John D. Liu

John D. Liu

John D. Liu is Ecosystem Ambassador for the Commonland Foundation and Visiting Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. Most of John’s published work including films, articles and essays are collected at:

Mr. Liu is an American who has lived in China for more than 30 years. He helped to open the CBS News bureau in Beijing at the time of normalization of relations between the US and China. He worked for CBS News for 10 years leaving in 1990. He also worked as a photo-journalist for Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI Italian Television) and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF German Television).

Mr. Liu has concentrated on ecological filmmaking since the mid-1990’s, and has written, produced and directed films on Grasslands, Deserts, Wetlands, Oceans, Rivers, Urban Development, Atmosphere, Forests, Endangered Animals and Poverty Reduction.  His work has taken him to over 70 countries.  Many of his films have appeared on BBC World and other networks. In 2003, Mr. Liu wrote, produced and directed “Jane Goodall—China Diary” for National Geographic.

In 1997, Mr. Liu founded the  Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP), which uses television to deliver ecological, sustainable development and public health messages in China and other countries and continues to direct this effort.  (more information can be found at  Mr. Liu was also the driving force in the creation and development of the China Environment and Sustainable Development Reference and Research Centre (CESDRRC), the China HIV/AIDS Information Network (CHAIN) and the Environmental Education Media Project (Mongolia). For many years Mr. Liu has studied and worked to promote the potential of ecological restoration including presenting the recent films “Hope in a Changing Climate” and “Rwanda – Forests of Hope.”

From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Liu was a visiting fellow in the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of the West of England (UWE). In 2006, Mr. Liu was named the Rothamsted International Fellow for the Communication of Science. In 2009-2010, Mr. Liu was appointed Assistant Research Professor at George Mason University.   Currently Mr. Liu is a Senior Research Fellow, IUCN.

John’s work can be found in the Fall | Winter 2011 issue of Kosmos Journal.

The Holy Grail of Restoration

Journal Article

Over historical time the vegetative cover and evolutionary biodiversity of the Sinai has been in large part lost. Imagine the importance if it were possible to restore the region to ecological health.

Finding Sustainability in Ecosystem Restoration


A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore […]