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Zhoushan marine protection activist meets Norwegian king

Updated : 2018-10-24

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He Li (left, third) engages in a discussion on marine protection with King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway and Jack Ma on Oct 18 in Shanghai. [Photo/WeChat account of Qiandao Haiyang]

He Li, a marine-protection activist from Zhoushan, engaged in a discussion on marine sustainable development with King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway and Alibaba founder Jack Ma on Oct 18 in Shanghai. 

He is the initiator of Qiandao Haiyang Marine Protection Group, a non-governmental organization (NGO) established last year dedicated to marine litter treatment on the islands of Zhoushan.

He introduced the efforts he and his team had made in marine protection, such as coordinating people from multiple islands of the city to clean the beaches, collecting data of marine litter along the coastline, analyzing the marine conditions, and conducting public education on marine protection. 

Notably, the organization has applied drones and real-time monitoring platforms to collect and analyze data, so to comprehensively conclude the root of marine litter and come up with more effective solutions, according to He. 

Their efforts won the recognition of the guests present. King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, a European country experienced in marine protection, also stressed the importance of reducing litter by increasing people's awareness of marine protection, in addition to beach cleaning. 

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, suggested that "humans are the key to marine protection, and only by changing people's attitudes toward the sea and enhancing their protection skills can we mobilize the entire society into action."

Ma is now co-chair of the Paradise International Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on protecting important lands and waters around the world. 

The foundation launched "Blue Pioneers", a program of training marine protection professionals, in 2016, with the purpose of cultivating 100 such professionals and 20 organizations for marine protection over the next decade. He Li was selected into the program this year. 

He, as a representative of the program, also attended a panel discussion about marine protection with Norwegian officials and Shanghai authorities at the Norway-China Business Summit that afternoon.

The summit, held at the Shanghai International Cruise Terminal, was part of an official state visit by King Herald V and Queen Sonja of Norway to China between Oct 11 and 20. 

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