Laurel Chor

Laurel Chor is a freelance photographer, writer, and filmmaker from Hong Kong. A National Geographic Explorer, she is currently focusing on telling stories about how China is shaping the natural environment around the planet.

Her ongoing photo project “Health in Harmony, Planet in Disharmony” looks at traditional Chinese medicine, its users, and the origin of its plant- and animal-based remedies. She hopes that the photographs can help spark an informed conversation about TCM and its impact on global biodiversity.

Much of her work looks at the human relationship with the environment. She is also currently investigating how Chinese demand is fueling a new trade of Jaguar parts from South America for a feature documentary.

A Bluefin trevally hunts underneath a jetty in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, which is home to some of the most pristine coral reefs in the world.

Laurel Chor is a freelance journalist and National Geographic Explorer from Hong Kong who takes photos, writes, and makes films. She is passionate about telling stories that provoke awe about the world around us, and about the power within us to change it. Currently, she is focusing on China’s impact on the environment. Her ongoing photo project “Health in Harmony, Planet in Disharmony” looks at traditional Chinese medicine, its users, and the origin of its plant- and animal-based remedies. She hopes that the project can help spark an informed conversation about TCM’s impact on global biodiversity.

Previously Chor was the Asia reporter/producer for VICE News Tonight on HBO, where she reported on news, politics and culture all over Asia. Prior to that, she was the Managing Editor and Multimedia Producer for Coconuts Hong Kong. There, she won the 2015 Society of Publishers in Asia Award for Feature Photography for her piece about Mui Thomas, a young woman with a rare and debilitating skin disease who aspires to be a rugby referee.

A man looks at a submerged car as he stands on a bridge destroyed the 2018 quake-tsunami in Palu, Indonesia.

Laurel is passionate about wildlife conservation, Laurel is the founder of the Hong Kong Explorers Initiative, a project that encourages people to explore and appreciate the city’s wild side, and has spoken to thousands about Hong Kong’s biodiversity. In 2013, Dr Jane Goodall appointed her as the ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute in Hong Kong. She is also on the advisory board of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation.

She has previously worked on western lowland gorilla conservation in the Central African Republic, Chinese white dolphin research in Hong Kong, and on an undercover documentary on the ivory trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is currently investigating how Chinese demand is fueling a new trade in jaguar parts from South America for a feature documentary.

Laurel is also a rugby player. In 2017, she was a member of the first Hong Kong team to play in the Rugby World Cup. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BS in International Health and Development.