Carbon sink trading sheds new light on poverty alleviation efforts in Guizhou

Source:Xinhua-Global Times Published: 2018/7/11 17:48:40

Can mountain trees generate a fortune without being cut and sold? Southwest China's Guizhou Province has given an affirmative answer to that with its carbon sink trading project, which is helping to fight poverty.

"Now I can make money by keeping my trees on the mountain!" said Fu Changrong, a local of Bulou village in Guizhou, a landlocked province.

After being individually labeled as carbon sink plants, Fu's 450 cryptomeria trees now earn him an extra 1,350 yuan ($214.3) annually, at a unit price of 3 yuan per year.

On Sunday, Guizhou officially launched a pilot project, which literally translates as "Individual Plant Carbon Sink Trading for Guizhou's Targeted Poverty Alleviation," along with its online platform.

Trees, planted by poverty-stricken residents, are given identity numbers, which also note their calculated stored carbon emissions.

Photos are taken of each plant, which include all of its information, and are then uploaded to the project's online platform, according to Fu Yeqiu, an official of the Guizhou Provincial Development and Reform Commission (GPDRC).

All individuals, enterprises and organizations dedicated to low carbon growth can purchase the carbon sink trees via the platform, and the amount of sales will be deposited to the personal bank account of the tree-owner, according to Fu.

In Boluo village, more than 30,000 carbon sink trees planted by 82 poor families were purchased in a single day, bringing in more than 100,000 yuan to the community.

As of now, 390,000 carbon sink plants grown by 739 poverty-hit households have been verified and uploaded onto the platform, worth a collective 1.17 million yuan.

Tree-owners involved in carbon sink trading must either have ownership certificates of forest and land, or must have established artificial afforestation converted from farmlands, according to the provincial official.

The participating households are also required to be committed to protecting forest land and to report and replant damaged trees in cases of natural disasters.

By 2020, Guizhou aims to spread the pilot project across the province to 100 villages that are the homes of over 10,000 poverty-stricken locals, helping to raise 13.2 million yuan for alleviation funds each year, according to the provincial plan.

Within a 10-year development period, Guizhou strives to raise poverty alleviation funds worth 130 million yuan, with hopes of ensuring sustainable development in 10,000 households.

"Carbon sink trading for poverty alleviation is a positive approach that integrates ecological conservation and fights against climate change," said Fu.

"I believe carbon sink trading will turn ecological advantages into economic advantages."

Ecological conservation and restoration should generate more benefits for the poor, as noted in a green poverty alleviation work plan jointly issued by six Chinese ministerial government departments in January.


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