Daoist nature sanctuaries are called dongtian and fudi, literally: “cave heavens” and “blessed lands.” They are sites outstanding in terms of landscape beauty, vegetation and wildlife. Founded more than one thousand years ago, no hunting, land clearing, plant gathering, mining or water pollution has ever been allowed there. Human footprint was kept to a minimum. Thus these sites today often harbor rare, elsewhere endangered, animals and plants.
Dongtian and fudi bear witness to China’s deepest value: the Dao (Tao). Dao is nature. To become one with nature is the Way for maintaining good health and to obtain “long life” (changsheng).
Aishan means “care for mountains.” As a nongovernmental and nonprofit institution it is dedicated to the study of China’s ecological heritage sites.