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  Capacity Development for Forestry Communities to Address Climate Change

By Beijing Forestry Society

 Beijing is located in northern China, a region suffers from severe water shortage and sensitive ecosystem. Water protection forests are important not only for water conservation and purification, but also for carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, climate regulation and etc. Besides, forests play important roles in addressing climate change. On one hand, the higher temperature and drought caused by climate change impact the plant growth and distribution, and correspondingly affect the forest ecosystem structure, diversity and stability. On the other hand, plants can help mitigate global climate change through sinking carbon dioxide, the important GHS, in the atmosphere by photosynthesis.

 

   

Forest’s important function in carbon sequestration

Miyun reservoir watershed, Beijing

 
In order to effectively protect the limited water resources, Beijing Municipal government has been dedicated in afforestation and achieved remarkable results for decades. The forest coverage has improved from 1.3% in 1949 to 37.0% in 2010. The water protection forests, which account for about 80% of the total forest coverage, mainly distributed around the core water protection areas such as Miyun Reservoir. Miyun watershed is the most important water resource protection zone, and is also the habitation of local residents, whose population account for 1/3 of that of Beijing.
 
However, the forests in Miyun watershed are mostly young forests. In the last decades, Beijing government put great importance on afforestation but less on forest management. This directly resulted in unstable mono-cultured forests. In addition, the forest resources are damaged and wasted in varying degrees due to the low economic and cultural development levels of local forestry communities, the weak awareness of responding to climate change, absence of management knowledge and skills, and the high energy consumption life style. As a result, the forest carbon sequestration capacity is negatively impacted. With the increasing concern on global climate change, it is realized that these problems shall to be resolved urgently.
Forest management

 

In rural northern China, "cooking with firewood and heating with hypocaust" is the traditional way of daily life. However, the energy efficiency is very low and the consumption of resources is consequently high. To a certain extent, it affects the improvement of rural ecological environment and the mitigation of climate change. Related research results show that the scientifically designed “Efficient Preassembled Aerial Hypocaust” is firewood-saving and thermal efficient, so that it’s energy-saving effect is remarkable. The new hypocaust can averagely save 1000-1600kg firewood annually, which is equivalent to 500-800kg standard coal, and it can consequently help reduce 1.4-2.3 tons CO2 emission and save up to 30% energy.

Forest Management

 

Firewood                      

Energy efficiency hypocaust

 Thus, to resolve the above-mentioned issues, it is important to introduce carbon sequestration afforestation and close-to-nature forest management methods, to carry out technical training and management demonstration, to transform traditional energy-inefficiency life style, and to replace the old hypocausts with the aerial hypocausts. It is also crucial to provide training for the villages on hypocaust usage techniques, sustainable firewood collection skills and knowledge of combating climate change to improve the comprehensive capacities of the local villagers.

Farmer training 

Publicity materials

   
                      
 A demonstrative low carbon forestry community, Sancha village in Beijing, was developed through the implementation of project. We learned a lot of experiences of low carbon community development. In order to enhance the capacities of forestry communities to address climate change, we think four measures are useful: 1) to enhance the awareness of addressing climate change by training the farmers; 2) to save  firewood by building energy-efficiency hypocausts; 3) to improve the stability of forests by forest management; 4) to promote the economic growth by local eco-tourism development.

 

 Project demonstration village “Sancha” 

 Trail for eco-tour

   

 
   


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