International Crane Foundation

George Archibald

China Program History

Eurasia: China Program > History and Background

In November 1979, ICF Co-founder Dr. George Archibald traveled to China for the first time as a guest of the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute of Zoology in Beijing. During his six-day visit to Beijing, George met with prominent Chinese ornithologists and discussed developing a collaborative crane conservation program between ICF and the Institute of Zoology. These initial discussions laid the foundations for ICF’s China Program, which today is an important component of the Foundation’s international programs that span five continents and over 20 countries. The diversity of crane species found within China’s borders and the significance of cranes in Chinese culture are unique factors that have made China one of the critical geographic regions for ICF’s activities.

In the 30 years since George’s initial trip to China, ICF has worked with national and local governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as local community-based conservation groups, on crane conservation issues in almost all of the provinces where cranes are found. Strong relationships and mutual trust have developed through the collaborations between ICF and these Chinese organizations, which include the State Forestry Administration, the State Environmental Protection Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Bird Banding Center, and the China Ornithological Society.

The ICF China Program is supported by the generous donations of many individuals and organizations. For a listing of significant funding sources, click here.

George Archibald
ICF Co-founder Dr. George Archibald visits China for the first time in 1979.