Today, the Global Art Exhibition of the Giant Panda, Pandaful Art, opened at the Beijing Museum of Natural History. The event was supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), promoting its global Panda Naming Campaign for UNDP’s Animal Ambassadors for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as Global Goals.
The Global Art Exhibition of the Giant Panda highlights artwork about pandas and ‘conservation across national boundaries’, featuring artists from around the world. The exhibition has also been to Korea and Hong Kong, and will be held in Tokyo, Japan in June and finish its roadshow in Chengdu, China.
In January this year, UNDP designated two panda twin cubs to become the first-ever official Animal Ambassadors for the Global Goals and launched a global naming campaign. The campaign includes over 22 zoos from 13 countries that will help spread the message of the SDGs and encourages worldwide participants to submit a video about which SDG is most important to them to win the chance to go to Chengdu and become a ‘Panda Champion for the Global Goals’.
UNDP have also launched a brand new microsite, where participants can join the campaign by sending in name suggestions and their SDG selfie videos. Currently the campaign has had over 900 submissions for name suggestions and applications to become a Panda Champion for the Global Goals. Submissions have been coming in from all over the world including Hawaii, Belarus, Philippines, Denmark, Australia, Scotland and China.
Furthermore, this Saturday May 28, Michelle Yeoh, Hollywood actress and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, will be traveling to Chengdu to meet her furry fellow ambassadors, and lend her voice to the campaign to help raise awareness of the Global Goals around the world.
“Pandas represent the plight of the world’s diminishing wildlife in the face of climate change and the loss of natural habitats. But that plight doesn’t affect just wildlife like the pandas — both biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are essential for improving and sustaining human wellbeing,” said Zhang Wei, Chief Communications Officer for UNDP China at the exhibition opening. “In fact, addressing the loss of biodiversity is one of the SDGs. We hope the pandas will help inspire people to engage with the goals, and raise awareness of UNDP’s efforts to promote sustainable development around the world.”
The opening of the exhibition was attended by Director General Zhang Xiwu, Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management of State Forestry Administration and Dr. Zhang Zhihe Director of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Furthermore, Lao Lang, singer of the Panda Song and actress Ms. Yuan Shanshan, Panda advocate also joined the event together with members from One Day Chorus, a musical project for children with disabilities.
“The Chengdu Panda Base are honored to work together with UNDP China to engage individual’s world-wide about the importance of the SDGs and be a part of the Global Panda Campaign”, remarked Zhang Zhihe, Director of the Chengdu Panda Base. “The Panda Base has been working tirelessly to support Panda conservation across China and hopes to further support the UN in their mandate to promote sustainable development.”
The event was co-organized by the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), Sichuan Wildlife Conservation Association, Sichuan Foundation for Giant Panda Conservation, and The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) of Chengdu.
UNDP China is committed to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in September 2015. The campaign highlights the necessity of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to protect life on land and promote the use of affordable and clean energy in order to conserve one of the world’s most endangered wild animals and make the world a better place for everyone on our planet.