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Asian Development Bank

50 climate solutions from cities in the People's Republic of China

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Daxing’anling has turned a risk into an opportunity for the environment and citizens, shifting from logging to forest tourism, improving both carbon sequestration and the local economy.

A major forest fire in Daxing’anling in 1987 destroyed more than 80% of the forest, removed a valuable source of income for local people, and significantly reduced carbon storage. As there was no funding for reforestation activities, the region chose another strategy to re-establish the forest and strengthen the local economy. The strategy involved a shift away from the logging industry to a new focus on tourism. Four forest farms are involved in this project. A total of 39,514 of forest were planted between 2010 and 2014.

1.5M
TONS OF CO2 WERE SEQUESTERED BETWEEN 2010-2014

Since 2012, reforestation has been eligible for China Certified Emission Reduction, meaning that forest carbon sequestration can be sold to offset greenhouse gas emissions and be traded under the emissions trading schemes in the PRC. With this additional income source for local residents employed in forestry, Daxing’anling’s government took the decision to reforest the burned forest land and develop forest tourism, bringing further economic value to the project.

Resilience and Land Use Bamboo forest
The local forestry bureau has planted trees over a 39,500 ha area and plans to cover a total of 74,500 ha by the end of the project.

The Challenge

After much of Daxing’anling’s vast forest was destroyed by fire, the local Forestry Bureau did not have the funds to re-establish the forest, resulting in missed carbon uptake and less work in the forestry sector. The new strategy hopes to address this and bring jobs and environmental benefits to Daxing’anling.

Co-Benefits

Economic The project has created job opportunities for 5,460 people to prepare the land, plant trees, manage the forest land during the project implementation period.

Environment The reforestation project will increase forest coverage, decrease
air pollution, increase biodiversity, enhance the stability of forest eco-systems and improve soil and water conservation capacity.

Health  The reforestation project will re-establish the forest, which will contribute to improving the air quality for the local citizens.