Environmental Governance Programme

Locations of CINR


SISC and GIZ have long-established partnerships with the project sites chosen as the pilot Community Integrated Nature Reserves (CINR). These partnerships includes working with local government, Nature Reserves and local communities for more than 16 years. Each region will have a specific project focus depending on local natural, economic, social and cultural conditions.


Greater Shangri-la area (5 Nature Reserves)

Shangri-la, where SISC has been active since the mid-1990s, is in many ways a microcosm of all the challenges and opportunities faced by people of the Tibetan Plateau.  Located at the heart of UNESCO world heritage site, Shangri-la marks the headwaters of Asia’s three great rivers – Yangtze, Mekong and Salween – which together provide water for some 70% of Asia’s population, and have a direct impact on the continent’s climate system. The area hosts a unique range of ecosystems, ranging from alpine and cold temperate to subtropical, and as such, contains more than 20 percent of all of China’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species. Each of the 5 Nature Reserves benefit from the presence of the Regional Centre of Expertise for ESD, a global UN University initiative to consolidate the work and learning of more than 30 organisations and institutions working on ESD regionally, which feeds into a network of global expertise on ESD.


Giant Panda habitat (5 reserves)

The three nature reserves in Sichuan, as well as the Shaanxi and Gansu sites, form a larger, natural Giant Panda habitat, and the interventions are dedicated to enhancing the co-operation and information sharing between the sites and their local communities. Due to poverty, sustainable development remains a challenge in all of the sites, and in addition to working on the Giant Panda habitat, the training and activities envisioned will help to promote sustainable livelihood skills and overall biodiversity awareness and protection. SISC’s facilities and project base in Mianyang are key for local coordination of the project work.


Tibet Autonomous Region (Lhasa, and 2 nature reserves)

Due to Tibet’s immense historical and cultural heritage, as well as the critical importance of its watersheds, the EGP activities will aim for strong engagement with local communities, as well as developing capacity for long-term cultural heritage protection. Drawing on its relationship with Lhasa University and the Institute for Sustainable Development, SISC aims to enhance traditional culture, beliefs and practices with modern knowledge and expertise, and to help local communities build-up their capacity for and participation in sustainable development. In both of the project nature reserves, the staff co-operate with local communities on the protection of the Black-necked Crane habitat, as well as on enhancing the knowledge and skills relevant to local culture and ecology, including effective governance, and land and watershed care.


Heilongjiang (Sanhuanpao and Dongsheng Nature Reserves) 

Located in Sanjiang Plains of Heilongjiang Province, these two nature reserves are part of the last wetlands protected in a watershed which has become one of the most important grain baskets in China. The conversion of wetlands into agricultural land over the past 50 years has led to the establishment of communities which are largely influenced by state farms. Community involvement in environmental governance is expected to reduce the impacts of agriculture on the nature reserves and maximise the benefits of wetland environmental services. The project aims at raising the awareness of communities on the relationship between agriculture and biodiversity conservation and involve them in practices for sustainable livelihood, e.g. organic farming.


Zhejiang (Xianshan Lake National Wetland Park)

The project site located in Changxing County of Zhejiang Province is one of about 300 wetland parks which have only recently been established for biodiversity conservation, sustainable tourism development and education as well as wise resource utilization. It is currently being constructed according to national standards. Located in an agrarian landscape of a wider area which has experienced rapid industrial growth and urbanization in the triangle of Nanjing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, it provides drinking water for approximately 70,000 people. The wetland park is an opportunity for developing a model of visitor information, environmental education and community involvement in the administration of the area for the goal of sustainable development.

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