Chengdu Begins Search for Panda Ambassadors

The Chengdu Panda Base, in partnership with WildAid, is announcing the launch of the 2012 Global Pambassador campaign, a 3 month competition to develop global knowledge and awareness about giant panda conservation. It was announced today, Sept. 10.

The campaign will recruit 3 panda-lovers who are passionate about protecting the endangered species, and have a strong sense of social responsibility. These individuals will serve in their official capacity as a “Chengdu Pambassador” for one year, and will be asked to participate in a “Global Panda Conservation Tour” in 2013.

Chengdu Pambassador 2012 builds on the success of the 2010 program , in which 6 finalists were chosen from more than 60,000 global conservation activists who applied online for the opportunity to become a panda care-taker at the Panda Base in Chengdu for one month.

With a new theme “Panda Quest — Be the next Pambassador,” this year’s program shifts the focus from panda breeding and rehabilitation in captivity to re-introduction into the wild.

Pambassador finalists will take a unique journey into the natural habitat of wild pandas and participate in the current panda release plan, designed to re-introduce captive bears into the wild.

“The next step in strengthening and increasing the panda population is to return them safely to the wild,” said Dr. Zhang Zhihe, director of Chengdu Panda Base.

The competition is designed to elicit contestants’ panda conservation knowledge, ability to share the conservation message, and attention to wild habitat preservation. The participants will start their journey on Facebook, where a 3-week competition will be held to determine 24 semi-finalists from 4 different regions.

Local activities in the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, and mainland China will produce 16 finalists who will travel to Chengdu to go “Into the Wild” (in-situ) with Chengdu Pandas, where 3 global Pambassadors will be selected.

After receiving their official designation as Chengdu Pambassadors 2012, the three final Pambassadors will participate in the “Global Panda Conservation Tour” in 2013, a globe-trotting experience to visit pandas hosted in 11 countries and initiate local activities to raise awareness for endangered animal protection.

The Chengdu Panda Base is a non-profit organization engaged in wildlife research, captive breeding and conservation education.

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