Tree planting ceremony for the Forests for Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Initiative (FCCB) in the Yunnan province of China.
© CI/He Yi
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Incredibly diverse in culture as it is in nature, China’s southwest mountains lay claim to the first small-scale forestry project to meet strict Kyoto Protocol requirements for combating climate change. In Yunnan province, Conservation International, the Yunnan Forestry Department, and The Nature Conservancy are working to restore 467 hectares of forest in Tengchong, where more than a dozen ethnic minority groups live on a landscape that deals with a range of climates.
Tree planting began in July 2006, with local farmers taking the lead in planning and decision making. These farmers are part of a newly formed provincial carbon sequestration office, which oversees the project’s implementation, organizes training, and coordinates the measurement and monitoring of carbon benefits. This is also the first project worldwide to be independently certified under the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards, receiving the highest possible rating.
Restoring Tengchong’s native forests will sequester an estimated 151,000 tons of CO2 over the 30-year life of the project. Cutting down forests releases carbon that’s stored in trees back into the atmosphere. Protecting forests keeps this carbon in the ground, thereby avoiding emissions. This project will also create a supply of firewood to reduce emissions from cutting and burning of other forested areas.
Designed to address community needs, this project will provide income to five villages from reforestation jobs and the sale of wood and non-timber forest products. The project will also generate firewood, an important source of fuel, and train local farmers to successfully plant and maintain forests while protecting soils from erosion and maintaining healthy watersheds.
Biological Diversity Benefits
Its immense biodiversity makes the Tengchong region a priority conservation area. Restoring forests with native tree species will create a buffer zone around the Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve and keep invasive weeds at bay. Newly connected forest corridors will help species adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as droughts and forest fires.
Learn about all of our forest projects.