14 September 2022|News
Under the "Improving Ecosystem Management for Sustainable Livelihoods in Cambodia and China within the Framework ofLancang-Mekong Cooperation Project", financed by the UNEP-China Trust Fund Phase 2, the "Training on Bamboo for Ecosystem Restoration Management and Local Livelihoods" was organized by the Ministry of Environment, Government of Cambodia, during 22-24 August 2022. It took place at the project pilot site - the Phnom Kulen National Park in Siem Reap province. The event gathered 58 participants (20 female), mostly from the Community Protected Areas (CPAs) within the national park. With an overall aim to provide general knowledge on bamboo and its utilization to restore ecosystem and to provide additional income for the CPAs, the training on day 1 and day 3 consisted of theoretical knowledge on overview on bamboo resources and development; bamboo forest management; bamboo propagation; bamboo plantation; edible bamboo shoot cultivation and processing; and bamboo value chain and the utilization of bamboo materials. Day 2 was the field practice on bamboo propagation, nursery and clump management. Importantly, the training also included a field session on how to integrate bamboo into existing cashew nut orchard to diversity income sources by replacing old (and low productive) cashew trees with bamboo. The discussions also provided participants with ideas to integrate other annual crops (e.g. ginger, pineapple) within cashew tree orchard. The venue for the training at the project pilot site The field practices As the Phnom Kulen National Park is an area where we can observe movements of the local communities into the national park and cashew plantation has become their major source of income, this hands-on training offers an important opportunity for the communities to learn about an alternative livelihood option that may also help to prevent deforestation for agricultural expansion (for cashew in this case). Moreover, as requested by the Cambodia team, UNEP-IEMP has invited an expert from China (International Network for Bamboo and Rattan – INBAR, based in Beijing) to share knowledge, experience, lessons and recommendations through recoded videos. The training was well-received, and rated ‘satisfied’ by all the participants. The training also provided bamboo culms at the tree nursery at the community-based tourism center for interested community members to further plant.
19 August 2022|News
On August 15, 2022, Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), was invited to give a keynote speech at the Huzhou Forum on the "Green is Gold". The forum was guided by China Association for Science and Technology and Zhejiang Provincial People's Government, hosted by Huzhou Municipal People's Government, and organized by Huzhou Normal University and the Publicity Department of the CPC Huzhou Municipal Committee. In her keynote speech entitled "Promoting the Realization of the Values of Nature and a Harmonious Development of People and Nature", Dr. Zhang Linxiu started from introducing relevant initiatives at the UN level and used The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) as an example of key international initiatives to understand the importance of nature. TEEB’s application in Tengchong City of Yunnan Province, which is a national "Green is Gold" practice innovation base, was shared. Dr. Zhang pointed out that natural systems provide important values for human production and life, and that understanding agro-food systems from a systems perspective is an important way to address the multiple challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and to achieve sustainable development goals in the context of the current pandemic and the intensifying conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Director Linxiu Zhang delivered the keynote speech More than 150 experts and scholars attended the conference and shared their views on the forum theme from multiple levels and perspectives.
