Our Stories

  • Chinese Farmers Plant a Seed for a Chemical Free FutureChinese Farmers Plant a Seed for a Chemical Free FutureJul 15, 2015Seventy year-old Dang Jiuru always dreamed of sending his grandson to university, but until recently his lifelong ambition seemed destined to remain unfulfilled. His apple orchard in Luochuan County, Shaanxi Province, simply didn't make enough money. But just two years since he took the bold step of abandoning toxic DDT pesticides, his grandson's university fund is growing as fast as his apples.

  • Improving Local Livelihoods by Protecting the Ningxia DesertImproving Local Livelihoods by Protecting the Ningxia DesertJul 15, 2015“The cold winds from the north and the west blew up the sands, and all you could see was sand – everywhere,” recounted Liu Zhanyou, the Village Chief of Liuyaotou, Ningxia. The desert-like Ningxia environment is known for its harsh living conditions, making everyday life difficult for local villagers like Liu En. The Liuyaotou villagers, residing on the borders of the Mu Us desert where the annual precipitation is less than 250mm, have to rely on sheep husbandry as their source of income.

  • Sustainable Forest Management Boosts Development of Carbon MarketsSustainable Forest Management Boosts Development of Carbon MarketsJun 29, 2015The mountain scenery of Miyun County has changed over recent decades. Before the 1980s, mountains in Miyun were barren, with only a thin layer of soil covering the mountain rocks. It was difficult to spot trees; instead, there were only naturally-grown shrubs which were less effective in soil and water conservation.

  • Guangxi Sugarcane Farmers Scale Up Yields, Increase Drought ResilienceGuangxi Sugarcane Farmers Scale Up Yields, Increase Drought ResilienceMay 7, 2015During the dry half of the year, Li Zhi Wen, a sugarcane farmer in Lianhe Village of Shangsi County in Guangxi, and his wife, Qin Shaozhen, must lead an ox cart three kilometers away to obtain water. Without a dependable water source, it is difficult for them to maintain their sugarcane fields, a water intensive crop, as well as domestic hygiene and sanitation.

  • Medical Devices Factory Combats Environmental Concerns Medical Devices Factory Combats Environmental Concerns May 7, 2015Yu Jiao, a young female employee at Zhejiang Kindly Medical Devices Co. Ltd (KDL) has worked for years in the medical devices industry in very difficult conditions. “Our company has a huge cleaning workload at an annual amount of 400,000 or so pieces of fixtures.” The cleaning procedure for all fixtures was manually done, with workers such as Yu Jiao brushing and refilling the cleaning solvents over and over by hand.

  • Producing Paint Using Marine-Friendly Alternatives to DDTProducing Paint Using Marine-Friendly Alternatives to DDTMay 7, 2015Tang Hao has been a seasoned worker in the production of Anti Fouling Paint (AFP) for nearly a decade. He began working in Zhejiang Flying Whale Paint Ltd, Feijing, in his mid- 20s but was unaware that the paint he dealt with every day was DDT-based and extremely harmful to humans and wildlife.

  • Biodiversity Conservation Yields Organic TeaBiodiversity Conservation Yields Organic TeaMay 7, 2015As a seasoned tea farmer, Li Mingshui is well acquainted with Xinyang Maofeng tea, one of the most famous green teas in China. “To cultivate the best tea leaves, it is important to find a place with amiable weather and quality water supply. So mountains provide suitable conditions for tea to grow,” said Li.

  • Remodelling Chinese Homes for the Next MillenniumRemodelling Chinese Homes for the Next MillenniumMay 7, 2015When most people think of remodelling it is often the physical changes, like adding new curtains, modern flooring or wallpaper, that first come to mind. But for the 337 million rural Chinese residents – representing 32 percent of the total population – that lack clean cooking fuel, the kind of renovations UNDP have been working on are having far wider implications.

  • A More Sustainable Home for Migratory Birds in GansuA More Sustainable Home for Migratory Birds in GansuFeb 9, 2015Growing up in Guomaotan wetland, Xihedao is very familiar with migratory birds passing by every winter. “Wildfowls like black-necked cranes and swans are attached to their partners for a lifetime. Once their partners are gone, the birds wail at the loss and feel very alone,” said Xihedao. “The sounds they make are heart-trembling.”

  • Not Just Another Brick in the WallNot Just Another Brick in the WallFeb 4, 2015Wang Jingli has lived in the region around Wangyu village in China’s Hebei province for almost thirty years. The region, located in the mountainous area north of Shihe District, Qinhuangdao is famous for cherry cultivation and rural tourism. Wangyu’s local population of 938 used to live across five separate villages. In the past, the village residents had to cope with a lack of public facilities and social infrastructure such as inadequate drainage, non-existent central heating and no public green spaces.