The mountainous nature of the province limits cultivable land to 10.6% of the total, yet farmers compose 80–95% of the labor force. Cultivation is intensive. Terraced farmlands encircle the hills and mountains and traverse the smaller areas of river basins and floodplains. Apart from subsistence crops, Yunnan grows rice, wheat, and other grains as major cash crops.
More than 50 scenic spots of exceptional beauty make Yunnan a major tourist center, while the province abounds in natural resources. Over one third of the land is forested, twice the average elsewhere in PRC. Yunnan not only has more species of tropical, subtropical, temperate, and frigid-zone plants than anywhere else in the country, but also has many ancient derivative plants, as well as species introduced from abroad.
As a predominantly rural province, the sustainable management of renewable resources and mitigation of the adverse effects of economic growth are important for Yunnan.
Environmental concerns in the Province include land degradation, threats to biodiversity, inland water pollution, inadequate waste management, forest degradation, the impact of natural disasters, and climate change. Access to relevant data and the quality of environment-related information is also an issue.
CEP in Yunnan
The major focus of CEP work in Yunnan has been on establishing biodiversity corridors in Xishuangbanna and piloting livelihood and conservation activities within them. CEP also supported Yunnan with two rounds of environmental performance assessment reporting, and the province was involved in two strategic environmental assessments (SEA), one on transport and trade in the North-South Economic Corridor, and the other on tourism in the Golden Quadrangle.
Under CEP 2012–2016, support for biodiversity corridors will continue, with an emphasis on building transboundary collaboration between Yunnan and Lao PDR and Myanmar, developing a biodiversity conservation investment plan, and a corridor management plan.
In addition, CEP’s regional green value chain work will involve pilot activities in Yunnan.
Click here to learn more about CEP work in Yunnan.