Asia model forests project
LIN'AN MODEL FOREST, CHINA
Lin’an County, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China
Area: 3,127km2 Population: 510,300 Per capita income: 5,002 Yuan or USD 605/year (2001) Forest resources: 39 towns and 661 villages, 1 college and 2 technical schools, 1,487km highway Infrastructure: Forestland (83% total area) and forest coverage (74.9%), includes bamboo, hickory, Chinese fir, chestnut and gingko.
In the late 1980s, the people and government of Lin'an County realised that their timber-dependent economy was being adversely affected by continuing forest loss and degradation. They identified bamboo and hickory nuts as two non-wood forest products (NWFPs) with economic potential, and developed them into thriving business activites. More recently, ecotourism was identified as, and is being developed into, another important economic activity.
- production value of forestry was USD218 million; with bamboo contributing USD139 million.
- about 60% of farmer households were involved in bamboo production and processing.
- Lin'an had over 150, mainly small-scale, hickory processing plants.
- 10 ecotourism sites had been developed.
- 2 million tourists visited Lin'an, with a total expenditure of 133 million USD.
In 1997, the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) and IMFNS discussed the setting up of MFs in China. In 1999, CAF and Linan Forestry Bureau (LFB), with support from the IMFNS, organised an international workshop on MFs in Lin'an, China, after which it was decided to develop Lin’an MF as the first MF in China. A key purpose for the development of the Lin'an MF was to consolidate, improve and sustain the expanding NWFP-based economy, and to create an innovative decision-making system, as a strategy toward SFM. The Lin’an MF field office is located in the LFB office.
An ad hoc Lin'an MF partnership committee was formed in 1997 by CAF, LFB, ZFC and a number of other partners. In November 2000, a partnership committee was formally established with 16 partners, and renamed the Lin'an Model Forest Partnership Cooperation Committee (LMFPCC). The LMFPCC constitution was adopted in March 2001. Today, there are 39 partners, with the latest joining on 11 June 2002. The LMFPCC meets once every three to four months.
Hickory partners' and bamboo partners' groups have been formed to discuss problems and constraints faced in these sub-sectors, including how to improve the management of, and returns from, these sub-sectors. Other sub-sector partners' groups may be formed as the need arises.
The Lin'an MF Partnership structure is shown in Fig. 1.
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED
- Impact of bamboo monocultures on ecosystem biodiversity, soil erosion and fertility, and water quality.
- Improved management, harvesting and processing of hickory stands.
- Appropraite and sustainable ecotourism.development.
- Equitable distribution of benefits from above activities.
- Development of markets and marketing strategy for bamboo, hickory, ecotourism and other commodities.
- Compatibility of policies with MF Approach and SFM.
- Access to up-dated scientific and technical information, facilities, and funds.
- Establishment of LMFPCC and Lin'an MF Secretariat.
- Visit to Shanghai and Nanjing by MF partners to exhibit MF products, including ‘unpolluted’ vegetables, and to identify new markets.
- Training workshops for MF partners.
- Provision of technical support and other information to MF partners, especially farmers.
- Hickory and bamboo partner’s group meetings as required.
- Improvement of bamboo and hickory propagation, cultivation, management and processing (e.g. early bamboo shoot production; safer hickory nut collection etc.).
- Assessment of ecological and environmental impacts of Lei bamboo (Phyllostachys praecox) monoculture.
- Assessment of impacts of ecotourism development (environmental and socio-economic), including on local communities.
- Development of ‘best practice’ guidelines for cultivation and management of bamboo, hickory, ecotourism and partnership development.
- Training workshops for Lin'an MF partners on non-hazardous prevention and control of bamboo shoot aphids; moso bamboo production and processing; early (autumn) production of bamboo shoots; implications of China's entry into WTO; "sending technology to 100 villages", model forest-level C&I, etc.
- Participated in International Workshop on Ecotourism Planning and Management, Oct-Nov 2000, Chengdu, Sichuan.
- Participated in national workshops on SFM and forest certification, and C&I.
- Review of forest policy changes and impacts on forest and land use practices and management.
- Development of pilot GIS-based mapping and integrated planning tool.Awareness
- Translation and distribution of IMFNS Model Forest Development Guide and RMFP Guidelines for Field-Level C&I for Model Forests.
- Quarterly newsletter and brochures on Lin'an MF.
- Development of VCD and website.
- Hosted 1st National forestry scenery resources exposition and ecotourism festival, and International workshop on MFs and SFM, June 2002.