APFNet Workshop on Forestry and Rural Livelihood Development (1-14 November, 2018 Yunnan Province, China)

Updated:2018/11/25 11:14:22

Pu'er City

Pu'er City is situated in the Southwest part of Yunnan Province and administers one district and nine counties over a jurisdiction area of 45,385 km2. It is the largest prefecture in Yunnan in terms of area. Pu'er City is 470 km south of Kunming. Pu'er Prefecture borders the Laos and Vietnam in the Southeast and adjoins Myanmar in the Southwest, sharing an international border of 625 km with these countries. The Lancang (Mekong) River, Red River and Nankang River flow to the neighboring countries. A significant segment of the famous Southern Silk Road traverses Pu'er City. The total population of Pu'er Municipality is 2.37 million, of which 1.44 million are ethnic minorities, accounting for 61% of the total. There are 36 ethnic minorities in the prefecture and 14 of whom are indigenous inhabitants, which mainly include the Hani, Yi, Dai, Lahu, Wa, Bulang and Yao peoples. It is an important production area of the renowned Pu'er Tea and one of the largest tea production areas in China.

Distributed within the territory of Pu'er Municipality are vast undulating mountains that occupy 98.3% of its landscape. Due to its proximity to the Tropics of Cancer and an integrative impact of the physiognomy and varying elevation gradient from 376 to 3,306 meters, distinctive vertical climate zones are widespread in the region. Being located at the same latitude with that of Cuba in Central America and Taiwan Province of China and as a result of its location on the transient area between the northern and southern bio-geographic regions, its landscape has long been reputed as "a magic natural museum" that composed of rich species diversity, lush primary forest vegetation, rare animals and plants, and a diverse and uplifted landscape.

To protect natural forest resources in the region, the Natural Forest Resources Protection Programme is implemented in year 2000 to conserve and manage a total forest area of 8500 km2, including 288 km2 of reforestation. The project has successfully increased forest volume by 26 million cubic meters in a period of 10 years.

Since year 2002, Pu’er City has reforested a total area of 1155 km2, including the conversion of 279 km2 of agricultural land and afforestation of 720 km2 of bare land. More than 78,000 households have participated in the programme. As a result of this programme, the region has increased forest cover by 2%, and has reduced soil erosion and improved ecological conditions significantly.

Field Visit Sites

1. Fine Variety Ecological Tea Garden

The Fine Variety Ecological Tea Garden is run by Yunnan Pu'er Tea Research Institute, the only tea research institute established within the academic system of Yunnan. The institute has implemented more than 20 research projects funded by the provincial government, the provincial departments of sciences and technology, agriculture and education. Some outstanding achievements have been made in the germplasm of tea trees in Yunnan, the intrinsic relationship between Pu'er tea processing techniques and its quality, the functional elements in Pu'er Tea, and processing of large-leaf high quality tea varieties in Yunnan as well as the integrative utilization of tea products. The areas of research include the genetic diversity of Pu'er tea germplasm; the key techniques for managing ecological Pu'er tea plantations, key techniques for post fermentation of Pu'er tea, fine processing and integrative use of Pu'er tea, improving the quality of Pu'er tea by using beneficial microorganisms; appreciation of Pu'er tea quality; safety assessment and evaluation of the quality of Pu'er tea; and the sustainable development of the Pu'er tea culture. All these efforts have contributed enormously to the development of tea industry in Yunnan Province.

2. Pu’er Tea Research Institute

Yunnan Pu’er Tea Research Institute is a premier national research institution under the Ministry of Agriculture specializing in all aspects of tea cultivation and processing of tea leaves. Some 450 staffs work in the institute focusing on the entire tea value chain. The Institute has developed its own pressing machine for making tea cakes and has its own brand of final products, sold entirely in the domestic market.  The institute has implemented more than 20 research projects funded by the provincial government, the provincial departments of sciences and technology, agriculture and education. Some outstanding achievements have been made in the germplasm of tea trees in Yunnan, the intrinsic relationship between Pu’er tea processing techniques, its quality and functional elements of tea products. Key research areas of the Institute include genetic diversity of Pu’er tea germplasm, techniques for managing ecological Pu’er tea plantation and post fermentation of Pu’er tea, fine processing technique, improving the quality of Pu’er tea by using beneficial microorganisms, appreciation of Pu’er tea, safety assessment and evaluation, and sustainable development of Pu’er tea culture and so on. All these efforts have contributed to the leap-fogging development of tea industry in Yunnan Province.

3. Cultivation Base for Rare and High Value Medicinal Herbs under Natural Forests (Huge Garden)

In Pu’er city, a number of leading enterprises are specialized in growing rare and high value medicinal herbs (e.g. Dendrobium species), such as Huge Garden. Those companies have adopted the management model of "Company + Plantation Bases + Farmer Households", and promoted the development of local farmer households specialized in cultivating Dendrobium and other Chinese traditional medicinal herbs which have contributed substantially to poverty alleviation in the mountainous rural areas.

