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About us

Co-President - Ou Xiaokun Professor Ou is UNESCO Cousteau Ecotechnie Professor, Yunnan University and Director of its Institute of Ecology and Geobotany. Foremost expert on ecological classification of Yunnan's vegetation communities, particularly the ecosystem known as the "dry-hot valley," he's published a major study, as well as numerous papers. He has long been dedicated to conservation of ecosystems he sees threatened in Yunnan province. Professor Ou has been the single most important supporter in China of BDC's efforts.

Co-President - Hardy Wieting, Jr Philosopher and lawyer by training, Dr. Wieting found the public interest career he was looking for when Dr. Jenkins asked him to learn taxonomy, ecological niches, computers -- and also to propagate and manage a network of centers employing new conservation methodology. He thus was one of the principal creators of the network of Natural Heritage Programs/CDCs, now an independent, permanent entity rooted in local governments. Innovation in contracts and financing led on to developing training programs, responsive supervision, agency cooperation, and participation in system design. Dr. Wieting has been leading BDC's efforts in Asia. He's also authored books about China and about birds. Ph.D. Princeton, J.D. Yale, B.A. Stanford

Co-Director, Yunnan Natural Heritage Conservation Decision Center - Peng Shengjing Peng Shengjing, whose English name is Samantha, has been working with YN-NHCDC since plans were first being drafted and she was a new graduate student in ecology. A native of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, she is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Ghent as well as the Co-Director of YN-NHCDC. One of her main tasks in Kunming is to enlist the aid of graduate students in ecology in populating the YN-NHCDC database on Yunnan's biodiversity and to supervise their work.

Co-Director, Yunnan Natural Heritage Conservation Decision Center - Sun Zhenhua Sun Zhenhua, whose English name is Ted, has been working with YN-NHCDC since early days, most of that time while pursuing his Ph.D. in ecology at Yunnan University. Thoroughly versed in the ways of modern computers and software, he has also helped provide translations of field names and data items into Chinese. Dr. Sun is an expert in techniques of statistical analysis, highly useful with the immense amount of data that has already been compiled and which will continue to expand. He now also holds a research position at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden. Ph.D. Yunnan University

Chairman - Bob Jenkins Dr. Jenkins designed and launched the first State Natural Heritage Program while serving as Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy. He is the principal architect, heading the Operating Procedures Group, of the standard methodology that unites all heritage decision/data centers. OPG developed the network's logical concepts, data structures, filing conventions and software. He's lectured widely on biodiversity matters and authored numerous papers. ~ Prof. E.O.Wilson of Harvard, author of The Diversity of Life and the world's leading writer about conservation of biodiversity, has called "Bob Jenkins, one of the great unsung heroes of conservation science." Ph.D. Harvard, B.S. Rutgers

Software Guru - Keith Carr Keith's contribution has been to understand what the NHCDC wants to do, then to find the right software, and then to oversee implementation and testing. His ability to make things clear to co-workers who lack his grasp of system details is remarkable. He has done this through several key generations of Natural Heritage methodology and is the guiding light behind building systems useful for Asia.

Media Consultant - Laura Grace Chipley Laura is currently Visiting Professor in the Media and Communications Dept of Old Westbury College, Greater New York City Area. A graduate of Bard College, she is familiar with China, having taught in Kunming and travelled extensively in Yunnan and other parts of China. She is at present at work on several China media projects.

Uzbekistan NHCDC Facilitator - Aziz Bashirov Aziz started by successfully taking on the very substantial job of translating a system, including formats and protocols, which originated in English, which was then implemented through considerable effort in Spanish, and for which a new version had been produced using Chinese -- translating this entire system into Russian. Russian is the language of the scientific community in Uzbekistan, one of the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. He has done a remarkable job of laying the groundwork for the UZ-NHCDC, including initial data-gathering, though the decision center still awaits funding to move from a proto-program phase into a fully-participating network unit.

BDC Partnerships

China. BDC has joined with Professor Ou and Professor Paul Forster of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to form China-Conservancy (C-C), a registered charitable society in Hong Kong (Ref.CP/LIC/SO/19/36172), not only to work in Hong Kong but primarily to assist in the work on the Chinese mainland. Professors Paul Shin and Paul Lam of City University, Hong Kong, and Professor Chonam Ng of the University of Hong Kong have rendered great assistance to C-C.
C-C has provided summer students from Hong Kong to work on the database in Yunnan. It also helps with fundraising and facilitates relationships with the local conservationists as well as those in other parts of the world, in academia, in government, and in other conservation organizations.
In addition to the formal partnership embodied in C-C, BDC has benefited from working relationships with other institutions. Foremost among these is the Institute of Ecology & Geobotany, Yunnan University, one of the key ecological conservation units in the province. Kunming Institute of Botany, one of the largest herbariums in China, made famous by one of China's most well-known scientists, Wu Zhengyi, has generously provided data to graduate students working on YN-NHCDC and taught them how access it. Dr. Zhou Zhekan has contributed much to this working relationship. Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden is another major botanical and ecological institution within the province which has provided assistance to YN-NHCDC.
Uzbekistan. BDC has joined with the Uzbekistan Institute of Botany to create the Central Asian Partnership (CAP). The goal of CAP is to establish the Uzbekistan Natural Heritage Conservation Decision Center, utilizing both the software BDC has created and translated and the training and management techniques in which BDC is experienced.

