Home>News and Events>News>Content
Animal protection Queen of the big Cats Billionnaires like He Qiaonü are emerging as a force for public interest as the nation seeks a balanced existence with nature


Recently, China Report published an article named Queen of the Big Cats, which was authored by Mr. Chen Shirong. The article praised a group of rich Chinese represented by He Qiaonv, who served as Founder and President of the Beijing Qiaonv Charitable Foundation, Chairman of the Board of OrientalLand Investment Holding Group, Cosponsor of China Global Philanthropy Institute, are working together to bring forth a newly public force on the road of exploring the ecological balance in China.

The Chinese are coming. ftey are heading into a preserve very much associated with Western philanthropists. Now they are taking centre stage to join some of the most prom inent people in the world to restore the environment damaged by break-neck economic development and to protect the habitats of wild animals. And the trend is unmistakable.

A group of Chinese entrepreneurs, led by the president of the China Global Philanthropy Institute, Professor Wang Zhenyao, gath- ered at a ceremony in Monaco in mid-October that marked a ground- breaking partnership between the Beijing Qiaonü Foundation, Panthera, a global wild cat conservation organisation, and WildCRU, Oxford University’s conservation research unit, with the mission of protecting big cats and their vast habitat within China and beyond.

Dubbed “United Action for Sustainability,” the signing ceremony was held at Monaco Yacht Club with Prince Albert II of Monaco in attendance on October 14.fteInternational union for Conser- vation of Nature (IUCN) and East-West Philanthropy Forum have given their full support to the ambitious venture.

Big Commitment

China had got used to being on the defensive when it came to animal protection, but now is appearing asa committed leader in environmental protection. Proof of this is He Qiaonü, who with her foundation, has joined the Global Alliance for Wild Cats on a path to philanthropy and entrepreneurship.

Starting with apex carnivores, her Beijing Qiaonü Foundation will invest US$20 million over the next 10 years to fund conservation programmes devoted to the protection of big cats both inside China and around the world, focusing on 10 “at-risk” areas to be determined by her Foundation with Panthera and WildCRU.

Phase one will focuson China’s snow leopards and African lions. A reserve will be created for snow leopards in China and surrounding areas, followed by a comprehensive conservation programme. Bei- jing Qiaonü Foundation will also contribute to lion conservation in Africa, to address one of the most pressing cat conservation crises globally.

In the 100 days leading up to the event in Monaco, Beijing Qiaonü Foundation launched several projects to protect areas in northeast and southwest China. Her commitment and quick action have won sup- port and admiration.

New Wave of Chinese Philanthropy

He Qiaonü made her fortune by founding and successfully lead- ing the Beijing Oriental Landscape and Ecology, the largest landscape architecture company in China. In 2012, she established Beijing Qiaonü Foundation for environmental and nature protection and to conserve biodiversity, making her an important force in Chinese phi- lanthropy, female entrepreneurship and ecological education. She has set the standard in China for emerging philanthropists.

In 2017, Beijing Qiaonü Foundation introduced an ambitious vi- sion for nature conservation, unveiling an accelerated seven-year plan to protect 28 critical habitats within China and conserve dozens of animal and plant species.

fteFoundation plans to leverage its investments through high- profile partnerships within China and beyond, adopting and apply- ing best practice to achieve its objectives and developing models for conservation worldwide.

According toa release from Panthera, He said: “I feel fortunate to have met ftomas [S. Kaplan, founder of Panthera] and to be working with Panthera.ftis partnership enables us at the Qiaonü Foundation to utilise the most professional and experienced team in cat conserva 

tion as we begin to protect and preserve these beautiful but fragile species. It is an extraordinary undertaking, and to achieve the ambi- tious outcomes we seek, we are going to mobilise all the passion and intelligence we utilised when our business was started.”

He is alsoa founder, with Bill Gates, Ray Dalio, Niu Gensheng, and Ye Qingjun, of the China Global Philanthropy Institute (CGPI), a new organisation dedicated to cultivating the development of phi- lanthropy in China and around the world.

With some of the institute’s students in the audience, she pointed out, “ftere area large number of entrepreneurs in China who are actively paying attention to environmental issues. ftey would love to share their wealth, knowledge, and vision to search for more effective solutions for conserving nature. Beijing Qiaonü Foundation is calling on potential partners in China and indeed across the globe to unite together to protect our only homeland and promise a better future for this planet.”

She proposed four areas for united action: big cat conservation, ma- rine conservation, becoming IUCN patrons of nature, and forming an alliance to protect glaciers.

Catalysts for Change

As the newest member of Panthera’s Global Alliance for Wild Cats, He joins ftomas S. Kaplan and Daphne Recanati Kaplan, His Highness Mohamed Bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Hemendra Kothari– among the world’s leading environmental philanthropists – in an international collaboration to preserve large- scale wildlife habitats and biodiversity around the globe by protecting the big cats.

By committing her name to the Global Big Cat Conservation Co- operation Agreement, she has been elevated to the position of “the Queen of the Big Cats,” ona par with ftomas S. Kaplan, who found- ed Panthera in 2006 and is often referred to as “the King of the Big Cats” in animal conservation circles.

Cat King Kaplan is obviously pleased to have founda worthy part- ner: “Madame He’s vision for species conservation is big and bold, befitting China’s enormous potential to change the trajectory for threatened big cats at home and around the world. Madame He is herself a force of nature, and I have no doubt that she will galvanise a new homegrown movement to join her in sustaining our planet’s most precious and vulnerable wildlife.

“We are humbled to be among the first partners aligned with Ma- dame He and the Beijing Qiaonü Foundation in this game-changing moment and look forward to working together under the auspices of the Global Alliance to realise our shared conservation goals,” Kaplan said.

He, nowa “patron of nature” of the IUCN, is not alone in the effort to conserve and protect the natural world. At the ceremony, a CGPI student, Dr Dong Fangjun, representing the young and emerg- ing group of student philanthropists, pledged to work on sustainable development. He also shared his collaborative project of Peach Flower Island in East China, a project inspired and helped by Japanese phi- lanthropist Soichiro Fukutake to revitalise rural areas through art.

Panthera, WildCRU, and the Beijing Qiaonü Foundation, will design and administera joint wildlife management programme for conservation action training both in the classroom and in the field for Chinese staff working in the new reserves.ê


News and Events