Trained Eco-enthusiasts Protect Forests Along Belt, Road

March 9, 2018  Editor: Chen Lu


Since China established the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation (APFNet) in 2008, many patches of forests have been saved and local people's lives improved.

Sarita Lama, a Nepalese woman, used to live a tough life. The Women's Empowerment Project in Nepal launched by APFNet gave her a chance to receive training in wooden handicrafts with other locals and set up their own enterprise.

"Now I'm full of hope for future and my neighbors consider me as an entrepreneur", said Sarita Lama.

Prempree Trairat is one of the chairpersons of a forest protection team in an islands district near Bangkok. The area has suffered severe ecological damage without funds and technology.

Luckily, in 2012, APFNet launched a demonstration project of urban forestry in Thailand. The local ecological environment has been improved, the tourism industry has thrived and the community income has increased.

Manasa Luvunakoro, director of the Forestry Department of Fiji, has been looking for solutions for the poor forest management in his country. In November 2017, he took part in a short-term training organized by APFNet. Some 360 officials from various countries have attended such training during the past 10 years.

"The projects here can be used for reference by Fiji's ongoing forestry program," he said.

In the Mandalay region of Myanmar, Chaw Chaw Sien, who works in the forestry department, introduced the so-called "Company + Base + Farmers" model.

In 2014, she participated in an outdoor survey on short-term training organized by APFNet and found that many regions had shaken off poverty through the growing of Dendrobium (a kind of herb). Now 30 local growing bases and 3,000 farmers there are applying this model.

Prabhat Kumar Mukhia, a researcher at Bhutan agriculture and forestry department, used what he learned in training in July 2017 for his research on ecological restoration.

APFNet has allocated U.S. $22 million to 37 projects in seven regions including Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Pacific islands and North America.

As more and more people are participating in the protection of the forests along the Belt and Road route, it is believed that sustainable forest management will bring more benefit to people.


(Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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