Contact Us

Initial contact is by email to, BDC's central email address. We can then put you in touch with the local partner office in your state/province. BDC's main mailing address in China is The BioDiversity Conservancy, Yunnan Da Xue, Xi Yuan 7-02, Kunming, Yunnan Province, 650091 China. BDC maximizes grants from donors by an exceptionally effort to keep costs at an absolute minimum. This includes the use of "appropriate technology" in propagating its conservation systems to Asia, but it also includes organizational economies which greatly reduce overhead: BDC's state/provincial offices are partnerships with individuals who have worked for the in-state or in-province Natural Heritage Program/Conservation Data Centre.

BDC's Advisory Board

Chairman is Donald Reeve Nicholson, II, M.B.A.(The Wharton School). He has served on the board of World Wildlife Fund, has worked for CARE, established women's health clinics in LDC's all over Latin America, and been Central Asia Regional Director of Central Asia Small Enterprise Fund. Unmatched experience in building enterprises. Larry Master, Ph.D. (U Michigan) was Coordinator of the Michigan Natural Heritage Program, head of eastern heritage programs for Science Div. of TNC, and Chief Zoologist for Natureserve. See his website. Ernest Chung, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology), M.B.A, (UCLA), has worked for Chevron, been a partner in a management consulting firm, and helped save a California park; Paul Shin, Ph.D. (Ireland) is Associate Professor of Biology at City University, Hong Kong; Robert Chipley, Ph.D. (Cornell) served as Chief Ornithologist and Manager, Natural Heritage Programs, The Nature Conservancy; George Fenwick, Ph.D.(Johns Hopkins) is President of the American Bird Conservancy; he served as Director of the Maryland NHCDC and was a Vice President at The Nature Conservancy before founding ABC; Mary Ellen Connell, B.A. (Smith), M.Phil (Kansas), is a career foreign policy analyst who also worked with the Peace Corps; Alex S. Winter, M.A. (George Washington) is a published author with a background in international politics. Lianchao Han, J.D. (Beijing), LL.M (Yale), Ph.D. (George Mason) has worked on Capitol Hill as an aide to three Senators, Hank Brown of Colorado, Rod Gramms of Minnesota, and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire; Sukjo Kim of Seoul, Korea, J.D.(Harvard), has worked throughout Asia and advises start-up organizations; Mel Masuda, J.D.(Yale) M.P.A (Harvard), Professor at Hawaii Pacific University and promoter of relationships between East and West; Diana Daniels, J.D.(Berkeley), is former General Counsel of the Washington Post; Andrew Wilbur, M.B.A. (Thunderbird, American School of International Management) co-founded and serves as Managing Member of Merepoint Capital Management Co LLC in San Diego; Ludwig Brinckmann, MSc (Hamburg), creator of the website and explorer of the province's ethnic diversity; Philip Skehan, Ph.D. (Yale) Science Director of Andes Pharmaceuticals led important efforts at the National Cancer Institute to screen natural products (biodiversity) for anticancer properties; Ben Brown (Ph.D. Texas A&M) is a grassland ecologist and former Director of the Texas Natural Heritage Program. Paul Forster, Ph.D. (UC Santa Barbara) is professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a director of China-Conservancy.

In memoriam, and in grateful thanks for their support, encouragement and advice:

William D. Blair, Jr, former President and Chairman of the Board of The Nature Conservancy, and his wife, Jane C. Blair, who taught history, served on numerous NGO boards, self-described China enthusiast; Chonam Ng, Ph.D. (Lancaster) of the University of Hong Kong, one of the leading conservationists in China, where he served as Chairman of the HK Conservancy Association; William D. Rogers, former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs; Philip Kissam, economist and professor of law who served with the Peace Corps.

Note on the header photograph: bee larvae and newly emerged bees served for dinner in a small restaurant on what is promoted sometimes as the Tea Horse Road, sometimes as the Southern Silk Road in Wenshengjie, a village outside Mizhi in Midu County, Yunnan.

Ou Xiaokun


Peng Shengjing

Sun Zhenhua





down arrow Advisory board pics below:


larry paul       Larry / Paul

diana mel       Diana / Mel

don       Alex W / Bob C

ben kim       Ben / Kim

ernest ludwig       Ernest / Ludwig

jane chonam
      Jane / Chonam