China: Lihong Shi

All people have ideals. Daring or not daring to realize their ideals is the vital difference between idealists and idle dreamers. In this sense, I am an idealist daring to realize my own ideal.

— Lihong Shi

Shi Lihong, an environmental activist, is responsible for the Global Environment Institute and is executive director of Wild China. She is very active in nongovernmental environmental protection. One of the ways she contributes to the campaign for environmental protection is by making documentary films on the subject.

Shi Lihong started her environmental protection work because she was deeply impressed by the work of Liao Xiaoyi, the initiator of Global Village of Beijing, an environmental civil society protection organization. She had the opportunity to interview Liao in 1996 when she was a journalist with China Daily and that led to her becoming an environmental protection volunteer. Later she married a famous wildlife photographer and environmental activist. In 1999 they quit their jobs and moved with their newborn baby to the habitat of Yunnan's black snub-nosed monkeys. Here in the northwest of Yunnan Province, together with local government, reserve area authorities and local people, they established a nongovernmental organization, Green Plateau Institute, to protect the natural environment. In 2003 Shi and her husband returned to Beijing and founded Wild China, an organization that produced documentary films on natural history and the environment. Shi turned her attention to the battle against dams across the Nujiang River (which translates as “Angry River”). In April 2004 she learned that Green Watershed, another environmental civil society organization in China, was organizing people along the Nujiang to visit the Manwan migrants. She decided to shoot the visit at her own expense and produced a 30-minute documentary film, "Voice of Nujiang". The film reflects the miserable situations of the migrants and the hard work environmental protection organizations had done to protect the river. It provided a sound base for the new anti-dam movements in China. Shi is currently filming the campaign to protect homes and oppose resettlement along the Jinshajiang River (“Golden Sand River”).

Global Environment Institute Green Plateau Institute