Achieving ecological restoration by working with local people: a Chinese scholar seeks win-win paths
Heran Zheng, College of Economic Management, Beijing Forestry University
Guosheng Wang, China Law Society
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Environmental degradation and poverty are linked, and this means that conservation and poverty reduction must be tackled together. However, finding a successful integrated strategy has been an elusive goal. We describe the career of a Chinese scholar, Shixiong Cao, whose persistent efforts to find and follow win-win paths have led to ecological restoration accompanied by long-term benefits for local residents. Cao’s story illustrates how development that combines environmental and economic perspectives can both help people to escape the poverty trap and restore degraded environments. His experience demonstrates that when environmental managers find solutions that can mitigate or eliminate poverty through the development of green enterprises, they can combine them with environmental restoration efforts to produce long-term sustainable solutions. In this paper, we share Cao’s 28 years of experience because we believe that his scientific and practical spirit, and his belief that it is necessary to work directly with the people affected by environmental projects, will inspire other scholars and practitioners to achieve similar successes.
environmental conservation; environmental policy; poverty trap; scientific philosophy; socioeconomic development
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