Cambridge University Press Adopts Giant Panda to Build Closer Links with China

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Cambridge University Press has adopted a giant panda at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation in China, in a bid to build closer working links with the country and to help protect this endangered species. This is the first time a publisher has been granted access to a giant panda in this way.

Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press, Stephen Bourne, with Jian Qiao

Given the importance of giant pandas to China, this adoption is a symbol of our strategy to work with the Chinese government to build bridges between China and the West.

Cambridge University Press has adopted a giant panda at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation in China, in a bid to build closer working links with the country and to help protect this endangered species. This is the first time a publisher has been granted access to a giant panda in this way.

Chief Executive Stephen Bourne, other members of staff from Cambridge’s offices and senior members of the Chinese State Council Information Office were all present at the adoption ceremony of the panda, named ‘Jian Qiao’, which can be loosely translated as ‘Cambridge’ in some Chinese dialects.

The association with Jian Qiao will help to raise the profile of the Cambridge Young Learners’ course books published for Chinese school children. As part of the adoption, a new web site will also be set up where children can follow the progress of Jian Qiao as she grows up.

The adoption of Jian Qiao also forms part of a wider conservation and climate change programme at the Press. Cambridge works with The Wildlife Trust in the UK to support them in their work, and staff are given paid time off to volunteer for charitable or environmental causes.

Giant pandas are native to China and they are among the world’s most endangered species. A 2007 report by the Chinese State Forestry Commission found that there were fewer than 2,000 giant pandas living in the wild today, and 239 pandas living in captivity in China.

Cambridge has a history of collaborating with the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation. The Foundation’s Director, Professor Zhang Zhihe, was one of the expert contributors to the Cambridge book Giant Pandas - Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Management.

Cambridge also has a strong tradition of publishing about China, including titles in the 30-strong Cultural China series, as well as a growing presence in the English Language Teaching publishing market in the country.

Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press, Stephen Bourne, said: “Given the importance of giant pandas to China, this adoption is a symbol of our strategy to work with the Chinese government to build bridges between China and the West. We are also one of the world’s leading publishers of the full debate on climate change, so it is part of a wider commitment to do all we can to protect the environment.

“I believe our adoption of Jian Qiao speaks volumes about the kind of organisation that Cambridge University Press is, and the importance that we place on being a responsible member of the communities in which we operate. For us, the adoption means a duty to support the care of Jian Qiao during her lifetime, which in turn will help support the important work of the Foundation in Chengdu, and it will strengthen our links with China. For Jian Qiao, it means she can look forward to receiving the best start in life and, as befits a Cambridge panda, a very bright future!”

Madame Wu Wei, the Deputy Director General of the Third Bureau in the State Council Information Office of China, said: “2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and this adoption by Cambridge University Press demonstrates their care for nature; they set a very good example for environmental protection.”

Jian Qiao was born in August 2010, weighing 153 grams. Now weighing roughly four kilograms, she is doing well and has a healthy appetite.

Notes to Editors:

High resolution photos of Jian Qiao the panda are available.

About Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s leading research institutions. It is the oldest publisher and printer in the world, having been operating continuously since 1584.

Throughout its history, the Press has maintained a reputation for innovation and enterprise, through publishing the latest research, and through supporting the latest methodologies for teaching and learning. Its purpose is to advance learning, knowledge and research worldwide. It publishes around 250 journals and over 2,500 books annually for distribution in nearly every country in the world.

Cambridge takes pride in supporting community programmes across the globe. With an ethos that embraces the Press’s mission to further the cause of learning and with offices all over the world, Cambridge is well placed to make a difference to the communities in which it works. Its staff are encouraged to offer practical help, advice and funding to nurture vital charitable, educational and voluntary partnerships.

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