HICAP Scoping Study in Yunnan


A scoping study in Yunnan Province of China under the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) was conducted to establish impressions of the Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity (VACA) survey site landscape, ecosystem and community livelihoods, and their interface in order to develop the next stage of research. The mission team was led by Erling Valdemar Holmgren and Laxmi Dutt Bhatta from ICIMOD, who were accompanied by representatives from HICAP partner institutions in China: the Chengdu Institute of Biology (CIB) and the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB), both of which are under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

The mission consulted village heads, local teachers, and forestry officials in Yongping, Jianchuan, and Eryuan counties in Dali Bai Prefecture. A detailed discussion with senior professors at KIB and Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Studies (CMES) helped ensure that HICAP research priorities are in line with those of CAS. The scoping mission identified current trends in the changing state of the ecosystem and assessed various drivers of change in forests, wetlands, and farm lands. Declining water availability was identified as a prominent issue in the prefecture, forcing farmers to shift from cereal crops to high-value medicinal and aromatic plants. The burgeoning market demand is considered the main driver behind forest ecosystem change where local farmers practise walnut cultivation on a large scale.