Home in Sanjiangyuan

May 22, 2017

Children from Xingzhi Elementary School are reading books on environmental protection, Photo by Qinghai Forestry Project Office

Flowers have life

“One day, my dad bought me a football. I was playing with it on the grass, and I accidentally stepped on one flower. However, when I looked back, the flower was lifting itself back, just like a how a person got up when he knocked down. Since then, I started to believe that flowers have life.”

The story was told by a seventh-grader, Bai Qingjia in Qumalai County, Qinghai Province. His story, along with other stories about wildlife and landscapes in Qinghai Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve (SNNR), have been collected for the ‘Home in Sanjiangyuan, a textbook for young students to raise their awareness of protecting the environment.

Sanjiangyuan is in the area of the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai province, which contains the headwaters of the Yellow River, the Yangtze River, and the Mekong River. Covering the southern and eastern parts of Qinghai, it has various landforms, high altitude grassland, mountains, wetlands and forest system. These eco systems provide shelters for various wildlife. It is estimated in the Blue Book of Constructing Qinghai Ecological Civilization that the ecological value of Sanjiangyuan area could be up to US$ 2 trillion (RMB 14 trillion).  

‘Home in Sanjiangyuan’, is the first textbook for local ecological and environmental education, published on May 12th in Xining Qinghai, as part of efforts to engage the local community in protecting the biodiversity of Qinghai province from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - Global Environment Facility (GEF) Qinghai Project in Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve (SNNR).

UNDP-CH-EE-Home in Sanjiangyuan.2The textbook, "Living at Sanjiangyuan" Photo by Qinghai Forestry Project Office

“We can learn about the wildlife, geographical features and relevant environmental protection factors from this book. With both pictures and words, it’s easier for kids to understand and absorb” noted Lisa Farroway, UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Technical Advisor.

There are around 600,000 people living in the area, with 90 percent from Tibetan heritage. This book brings to life stories based on real surveys and sources, written from the perspective of local children in the Sanjiangyuan area. Over 15,000 copies will be distributed to local schools.

Home in Sanjiangyuan is literary work, as well as a combination of literature, scientific knowledge, paintings and local stories.” Said Yu Xiubo, GEF Project Chief National Consultant. “This publication will help raise local students’ awareness of ecological protection, and further contribute to biodiversity protection in Qinghai province.”

UNDP has partnered with the People’s Government of Qinghai Province since 2012 to implement the UNDP-GEF Qinghai Project, with the goal to strengthen the provincial PA system and help to fulfil its mandate to safeguard its globally significant biodiversity. 

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