Four Great Rivers

Sea of Forests

Southeastern Tibet has a great “sea of forests” that contains 1/7th of all the timber reserves of China. The once rapid deforestation of the region was banned to protect the upper watersheds for four of Asia’s greatest rivers: the Yangtze, Salween, Mekong, and Brahmaputra.These rivers serve 20 percent of humanity living in eight countries downstream.

The Four Great Rivers protected area is huge--the size of Washington State and home to 800,000 people.

To protect such a large area, each of the region’s 26 county governments implement a management plan that engages local people as stewards. The new management approach is low-cost and increases community ownership of the conservation process. In addition, a network of nature preserves throughout the region more strictly protects core zones with high biodiversity.

From 2007-2009, Future Generations partnered with the Tibet Department of Science and Technology (TDST) and the David Suzuki Foundation to provide local and professional level training in conservation management at the village, county, and prefecture levels. On the ground, Future Generations and the TDST  trained more than 600 local volunteers known as Pendebas in primary health, animal husbandry, greenhouse contraction, and non-timber forest resource products.

This 20 minute video, filmed by Qi Yun, provides a rare glimpse of region's unique geology and extraordinary biodiversity.

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