Event Detail


The Habitat of the Giant Panda

Dr Andre Clewell
Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015
Complimentary Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
22/F CITIC Tower, 1 Tim Mei Avenue, Admiralty

The Royal Geographical Society is delighted to welcome Dr Andre Clewell to lecture on "The Habitat of the Giant Panda".  In this lecture, Dr Clewell describes the conditions at Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China’s leading panda protected area.  Dr Clewell then gives examples of how ecological restoration might reverse the degradation and fragmentation of the ecosystem at Wolong, then how this is going to lead to more pandas in the future.

Drawing upon experiences from a long and diverse career in ecological restoration, Dr Clewell introduces his current work as the senior scientific advisor to Friends of Panda Mountain.  Panda Mountain is a Hong Kong charity focused on the conservation and ecological restoration of the giant panda habitat at Wolong, particularly in relation to action to restore green wildlife corridors and to address the fragmentation of habitat for endangered animals.

In his lecture, Dr Clewell draws upon examples of how ecological restoration is reversing degradation and fragmentation in diverse ecosystems across the world and how those lessons can be applied to restore the panda habitat that Dr Clewell has surveyed in Wolong.  While China’s recently published giant panda census reports an increase in the wild population, the urgency for the restoration remains strong, from anticipated affects from climate change and rapidly increasing tourism in western Sichuan.  

Climate change is projected to have a stronger effect on ecologically sensitive, higher elevation mountain ecosystems, which means there is greater urgency to restore and connect panda-friendly habitat during the next couple of decades.  In addition, huge infrastructure investments, including for highways and hydropower projects, are boosting tourism in western Sichuan, particularly in the Wolong region, which is likely to place greater human pressure on the remaining and once remote habitat areas.  Dr Clewell’s restoration work in Wolong is helping local Chinese authorities adapt to change and ensure that there is sufficient habitat so that wild populations can be sustained and hopefully increased in the future.  

Dr Andre Clewell received his PhD in botany from Indiana University.  He is a graduate of Oberlin College and has a Master’s degree from Kent State University.  For 17 years he served on the faculty of Florida State University and for 22 years he managed his own consulting firm, helping a range of clients, including industry, government and NGOs restore degraded ecosystems.

Dr Andre Clewell is a past President of the Society for Ecological Restoration, which is the world’s premier professional association for the field of ecological restoration.  As honorary President Emeritus of SER, Dr Clewell has authored the primary documents in his field, including The SER Primer on Ecological Restoration and Guidelines for Developing and Managing Ecological Restoration Projects.  For the past year, Dr Clewell has served as the senior scientific advisor to Friends of Panda Mountain, to apply the techniques he has used worldwide to Wolong.    

    Members of the RGS and their guests are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$150 for RGS Members and HK$200 for guests and others.  

The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to:
Ernst & Young
for its assistance with the venue for this event

RGS members have been invited by the University of Oxford on the "Big Kora trek" in the Gansu Region of Sichuan, during June. For more details of the trip, please visit:


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