Brings attention to recent environmental policy documents which have been released in China such as China’s Agenda 21 which is a white paper outlining policies to achieve sustainable developing in China. Another important recent document is China: Biodiversity Conservation Plan. It identifies tropical reserves in Xishuangbanna Prefecture as having a high priority for nature conservation. A field trip to Xishuangbanna in October 1994 enabled first hand observations to be made about combining economic development and conservation in the Prefecture. Difficulties and initiatives discussed include the fencing and management of Xishuangbanna State Nature Reserve, its income from multiple operations and economic concessions, ecotourism and tourism development, the role of agroforestry and social forestry and other community development projects in easing pressures for the economic exploitation of the Reserve and the impact of wildlife 'pests' such as elephants which stray from the Reserve and cause damage to agriculture.