The final selection will be made by a committee selected for their expertise in Chinese culture and exploration. Each application will be evaluated on its originality and relevance to the WildChina vision. In particular, we will be looking for:
- Expeditions seeking to rediscover a long lost route, highlight a culturally significant issue, promote aid in a remote community, or otherwise deal with discovery or rediscovery
- A genuine excitement and passion for exploration
- A demonstrated interest in China or Asia
- A risk management plan
- A commitment to sustainable travel and the incorporation of Leave No Trace (LNT) principles
- An explanation of how participation in the proposed expedition will facilitate future contributions to the growth of WildChina's expeditions
For more information, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our 2014 Explorer: Ricky Qi
The son of Chinese immigrants, Ricky was raised in southern California and has devoted his life to film, exploring the medium's ability to transform an audience's perception of time, place, and culture. For the past two years, Ricky has been producing and directing a feature-length documentary about the Mosuo people, China's last matriarchal society. Hovering between the borders of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, his pioneering project took him on a month-long trek via horse caravan to some of the most remote and least documented places in the lower Himalayas. WildChina is thrilled to be a part of his journey into northern Yunnan and to follow his story from remote villages into the deeper wilderness.
Our 2013 Explorer: Heli
Heli's expedition into the remote wilderness of Xinjiang in search of the Tianshan Snow Lotus pushed the boundaries of Chinese exploration in its examination of the beauty and fragility of the region's natural environment. The Tianshan Snow Lotus is held in reverence by the Kazakh and Uighur people and takes five years to bloom, growing at altitudes as high as 5000m (16,400ft). The flower has been subject to overexploitation due to its purported health benefits in traditional Chinese, Uighur, and Tibetan medicine, fragile beauty and the remoteness of its environment making it a rare and prized treasure. Heli and his team successfully found the lotus in bloom on the rocky slopes of China's northwest.
Our 2012 Explorer: Shanghua Zhang
In 2012, the WildChina Explorer Grant was awarded to two entries. The first of these to head into the unknown was Shanghua Zhang. Backpacking through remote Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan, Shanghua Zhang was often welcomed into local homes with open arms. He also gained access to communities of Tibetan monks and attended prayers at the Yaqing Monastery. During his time in the backcountry, Zhang visited the Chaqingsongduo Nature Reserve in the hope of spotting China's elusive white-lipped deer. Although the animal eluded him, he hopes to return to the region one day.
Our 2012 Explorer: William Bleisch
The second finalist of 2012 was William Bleisch, who ventured to Yunnan's Ailaoshan Provincial Nature Reserve with the aim of establishing a new trekking route along the ridgeline of the Ailao Mountains to connect with other established routes north of Dali. The program director for the China Exploration and Research Society, William had previously researched China's black-crested gibbons, and hopes that the creation of a trail connecting existing gibbon habitats can result in a continuous stretch of forest to help preserve the species in future.