about us

Yunhe Centre is a base for nature education and community development located in the Tibetan village of Zhonglu. Zhonglu is a hidden gem tucked away in the Moerduo Mountain Nature Reserve of the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture; a western region of China’s Sichuan Province. In May 2015, Dragon Yunhe created the Centre as a response to the growing need to support vulnerable nature reserves and communities like Zhonglu village. Places like these are at risk due to a myriad of issues including environmental problems, depopulation, and disappearing of traditional culture. As a social enterprise, Dragon Yunhe dedicates itself to accompanying the village for 30 years by running the Yunhe Centre harmoniously with the community.

As a Centre for nature education and community development, Yunhe Centre carries out environmental education activities and camps for young people from both the village and cities, while empowering the locals to become excited about their natural and cultural heritage, develop important skills, and finally run the Centre independently. We dream this Centre will become a continuous driving element in the sustainable development of the village.

The literal translation of the Chinese word Yunhe is “Gathering of the clouds.” Yunhe Centre is acting as a platform, much like gathering clouds we bring together responsible associates including volunteers, artists, educators, musicians, painters, groups and long-term partnerships from China and abroad to work with locals. Together we will utilize the Centre as a beacon to broadcast the conversation between Zhonglu and the whole world. We will strive to foster excitement for creativity, cultural belonging, and education. As a team, we will promote the importance of cultural heritage and environmental protection, and pioneer the localized path of sustainable development.

Social Impact

Social Impact

Empowering the Community

As a social enterprise, Yunhe Centre dedicates itself to uplifting communities in rural Tibet. Through our variety of in-depth community development and cultural revitalization projects, we are paving a path of sustainability while embracing the beauty in tradition. We employ a holistic strategy to foster all aspects of the community, addressing issues such as environmental degradation, a decline in traditional knowledge and lack of communal health facilities. Through the efforts of our community workshops in traditional knowledge and career building as well as our sustainable development projects we are fostering the community’s capacity to succeed, revitalizing local tradition and paving the path to a future of sustainability.

Engaging the Community

Cultural-exchange is the ultimate teacher of perspective. Our community centre acts as a beacon, attracting guests, volunteers, and partners to engage in the process of responsible tourism. By facilitating a dialogue of bilateral appreciation between the local community and the outside world we are the catalyst of mutual cultural-exchange.

 

Here’s what we’ve done to engage the community so far

Created five themed courses

Invited 52 experts for collaboration

Hosted over 500 guests

Conducted 27 educational trips

 

Building a platform

The Yunhe Centre is the first community-based nature education centre in the rural Tibetan area. We are proud of the model we have created for responsible eco-tourism and sustainable community development. We dream that more people will follow in our example and create cooperatives similar to our own. To set this precedent, we create forums and act as mediators in forming bonds between local government entities, communities and responsible partners to create new collations to uplift more communities.

  

Results so far

  1. i. The local government in Danba county has recognized our centre as being the first community-based nature education centre in the rural Tibetan area.
  2. ii. Our team was invited by a new community centre in Daofu to instruct them in building a eco-friendly dry toilet based on the one featured in our Yunhe Centre in Zhonglu.

Certificate

Our team has over 15 years of experience guiding tour groups to a variety of destinations. In addition, our staff is made up of personnel who are trained to handle a myriad of different situations that could arise during the trips we host. As a result, we are exceedingly competent in assuring client safety and risk management is a top priority for our team.

Listed below are the various accreditations and certifications our team possesses:

 

  1. WTM负责任旅行;
  2. WYSE世界青年学生教育旅行联盟成员
  3. 猫途鹰官方推荐
  4. 中国登山协会成员
  5. 1%地球税企业联盟成员(2016-年限确认)              
  6. 英国旅行手册公司官方推荐
  7. ATTA世界探险旅游协会成员
  8. GSTC全球可持续发展旅游委员会会员
  9. 中国旅游协会探险旅游分会会员
  10. 四川省登山协会成员
  11. 中国山岳救援队成员
  12. LNT美国无痕山林成员
  13. 四川省康养基地
  14. 四川省森林自然教育基地

 

成员资质:

Our team

Apple Liu

Founder and Director of Yunhe Centre

 

Apple Liu is an advocate and practitioner of responsible travel in China. In 2004 she founded Dragon Expeditions and worked as a strong proponent for responsible travel in China ever since. In 2015, she founded the Yunhe Center in Zhonglu as part of her devotion to supporting vulnerable nature reserve and communities she encountered in the Tibetan region in China. She is the expert invited by the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), to develop an eco-tourism development strategy for Sanjiangyuan Region, the first National Park in China. In 2017, she was invited as the only national park leadership training expert in China by the US Federal Government.

