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Bee keeping allows local communities to generate income from within their village rather than encroaching on the surrounding mountainous habitat, home to the last Asian elephant populations. Reducing encounters with wild elephants has proven to be key in reducing human elephant conflict.
IFAW, Swire Coca-Cola and Xishuangbanna Tropic Rainforest Conservation Foundation (XTRCF) have now joined forces to extend the existing initiative, named ‘Carbon Sequestration Community’. The project aims to establish an eco-friendly community development model which integrates Asian elephant conservation and carbon sequestration, which combats climate change through the long-term removal or capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Daotangqing, where the project was first piloted, is located on the edge of Xishuangbanna National Natural Reserve, one of the most critical habitats of the last remaining 300 Asian elephants in China. The community with 34 households was re-located from the core area of Xishuangbanna National Natural Reserve in the late 1990s for better rainforest and wildlife conservation. Surrounded by Asian elephants and other wildlife, the community still plays a significant role in safeguarding the ecological health of the region.
With Swire Coca-Cola joining the project, IFAW is not only able to replicate the successful results of community bee keeping to more villages in the Yunnan region, but is also able to help residents in Daotangqing to move from growing rubber plantations to more eco-friendly crops with higher carbon sequestration value. The project will utilize solar power and other sources of renewable energy.
“The joint project with Swire Coca-Cola and XTRCF aims to integrate carbon sequestration into community livelihood development,” said Chenyue Ma, Program Manager with IFAW Asia. “We hope to contribute to biodiversity conservation and China’s 2060 carbon neutralization goal by exploring and sharing village-level innovative approaches.”
Sheila Hsu, General Manager of Corporate Communications, Swire Coca-Cola, said: “Swire Coca-Cola upholds sustainable development as always. Collaborating with IFAW and XTRCF, we hope to not only support communities neighbouring the Asian elephants but also encourage more stakeholders to contribute to carbon reduction and create a world where humans and nature can thrive in harmony.”
Notes to Editors: The project came with an informed kick-start as a tropical agriculture and forestry expert from Yunnan Institute of Tropical Crops had conducted field research before determining suitable alternative crops such as mango and macadamia which are adaptable to local climate and have ideal carbon sequestration capacity. The standard of eco-friendly planting was set and a plantation plan was developed. In addition, the project collaborates with an agency specialising in emission reduction calculation and certification to help establish the first village level carbon sequestration value calculating model, incorporating various approaches of the project including eco-friendly plantation and solar power utilization.
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