About

EcoAction is a Chinese company, based in Beijing, who focuses on the environment and sustainable development via responsible travel and volunteering. We are a bunch of passionate young people with biology, environment and education backgrounds. We design a series of authentic, memorable and unique travel/volunteering activities which welcome, involve and fulfill travelers, as well as engage and benefit the host community, so as to protect and enhance the local environment and culture. We envision that through our professional efforts in every corner, more and more people learn about nature, appreciate nature and act positively to protect the nature.

Founded
2013

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

What inspired you to found EcoAction? What has been your career path so far?

I used to be an ornithology student, doing bird conservation in a remote area (Eastern Tibetan Plateau) as a masters candidate at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. At that time, I found out conflicts between conservation and the poor local community who needs alternatives to live on. And the conflicts are hard problems which research alone cannot solve.

After graduation, I worked for an environmental NGO based in Beijing for three years, to improve people's environmental consciousness via environmental education. During the three year experience, I also learned about NGOs' unsustainability and lack of transparency. So I learned that a good business is a better way to encourage more and more people learn about nature, appreciate nature and act positively for nature.

What has been the most exciting for you as your programs have grown?

It has always been an exciting journey to make the big idea come true, step by step. And every tiny step toward progress and every supporting word strengthened my conviction. The most exciting is always that when you tell a stranger, even someone who is not a professional in conservation about your idea, he agrees and feels inspired and wants to help.

What does the future hold for EcoAction - any exciting new programs for next year?

We have a good connection with professional researchers and nature reserves in China. And there are different conservation stories which need more help.

In 2014, EcoAction is going to launch several more volunteering programs themed in different species, such as Giant Panda in Sichuan (my hometown), Golden Money in Yunnan, Endemic birds species in Gansu (where I had been doing research projects for three years), David's Deer in Jiangsu, antelopes in Qinghai, etc.

What about the future of the industry? How do you think volunteer abroad will change over the next 10 years?

I believe voluntourism can really do good and make a positive difference. Because it not only provides meaningful help to the targets, it also satisfy the volunteers who want to learn about authentic nature, culture and people.

Of course there is augment of "do good but put harm" on volunteering. But it is quite reasonable that an effort to improve voluntourism would follow, because it serves as a trisecting point for the three popular topics: development assistance (transparency), travel& tourism (sustainability), and volunteering (accountability). And to ensure the transparency, sustainability and accountability of the program itself makes the key point.

What is your advice for anyone considering participating in one of your volunteer programs?

To ensure that our volunteers do good and gain experiences, we design the grounded programs carefully based on the need of local community and on on-going conservation projects. There will be essential training before our volunteers head to the site.

Also, in order to minimize the impact on nature and the local community, we live, eat locally and do irreplaceable contribution. So please learn more about the destination and project before you decide to come. You can contact us anytime for further information.