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Reward to the Upland Poor for Environmental Service, Food Security and/or Environmental Sustainability? Case of Sloped Upland Conversion Program (SLCP)

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Presentation on theme: "Reward to the Upland Poor for Environmental Service, Food Security and/or Environmental Sustainability? Case of Sloped Upland Conversion Program (SLCP)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reward to the Upland Poor for Environmental Service, Food Security and/or Environmental Sustainability? Case of Sloped Upland Conversion Program (SLCP) in China XU Jianchu Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge

2 Background 1998, Floods in downstream of Yangtze ……Logging Ban or “Natural Forest Protection Program” in 1998 ……Sloped Upland Conversion Program in 1999 Rational: logging and upland farming contribute to erosion and flooding

3 Timber Extraction in Diqing Prefecture, NW Yunnan 1974-1999 (Unit: 1,000 m3)

4 Rational beyond State’ decision No good forest to log, structure adjustment in state logging companies Too much grain production, no rooms for storage

5 Incentive Targeted farmland >25 o Planted forest or grass, mono-culture, state recognized species 90USD/hectare for seedings unprocessed “rice” 2250kg/ha/year, subsidized for 5-8 years 36USD/ha/year for schooling and healthcare Private ownership, whose land, who owns the tree

6 Farmland within major watersheds of Yunnan Major watersheds Yield of farmland >25 o (ton/ha) % of total farmland > 25 o Total farmland (10,000 ha) Farmland > 25 o (10,000ha) % of farmland >25 o in Yunnan Population (10,000) Jinsha-Yangtze2.949.4215.3120.1927340.5 Nanpan-Pearl2.617.6140.1210.5914.2168.0 Honghe-Red2.3919.398.6518.9925.4198.5 Lancang-Mekong2.0912.1137.0416.6422.3184.7 Nujiang-Salween1.7422.429.906.698.952.6 Drong-Irrawaddy2.527.621.861.662.261.4 Total2.3911.6642.8774.761001005.7 (Yunnan Upland Conversion Draft Plan, 2001)

7 “Snowball” Inquiry from Yunnan Provincial Government From small-scale to large scale Each year subsidy What happen, if state no surplus grain? At what extend, the state can sustain financially Recently debate on food security

8 Environmental Services What do environmental services mean for local farmers?

9 Spatial Mismatch What are the most cost-benefit efficient scale for SLCP? Where are the ‘hotspots’? Area Environmental services (water, B, C)

10 Time Mismatch Time Services Goods Payment for future

11 Competing Knowledge System: Scientific v.s. indigenous Characterization of smallholder upland farming Composite: mosaic of land use and landscapes Diversity of crops: agrobiodiversity Environment friendly technology Even early stage of secondary vegetation has little soil erosion Characterization of commercial large-scale plantation Rubber plantation Tea garden (heavy erosion in the first storm) Large-scale land clearing (e.g. sugarcane plantation) Tobacco (why not plantation?) Misperception Soil erosion: Forest < grass < crops Land use practices is more important (e.g., sweet potato cultivation in swidden field in Ifugao, Philippines)

12 3 year fallow fields

13 Hani (Akha) Swidden-fallow

14 Biodiversity indices in swidden-fallow succession vegetation

15 What drive land use/cover change? Conversion without compensation

16 Large-scale sugarcane plantation

17 Competing Objective Household farmers (the poor vs. the rich) Local environment goods and services On-site and off-site Upstream and downstream National vs. international (e.g., GMS region) Whose agenda and objectives accounted? How are decisions made at which levels? (quota, where, which species, how)

18 Priority Setting What are the proper incentives (opportunist farmers vs. converted farmers)? Where are the critical areas (biophysical environment, land use practices and socio- economic demands) for SLCP? At what scale, the collective action of small-sale farmers can contribute to environmental services? (e.g., 60% forest cover in Baoshan and NW Yunnan)

19 Ecological Perspective: Forest Cover vs Biodiversity What are the impacts of these SLCP on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning? How do these translate into changes in ecosystem services in short-term and long-run? Does increasing forest cover contribute to increase biodiversity (specie richness)? What are forest cover and land use/cover change contribution to runoff and water/hydrological dynamics? Forest cover Biodiversity Time SLCP

20 Technical Perspective How does SLCP affect the tradeoffs between gains and losses of ecosystems goods and services (e.g. carbon storage via plantations vs biodiverse secondary succession)?

21 Social Application At what extend, does SLCP contribute to strengthen or weaken the customary or existing institutions between upland and lowland? SLCP as a emerging institutions or another wave of commercialization of plantation or territorilization ?

22 Fairness and Equity How to recognize the local and historical initiatives for SLCP? e.g.: Baoshan Shifting cultivators More than SLCP

23 Household Livelihood and Decision-making How does SLCP changes in ecosystem goods and services affect the capabilities, livelihoods and vulnerability of people and land use? What are the effects of the spatial distribution of human systems: population density, economic resources, decision and power structures on the delivery and exploitation of ecosystem services? How do farmers make decisions under changing conditions of risk and uncertainty, and what are the implications for the sustainability SLCP? How do local institutions (governance, markets, property rights), policy, and social organization affect household decisions on adaptation of SLCP?

24 Pathways What are possible pathways towards sustainable land practices? What are the possible pathways towards sustainable livelihoods? What are the possible pathways towards sustainable and responsible society? SLCP: as social construction process rather than technical/economic solution Social credit and creditability (farmers’ access to information, market and decision-making) Financial credit and creditability (access to credit and financial support) Access to social insurance system (healthcare, low-income security) Access to training, education, job opportunities and alternative livelihoods

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