UNDP China and Jala Group to give culture-based development for ethnic minorities a $1m facelift

21 Feb 2011

21 February, Shanghai—United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China announced today that the UN’s development arm is partnering with Jala Group, a leading domestic cosmetic company, in a landmark public-private partnership aimed at assisting some of China’s most vulnerable and impoverished ethnic minority communities by testing out alternative livelihood pilots and harnessing the market potential of their rich and diverse cultural heritages.

China has the world’s biggest ethnic minority population, amounting to 106 million. Although China has made remarkable achievements in poverty reduction in the past three decades, ethnic minority groups are still disadvantaged as they account for nearly half of the China’s poorest.

“Ethnic minorities possess rich and distinctive ways of life which, if properly preserved and managed, can be a strong driving force for development,” said Silvia Morimoto, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China, during a press conference that took place in Shanghai today to announce the partnership with Jala Group. “Yet, lower levels of market development in remote areas have meant that local communities have not been able to turn these cultural resources into valuable capital for development. To tackle this challenge, the UN is seeking broader partnerships from all sectors of the society, including those from the business community committed to supporting this important cause.”

This four-year initiative in conjunction with Jala Group is set to provide crucial linkages between the traditional cultural practices of ethnic minorities and modern market trends, broadening production and marketing channels for community-based tourism, handicrafts, and cultural resource preservation.

In an effort to provide ethnic minority population with alternative livelihood, employment opportunities and income generation, plans to establish pilot project sites will focus on building capacities and engaging with local champions, ensuring that communities remain as the architects, owners and beneficiaries of the project’s anticipated success.

Zheng Chunying, CEO of Jala Group, expressed his delight at being “the first private enterprise in China to cooperate with UNDP in this unique development area”. “UNDP strive to promote culture-based sustainable development of China’s ethnic minorities, having provided a tremendous contribution to the protection of their unique cultural heritages whilst helping them improve their livelihood and generate income. In this respect, Jala Group shares the same vision, which is ‘to promote a culture of beauty that helps people build a better life.”

As an innovative company, with a keen eye on its own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations, Jala Group’s investment of $1million over a four-year period represents a substantial pledge from one of China’s leading enterprises. More importantly, it also sends a clear message to the country’s bourgeoning private sector, at a time of great economic upheaval, about the need for businesses to continue to provide lasting contributions to national development.

 

Note to editors:

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About UNDP
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UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

For more information, visit www.undp.org.cn

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About Jala Group
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Jala Group was founded in Shanghai in 2001, and has been devoted to R&D, production and sales of beauty products for the ten years. Through cooperation with international research institutions in France, Japan and Germany, Jala has successfully established four major brands: CHCEDO, MAYSU, AGLAIA and insea. Jala possesses 73 patented technologies in the fields of design and product formulation, and has become one of the largest cosmetics groups in China. On September 11, 2009, Jala Group was officially approved to take part in 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and entered the first camp of Chinese enterprises. Jala is active in corporate social responsibility, and established “Jala non-profit foundation” to assist impoverished students, build up hope primary schools, and donate fund to disaster-hit area, etc.

For more information about Jala Group and Jala CSR, visit www.jala.com.cn;     http://www.jala.com.cn/responsibility.php  

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT

Jala Media Relations
Ms. Sylvia Ding 
Phone: +86 137 6438 6505 
Email: dingyingxin@jala.com.cn

UNDP China
Communications Officer 
Ms. Zhang Wei 
Phone: +86 (0)10 8532 0715 
Email: wei.zhang@undp.org