"Green Great (绿大)" member Ms. Jane Zhang: Deeply cherish the memory of Xiaohua Wang - the leader of China's dark night sky protection
2017/11/17 10:45:00 本站

    "Green Great (绿大)" refers to the international platform of College Students Environmentalists Community launched by the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF).  Originated by a couple of youth volunteers who proposed to connect the university environmental groups in mid-2017, the Green Great aware encourages and empowers the young generation towards environmental actions, and it also serves as a platform for the college environmental protection unions with financial and technical support to the outstanding environmental projects.


    Ms. Jane Zhang (张一罾), a “Green Great” member based in Yale University, had written an article to memorize Mr. Xiaohua Wang, the former leader of CBCGDF's Dark & Starry Sky Committee who passed away in July 2017. The International Dark-sky Association (IDA) Board of Directors has recognized Xiaohua Wang's incredible work to protect the night sky and reduce light pollution and awarded him the association's highest award recognition Crawford/Hunter Lifetime Achievement Award.


    On behalf of the CBCGDF-DSSC, Ms. Zhang attended the IDA 2017 Annual General Meeting Awards ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Here attached the full text of her article.


    Xiaohua Wang, the winner of the Crawford-Hunter Award by IDA, is a pioneer of China’s dark and starry sky protection. He was the person who headed the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation’s Dark & Starry Sky Committee (CBCGDF DSSC).


    Xiaohua dedicated himself to the cause for over seven years. Serendipitously, it all began when he came across a photography competition for night skies in 2010. An avid photographer, Xiaohua climbed up the Seven Star platform with a duffle bag full of gears and a mind filled with wonder. The platform sat silently atop the Great Wall, stretching into an unbroken range of mountains. Above the endless green was a sky bursting with light and energy.


    Upon his return, Xiaohua initiated the very first China Dark Sky project. The journey has never been easy —local governments were uncooperative and budgets were tight, but Xiaohua persevered and made unprecedented progress. When asked about the motives behind his dedication, he’d reply, “If it’s a beautiful thing to do, why not do it?”. In 2012, he worked with the Chinese National Geography to raise general awareness on dark-sky protection, sparking the first nation-wide discussion on the topic. He became responsible for IDA’s representative office in Beijing, learning English at the age of 60 to improve communications. In 2013, he traveled to Tibet in hopes of establishing light pollution protection areas. In 2015, Xiaohua joined the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, and the CBCGDF Dark Sky Committee was thereby created. In 2016, the committee reached an agreement with the regional government to officially establish the first China Dark Sky Protection Areas —Ali Dark Sky Protection Area and Naqu Dark Night Park.


    As a result of his intensive travels, Xiaohua’s health deteriorated quickly due to delayed treatments and physical exhaustion. But even in the late stages of his illness, he travelled to Hawaiito screen his work at the general assembly of the International Astronomical Union, and took multiple visits to Tibet to monitor the protected areas.


    Xiaohua was an important colleague of ours, and his presence will be missed dearly by the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation. Through his continuous dedication, he has shown us that above the smoggy clouds of China is a sky filled with billions of twinkling stars. His effort lives on through the brilliant Tibetan night and through each and every one of us in this room.


    After all, if it’s a beautiful thing to do, why not do it?