Over past four years, PLEC China Cluster in Yunnan Province has worked closely with farmers in Daka and Baka villages, respectively of the Hani and Jinuo minority groups around the State Nature Reserve in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, and Baihualing village in a valley draining to the Nu Jiang (Salween) river from the Gaoligongshan State Nature Reserve, Baoshan Prefecture. Both Nature Reserves are of national and global significance. PLEC was to promote the positive innovations of farming and utilization of natural resources that have improved local livelihoods without damaging rich biodiversity, and to develop these villages as model demonstration sites for wide replication. Major initiatives on experiment and demonstration include agroforestry, homegarden , fuelwood plantation, community forest management, butterfly farming, plantation of rare and valuable timber species, and cooking stove improvement.


  1. Shifted its main interest from general issues of population growth and resource management to specific issues of 'biodiversity conservation'. 'Biodiversity' was further divided into 'natural biodiversity' and 'agricultural biodiversity'.

  2. Agrobiodiversity assessment in demonstration sites was conducted at both landscape and household levels. Major research findings, including methodologies, were published in two special issues of Acta Botanica Yunnanica on agrobiodiversity assessment and conservation.

  3. The traditional extension by outside technicians has been replaced by expert farmers' demonstration of local innovations. By 2001, a total of 27 expert farmers with their best practices in three villages are recognized by scientists and other farmers. From 1998 to 2001, 10 expert farmers demonstrated their successful management practices to over 1000 farmers in Baihualing village alone.

  4. Scientists and technicians has gradually reduced their roles in experimental and demonstration activities from being organizers to being facilitators while farmers, especially the Gaoligongshan Farmers' Association for Biodiversity Conservation has taken an increasing roles in promoting conservation farming and forest management. The Association has 115 members, and its activities were reported in many medias such as China Central TV, and Japan NHK. Members of the Association said they had a sense of recognition and felt more responsible to develop and promote conservation farming practices.

  5. Capacity development - Junior researchers and students have become the key research force of the Cluster. Six PLEC postgraduates published 8 academic papers. They are fully trained to carry on the PLEC-type of research in future.

The three outcomes from 3) to 5) are essential to sustain PLEC ideas by farmers themselves and younger researchers. Recently, a national workshop on conservation of agrobiodiversity was organized in Kunming to introduce PLEC successful approaches to other provinces in southwestern China. There was a strong interest in developing an expanded follow-up project concerning agrobiodiversity conservation in three provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi.

Publication & Report

(List of Publication)

News & Events



  • The Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Kunming, China

  • Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
    Xishuangbanna, China

  • Kunming Institute of Botany
    Kunming, China

  • Yunnan University
    Kunming, China

  • Xishuangbanna State Nature Reserve Bureau
    Xishuangbanna, China

  • Baoshan Aviation Station for Forest Protection
    Baoshan, China

  • Gaoligongshan State Nature Reserve Bureau
    Baoshan, China


Dao Zhiling
Associate Professor
Kunming Institute of Botany
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Heilongtan, Kunming, Yunnan 650204, China
Tel: +86 871 5216337
Fax: +86 871 5150227