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Orion II and China US Center Partner for Launch Event | June 2011


Orville Schell and Sarina Bratton


Orville Schell making his point

The China US Center for Sustainable Development was honored to be the non profit beneficiary of the launch event for the Orion II cruise ship on June 5, 2011 at The Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Founder and Managing Director of Orion Expedition Cruises, Sarina Bratton, welcomed the China US Center for Sustainable Development’s 75 guests to the gala evening to promote greater collaboration between China and the US around climate and environmental action.

A thought provoking presentation on China’s environmental challenges and opportunities was made by Orville Schell, China US Center Board Member and Director of the Center for US China Relations at the Asia Society. His presentation included a showing of On Thinner Ice, a video produced by the Asia Society documenting the impact of climate change on the decline of Himalayan glaciers and the growing water shortages throughout the region.

A feature of the evening was the showing of a video introducing the recently completed safe and sustainable prototype school in central China – an initiative of the China US Center for Sustainable Development. The video was produced by Tektao Design of Shanghai, China.

540 children are now attending the New Jindai Elementary School in rural Chongqing’s Liangping County. Phase I of the program was the design and construction of the prototype school. Phase I received generous lead funding from the China Institute in America’s earthquake recovery fund, Walmart China, The Walmart Foundation, Walmart Global Supply Associates and the Kobe Bryant China Fund administered by the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation.

Phase II of the program is the use of the school as a learning hub to share sustainable school operations between China and the US and to influence the safe and sustainable design of many other schools in China. More on the safe and sustainable features of the prototype school are available at ArchDaily’s website. Phase II fundraising is now underway with lead sponsorships available.

Information on how you can participate in the safe and sustainable schools program is available at the US Secretariat – 1-503-279-9383 or Safe and Sustainable Schools.

In Appreciation
For hosting and organizing the evening, the China US Center extends sincere appreciation to Orion Expedition Cruises, Davis Morris International, IMG Artists/The Holman Group and Levy Pazanti & Associates.

The China US Center thanks all those who joined in making the event a success with special appreciation to the Asia Society, Council on Foreign Relations and American Leadership Forum.

Orion Expedition Cruises
Since its launch in 2004, Orion Expedition Cruises has become the leading expedition cruise operator in Asia Pacific. The introduction of Orion II in June 2011 doubles capacity and doubles the opportunity to introduce their guests to new, and in many cases unique experiences in amazing destinations. All the while enjoying the comfort and safety of 100 guest ships and five star onboard service. Orion ventures into locations where larger ships can not access, nor could they bring their guests ashore.

For Orion, sustainability is more than a fashion, a trend or a compelling need. Sustainability is a core component of the company’s originating vision and values. To explore “a path less travelled” requires a gentle step. To work with the challenges and opportunities these environments offer is the starting point of every journey.

China US Center for Sustainable Development
The China US Center for Sustainable Development is a public-private partnership originally formed in 1999. The Center is guided by a joint Board of Councilors. Madame Deng Nan, the daughter of Deng Xiao Ping and the Executive Secretary General of the China Association of Science and Technology, is the China Co-Chair. Gary Dirks, Ph.D. is the US Co-Chair. Dr. Dirks is the Director of LightWorks at Arizona State University and was previously the Chief Executive for BP Asia. Management of the Center is conducted through joint secretariats. The China Secretariat is the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21 at the Ministry of Science and Technology in Beijing. The US Secretariat is the International Sustainable Development Foundation – a 501© (3) non profit organization, with headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

For more information on Phase II of the safe and sustainable schools program, please contact the US Secretariat of the China US Center – 1-503-279-9383 or US Secretariat.