Li Wei has a real passion for the environment and conservation. As a UN National volunteer in a project near Beijing, she is playing a key role in raising awareness in China of the importance of environmental protection and conservation of the country’s flora and fauna.
Her time as a UN Volunteer has presented her with opportunities to influence and change things. “When we do forest management,” said Wei, “the most difficult part may be dealing with people.” She gives the example of a deprived family living in one of the forested areas, who earned their living from selling produce of their fruit trees. Within the area they lived and worked in, a large scale re-seeding programme was being carried out.
Through her community outreach work, Wei discovered that the family were harvesting the newly planted saplings both for firewood and to ensure that their own fruit trees thrived. Wei was keen to find a solution to this issue for the benefit of all. She involved her team to introduce the family to techniques to improve their fruit production without harming the land. They also worked with the local community to encourage cost-saving measures such as more efficient heating systems which used less energy.
The impact that Wei is making is quite evident. “Now we see that the survival rate of our seedlings has improved greatly,” said Wei. “I was proud of this improvement because it proved the value of mutual cooperation.”