Reconciling_Economic_Development_Nature.pdf - Reconciling Economic Development Nature Conservation and Local Communities Chapter 11 in Clement A

Reconciling_Economic_Development_Nature.pdf - Reconciling...

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1 Reconciling Economic Development, Nature Conservation and Local Communities Chapter 11 in Clement A. Tisdell (1999) BIODIVERSITY, CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Principles and Practices with Asian Examples Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA [ISBN: 1 85898 735 0] Introduction to Chapter 11 The State Council has adopted Agenda 21 for China, and biodiversity conservation is one plank of this agenda for China's sustainable development. This chapter provides a brief discussion of China's White Paper on Agenda 21 and examines, as a case study, the problem of sustaining biological diversity in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan. This area is rated as one of 'megadiversity' and deserving of high priority for conservation purposes. After discussing the general socio-economic obstacles to biodiversity conservation in Xishuangbanna, the paper examines types of strategies for reducing pressures on biodiversity and nature conservation, adopted by local communities. The preferred strategy in China for easing such pressures is to try to improve economic opportunities outside the reserves and thereby raise the income levels of people living in the neighbourhood. This approach has been adopted in Xishuangbanna and there are plans to extend it. Community development projects such as agroforestry, joint ventures in tourism and so on, are being encouraged. Mechanisms for selecting suitable community development projects, for example, using Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA), are also considered. Without economic development at the local level, plans for biodiversity conservation are unlikely to succeed in China, or for that matter elsewhere in the developing world. China continues to show rapid economic growth and is well on its way to its target of becoming a middle-income country in the 21st century. However, the question has been raised whether China's economic growth is
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