Shi Yi

Shi Yi is a Shanghai-based journalist who has reported on the environment for The Paper since its launch in 2014, covering topics such as biodiversity and climate change. Since 2016, she has written for its English-language site Sixth Tone, also owned by the Shanghai United Media Group. She is also an Associate at Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism.

Shi filed a series of reports on the Kalamely Nature Reserve in Xinjiang, which has been repeatedly diminished to allow for mining, putting rare wildlife at risk. The reports got the attention of the Chinese central government, and a subsequent memo from Xi Jinping resulted in an undercover visit by Party Central Committee investigators, as well as a public visit by Zhang Chunxian, Xinjiang Party Secretary, during which plans for the most recent reduction of the reserve were halted. At the end of 2015 the plans were scrapped for good.

This, and other outstanding reports by Shi, won her the Journalist of the Year award at the 2016 China Environmental Press Awards. In the southern Africa country of Namibia, she investigated the illegal trade in ivory, posing as a buyer to make contact with traders of illegal animal products. On publication of her report local police raided an illegal marketplace. Such reports bolster the international fight against poaching and demonstrate China’s increased awareness of her international responsibilities.

Last Updated: June 30, 2016

How China’s Insatiable Demand for Timber Threatens Congo’s Rainforests

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this episode, award-winning Shanghai-based environmental journalist Shi Yi joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the emerging crisis over the illegal trade of Congolese bloodwood. She recently reported on how surging demand in China is fueling...

Namibia’s Chinese Ivory Smugglers

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Namibia is the rare country in Africa that seems to be holding its own against ivory poachers. Whereas in most other southern African countries the elephant population is being decimated, in Namibia, according to the government, the number of...



Namibia’s Secret Ivory Business

Shi Yi from chinadialogue
Many locals and wildlife conservation institutions I talked to didn’t even know about the existence of the ivory black market in Okahandja.It was a quiet evening in Zambezi, until a herdsman heard a gunshot in the wilderness. By the time the police...