Apple Liu has got Wilderness Advanced First Aid Training Certificate by MMA(Wilderness Medical Associates)

 

 

Rong Yao

Co-founder and Chief Designer of Yunhe Centre

Rongyao is a professional urban planner; He is the co-founder and Chief Designer of the Yunhe Centre. Adhering to the concept of “overall design” and using the method of “experiential place design,” he is good at creating delicate and vivid public spaces and places. He has extremely rich experience in the control of structures and scales as well as the human space design. He has worked out a large number of wonderful works in community planning, science, and education parks, urban design, featured towns, village planning, and tourism planning. He is dedicated to contributing professional strength to the creation of towns and villages and the harmonious development with nature.

 

Xiaomei Liu

Executive Director of Yunhe Centre

 

Xiaomei Liu is the first Chinese winner of Rotary Foundation World Peace Fellowship and is working on the strengthening of local Chinese communities, support their cultural and environmental conservation. She has over six years of work experience in environmental protection and non-profit organization development before joining Dragon Yunhe. She has a passion for promoting nature education and workshops on sustainable community development.

 

Shuchin Shen

Director of Educational Programs of Yunhe Centre

 

Shuchin is the Director of Educational Programs of Yunhe Center. As A lifelong nature lover, she studied for a master in Environmental Art in Helsinki, Finland after obtaining her bachelor degree in Architecture Design. She has volunteered on a range of community construction projects, she participated in the reconstruction of the primary school affected by the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, and went to the small country of Swaziland to volunteer to build a local school. After joining the team, she has led young volunteers from more than ten different countries and regions to participate in community projects.

 

Jie(Tiger)

Art Curator

 

“Tiger” is Yunhe’s resident art curator, and specializes in utilizing breathtaking visual mediums to convey powerful stories. His love for filming documentaries and exploring the wilderness has made him an invaluable asset to Yunhe’s mission. In 2014, he joined Dragon Expeditions with the goal of sharing his passion with younger generations by empowering them to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and work towards its preservation.

 

Lingdang

Outdoor Guide and Nature Educator

Lingdang has been a part of the Dragon Expeditions family since it’s very founding. She has served as a professional nature educator, alpine guide in China and France and is a junior learner of Leave No Trace (LNT). Also, she is a recipient of the WAFA certificate and is a certified mountain rescuer in China. She has more than 13 years’ experience of hosting both domestic and international tourists from different parts of the world and is an especially skilled chef.

Tianliang(Tim)

Guide

A jack of all trades, Tim serves the team as an outdoors specialist and our resident first aid provider. Well-versed in physical education, he was trained in the first aid techniques of the Red Cross Society of China. Additionally, he is a qualified junior outdoor leader with the China Mountaineering Association and a member of Wilderness Medical Associates International. He also has worked with CCTV geography channel several times and has a profound knowledge of guiding and operating tours in southwestern China.

Dolma

Travel and Culture Guide

 

Dolma was born in Bomi, a little Tibetan gem hidden away in the Kham Batang. She is a guide and is experienced with hosting both Chinese and international tourists in all Tibetan areas, especially in Sichuan’s Tibetan autonomous prefectures, Aba and Garze. She is a gifted communicator, capable of speaking three dialects of Tibetan, English, Mandarin Chinese and basic Hindi. She first joined Yunhe last year and has diligently served us ever since, giving a much-needed insider perspective to the local culture of Kham Tibet.

Li Yue(Luna)

Nature Educator

Li Yue is an enthusiast for everything natural. Having graduated with a masters degree in Environmental Ecology from the South China Botanical Garden at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, she is adept at understanding the lay of the land. She is particularly interested in botany and zoology and loves encountering new plant and animal species. Additionally, she is very interested in Chinese traditional culture and customs of Tibetan communities.

Zhou Teng (Jane)

Overseas Marketing Assistant

 

A motivated team player and adept marketing specialist, Zhou Teng has served Yunhe’s goals with professionalism and prowess. Having studied in both Tibet and abroad, Jane is experienced with negotiating with different communities and lifestyles and thrives in cross-cultural interface. To her, it is of utmost importance that situations are viewed from the vantage of different angles to provide the big picture.

Michael Ring (Gu Maike)

Coordinator of International Volunteers

 

An adept bridge builder and storyteller, Michael employs visual mediums and stories to share Yunhe’s exploits with the world. Born in the Sonoran deserts of Arizona, he grew up to be a nature enthusiast and adventure fanatic. He is a trained ethnographer, specializing in Chinese and indigenous Asian culture and wrote his undergraduate research thesis on the ancient watchtowers(Diaolou) in Zhonglu. Michael’s core values are cultural relativism and bilateral communication. He loves facilitating mutual understanding between people from around the world and seeing people learn from one another. To him, sharing stories between communities gives us valuable perspectives and makes the unknown more familiar.