Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Yunnan Province: TA 46089

Biodiversity conservation in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is conducted under the framework of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), 2011–2030. The PRC has initiated ambitious conservation targets under its NBSAP and requires all provinces to prepare provincial-level BSAPs.

Yunnan Province is a global biodiversity hotspot. Located in southwestern PRC, it supports over 50% of the PRC’s vascular plant and vertebrate fauna species, 16% of its endemic flora, and 73% of its priority protected animals (243 of 335 species). Ecosystems range from subtropical lowland forests to spectacular high-altitude wetlands and glaciers. The province encompasses parts of the headwaters and lower reaches of six major rivers: the Dulong (Irrawaddy), Lancang (Mekong), Nu Jiang (Salween), Jinsha (Changhong), Hong (Red), and Nanpan (Pearl). These extend for over 1,000 km, through other provinces in the PRC or the downstream nations of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

As part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), Yunnan shares over 4,000 km of international borders with Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam. These transboundary areas and rivers support globally significant wetlands and forests and provide critical ecosystem services to over 100 million people. Yunnan has a critical role in maintaining regional forest and water resources for subregion. Unfortunately, as is happening elsewhere in the GMs, intensive economic development in Yunnan is resulting in natural resource loss and degradation.

Yunnan’s BSAP, approved in 2013, was among the first in the nation. Despite this positive step, reviews by domestic agencies and civil society organizations (CSOs) identified the need for further technical support to strengthen the BSAP.

The PRC Government applied for grant support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and TA 46089-PRC: Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Yunnan Province was subsequently implemented, from 2013–2014. The expected project outcome was an established provincial framework for biodiversity conservation in Yunnan Province.

The project delivered three outputs: (i) analysis and technical review of biological conservation priorities listed within the BSAP completed; (ii) Five-Year Action Plan for the BSAP prepared; and (iii) government capacity in conservation planning strengthened.

A team of international and national consultants was recruited and worked closely with the Yunnan Environment Protection Department (YEPD), a wide range of provincial agencies and CSOs, and ADB to review and strengthen the BSAP. Funding was provided by ADB and the Multi-Donor Trust Fund under the Water Financing Partnership Facility. The project resulted in:

  • comprehensive ranking of provincial conservation priorities (over 340 flora, 240 fauna, and 36 ecosystems, were assessed);
  • preparation of Yunnan’s first Five-Year Action Plan to implement the BSAP;
  • provincial-scale analysis of climate change impacts to biodiversity in Yunnan;
  • three information brochures on the BSAP, biodiversity, and climate change;
  • conservation training for over 220 personnel from 21 departments;
  • increased awareness of the BSAP;
  • a participatory approach which involved over 16 CSOs and multiple government agencies; and,
  • close collaboration with the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Environment Program (CEP).

The opportunity for collaboration with the CEP was recognized early in project planning, and resulted in information exchange, joint review of documents, CEP participation in the TA review missions, and dissemination of TA results to the six GMS nations. The TA was completed in December 2014. Since then, the CEP has continued to support YEPD with the TA outputs, by building upon some of the Priority Actions listed in the Five-Year Action Plan, and the continuing provision of technical and financial support for biodiversity conservation in Yunnan.

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