25 July 2022|News
On July 14th and 15th 2022, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) and the United Nations Environment Programme – International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) jointly organized a Chinese-German cooperation workshop on Ecosystem-based Approaches (EbA) for climate and biodiversity. The workshop aimed to specifically connect young researchers, working on EbA across continents. It was attended by over 80 researchers from China and Germany as well as partners from other Asian, European and African countries. Thomas Graner, Vice President of BfN and Xuefang Wu, Deputy Chief Engineer of CRAES, opened the workshop, highlighting the ambitious and high-level commitments from the German and Chinese governments on addressing the global climate and biodiversity crises. The speakers underlined the long and successful cooperation of the Chinese-German cooperation on environmental topics. The focus on specifically connecting young researchers and promoting interdisciplinary research was regarded as an attempt to direct future cooperation towards establishing long-term research links to jointly address global environmental problems in a holistic manner. The attempt proved to be a success and the organizing institutions of the workshop are committed to follow it up. Dr Linxiu Zhang from UNEP-IEMP gave the first impulse on the nexus of climate, ecosystems and livelihoods, showcasing projects from the Global South on EbA practices and emerging opportunities for promoting EbA application, including valuable resources like best practice databases and knowledge products. The workshop further included 8 presentations from researchers, who shared their relevant research findings on EbA and gave their insights into remaining knowledge gaps. Interactive sessions to facilitate virtual exchange and networking between young researchers from different disciplines were tested and proved to be useful tools. As such, the workshop offered a platform for young researchers to share their work and to foster the understanding for the importance of a science-policy-practice interface to address climate and biodiversity jointly in applied research. In various breakout groups, participants jointly identified opportunities for strengthening interdisciplinary research and key research gaps around EbA. These were e.g. related to: a limited understanding of ecosystem response and adaptation to climate change, the lack ofinnovative policy instruments to mainstream EbA under different institutional frameworks, the understanding of how to effectively engage society and the private sector, lacking data on EbA application at the regional and landscape level, and the lacking collaboration among non-state actors and different disciplines in EbA implementation. Groups also defined the role of interdisciplinary networks for EbA research, highlighted the importance of science for policy and explored the limitations and opportunities in funding EbA research. The workshop ended with an in-depth discussion on the way forward for EbA research and enhancing the potential of interdisciplinary networks, as well as strengthening the long-term scientific collaboration between China and Germany and other partner countries. As a key outcome, a briefing note/ policy brief will be developed based on the workshop discussions and submitted later to identified decision makers.
04 July 2022|News
25-26 June 2022, the Chinese Economists Society 2022 Annual Conference was held online. The theme of this conference is "Big Data, AI and Economic Development: Merging Economics with Management". About 500 researchers, students, and others interested individuals attended the conference. Dr. Yunli Bai, the UNEP-IEMP member, held a parallel session titled "Off-farm employment and family welfare in rural China". Dr. Chengfang Liu, Deputy Dean and Boya Chair Professor at School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences of Peking University and Dr. Xu Tian, Professor of China Agricultural University were invited as discussants. Four papers from various research team were presented at this parallel session. Dr. Ye Jiang, from South China Agricultural University, reported the paper on "The long-term impact of labor market entry conditions on rural-urban migrant’s income and career development: Evidence from nationally representative long panel dataset". Dr. Jiang analyzed the long-term effects of labor market entry conditions on rural urban migrants’ earnings and their career outcomes since 1978 and explored the heterogeneity on skills. Dr. Weidong Wang, from Beijing Forestry University, presented the paper on "Off-farm self-employment in China’s rural labor market". Dr. Wang elaborated the evolution of off-farm self-employment in rural China and analyzed the entrepreneurship of off-farm self-employment in rural labor. Zhiyuan Ma, Ph.D Candidate of UNEP-IEMP, shared the paper on "Education-occupation matching, employment stability and wage of rural labor in China". Ms. Ma investigated the association between education-occupation matching and the wage of rural labor and identified the role of employment stability in this association. Dr. Shaoping Li, from Huzhou University showed the paper on "Migration and perceived returns to education". Dr. Li analyzed perceived returns to education in rural China and estimated the effect of migration on perceived returns to education. The experts proposed detailed and valuable suggestions and comments from the perspective of research topic, perspective, approaches and conclusions. The fantastic reports and expert comments attracted nearly 50 researchers and students to participate and discuss online. The members of UNEP-IEMP expanded their research perspectives and improved their academic and communication ability by organizing, hosting and participating in this parallel session.
