Home Institution

College of William and Mary

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

China: Language, Cultures, and Ethnic Minorities


Pudacuo National Park in Shangri-la, Yunnan is mainland China’s first national park and comprehensive conservation and eco-tourism attempt. The Nature Conservancy worked with Yunnan provincial government to establish park guidelines and advocate for certain conservation measures. One of the important guidelines that The Nature Conservancy included was local cultural preservation. A primary goal of this experiment in US-modeled national parks is to ensure the longevity of traditional values and beliefs in the parkland area. Pudacuo National Park is not only attempting to conserve the local Tibetan Buddhist tradition but also is attempting to capitalize on the uniqueness of the experience by providing environmental education revolving around the belief system. This paper synthesizes Pudacuo National Park’s use of Tibetan Buddhism to promote environmental education by looking at the inclusion of Tibetan Buddhism in all aspects of the Pudacuo visitor’s typical experience. This paper will go on to show via an environmental education study that Pudacuo National Park’s use of Tibetan Buddhism on signs is an effective way to educate visitors.


Chinese Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Place and Environment | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Tourism


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