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If you cut down all the trees, you have only bark to eat; if you destroy the forest, you destroy your road to future – Dai Folksong from Yunnan Province, China (Verschuuren, Wild, McNeely, & Oviedo, 2010)

Although deforestation is widespread throughout China, removal of natural forests in Xishaungbanna in order to plant rubber plantations is having a dramatic effect on both the people and the environment. Learn more about this case, the environmental and social effects, and activist responses here.

Xishuangbanna has been listed as a biodiverse hotspot, with over 5,000 species and often noted as being the most biologically diverse area in China, and perhaps in all of Asia (Li et al., 2012, p. 838)

Sources for all pages 

Chen, H., Yi, Z.F., Schmidt-Vogt, D., Ahrends, A., Beckschafer, P., Kleinn, C., Ranijtkar,S., Xu, J.  (2016). Pushing the limits: the pattern and dynamics of rubber monoculture expansion in Xishuangbanna, SW China.  PlosOne,  DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0150062, 1-15.

Economy, E. (2010).  The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.  Chapter 2.

Forest Legality Alliance. (2014).  “China: Laws and Regulations.”  Retrieved from http://www.forestlegality.org/risk-tool/country/china-0

Hammond, J., Yi, Z., McLellan, T., Zhao, J., 2015. Situational Analysis Report: Xishuangbanna Autonomous Dai Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. ICRAF Working Paper 194. World Agroforestry Centre East and Central Asia, Kunming, China, 2015. pp. 80.http://english.xtbg.cas.cn/vtxtbg/in/201506/P020150602346580944789.pdf

Hongmao, L., Zaifu, X., Youkai, X., Jinxiu, W.  (2002).  Practice of conserving plant diversity through traditional beliefs: a case study in Xishuangbanna, southwest China.  Biodiversity and Conservation, 11, 705-713.

Li, H., Aide, T.M., Ma, Y., Liu, W., Cao, M. (2007).  Demand for rubber is causing the loss of high diversity rain forest in SW China.  Biodivers Conserv, 16, 1731-1745.

Liu, W., Hu, H., Ma, Y., Li, H.  (2006).  Environmental and socioeconomic impacts of increasing rubber plantations in Menglun Township, Southwest China. Mountain Research and Development, 26(3), 245-253.

Liu, H., Xu, Z., Xu, Y., & Wang, J. (2002). Practice of conserving plant diversity through traditional beliefs: a case study in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Biodiversity and Conservation, 11(4), 705–713. doi:10.1023/a:1015532230442

Marks, R.B. (2012). China: Its Environment and History.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Chapter 8.

McGivering, J. (2008).  Corruption ‘threatens China rainforest.’ BBC News.  Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7570501.stm

Phillips, T. (2015).  Surge in illegal logging by Chinese in Myanmar alarms activists.  The Guardian.  Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/17/illegal-timber-myanmar-china-forests

Reuters. (2015).  Burma sentences 153 Chinese workers to life imprisonment for illegal logging.

Sturgeon, J. (2012). The Cultural Politics of Ethnic Identity in Xishuangbanna, China: Tea and Rubber as ’Cash Crops” and “Commodities.” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41(4), 109-131. https://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jcca/article/view/576/574

The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/23/burma-chinese-workers-life-imprisonment-illegal-logging

Xu, J. (2006). The political, social, and ecological transformation of a landscape. Mountain Research and Development, 26(3), 254–262. doi:10.1659/0276-4741(2006)26[254:tpsaet]2.0.co;2

Verschuuren, B., Wild, R., McNeely, J., & Oviedo, G. (2010). Sacred Natural Sites (1st ed.). London: Earthscan.