Final Report on ACIAR Small Project: Economic Impact and Rural Adjustment to Nature Conservation (Biodiversity) Programmes: A Case Study of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan, China

China contains a high degree of biodiversity and many unique species, but its rapid economic development threatens their continuing existence. Furthermore because of its rapid economic growth, there is a risk of environmental changes occurring which could result in unsustainable ‘development’ occurring in China. These problems have been recognised both worldwide and within China. For example, the World Bank has extended financial assistance to China through its Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to assist China’s conservation of biodiversity. Further, the State Council of China adopted in 1994 China’s Agenda 21: White Paper on China’s Population, Environment and Development in the 21st Century, and this includes strategies for conservation of biodiversity. China’s Agenda 21 is a response to the United Nations’ Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 which called upon all nations to draw up an agenda for sustainable development in the 21st century. It is, however, one thing to formulate plans for biodiversity conservation and another to put them into practice successfully. Since biodiversity conservation programmes are mostly implemented in rural areas, it is necessary to study their socio-economic impact on local rural communities. The success or failure of nature conservation programmes depends eventually on such impacts. It is not enough from a practical policy point of view to consider only the ecology of nature conservation. It is in this context that this project is of considerable importance, particularly because it is a cooperative project with biologists and ecologists. It was decided to concentrate the study on Xishuangbanna Prefecture in Yunnan, and in particular pay special attention to Xishuangbanna State Nature Reserve. This decision was taken because Xishuangbanna had been identified by ecologists as a region of megadiversity. It is also an area in which considerable economic change is occurring. Furthermore, Chinese authorities had expressed concern about several socio-economic problems which could adversely affect biodiversity conservation in Xishuangbanna and were anxious to develop possible win-win strategies for the area which might provide a basis for conservation strategies elsewhere in China. Strong Chinese support existed for the project and this was followed up by excellent cooperation on the Chinese side.

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Working or Discussion Paper
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ISSN: 1321-6619 (Other)
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Series Statement:
Biodiversity Conservation: Studies in its Economics and Management, Mainly in Yunnan, China

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-27

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