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National Geographic Society Holds Inaugural Grant Meeting in Beijing For Its Air and Water Conservation Fund

美国国家地理学会在京举行环保基金资助评审
National Geographic Society Holds Inaugural Grant Meeting in Beijing
For Its Air and Water Conservation Fund
Projects Reviewed by Chinese Experts to Determine Which Will Receive Funding
资助项目由中国环境专家组审议决定

  北京讯(2012年7月19日)- 美国国家地理学会昨日圆满完成了国家地理空气与水保护基金的首次资助评审会。空气与水保护基金自2012年4月26日发布以来,收到了许多来自全国各地不同机构的项目申请。此次会上,由来自于环境不同领域的中国著名专家组成的科学顾问委员会对其中通过初审的12个完整项目申请给予科学严谨的评估和审议。最终获得资助的名单将在今年夏末正式公布。

  这些项目的申请者来自中国国内大学、科研院所、民间环境团体、环境影像机构等。申请的项目涉及广泛领域,从对地方河流保护到对空气的关注等都有。申请中既有来自于基层的保护项目,也有调研类的项目,体现了对中国空气与水问题的关注。

  本次北京评审会议由美国国家地理学会全球探索基金的副总裁约翰•弗朗西斯(John Francis)主持。空气与水保护基金隶属美国国家地理全球探索基金,该基金旨在扩大包括亚洲在内的全球资助规模。空气与水保护基金每年设立两次评审会议,下一次的会议将于今年九月上旬举行。

  “这次评审会是空气与水保护基金的一个良好开端,” 参加此次北京会议的美国国家地理学会负责“使命计划”的执行副总裁泰瑞•加西亚(Terry Garcia)介绍说:“今天评审的申请正是我们想要资助的对中国未来具有实际应用价值的环保前沿项目。”

  “我投身环境事业已有27年,也有十多年环境资助的经验。这1轮收到的申请项目在广度和质量上都给我留下了很深刻的印象,”空气与水保护基金的项目主任温波说到:“第一轮的申请涉及了很多不同类型的项目,我们还期待能收到更多优秀环境人士和组织的申请。”

  在全球电子商务领袖和中国最大的电子商务公司阿里巴巴集团的支持下,该基金特别扩大了其在中国的资助规模,旨在激励和促进国内最优秀、最富创意的科技人才设计,鼓励他们寻求对中国现存的水资源和空气质量问题的解决之道。额度介于2万至5万美元的资助款将授予那些处在研究、技术和环境保护领域前沿并需要起始资金的中国实地项目及探索。项目评审采用滚动制,凡在中国大陆地区从事相关工作的居住公民,都有资格申请该资助基金。

  阿里巴巴集团长期关注清洁水源和改善空气质量,而“空气与水保护基金”的建立与其自然环境保护的策略一脉相承。公司做出支持这项基金的决定,同样希望能够在中国提高科学环保能力,采取有效行动,对国内数亿人的生活产生积极的影响。

  自1890年以来,由美国国家地理学会资助的项目遍及世界每一个角落。截止2011年下半年,国家地理资助的项目总数已达到一万个,资助总额达一亿五千三百万美元。美国国家地理学会过去和当前的资助者包括:极地探险家罗伯特•皮尔里(Robert Peary)、印加失落之城马丘比丘的挖掘者海勒姆•宾厄姆(Hiram Bingham)、人类学家路易斯•利基和玛丽•利基夫妇(Louis and Mary Leakey)、灵长类动物学家珍•古德(Jane Goodall)、水下探险家、沉没的泰坦尼克号的发现者,罗伯特•巴拉德(Robert Ballard)、人类学家韦德•戴维斯(Wade Davis)、海洋生物学家西尔维亚•厄尔(Sylvia Earle)、高海拔考古学家约翰•莱因哈德(Johan Reinhard)、以及在鸟类飞行起源方面有最新研究成果的中国古生物学家徐星。

BEIJING (July 19, 2012)—The National Geographic Society concluded its inaugural grant meeting for its Air and Water Conservation Fund in Beijing yesterday evening. The fund’s advisory board, composed of renowned Chinese scientists and conservationists from a broad spectrum of disciplines, deliberated on the final 12 applications selected from dozens received since the April 26, 2012, launch of the fund. Recipients of the grants will be announced later this summer, once grant applicants have been formally notified.

