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Remarks by Consul General LU Xu at the Opening Ceremony of the Panda Conservation and International Cooperation Photo Exhibition

Thank you very much for joining me to bring the lovely panda family in the spotlight, by opening the Panda Conservation and International Cooperation Photo Exhibition. It is more like a warming-up before we see the real ones at the zoo 10 days later.

For more than 3 decades, China has been working hard, with the joint hands from other countries including Canada, to prevent this lovely species from disappearing from our planet. The photo

exhibition highlights the ideas and works shared among China and its counterparts, to bring about the favorable environment for panda’s survival and breeding. The outcome is an enormous success. The giant panda is pulled back from the edge of extinction to a “vulnerable level” on the scale of Red List monitored by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, settling down in almost 20 cities all over the world, which is a miracle.

Five years ago, Da mao and Er shun started their Canadian journey in Toronto. Now, they are landing on the second chapter with two more made-in-Canada cubs. Calgary is opening arms widely to welcome the family, adding one more on the list of the cities accommodating pandas outside of China, with the persistent dedication made by many local people, from the beautiful panda passage built to the fresh bamboo provided. Thank God, Canadian Hope and Canadian Joy don’t have to get lost looking for bamboo in the long, cold winter of Calgary!

Actually, it is not the first time for Calgary to house pandas. In 1988, the zoo accommodated another two pandas for half a year. At that time, one Calgary family of 4 ---- the father, mother, daughter and son, the Costello family, was selected to join the

zoo team to China, welcoming pandas moving in. Today, we have the great honor to have the daughter and the son with us, Kate and John, please wave your hands, who went to China 30 years ago with their parents and found themselves the only two young Calgarians to see pandas in the Conservation Park in Chengdu. Thank you very much for coming. We really appreciate the endless love of your family towards pandas. The heartfelt welcome, fondness and care the whole panda family received from Calgarians in the past till present, have always helped them fit in better.

Home really matters to all of us. So does our community. Home will not be a comforter and protector without the umbrella of an united community. The successful intercontinental rehousing of giant pandas is a perfect statement that community is vital and unity is strength. But unfortunately, we sometimes completely forget it when we turn our eyes away from pandas. Today, we name our exhibition as “ my home, our community”, simply to remind ourselves that we share the same community that makes our sweet home possible which is called THE planet, on which we have to lean on each other, no matter who we are, for a better destiny.

When your family visit the Panda Passage in next a few days, don’t forget to tell your kids, the world will become a better place only if everyone takes it seriously.

Thank you once again for coming and enjoy the exhibition!

Xie Xie!

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