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Buddhist Monk, Students, ‘Monkey’ and ‘Rabbit’ Conserving China’s Environment

SHANGHAI, China — A Buddhist monk living near picturesque Juewu Mountain, students from a business university, an anti-smoking campaigner, and an animated monkey and rabbit may not seem like a natural match, but they are all fighting for the same cause: long-term environmental conservation across China.

They are also all finalists in Ford’s China Conservation and Environmental Grants (CEGC) programme in the newly-established category of Multimedia Projects for Environmental Conservation. The category recognizes individuals or organizations that use multimedia - videos or flash - to promote environmental conservation.

Recently a panel of CEGC judges whittled down the hundreds of entries received from all over the country during the last three months to 68 shortlisted videos.

The shortlisted videos tell interesting and inspiring stories covering a wide range of environmental conservation issues and challenges: A Buddhist monk who in 2006 started videoing changes to the precious flowers and local environment around the Juewu Mountain where he lives in Qinghai Province; students from the University of International Business and Economics did a short video shot in classrooms and dormitories to promote a more eco-friendly life on campus such as turning off the lights when leaving the room, turning off the tap when finished using bathroom facilities etc.; an animation produced by a professional animation studio featuring two lovely characters Monkey Ji and Rabbit Hu and their adventure in the ocean to teach kids the importance of protecting the environment by not throwing rubbish into the sea; and a documentary on Chencen Wang’s anti-smoking campaign over the last eight years.

All the shortlisted videos have been uploaded to CEGC official website for public scrutiny and online voting till December 12. The “public viewing” stage of the category raises awareness about CEGC as well as environmental best multimedia projects in general. It also enables members of the public to scrutinise and add comments – this feedback will also be reviewed in the second round of judging.

The final winners for this category will be decided by professional judges and members of the public who vote for their favorite video online; the online score will weigh 30% of the final score.

For CEGC’s other two categories – Leadership in Environmental Conservation and Excellence in Public Awareness Campaigns for Environmental Conservation, after two rounds of judging and field investigation, 30 shortlisted projects have been chosen to give their final presentations and face a Q&A session at the end of this week. The final winners of these two categories will be announced on December 2 at the award ceremony in Beijing.

Please check out Ford Green to view and vote for the videos you like.