Giant Panda Breeding Techniques has become an important platform for discussion and collaboration in the field of giant panda conservation and scientific research. The annual conference was held for 28 consecutive years, making this year the 29th annual conference.
The latest figures for the year 2019 pertaining to giant pandas were released, bringing the global population of captive giant pandas to 600
Jia Jiansheng, a first-level inspector from the Wildlife Conservation Department of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, disclosed the latest data on giant pandas in 2019 for the first time at the opening ceremony. In 2019, a total of 60 giant pandas were bred in 37 litters, of which 57 survived, which brought the global population of captive giant pandas to 600. Compared with 2018, the number of captive giant pandas has a net increase of 52, with a growth rate of 9.31 %. There is an increase in the number of captive giant panda populations and a healthy, dynamic and sustainable captive population has basically taken shape. Consequently, a steady research on returning giant pandas to the wild to foster the rejuvenation of the wild population is being conducted. Taking the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding as the principal organization, research and breeding institutions for captive giant pandas have promoted technological innovation, established Sichuan key laboratories for endangered wildlife conservation biology, and established scientific research partnerships with dozens of international conservation agencies and organizations. In addition, they have obtained nearly 100 national patents and major scientific and technological accomplishments, braved the ordeals in mating and breeding of giant pandas, and encouraged gene exchange through the nationwide breeding of giant pandas. These measures have further strengthened the genetic research and management of giant pandas.
On the 150th anniversary of the scientific discovery of giant pandas, the scientific research and conservation of giant pandas in Sichuan and ecological culture complement each other
Bao Jianhua, deputy director of the Sichuan Provincial Forestry and Grassland Administration, mentioned in his speech that 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the scientific discovery of giant pandas and is also a crucial year for the pilot construction of a national giant panda park. Sichuan has more than 1,300 wild giant pandas that account for 75% of the total number of giantpandas in China. Besides, Sichuan is the historical and current distribution center of giant pandas. Since the founding of new China, Sichuan Province has actively explored and carried out beneficial activitiesaround the conservation and breeding of giant pandas, strived to overcome the “three major difficulties”, made significant progress in key ecological projects like natural forest protection, the return of grain plots to the forests, the protection of rare and endangered animals and plants, and the restoration of the giant panda ecological corridor. Furthermore, Sichuan Province has continued to protect and restore giant panda settlements and has established 46 national and provincial giant panda nature reserves. Since 2019, Sichuan Province has organized a series of activities to commemorate the 150th anniversary of scientific discovery of giant pandas, hosted the 2019 China (Sichuan) Giant Panda International Ecotourism Festival, convened the giant panda conservation and ecological civilization construction and the academic forum to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the scientific discovery of giant pandas, and founded the Sichuan Academy of Giant Pandas.
The international cooperative research on giant pandas has made significant achievements, and the project “Panda Capital” has been officially launched
Zhang Tao, deputy secretary-general of the Chengdu Municipal Government, mentioned in his speech that giant pandas “Mao Er” and “Xing Er” in Chengdu went to Denmark as envoys of friendship for China's foreign relations in 2019. The China-Denmark international cooperative research project on giant pandas was officially launched, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark personally cut the ribbon for the panda exhibition hall. Further, “MengMeng”, a giant panda sojourning in Germany, gave birth to twin cubs on September 1, and the partnership between China and Germany on giant panda research yielded positive results. Meanwhile, the core project “Panda Planet” - the renovation and expansion of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding- situated in the Beihu area of “Panda Capital”, has been officially launched, scheduled to be over and accessible by May 2021. Once completed, this project will further promote giant panda conservation works, make the giant panda brand in Tianfu culture bigger and stronger, and advance the construction of ecological civilization.
The annual conference of the Chinese Committee of Giant Panda Breeding Techniques is of significant importance, and the future of the national park is in view
XieZhong, vice president of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, mentioned in his speech that since the first annual conference of the Chinese Committee of Giant Panda Breeding Techniquesof 1989, it has grown under the care of leaders at all levels and the support of experts and scholars. Moreover, it has become an important platform for discussion and collaboration in the field of panda conservation and scientific research, playing an indispensible role in protecting giant pandas and furthering the rejuvenation and prosperity of the giant panda population, as well as contributing positively to the conservation of other rare and endangered species. In recent years, China has held ecological protection in high regard. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that the “ecological environment is the foundation of human survival and development, and civilization prospers when the ecology is flourishing.” The giant panda national park across Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu will effectively integrate and protect the ecological resources of the natural habitats of giant pandas and provide a higher level of ecological barrier.
The opening report contains a lot of practical knowledge and methods, and there is much to be done in giant panda conservation
Researcher HouRong, director of the research center of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, issued the opening report of this annual conference as a representative of famous giant panda experts. The report summarized the achievements and problems encountered bythe Chinese Committee of Giant Panda Breeding Techniques in 2019, and made plans and guidance for the work of the Committee in 2020. The report emphasized that there is a rapid increase in the captive population of giant pandas;henceeach giant panda management unit needs to take adequate measures to develop the captive population of giant pandas in a systematic way under the premise of ensuring the health and safety of giant pandas. In addition, it is also necessary to establish and improve the technology system of giant panda wildness training and release under the guidance of science, to ensure the steady development of giant panda conservation.
Subsequently, Wei Fuwen, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and academician of the World Academy of Sciences, issued a report entitled “ ‘Nature and Man in One’ - APost-2020 Biodiversity Conservation Framework”. Xia Xianzhu, an academician of the Military Veterinary Institute, the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, issued a report entitled “The Prevalence, Prevention and Control of Major Dog Epidemics in China”. Here, the major epidemics of dogs and the prevention and control of important diseases in dogs were mentioned. On the other hand, Zhang Hemin, deputy secretary of the Party committee of the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda, conducted a report and a discussion on the “Research on Key Technologies of Returning Giant Pandas to the Wild”.
Experts Gathered to Brainstorm for the Protection of Giant Pandas and other Rare Species
The Annual Conference of the Chinese Committee of Giant Panda Breeding Technologies is of great significance to the sector. As a major annual event concerning giant pandas, it is held in high regard by leaders from the state, provincial and municipal government and leaders from relevant units at all levels. During the conference, representatives from institutions involved in giant panda conservation, research institutes, conservation reserves and relevant entities both at home and abroad will have deep academic debate on hot topics pertaining to giant pandas like giant panda protection and breeding, the construction of a national park and giant panda-related disease prevention and control, the study on the endocrine system and conservation biology of giant pandas, giant panda wildness training and return to the wild, the protection of giant pandasand associated creatures and ecosystem conservation. The conference seeks to build consensus and promote the local and ex-situ protection of giant pandas.
Zhang Zhihe, the Director of the Chinese Committee of Giant Panda Breeding Technologies, Hosts the Opening Ceremony of the Annual Conference
Jia Jiansheng, a First-level Inspector from the Wildlife Conservation Division of National Forest and Grassland Administration, Delivers a Speech
Ms. BaoJianhua, the Vice Director of the Sichuan Forest and Grassland Administration, Delivers a Speech
Mr. Zhang Tao, the Vice General Secretary of the Chengdu Municipal Government, Delivers a Speech
Ms. XieZhong, the Vice President of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, Delivers a Speech
Hou Rong, the Director and Fellow Researcher of the Research Center at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Delivers a Speech
Wei Fuwen, an Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences, Delivers a Speech
Xia Xianzhu, an Academician of the Military Veterinary Institute of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Delivers a Speech
Zhang Hemin, the Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, Delivers a Speech