Forestry carbon tickets providing villagers a path to prosperity

Updated: Jul 22, 2022 By YANG JUN in Guiyang and ZHAO YIMENG China Daily Print
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The environment in Bijie, Guizhou province, has improved in recent years as the city has continued to tackle air, water and solid waste pollution in both urban and rural areas.

In February, Guizhou's first forestry carbon ticket was issued to Bilv Green Industry, an ecological development company.

CEO Peng Xiao said getting the ticket is a milestone for the company.

"The carbon sink volume for our 2,204 hectares of forest is 136,000 metric tons, which is equal to a carbon emission allowance worth about 3.05 million yuan ($452,820)," Peng said.

The ticket is equivalent to an identity card for trading the carbon sequestration capacity of a forest, the local government said.

In July last year, authorities measured the carbon storage and carbon sink capabilities of Bijie's forests, grassland and wetlands and are now promoting the listing and trading of forestry carbon tickets.

Financial institutions are encouraged to participate in the development of green financial products by means such as using forestry carbon sinks as mortgage assets, and issuing carbon bonds.

In the future, these tickets will transform forest resources into real assets for the city for the benefit of residents.

After 30 years of effort, Haique village in Hezhang county is now garbed in green, with its forest coverage rate rising from 5 percent in 1987 to around 80 percent today.

Haique, which is located on what was a barren mountain, now has 913.3 hectares of forest. In April, the village received the province's second forestry carbon ticket, for its use of 489.7 hectares of woodland as a sink for 34,628 tons of carbon.

The Bijie Agricultural Investment Company is working with a bank to purchase and store the village's tickets.

"This carbon ticket is worth more than 1 million yuan, and the money is expected to be distributed to villagers within a month," Hong Lin, deputy manager of the company, told Bijie Daily.

Village Party chief Wen Junfu calculated that the ticket should increase the average incomes of 227 households in Haique village by more than 4,400 yuan.

Chen Yu, a 70-year-old villager from Dafang county, earns 1,350 yuan a year for taking care of 450 trees in his woodland.

A tree with a diameter of about 5 centimeters at chest height can sequester about 10 kilograms of carbon a year.

These trees are sold to individuals, enterprises, institutions and social groups committed to low-carbon development. The carbon sink per tree is priced at 3 yuan, according to the county forestry bureau.

So far, the single tree carbon sink project has benefited 324 households, and more than 110,000 trees have been registered, resulting in a collective annual income of 330,000 yuan for residents.

Bijie will implement major projects to protect and restore its ecosystem, improve the environment of rivers and lakes, scientifically control desertification and soil erosion, and intensify the fight against air pollution, according to a newly released plan on promoting development in the city.

Green development in Bijie should significantly improve by 2025, with the energy consumption per unit of regional GDP dropping by about 13.5 percent and the forest coverage rate stabilizing at just over 60 percent, the plan added.

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