Marc Brody ’83 Visits to Discuss Progress in China for Giant Pandas

Marc Brody ’83, founder of the U.S.-China Environmental Fund (USCEF)the first U.S. environmental organization to open a registered office in Chinawill be visiting classes and speaking at a dinner in Parents Dining Room on Wednesday, Nov. 16, focusing his remarks on “An Entrepreneurial Model for Conserving the Giant Pandas: How a CMC Alumnus and the Roberts Environmental Center are Making a Difference.”

Brody, born and raised in Los Angeles, traveled eastern China for 10 years on behalf of his father’s import-export company before founding USCEF, an organization that coordinates multi-disciplinary teams of architects and environmental professionals that transfer and adapt the best U.S. resource management practices. Since its founding, USCEF has worked to integrate environmental planning with economic development through model projects that strengthen the stewardship and conservation of China’s natural and cultural resources.

Brody, who maintains an office in Beijing and travels to China about five times a year, says USCEF’s main programs have focused on two of China’s most important icons: The Great Wall and the Giant Panda. At The Great Wall at Badaling, China’s most famous section of The Great Wall just northwest of Beijing, USCEF designed the Badaling International Friendship Forest, a model interpretive park that balances conservation with tourism development.

USCEF’s work for the Giant Panda began in late 2000 at the Wolong Nature Reserve, China’s largest protected area for the Giant Panda. From 2003 to 2004, USCEF redesigned and supervised the renovation of Wolong’s panda breeding center, home of the world’s largest captive Giant Panda population.

Brody’s work continues with developing integration of the Panda Mountain eco-tourism destination and the Wolong Panda and Conservation Institute, combining a conservation station, experiential learning and training center, and eco-lodge with supporting eco-tours, restaurants, a tea house, and related retail operations. Brody says Panda Mountain’s construction timeline and proposed opening dates will coincide with China’s hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.