Integrated Forest Ecosystem Management Planning and Demonstration Project in Greater Mekong Sub-region (China)

Project title: Integrated forest ecosystem management planning and demonstration project in Greater Mekong Subregion (Pu'er Project Site) [Project ID: 2016P1-GMS-PE]
Supervisory agency: Forestry Bureau of Pu'er Prefecture,China

Executing agency: Wanzhangshan Forest Farm, Simao District, Pu'er Prefecture, China
Budget in USD (total/APFNet grant): 1,094,022/740,306
Duration: Jan. 2017 - Dec. 2021
Project objectives:Develop a Master Plan of Integrated Forest Ecosystem Management and Forest Management Action Plan for Wanzhangshan Forest Farm; Using scientific analysis and planning, establish integrated forest ecosystem management demonstration plots, and select the optimal forest management models based on evaluation of advanced techniques and best practices; Establish the project site as a role model for integrated forest ecosystem management in Greater Mekong Subregion through dissemination of outcomes and capacity building.
Expected outputs:Master Plan of Integrated Forest Ecosystem Management of Wanzhangshan Forest Farm, Pu'er Prefecture (2017–2036), Forest Management Action Plan of Wanzhangshan Forest Farm, Pu'er Prefecture (2017–2026); Establishment of forest tending demonstration for young-middle-aged Pinus kesiya and Betula alnoides forest stands;  Construction of efficient resin production demonstration plot and development of resin collection technical manual; Demonstration of integrated secondary forest management; Construction of precious plant collection garden from south-subtropical region; Capacity building through training and communication.
Project background
Approximately 60 million people live in the Lower Mekong Basin, with many relying on forests to sustain their livelihoods. However, the river basin faces significant deforestation and forest degradation threats. In order to improve sustainable forest management in the Greater Mekong Subregion, APFNet initiated a series of projects focusing on integrated forest ecosystem management in six economies in the region, Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam. 
In Yunnan, a network of site-specific demonstration sites along the Lancang-Mekong River will be established to showcase different forest management models and test forest management plans on the ground, assessing the extent to which they meet socioeconomic and ecological goals for different types of forests. The Lancang-Mekong watershed has abundant forest resources and rich biodiversity. Located on the upper reaches of the Mekong River in Yunnan, southwest China, Pu’er Prefecture is a major timber production area. For decades, conflicts between forest conservation and use have challenged both policymakers and practitioners. The lack of comprehensive long-term forest management plans and technical expertise has further exacerbated the situation, even on the prefecture’s largest forest farm –Wanzhangshan Forest Farm.

Project featured topics
Producing medium- and long-term forest management plans
Wanzhangshan Forest Farm has managed forests for 18 years. The farm’s forest land is owned by the district-level government, but the forests are cooperatively managed by a local business according to government guidelines. Since the farm’s establishment in 2001, forest stock increased by 0.35 million m3, and forest cover now reaches 91.8 percent.
In 2015, the Chinese Government rolled out national reforms targeting all state-owned forest farms, in response to the lack of long-term plans, inflexible operational mechanisms, and low resilience of forest farms. The major objectives were to cultivate and preserve national forest resources, and develop long and medium-term management plans for all forest farms. In response, APFNet helped Wanzhangshan Forest Farm develop a 20-year (2017–2036) integrated forest ecosystem management plan to provide short- and long-term integrated planning for forest ecology and health, forestry industry, institutional matters and training of personnel. In addition, a more detailed 10-year implementation plan (2017–2026) was prepared to meet long-term objectives.
These plans will serve as frameworks to inform policymakers and guide practitioners, increase the ecological, social and economic benefits of the forest farm in the long term, while also serving as a model for partner economies in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
Forest rehabilitation demonstration of local tree species Pinus kesiya and Betula alnoides
Pinus kesiya and Betula alnoides are two common local species in Yunnan, and thus also on Wanzhangshan Forest Farm. The two species have been managed extensively over a long period, which has greatly lowered their productivity and ability to provide ecological benefits.

Figure 1: Pinus kesiya plantations. Photo: Wanzhangshan Forest Farm
To develop sustainable forestry management models under different conditions, a 120-ha demonstration site was established, consisting of three 40-ha stands of Pinus kesiya and Betula alnoides under commercial and non-commercial forest management practices.The objective of the non-commercial forest demonstration site is to improve ecosystem services, while the commercial forest site aims to maximize forest productivity, while also restoring biodiversity. The three stands, 1) middle-aged P. kesiya (13-years-old) non-commercial forest; 2) young P. kesiya (7-years-old) commercial forest; and 3) young Betula alnoides (6-years-old) commercial forest; were each treated with four different cutting intensities ranging from 15 to 50 percent crown cover removal. After thinning, both economically and ecologically valuable indigenous broadleaved trees were planted in the forest gaps. The stands will be monitored annually for the duration of the project. 
Figure 2. Before (photo 1) and after (photo 2) forest management of Betula alnoides commercial forest; Before (photo 3) and after (photo 4) forest management of Pinus kesiya non-commercial forest. Photos: Wanzhangshan Forest Farm

 Project documents
Project Proposal

 News and related information
New integrated models for planning and managing commercial and public welfare forests in Pu’er