Cambridge University Press adopts giant panda to build closer links with China

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Cambridge University Press has adopted a giant panda at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation in China, in a bid to build closer working links with the country and to help protect this endangered species. This is the first time a publisher has been granted access to a giant panda in this way.

Stephen Bourne, chief executive and other members of staff from Cambridge’s offices and senior members of the Chinese State Council Information Office were all present at the adoption ceremony of the panda, named ‘Jian Qiao’, which can be loosely translated as ‘Cambridge’ in some Chinese dialects.

The association with Jian Qiao will help to raise the profile of the Cambridge Young Learners’ course books published for Chinese school children. As part of the adoption, a new web site will also be set up where children can follow the progress of Jian Qiao as she grows up.

The adoption of Jian Qiao also forms part of a wider conservation and climate change programme at the Press. Cambridge works with The Wildlife Trust in the UK to support them in their work, and staff are given paid time off to volunteer for charitable or environmental causes.

Giant pandas are native to China and they are among the world’s most endangered species. A 2007 report by the Chinese State Forestry Commission found that there were fewer than 2,000 giant pandas living in the wild today, and 239 pandas living in captivity in China.

Stephen Bourne, chief executive of Cambridge University Press said, “I believe our adoption of Jian Qiao speaks volumes about the kind of organisation that Cambridge University Press is, and the importance that we place on being a responsible member of the communities in which we operate. For us, the adoption means a duty to support the care of Jian Qiao during her lifetime, which in turn will help support the important work of the Foundation in Chengdu, and it will strengthen our links with China. For Jian Qiao, it means she can look forward to receiving the best start in life and, as befits a Cambridge panda, a very bright future!”

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