Text by Dan CongPhotographs by Wang Yizhong
Morning arrives late in Mekong Villa.Around 9:00 a.m., long after sunshinebegins penetrating the thick layers oftrees to caress forest roads, the newday begins. Ten years ago, Dr. Josef Margraf and hiswife, Li Minguo, built a villa amidst a rubber plantation.Now, the former plantation is home to more than600 varieties of plants. Actually, the place looks likemore of a poetic model for human living, with varioustrees, flowers, and other creatures living togetherharmoniously.
Josef Margraf was born in Munich, Germany, in1953. He passed away in China in 2010 after a heartattack. Greatly influenced by German environmentalism,Margraf’s passion for biodiversity and the envi-ronment began at an early age. He received a master’sdegree in ecology and a doctorate in tropical agriculturefrom the University of Hohenheim. In 1989, as atrained biologist, Margraf created a new way to recoverand renew rainforests on Leyte Island in the Philippines.
His work is highly regarded by European Unionand became a model for biodiversity and rainforestrestoration. In 1997, he was assigned by the Germangovernment to lead a panel on rainforest protection inChina.......