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A Practical Framework for the Assessment and Management of Natural Capital in QinghaiTibet Plateau


Natural Capital as a key concept for Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Framework ... Nearly half of Qinghai Province is enclosed in Sanjuangyuan Natural Protection Zone. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Practical Framework for the Assessment and Management of Natural Capital in QinghaiTibet Plateau

A Practical Framework for the Assessment and
Management of Natural Capital in Qinghai-Tibet
  • Wanglin YAN
  • Keio University

  • Background and Purposes
  • Natural Capital as a key concept for
    Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
  • Framework designing for assessing and managing
    Natural Capital
  • Issues and conditions for implementing the
    framework in Qinghai
  • Future works

1. Background and Purposes
Chinas National Goal
  • Constructing a somewhat all-out abundant society
  • National GDP 4 times by 2020
  • 4000US per capital
  • The Western Development Strategy brings a
    millennium chance for people in Western Regions
  • A chance which people in western regions have
    awaited for long.
  • A challenge which they have never before
    experienced .

Challenges in Western Development
  • Conflicts between environment conservation and
    economic development
  • Forestation Program does not insure improvement
    of peasants income and living conditions.
  • Conflicts between resource development and
    improvement of life to local people.
  • Without local industrial bases, resource
    development may not bring much benefits to local

Purposes of Our Project
  • Using Natural Capital as a key concept to build a
    sustainable development strategy for balancing
    environment conservation, economic development
    and improvement of human well-being.
  • Designing a framework for practicing the
  • Clarifying issues and conditions for applying the
    framework in Qinghai Province.

2. Natural Capital as a key concept for
Natural Ecosystems must be a fundamental factor
in market economy
Social Capital Roads, Harbors and Airports etc.
Industrial Capital Finance, Factories and
Equipment etc.
Human Capital Labors, Knowledge and skill etc.
Economic Society
Nature Clean air, pure water and fertilized soil
Value of Ecosystem services of the Earth
Robert Costanza et al, The value of the worlds
ecosystem services and natural capital, Nature,
Vol. 387, 253-260, 1997
Part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau as hotspot of
Biodiversity of the Earth
Source Hilary French, 2000, Vanishing Borders, A
Worldwatch book, Norton
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the water tower of Asia
Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Water Heads of Asian Rivers
Source Microsoft Encarta 2003
Contrast of the environment in the Plateau
Using Natural Capital for conservation and
development of the plateau
  • Huge ecosystem services in fountain regions
    Water resources, highland ecosystems, traditional
  • Natural Capital could be traded in market for
    fundraising Trade of natural capital is not the
    trade of nature itself but natural ecosystem
  • It is a key issue for the plateau to draw out the
    potential of the ecosystems and make it to be a
    driving force for social development.

3. Framework Designing for Assessing and Managing
Natural Capital
Basic Considerations
Framework for assessment and management of
Natural Capital
Features of the framework Integration
  • Integration of images, maps, documents, local
    knowledge by multi-media
  • Integration of multi-scale scientific methods by
    zoning, sampling and scaling
  • Integration of technologies, scientific methods,
    policy making procedures and market mechanism
  • Integration of fieldworks for practicing and
    networks for participating

4. Issues for Implementing the Framework in
Inventorying the information resources and
monitoring the environment
  • Establishing an innovative inventorying and
    monitoring systems in the highland with low cost
    and high performance
  • modern satellite observation networks
  • Observing and monitoring the ecosystems in
  • reasonable ground observation networks
  • Automatically collecting in situ environment data
  • grassroots human networks
  • gathering local knowledge of natural ecosystems
    and cultures
  • Receiving contemporary scientific knowledge and
    information service

Integration of geographic information and local
MODIS image
Ladnuse map by GRID
Local knowledge
In situ data
Assessing the ecosystem services of the highland
  • Production services (the highland specific goods)
  • peculiar plant and animal resources in the
    highland serving as healthy food and medicinal
  • Regulation services (balance of water and
  • ecosystems of the highland control the climate of
    Asian and impose great impacts on the environment
    of the planet.
  • Habitat services (specific biological diversity)
  • there live a lot of valuable animals and plants
    which are irreplaceable as genome bank and
    biodiversity resources.
  • Information services (culture, religions and
  • beautiful natural landscape, various ethnic
    customs and traditional religious cultures in the
    plateau are worthy resources of human being and
    with potential for developing traveling industry.

