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Yuanbaoshan fir (Abies yuanbaoshanensis)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 152512017

Conserving the last remaining population of the Critically Engangered Yuanbaoshan fir through the empowerment of local communities

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 152512017) - Yuanbaoshan fir - Awarded $12,000 on January 12, 2016

Formed in 1903, Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) mission is to act to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and take account of human needs. FFI works through partnerships that ensure local ownership and lasting results, and believes success lies in devising strategies that both conserve biodiversity and contribute to human needs. FFI’s guiding principles are to: respond to local needs, respect national priorities, develop strategic partnerships and strengthen partner capacity.

This project funded by Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is being delivered by FFI’s China Programme under the Global Trees Campaign (GTC) – a partnership between FFI and Botanic Gardens Conservation International that aims to safeguard the world’s threatened trees from extinction.

FFI is working in partnership with local communities and government in the Yuanbaoshan Nature Reserve in Guangxi Province focusing on the conservation of the Critically Endangered Yuanbaoshan fir tree, whose entire range is restricted to this one reserve. Recently the local government, keen to promote tourism regionally, announced the building of a major road. The road is planned to reach the boundary of the reserve, which will present new challenges and opportunities for the area.

Three key needs have been identified and are being addressed by this work: (1) reinforcement of the existing population, (2) more training and support to maintain essential patrols to reduce threats to the fir trees posed by the projected increase of visitors, and (3) technical support for the villagers to ensure they receive equitable returns and benefits from tourism, with an emphasis on developing new skills to explore sustainable business opportunities.

As well as actively protecting the Yuanbaoshan fir during regular forest patrols, the local communities will learn new skills relevant in tourism services, with an ultimate aim to develop a ‘green hotel’ and infrastructure, to ensure the park is enjoyed by visitors, while also protecting sensitive areas from encroachment. Building on its successful partnerships, FFI will equip the community with skills and resources ahead of time, in order to ensure this new opportunity is both beneficial to them and the Yuanbaoshan fir.

Project 152512017 location - China, Asia