since 1986

Explore ● Research ● Conserve ● Educate



The China Exploration & Research Society (CERS) is the pre-eminent non-profit organization in exploration, research, conservation to nature and culture, and education about remote China and its adjacent areas.

  • CERS leads in geographic exploration in China, including defining the sources of the Yangtze, the Mekong, and the Yellow River.  Using state of the art space science, including the use of the Space Shuttle since 1981, as well as time-honored traditional methods, we launch complex scientific expeditions to the remotest corners of China and parts of Asia.
  • We have multiple ongoing projects in research and conservation on many flagship species and endangered animals, including the Tibetan Antelope, Wild Yak, Golden Monkey, Asiatic Beaver, River Otter, Pika, Musk Deer, and Black-necked Crane.
  • We are actively involved in preservation of important architecture and archaeological sites of the minority regions in China.  These include some of the most unique Tibetan monasteries and murals, the 7th Dalai Lama’s birth place, the Hanging Coffins of an extinct people, an ensemble of traditional houses of the Lisu people in Yunnan and a village with traditional thatch-roofed houses of the Li people in Hainan.
  •  CERS operates several offices in Hong Kong and China, including a general office, an archival office and a library research facility with dormitory in a pristine location of HK.  We own our HK office as well as a sizable Center in Yunnan.  Several of our project site properties include theme museums with displays on special topics.
  • Our work has wide appeal and global impact as demonstrated by the mainstream media attention we received.  CERS projects have been featured on CNN eleven times, including a half-hour program by anchor Richard Quest, in a half-hour program on Al-Jazeera TV by anchor Riz Khan, in several hour-long documentaries on Discovery Channels, in many features on National Geographic Channel, CCTV, ABC, CNBC, etc.  We have also been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and other leading journals.
  • Our scientific research results have been published regularly in academic journals like the Oryx of Cambridge and journals of the Academia Sinica in China.  Results of our work have been published in book forms in the US, UK and Asia, with over a dozen titles to date.  We publish a 36-page newsletter and produce dozens of field reports each year.  We also fund selective research and support PhD candidates.
  • CERS produces up to four half-hour documentary films internally each year based on the focus of our work.  These complement a huge video archive we have with footage dating back almost thirty years.  We also work with both university and high school students in producing documentaries and animation films.
  • CERS has one of the most extensive Photo/Video archive on China’s minority regions, its geography and its wildlife.  The collection began recording China in 1974 before the end of the Cultural Revolution and continues to grow today.  Pictures alone comprise over 170,000 images, and video footage encompasses hundreds of hours, including some extremely rare festivals and rituals that are no longer practiced today.  The CERS Archival Office in Hong Kong is equipped with the latest imaging and storage devices.
  • The CERS research libraries house a huge collection of books and manuscripts about minority regions of China, including many antique books on exploration, the humanities and sciences.  We also are endowed with many rare unpublished manuscripts and demographic studies from within China.  The collection has over one thousand titles, housed in three separate CERS facilities, the Hong Kong Tai Tam Research Center, the Yunnan Zhongdian Center, and the Shangri-la Old Town Exploration Museum.
  • Our Ethnographic Collection of Chinese minority artifacts has selected unique niches in which we are the best in the world.  Our collection on material culture of the nomadic Ewenki tribe, though small, is priceless, as the tribe has less than 200 individuals remaining.  Our collection of  “Dhor-ma” wood carvings, a pre-Buddhist traditional ritualistic object, is largest in the world with close to three hundred pieces.  We also have some of the best examples of unique artifacts from other minority groups.  Some are on display in our various theme museums in Yunnan China.
  • The CERS Zhongdian Center is one of the most advanced expedition logistics outfitter in China and the world.  We have a fleet of late-model Land Rovers and all necessary equipment for safety and outdoor gear to outfit over two dozen team members at any one time.  The support team is trained to mount complicated exploration expeditions to the remotest parts of China for extended stay and can be deployed within short notice.
  • An exquisite log house in traditional Tibetan style with two duplex units, each with its own loft and fireplace, provides quiet and idyllic accommodations for our Writer/Composer in Residence within our Zhongdian Center.  The nearby glass-enclosed kiosk next to a fish pond allows enjoyment of unrivaled outdoor sights with warmth even during the bitter winter of the Tibetan plateau.
  • CERS has long been sought after as an NGO for Student Internships, offering exceptional learning experiences.  The program uses several CERS project sites in Yunnan and Hainan with accommodations, training students in scientific field work as well as conservation through un-paralleled hands-on opportunities.