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Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 10:27

Man of many skills builds environmental legacy

By Liu Zhe and Zhang Yue
Man of many skills builds environmental legacy
Migrating zebras in Botswana, 2008. (Photo by LUO HONG / for China Daily)

Luo Hong is the president of Holiland Bakery, one of the largest bakery chains in China. He is also well known as both a photographer and an active campaigner for environmental protection.

"I firmly believe that the Earth is the only home for human beings, and that animals are our best friends. We can only make the Earth more beautiful if we all live in harmony."

Luo Hong, photographer

Born in Sichuan province, Luo's affinity with nature is rooted in the beautiful landscapes of his hometown, which he has delighted in photographing since his early childhood. After graduating from high school, Luo left his home village to study photography in Chengdu, and it was there that he came up with the idea of starting a bakery business, modeled on Western ideas. The business later became his major concern and built him into one of the most successful businessman in China.

After spending several years concentrating on his bakery business, Luo returned to his life as a photographer. During this period, he took his cameras and lenses and ventured deep into the natural world for more than 20 years. He went to Africa 38 times, taking photos of various wild animals. He also visited endangered penguins in Antarctica and polar bears in the Arctic region.

It is this love for nature that makes Luo a passionate advocate for environmental protection.

In 2006, he established the Luo Hong Fund under the United Nations Environment Program, which aims to train and reward professionals in environmental protection worldwide, making him the first Chinese entrepreneur to establish a UN fund in his own name. The fund has sponsored a Chinese children's painting competition since 2008.

In 2009, then-Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki awarded Luo the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear in recognition of his efforts to introduce Kenya's natural beauty and wildlife to the Chinese people through his photography.

Reacting to the Kenyan State Commendation, Luo said: "I firmly believe that the Earth is the only home for human beings, and that animals are our best friends. We can only make the Earth more beautiful if we all live in harmony."

Luo Hong used to view photography as a simple way of capturing brief moments in time. It turned out, however, that it became an all-encompassing quest to showcase the planet's endless beauty. Luo hopes that, by sharing his pictures, he can inspire more people to love, conserve and protect the fragile planet we all share.

Man of many skills builds environmental legacy
A flamingo in Mexico, 2014. (Photo by LUO HONG / for China Daily)

Man of many skills builds environmental legacy
Running antelopes in Namibia, 2011. (Photo by LUO HONG / for China Daily)

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