Method for Assessing Ecosystem Services by GIS
Study area selection
Ecological and geographic information
GIS-based operation
Yokohama City Area 300km2 Population
3,000,000 With Green Master Plan
Land cover classification
Ecosystem services of trees in the city
Latest Satellite Images
City ecomap
Expansion to the city
Land use
Eco-tope Definition GIS overlay
Tsuzuki Ward Area 25km2 Population
140,000 With well-designed green matrix
Ecosystem services of trees in the ward
District ecomap
Thematic Maps
Expansion to the ward
High resolution aero- photograph Inventories
of trees Impervious surfaces .
Tracing the canopies and inventorying trees
Sample Site Area 40ha Population100
Homogenous land use zone
Value of trees in the site
Ecosystem services of trees
Aero photograph Field
Block ecomap
Making policies for conservation and development
Ecological systems
Social Systems
Information Systems
Natural Databases Satellite images In situ
data Map data
Social databases Population Industry Culture
Digital Asia Network
Ecosystems and Human interaction analysis global
changes impact local activities impact
Understanding the highland ecosystems
Understanding the highland social systems
Land use simulation
Land use allocation developing urbanization
Social renewing Urbanization
Ecological Zoning
Environment Planning
Social Legislation
Spatial Planning
Public Involvement
Social Development
Establishing the mechanism for trading ecosystem
services (eg. CO2)
Begins from 2005 in Japan
Emission right seller
Emission right buyer
Real emission
Emission right
Real emission
Domestic company A
Trade companies
Real emission
Company B aboard
Domestic company C
China Needs Ecosystem Services Trading Mechanism
like CDM?
  • There exist public consciousness on ecosystem
    service trading in China.
  • Central government and eastern people dont
    expect production of timber and pasture but
    ecosystem services of regulation and information.
  • Who should pay for the costs of afforest in
    western regions? Without any compensation, why do
    we ask the western peasants endure the poor
    living condition.
  • Ecosystem service trading mechanism will link the
    constructors of environment and the consumers of
    ecosystem services. This could increase incentive
    of people for environment restoration and

5. Resources and conditions for implementing the
framework in Qinghai at present
The Peculiar Geographic Location and the Highland
  • Qinghai has advantages to investigate, to
    evaluate, and to manage the Natural Capital prior
    to western provinces and districts.
  • Nearly half of Qinghai Province is enclosed in
    Sanjuangyuan Natural Protection Zone.
  • The vulnerable ecosystems in the highland are not
    suitable for large-scale industrial development.
  • Tibetans are not welcome any dramatic changes of
  • Therefore, searching for ecosystem services
    trading between the highland and other regions
    becomes the most reasonable choice for Qinghai,
    especial the southern Qinghai.

Research Resources
  • Qinghai University, supported by Chinese Ministry
    of Education, has equipped with basic education
    and research facilities, and has achieved a
    workable level in the investigation, management
    and assessment of the highland environment.
  • The scientific team of Chinese Academy of Science
    has investigated the highland for 50 years, and
    accumulated abundant findings and information on
    the ecosystems there.
  • Earth Observation Satellites, Information and
    Communication Technologies offer systems for
    investigating and monitoring the wild land in
    high speed and low cost.

Chinese Governments Supports
  • A China, opening to the world more and more,
    secures basic condition for international
  • The Great Western Development Strategy and the
    desire of Chinese people for having greenery
    national land promise the possibility for
    introducing the market mechanism of ecosystem
    service trading.
  • Chinese Government and Chinese scientists have
    engaged in "Millennium Assessment" project. Their
    experience is helpful for implementing the
    framework in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

International Collaboration Network
  • The international exchanges of Qinghai University
    are active in recent years
  • An international network with environmental
    experts who are willing to contribute to the
    development and conservation of the highland is
  • This network, correspondent to the calling from
    the Embassy of China in Tokyo and the auspices of
    Chinese Education Ministry, is working
    functionally as a node for assisting Qinghai with
    resources abroad.

Keio Universitys COE Project
  • Keio University, one of the most famous
    university in Japan has started the project under
    the auspices of the Japanese Government's 21
    Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program,
    "Policy Innovation Initiative Human Security
    Research in Japan and Asia" since 2003, in which
    the collaboration of China and Japan on
    environment policy is a key issue in the coming
    five years.
  • Even before the COE project, Keio University has
    done many collaborative works with China such as
    afforest in Kangping County, Liaoning Province
    and Tongliao City in Inner Monglia Autonomous
  • These projects aim to assess the effect of
    absorption of CO2 by afforest and to explore the
    possibility to build the scheme for economic
    development by CDM.

Networks from Local to International
  • Counties in the heart of the Plateau
  • residents, local governments, NGOs
  • Xining City
  • Provincial Government, Qinghai University
  • Beijing
  • Central Government, Chinese Academy,
  • Japan
  • Embassy of China and Keio University
  • International society
  • Academic Organizations UNU in Tokyo, MA
  • NGOs ICRSE (USA), Plateau Perspective (Canada),
    International Experts for Assisting China Western

Further Actions
  • Practicing the framework with the support of
    KEIOs COE Project
  • Implementing the framework in local counties and
    Xining City
  • Setting up research center in Xining and
    sub-center in the upper highland, like Zhiduo

The Water Head of Yellow River
You are welcome to join us to practice this new
strategy for sustainable development at the
unique site on the planet.
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