Former logging companies promote sustainable forest management
Chengdu, Sichuan, China – Over 40 representatives of former logging companies recently met with WWF to help promote conservation of the Minshan mountain range in Sichuan and Gansu provinces. Organized by WWF and the Sichuan Forestry Department, the workshop, which took place in Chengdu from 21–25 July, focused on sustainable forest management and development.
Minshan is the habitat of unique and endangered wildlife, including the giant panda, clouded leopard, golden monkey, and the world’s richest variety of pheasants. It covers a total area of 33,000km2, and includes 19 nature reserves. Close to one million Han, Tibetan, Qiang, and Baima people live in Minshan.
China’s national logging ban in 1998 put a halt to commercial logging in Sichuan, and many former logging companies have received compensation from the Chinese central government to protect and maintain the forest they formerly logged. In addition, some of the former logging companies are also looking to develop new forms of businesses, such as ecotourism or manufacturing enterprises.
During the five-day workshop, former logging company representatives learned about sustainable forest management issues (such as forest certification, conservation approaches, and the socio-economic benefits of forests) through presentations given by WWF experts, followed by discussions.
Participants analyzed opportunities and challenges, and based on this WWF is working together with the former logging companies to provide further training aimed at helping to solve sustainable forest management problems, fFor example, how to put into place appropriate management structures now that the companies are no longer logging.
Working with a wide range of stakeholders to develop an approach to conservation that balances the ecological, social, and economic needs of the area is an important part of WWF’s Minshan Initiative project, which was launched in July 2002.
Forestry companies, who play a critical role in sustainable forest management, are vital stakeholders in WWF’s Minshan project. This workshop provides a platform for WWF to communicate with forestry companies, as well as a starting point for future cooperation between WWF and forestry companies.
“Our aim is to work together with forestry companies to promote sustainable economic development and to manage forest resources sustainably. We aim to work together to devise targets and implementation plans in order to achieve a common goal,” said Ling Lin, coordinator of WWF’s Minshan Initiative project.
At the conclusion of the workshop, one participant commented: “Through the discussions I have more of an understanding of nature conservation and sustainable forest management. In the future, I believe a balance between economic development and conservation should be emphasized, and rural community development should be taken into consideration as businesses develop.”
For further information:
Information Coordinator, WWF China Programme
Tel: +86 10 8563 6538 ext 224