Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts planted the first bamboo tree today in a new 1.6-hectare bamboo plantation it is sponsoring in Sichuan province in China as part of Shangri-La's Care for Panda project. The Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group, which operates 35 hotels in mainland China, marked the occasion in Chengdu with a signing ceremony.
The plantation is attached to the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Rescue and Disease Control Centre, which is located at the foot of Mount Qing Cheng and is a one-and-a-half-hours' drive from Chengdu. Shangri-La will plant more than 9,000 CV.Ventricousinternode (Lei bamboo) and 90 trees on the land. The plantation will help provide food for the centre's giant pandas. Currently under construction, the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Centre will be a much-needed base for rescued ill or elderly wild giant pandas and for the research of disease control.
"We wanted to find an innovative way to contribute to saving giant pandas that went beyond sponsorship of individual pandas. Shangri-La is honoured to be able to work with the new Dujiangyan Centre to help support these highly endangered animals through our bamboo plantation and giant panda feeding kitchens," said Patricia Gallardo, Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd.'s director of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability.
When the Dujiangyan Centre opens to the public in mid 2013, it will be able to house up to 30 pandas. Guests of Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu will be able to visit the centre and take special educational tours, learn about the plight of the giant pandas and engage in activities such as preparing food for pandas in the panda feeding kitchen.
Shangri-La's Care for Panda Project falls under the group's Sanctuary, Shangri-La's Care for Nature Project, which was launched in 2009 to support biodiversity conservation and habitat protection at Shangri-La resorts. Through Sanctuary, hotels develop awareness around endangered species, educate various stakeholders about natural habitats and track the progress in overall conservation efforts.
This past fall, several of Shangri-La's city hotels in mainland China launched pilot urban Sanctuary programmes. In addition to Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu, these hotels include Shangri-La Hotel, Xian; Golden Flower Hotel, Xian; Shangri-La Hotel, Qingdao; and Traders Hotel, Shenyang.
Through their individual Sanctuary corporate social responsibility programmes, the China hotels are investing in the upgrading of nature reserve facilities, supporting alternative livelihood opportunities that reduce environmental impact in communities, helping to secure safe and reliable potable water, and launching educational and clean up campaigns. For information on these projects, please visit www.shangri-la.com.