04 July 2022|News
On 30 June 2022, United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) held the project launch and consultation workshop on "Improving social impacts of China’s development finance in countries of the Global South from a gender perspective with case studies and pilot projects". The project is funded by the Ford Foundation. The workshop was chaired by Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP. Dr. Zhang welcomed all the participants and introduced the purpose of this workshop, the objectives of the project, and UNEP-IEMP’s recent work on gender inclusion and women empowerment. More than 30 experts, researchers, and students from research institutes, universities, non-governmental organizations in Indonesia, Nepal, and China and the programme officers from Ford Foundation attended the workshop online. Dr. Yunli Bai, coordinator of the project team, presented the project tasks, research progress, and next steps. Based on an overview of Chinese investments and the policies to protect women’s rights in Indonesia and Nepal, the project aims to use case studies to clarify the impact of Chinese outbound investment on the welfare of local women from multiple perspectives and to develop a "toolkit" and checklist that will assist Chinese investors in improving the social impact of their investments from a gender inclusive perspective. More than 10 experts from UN Women Beijing Office, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) in Nepal, Women Research Institute (WRI) in Indonesia, Oxfam Hongkong, Peking University, China Agricultural University, Farmers’ Seed Network (FSN) in China, and Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR, CAS) joined a panel discussion. The experts highlighted the significances of this project, shared information and experiences from their programmes, and made valuable suggestions on case selection, field surveys and indicators, and the development of "toolkit" and checklist. They also expressed willingness to collaborate with each other on the project implementation. The workshop gained valuable feedbacks for further improving the project implementation plan and consolidated as well as expanded the international cooperation network among partners of UNEP-IEMP. It also served as part of the platform of UNEP-IEMP for knowledge sharing in South-South countries by exchanging experts’ experiences on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
27 June 2022|News
Under the "Improving Ecosystem Management for Sustainable Livelihoods in Cambodia and China within the Framework of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Project", financed by the UNEP-China Trust Fund Phase 2, the National Awareness Raising on Integrated Ecosystem Management was organized on 23 June 2022 by the Ministry of Environment, Government of Cambodia. The event took place in Phnom Penh with virtual participation and presentation by UNEP-IEMP. It was participated by approximately 100 participants from various government agencies (both at central and provincial levels), NGOs, and academic institutions. Its objectives were mainly to share good practices for ecosystem management for sustainable livelihoods within other protected areas or projects in Cambodia and in China as well as to preliminary identify private sector or stakeholders interested in participation and upscaling of the project interventions. In this regard, Ms. Guoqin Wang and Ms. Tatirose Vijitpan from UNEP-IEMP shared the good practices of landscape management and ecosystem restoration for sustainable livelihoods in China. The presentation covered experiences from the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN, Chinese Academy of Sciences) on ecosystem monitoring and its cases on environmentally friendly rubber plantation, and restoration and agroforestry for red soil and hilly region; as well as multiple benefits of bamboo plantation. Those cases have been selected for their relevance to Cambodia, particularly the project’s site at Phnom Kulen National Park in Siem Reap province. The session was well-received with many relevant questions from the participants to learn more about the direct experience from China. These include the challenges to cooperate with local farmers in agroforestry, the incentives provided to the farmers and other technical questions. It was concluded that the session was very helpful for the implementation of project site interventions. The venue for the workshop event in Cambodia This was an important opportunity to promote the knowledge exchange and learning on integrated ecosystem management and South-South cooperation. Moreover, as requested by the Cambodia team, UNEP-IEMP will also engage Chinese expert to provide capacity building on bamboo for ecosystem restoration and livelihoods improvement for local participants at the Phnom Kulen National Park.
24 June 2022|News
June 21-23, 2022, UNEP-IEMP, as the TEEBAgriFood China implementation leading team, joined the TEEBAgriFood Asia, Africa and Europe Regional Symposium hosted by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Symposium aims to share lessons learnt applying the TEEBAgriFood Framework towards food systems transformations across the regions. Representatives from government, academia, international organizations and the private sector across China, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia actively participated. On Day 2 of the event, Dr. LI Jun-sheng, Chair of the TEEBAgriFood China Project Steering Committee, gave his remarks at the high-level panel, introducing China’s initiatives and achievements in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration, and highlighting that a balanced development of sustainable agricultural development, ecological protection and agricultural modernization is important for the country in stepping into the new era. A screen capture showing speakers and panelists In the thematic session of Applying TEEBAgriFood in Multi-functional Landscapes, Dr. Li Li, the research union member of UENP-IEMP, on behalf of the TEEBAgriFood China implementation team gave a presentation and introduced the progress of the Tengchong pilot study with reference to the country’s agricultural context and highlighted the linkages with the national priorities. Dr. Li Li making a presentation about the TEEBAgriFood China project The 3-day symposium attracted more than 200 participations online, and instigated discussions on the mainstreaming of nature’s value into decision-making in agriculture and food systems.
