Conservation organizations involved in the mountains of Southwest China include the Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and a large and growing number of domestic NGOs. All are working with the Chinese government for continued land and river preservation with some success. In 1998, after massive floods resulted in landslides and the destruction of much of the existing infrastructure the government banned all commercial logging in the region and began a billion dollar conservation oriented program. It has been a program with mixed success, one of the fundamental questions being: How do you protect the environment when local peoples are involved? Much work remains to add and protect conserved lands while balancing the needs and traditions of local ethnicities. Complicating this program is a growing list of concerns that includes illegal poaching, dam building and rapid population growth.
The Epicocity Project would like to thank Last Descents River Expeditions and China Rivers Project for helping to ensure that media from this trip is responsible and effective. This means being sensitive the political situation in China. While sustainable development oriented around conservation is more and more at the forefront of many political leaders minds, given the need for economic development, social stability and a host of other concerns, any conservation work in China must be approached with caution. In particular, because the west has such a strong history of criticizing and attempting to influence the development of other countries, including China, western media and conservation groups must ensure that that they focus on providing tools that can to be used domestically for responsible growth, rather than pushing China directly. Last Descents and China Rivers Project hope that in this trip, the Epicocity Project can help them in their effort to develop domestic river tourism. This is one tool that has proven in other places to be very effective in educating the public on the importance of free flowing rivers. China Rivers Project in particular hopes to provide opportunities for Chinese leadership to experience their mother rivers first hand.
Portland’s fashion elite have joined forces with the conservation community to throw a wild couture fashion show featuring local, eco designers in an effort to save wild African elephants from the illegal ivory trade. So, paint yourself up like a zebra, grab some cash money for a hot limited-edition Looptworks elephant t-shirt and make your way to Boothster on 521 NE Davis for the party of the season.
Who: Elephant Ivory Project — fueled by EP Films
What: Go Wild! A Night of Fashion and Celebration to Save Elephants! Here’s the gist: Elephants are being killed by poachers at a rate of 10 percent per year. That means that in just a few years wild elephant populations may not exist anymore. So, in January, EP Films is embarking on a forensic biology expedition to the remote jungle of the Democratic Republic of Congo with the goal of saving wild elephants from the illegal ivory trade. You can learn more here. And do your part — come to the party!
$10 gets you a cup and beer for the night, $5 glasses of wine
$15 gets you a sweet limited-edition Looptworks elephant t-shirt
Photo booth — strike a pose and get wild for photos by RM Photo! All images will be uploaded to Flickr and Facebook the next day for free download.
Costume contest! That’s right, we know you like to dress up. So find your inner animal and do it up right. Best contest gets a fabulous prize!
When: December 10 – Doors – 8pm, Fashion Show – 930pm, Party – All the time!
Where: Boothster – 521 NE Davis in PDX
Why: Hawt fashion, drinks, dance party, safari costumes, photo booth… All in the name of a good cause. Need I say more?
While shooting in Mali, West Africa for the National Geographic Channel’s Great Migrations series, filmmaker Bob Poole and his crew were out searching for an elusive group of migrating desert elephants. But what they found was so much bigger. The crew got caught in a sudden and massive sandstorm that makes the desert of Africa look like the surface of Mars with red dust flying everywhere. For 4 hours the sand blocked out the sun.
Bob Poole said, “this goes down as the wildest thing I have ever seen in my life.”
Watch it for yourself HERE.
Early next year, we’ll be out searching for elephants in the remote jungle of the Democratic Republic of Congo. While we probably won’t run into a massive sandstorm like this one, we’re excited about what we might find.
Learn more about our expedition, and help us save some of Africa’s threatened elephants by visiting http://elephantivoryproject.org/