Lin’an is a city district of China’s Hangzhou Municipality that’s endowed with rich forest reserves. The district is a typical representative of collective forests. Dominant species in Lin’an include bamboo, pine, Chinese fir, hickory, and broad-leaved trees. By the end of 2018, forests approximately 82% of the city’s administrative area. Biodiversity conservation is important to Lin’an, where two state-level nature reserves—Tianmu Mountain and Qingliang Peak—were established. The two reserves are respectively known as the “Hometown of Bamboo” and the “Hickory Capital” in China. Lin’an is among the early-movers in China to adopt the notion of “Model Forests” that aims at moving from conventional forest management towards more sustainable production and environmental conservation. Since then, the district has cultivated many high-yield edible bamboo shoots, promoted hickory farming techniques, and introduced eco-tourism.
The home of bamboo in China
Bamboo, which despite its woody appearance is a type of grass, has been long used in China in many ways. Bamboo shoots are a standard food ingredient, typically made into a soup, braised with meat or vegetables, or eaten as a snack. Bamboo’s light and strong stem is used in a wide range of building materials, and bamboo fibers are used in paper and textile products. Lin’an District, the capital of Zhejiang Province, was named as “the home of bamboo in China” due to its large scale cultivation of bamboo: there are some 50,000 bamboo shoot farmers, 4,000 processing workers and 6,000 people involved in marketing. Apart from its economic importance, bamboo forests grow fast and quickly absorb CO2, meaning that they “play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation” says Li Nuyun, Deputy Director of the Climate Change Office in China’s State Forestry Administration. Well-managed bamboo plantations work in harmony with natural ecosystems and provide income for local communities.