People & Planet: Green Beijing

In April 2013, we hosted a People & Planet event in Beijing, and brought ICANN delegates on a day for green, discovering the innovation and passion behind green organizations in China. 60 guests from 19 countries participated. The day began with a visit to the progressive green commercial complex Parkview Green, the first integrated commercial project to be awarded LEED Green Building Rating System Platinum pre-certification. Delegates then spent time at the impressive Schoolhouse at Mutianyu, a community center and sustainable tourism facility that was founded by husband and wife team Jim Spear and Liang Tang. Their sustainable tourism enterprise has grown to include three restaurants, an art glass studio, a gallery, a unique resort comprised of rental homes dispersed across two villages, and an eco-retreat designed by Spear. Their efforts have boosted the local economy, provided a sustainable tourism approach for their community, and have set an example for others. A scenic “chair lift” brought the guests up the side of the Great Wall, to enjoy a locally sourced organic picnic lunch where they heard from local experts about sustainable agricultural development in China, and the innovation and value provided by groups like Shared Harvest and Smart Agriculture Analytics. Dr. Shen Li, professor and LOHAS leader, spoke about his experience with changing sustainability attitudes and procedures in China. He expressed his belief about a brighter future in sustainability and environmental protection in his country. The Great Wall in the background provided an interesting backdrop to learn about China’s advancements in the green sector.