Grant applications were received from a wide range of sectors, including universities, scientific research centers, environmental NGOs and an environmental film studio. The projects ranged from local river protection to air quality monitoring. The applications included both grassroots conservation efforts and research projects, reflecting the fund’s core focus on air and water issues in China.

The meeting was chaired by John Francis, National Geographic’s vice president for Research, Conservation and Exploration. The Air and Water Conservation Fund is part of National Geographic’s recently launched Global Exploration Fund, an initiative designed to increase funding opportunities around the world, including Asia. This meeting was the first of two scheduled for this year. The next grant meeting will take place in September.

“The inaugural meeting was an excellent beginning for the Air and Water Conservation Fund,” said Terry Garcia, executive vice president for Mission Programs at National Geographic. “The grant applications that were reviewed are exactly the kind of cutting-edge projects with practical applications for China’s future that we want to fund.”

“I have worked for 27 years on air and water conservation issues, and I’m impressed with the breadth and quality of the applications we received this round,” said Wen Bo, program director of the Air and Water Conservation Fund. “This first round of applications represented a wide variety of projects, and we look forward to receiving even more applications from qualified researchers and conservationists throughout China.”

With support from founding partner Alibaba Group, a global e-commerce leader and the largest e-commerce company in China, the Air and Water Conservation Fund is designed to challenge and bring forward the best and most creative scientific and conservation talent in the country and encourage their efforts to solve problems confronting China’s water and air resources. Grants ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 will be given to on-the-ground projects at the cutting edge of research, technology and conservation, including those that investigate risky or unproven approaches. The fund, which accepts applications on a rolling basis, is open to resident citizens of mainland China doing work in the country.

Creation of this fund is consistent with Alibaba Group’s environmental conservation strategy of focusing on clean water and improving air quality. The company’s decision to support this new fund was also centered on helping build scientific and environmental capabilities within China to positively impact the lives of billions of people in the region.

Since 1890, the National Geographic has provided grants to every corner of the world. By late 2011, the total number of National Geographic grants reached 10,000, representing a combined value of $153 million. Past and current grantees include polar explorer Robert Peary; Hiram Bingham, excavator of the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu; anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey; primatologist Jane Goodall; Robert Ballard, underwater explorer and discoverer of the sunken Titanic; anthropologist Wade Davis; marine biologist Sylvia Earle; high-altitude archaeologist Johan Reinhard; and Chinese paleontologist Xu Xing, who has advanced understanding of the origin of bird flight.

Additional information about the new Air and Water Conservation Fund and how to apply for a grant is available at www.nationalgeographic.com/GEF/China.

Information about the Global Exploration Fund initiative can be found at
www.nationalgeographic.com/GEF.

About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.

About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group is a global e-commerce leader and the largest e-commerce company in China. Since it was founded in 1999, Alibaba Group has grown to include the following core businesses: Alibaba.com (HKSE: 1688; 1688.HK), Alibaba Group’s flagship company and the world’s leading B2B e-commerce company; Taobao Marketplace, China’s primary C2C online shopping destination; Tmall.com, China’s leading B2C online marketplace for quality, brand name goods; eTao, China’s most comprehensive shopping search engine; Juhuasuan, China’s most comprehensive group shopping platform; Alibaba Cloud Computing, a developer of advanced data-centric cloud computing services; and China Yahoo!, one of China’s leading Internet portals. Alipay, China’s largest third-party online payment service, is an affiliate of Alibaba Group.

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Media Contacts:
National Geographic Air and Water Conservation Fund:
China-Conservation@ngs.org

Alibaba Group:
christyseto@hk.alibaba-inc.com

National Geographic Society Washington, D.C., headquarters:
mkoumane@ngs.org

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