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CDRF went to Bijie Pilot Area for field research

From May 11th to 14th, 2021, the Forestry Sustainable Livelihoods Research Project Team of the China Development Research Foundation went to Bijie Pilot Area to conduct research and discuss with the Guizhou Provincial Government Development Research Center and the Bijie Municipal Government. In addition, CDRF visited and understood the economic development of the forestry industry and the progress of ecological environment restoration in Bijie City. The research team was led by Yu Jiantuo, deputy secretary-general of CDRF, Du Jing, director of research department 3, experts such as Li Lailai, researcher of the Stockholm Environmental Research Institute and consultant of the research group, and Rio Tinto China Enterprise Relations General manager Yuan Ling and other business representatives participated in the survey.

Bijie City in Guizhou Province used to be a typical poverty-stricken region in western China. The terrain of this place is mainly karst landform, which is prone to various natural disasters such as drought, freezing, hail, and mudslides. In June 1988, the State Council agreed to establish the Bijie "Developmental Poverty Alleviation and Ecological Construction" pilot zone. After 30 years of hard work, the Bijie Pilot Area has gotten rid of absolute poverty, and the ecological environment has been systematically restored. However, from the perspective of long-term sustainable development needs, the relative poverty problem in Bijie Pilot Area is still prominent; although the forest coverage has increased significantly, the level of stock volume is still relatively low; forest protection and the improvement of residents’ living standards have not yet formed a positive interaction.

In 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping made important instructions, emphasizing the promotion of green development, human resource development, and system and mechanism innovation, and striving to build the Bijie Pilot Area into a demonstration area that implements the new development concept. The China Development Research Foundation has successively carried out two special studies around this theme and submitted policy recommendation to relevant departments. On this basis, to further promote the construction and implementation of the new development concept demonstration zone in the Bijie Experimental Area, the Foundation has launched a new project "Research on Sustainable Forestry Livelihoods in the Bijie Pilot Area". And to summarize the experience of forest protection and restoration in the past 30 years in Bijie. Based on the framework of sustainable livelihoods, forestry in Bijie will be evaluated, and policy recommendations and programs for sustainable forestry livelihoods to promote sustainable poverty alleviation will be proposed.