China: Yongchen Wang

I am often regarded as a woman who is building a grand environmental-protection project. But I think that I am part of nature. And I am only doing what everyone should be doing.

— Yongchen Wang

Wang Yongchen is a journalist at China’s Central People's Radio Station and convener of Green Earth Volunteers (GEV). She realizes the strength of the media in environmental protection, using her professional expertise to promote environmental protection. A pioneer of radio programs on environmental concerns, such as “Classroom on Wednesday” and “Journalist Salon”, she opens platforms for public education and debate, and aims to change and raise public awareness on the environment, the relationship between humans and nature, and social responsibility in the protection of nature.

Over the past 16 years, Wang Yongchen has actively participated in China’s environmental protection movement as a journalist. It all began after she worked on stories covering the hunting of wild yaks in the Qinghai-Tibetan highland, and bird-loving primary school children in Jiangsu Province. She was deeply shocked at the way in which people were bringing about the destruction of nature, while impressed by the children’s love and passion for it. This has served as the driving force for her dedication. Wang understands the strength of the media in environmental protection and has been able to make full use of her expertise to promote environmental-protection education. She has produced many popular radio programs. Her program on nature and humans has been honored twice with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union's "Grand Award." Together with Jin Jiaman, Wang founded GEV in 1996. The NGO focuses on environmental-protection education, with activities that include tree planting and bird watching. Wang has also initiated several public education and discussion platforms. The “Journalists' Salon” has become a place where experts, journalists, and environmental protection activists meet and discuss environmental subjects such as, among others, the Dujiangyan irrigation scheme in Sichuan Province, dam building in Lu Jiang, the hydropower project in Leaping Tiger Gorge in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, and the renovation of Yuan Ming Yuan in Beijing. Wang Yongchen is also a photographer and uses her skill to contribute to campaigns by holding exhibitions and discussions.

Green Earth Volunteers (GEV)