In Huge Garden, the visit included Dendrobium collection area, Dendrobium Products Display Area and the area where Dendrobium is cultivated on a large scale of collective forest. The company has developed a partnership arrangement with 3000 farmer households for the cultivation of Dendrobium providing them technical support (including supply of high quality planting materials) as also buying the raw material for further value addition and marketing of various products. This again has led to a significant increase in the income of rural communities. As part of its diversification plan, the Company has developed its five-year development plan, these development programs including dam, ecotourism and geracomium facilities and entering into the production of organic products. This visit also highlighted the importance of income diversification in improving livelihoods and how rural income can be improved through moving up the value chain especially using technological developments.

4. Bamboo plantation and utilization

(Dianrun Agriculture Development Co. Ptd.)

Bamboo plantation (Dendrocalamus hamiltonii) has been established by a private-owned Dianrun Agriculture Development Co. Ptd. primarily to produce bamboo juice – a health drink – and facial treatment mask and wet tissue. Holes are made technically at the nodes to extract the sap and then it is aseptically processed and domestically marketed. The emphasis of this visit is on value addition to generate income contributing to increased local employment and enhanced family income.

5. Upland Agroforestry Practice (Coffee and Tea Agroforestry Demonstration Site)

The mixed planting of coffee under the economic forest was a dominated upland agroforestry model in Dakaihe Village, which was invented from traditional shifting cultivation, such as slash and burn or swidden. The total area is around 3.1 km2, producing a net income of 3,580 yuan per person annually for the village. Several factors have contributed to the change in land use system, including policies and legislation as also improved market access due to investments in transport infrastructure.

6. Pu’er Forestry Research Institute

The Institute was established in 1979 for undertaking research on tree improvement, chemistry of forest products as also urban forestry. It has a total staff of 45 and a number of facilities including a Dendrobium greenhouse and nursery and garden for Chinese medicinal herbs. The Institute also produces Pinus kesia seedlings for distribution to farmers, and provides technical supports to local government and farmer households.

7. Wanzhangshan Forest Farm

Wanzhangshan Forest Farm is a new type of state-owned forest farm that was created through reforming a previous forest logging enterprise. The forest farm covers 88 km2, of which 42.7 km2 is commercial forest and 45.3 km2 is amenity/ecological forests that are distributed in the first level tributary of the Lancang (Mekong) River. Currently, the forest farm has 60 permanent staffs. In the past decade, the forest farm has implemented the Low-yield Forest Improvement Programme and afforestation on barren land. In total, about 40 km2 of plantation forest has been established and eight million trees have been planted. The indigenous species, Pinus kesiya (Simao pine), is the main tree species used in the afforestation project.

The survival rate has maintained at above 96% in the planting year and above 86% in following years. Through years of efforts, the forest stands in Wanzhangshan Forest Farm has been greatly improved. Sustained forest resources were enhanced significantly and net growth of forest resources is also increasing steadily. The establishment of effective management models for state-owned forest farms has contributed substantially to the management goals of "seeing green mountains and steady stock growth", and to the erosion control and ecological protection in the watersheds of the Mekong River.

The Wanzhangshan Forest Farm is also one of the demonstration sites for integrated management of forest ecosystems under the APFNet GMS regional project. The project commenced in 2015 and the demonstration site is spread over an area of 396.7 ha. Within this large demonstration site there are different components – including plantations of Pinus kesiya and other species in an area of 120 ha, mixed forest with an area of 50 ha, botanical garden and ecotourism area spread over 5 ha, resin tapping area of 30 ha, etc. The demonstration site is intended to show-case the best practices on integrated forest management and considerable emphasis is given for capacity building of staff through training and provision of technical support. Some 280 households are also involved in various activities (especially resin tapping) underpinning the social dimension of integrated ecosystem management.

8. Rosin and turpentine production (Sensheng Chemical Forestry Industry)

Pu’er City in Yunnan province is an important forest industry production base, and the forest industry in the city's economy proportion accounts for nearly 30%. The total output value of forestry from RMB 4.4 billion yuan in 2008 to RMB 12.3 billion yuan in 2012, in which, income from rosin is more than 1 billion yuan. The forest industry has maintained rapidly and healthy development momentum. The city's major forest products such as plywood, rosin, paper pulp, helping improve the livelihood of local farmers. In addition to this, another important resource in Pu’er prefecture is its Pinus kesiya plantations which are tapped by individual households. Supporting this is its processing as rosin and turpentine which form important raw material for several industries, especially paper, dyes, chewing gum, paints and cosmetics. In Sensheng Chemical Forestry Industry, the factory produces about 20,000 tonsnes of Rosin per year, some of which is exported to Europe and Japan. This help a majority of famers build up the aspiration of “hope in the mountains, rich by forest” and devote themselves to conserving forest sustainably.

9. Composite wood products factory (Kanghe Wood-Plasctic Enterprise)

Kanghe wood-plastic enterprise is a private factory producing wood and plastic composite products, giving an indication of development of new value chains essentially using saw mill residues and selected waste urban plastic materials. Both wood residue powder and shredded plastics are mixed in the ratio of 60% and 30% (the other 10% consists of bonding chemicals) and molded into a wide range of products, especially roofing material, furniture, pet houses, flower pots, etc. The product is fire and water resistant. Currently the product is sold in domestic market and efforts are underway to identify export markets.

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