08 June 2022|News
UN Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) Director, Dr. Linxiu Zhang was invited as a specialist to present the closing remark at Launching Ceremony of COMSTECH Forum on Environment and Ecosystem Restoration (CFEER) and COMSTECH International Seminar on "Land Degradation" on 6th June 2022. The ceremony was intended to commemorate World Environment Day, which was organized by COMSTECH in Partnership with UNEP-IEMP and Center for Water Research Technologies (CERTE), Tunisia. In the closing remarks, Dr. Linxiu Zhang expressed her congratulations on the successful launching ceremony. She pointed out that healthy ecosystems were critical and such a standpoint had been echoed clearly and sufficiently by almost every of the speakers. Then her observations and reflections on the key messages conveyed on the ceremony were shared, including needs for action on collaboration and cooperation globally, the importance of synergy and nexus approaches, and responsible individuals for the large-scale changes. Finally, she showed her glad to witness the establishment of COMSTECH Forum on Environment and Ecosystem Restoration, and claimed that UNEP-IEMP would be willing to collaborate with the new organization. Dr. Linxiu Zhang presenting the closing remark online The ceremony began with inaugural session with Ambassador Shahid Kamal, Advisor (Climate Change), COMSTECH. During the ceremony, several specialists addressed speeches based on their research about land degradation worldwide. For more information about the ceremony, please visit COMSTECH’s website.
30 May 2022|News
On May 23, 2022, the project " African Forest Disturbance and Its Effects on Carbon Sink", led by Professor Ronggao Liu from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, was launched virtually with participation of international and Chinese experts. The project is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under the joint agreement between NSFC and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and will be jointly implemented in 2022-2026 in cooperation with the UNEP-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UENP-IEMP) and other African partners. The kick-off meeting was chaired by Professor Xiaohan Liao, Deputy Director General of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of the UNEP-IEMP, delivered an opening remark. Dr. Zhang expressed that UNEP will assist and support the project in the science-policy interface, joint capacity building and technology transfer, and bridging South-South cooperation. She also welcomed this project to provide invaluable contributions towards the digital transformation in developing countries as identified by UNEP Medium-Term Strategy 2022-25, the implementation of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and the database of the World Environment Situation Room. Professor Ronggao Liu, Co-PI of this project, introduced the project objectives, work plan and related progress. This project will analyze the dynamics of forest in Africa and the drivers of disturbances, and assess carbon dynamics under disturbances. It will share a series of forest monitoring datasets and develop African forests remote sensing monitoring systems for application and promotion in African pilot countries (e.g. in Ghana, Madagascar, Kenya etc.). The project will overcome the monitoring technical challenges such of surface and mountain shadow, optimize the algorithm to finely depict the tree cover in savanna ecosystems, and reflect forest cover changes in Africa. The invited review panel made valuable comments and suggestions for the project implementation and next steps. These invited members are Professor Qiao Wang, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Mr. Zhongxin Chen from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Professor Jingming Chen, fellow of the Royal Canadian Academy of Sciences, Ms Xia Li, Director of the China-Africa Environmental Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Mr. Xingliang Chen, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Forestry, and Mr. Lianming Sun, Director of the Africa Office of the Global EnergyInterconnection DevelopmentandCooperation Organization. The expert panel believes that the project is forward-looking, has solid science foundation and great practical value for African countries. They gave relevant suggestions from the perspectives of remote sensing monitoring accuracy and ground verification, data products sharing platform, China-Africa cooperation policy context, and the mechanism for forest remote sensing monitoring system application.