Background of establishing YGF

2019/9/20 16:25:00

Yunnan mountainous area

villages in mountain area ( picture from the internet )

Yunnan is a mountainous province between the Plains areas and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Because of the dramatic differences of latitude, altitude, and topography, thousands of species live here, where more than 50% of the species in the country shares only 4% of the national territory,  therefore Yunnan is also known as the "plant kingdom" and "animal kingdom". The rich natural species makes Yunnan one of the key areas for biodiversity conservation in China, and one of richest biodiversity area in the northern hemisphere. The biodiversity protection in Yunnan has special significance in the global biodiversity conservation.

dulong river and village

village around the Gaoligong Mountains National Nature Reserve  (picture from the internet )

However, there are many outstanding environmental problems in Yunnan, such as serious soil erosion, poor quality of cultivation land, rocky desertification, poor quality of forests, and uneven distribution of water resources. As the whole country and the world, the wild creatures here are also facing tremendous challenges from accelerating consumption and destroy to nature resources, which as result of urbanization and population increasing. Overuse and disorderly exploitation of biological resources have caused serious damage to ecological environment, and the number of endangered species has risen sharply. Due to their unique and isolated habitats, about 2,000-3,000 species of higher plants and more than 50% of vertebrates are threatened or in endanger. The species are  in big amount, but small population, narrow geographical distribution, and low adaptability.

wood is a key energey soruce for farmers in Yunnan mountain areas

wood is a key energey soruce for farmers in Yunnan mountain areas (by YGF)

Human activities are the most important reason for the wildlife population decline, habitat atrophy, and food sources reduction, such as cultivation practice, livelihood activity, hunting, and wild gathering. On the other hand, Yunnan Province is located in the south-western border of China, with more than fifty ethnic minorities, and large number of poor population living in mountain areas, where the residents' daily needs and economic & social development deeply rely on the natural resources. All these causes significant contradiction between ecological protection and development, and the big need for balancing both of them.

The public awareness and participation ability are crucial for promoting ecological protection and rural sustainable development in Yunnan. There's need to improve cooperation with relevant social sectors for exploring the sustainable development, in which protection and development coexist and promote each other. But before 2008, other than few systematic environmental protection projects by foreign NGOs and government, it was only the government promoting ecological protection in Yunnan province. At the meantime, there were lack of local foundations, especially the ones involve in ecological projection.

founding ceremany of Yunnan Green Environment Development Foundation (YGF)

Founding ceremony of Yunnan Green Environment Development Foundation in 2008 (By YGF)

Base on this context, Ms. Lu Zhi of Conservation International, Mr. Zhang Shuang of The Nature Conservation, and Ms. Zou Hengfang of Yunnan Forestry Department determined to jointly sponsor a philanthropic foundation to support Yunnan ecological protection and sustainable development. After more than a year's efforts, in January 2008, "Yunnan Green Environment Development Foundation"(in short YGF) was officially registered by the Yunnan Provincial Civil Affairs Department. It was the first none profit and philanthropic public foundation on ecological protection in Yunnan province. 

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