2018-2020 Community Tree Planting Project in Guinan County, Qinghai

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File with pictures for download WORD doc.1. WanMuShu HuangHeYuan – Tree Planting Project Proposal Revised[15191]

WanMuShu HuangHe Yuan

2018-2020 Community Tree Planting Project in Guinan County, Qinghai

April 12, 2018


Project Locations: Wangshike Village, Dongke Village and Shajia Village, Shagou Township and Guomayin Township, Guinan County, Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, PR China.


Sitemap (numbered red circles):




Desert Sizes and Locations(Red lines)


Donor Organization


  • Shanghai Guofeng Charity Foundation
  • Rotary Clubs in China (TBD)



Project Implementation Time     


  1. April-May 2018: Phase One (Site 1-3 in Wangshike Village).
  2. April-May 2019: Phase Two: (Site 4 in Shajia Village).
  3. April-May 2020: Phase Three: (Site 5-6 in Dongke Village).



Implementing Organization




Project Budget

  • Objective is to plant one million trees in three years in 10,000mu of desert.


Item Quantity Unit Price Quantity per mu Set Price per mu
Trees 1 1.5RMB 100 150RMB
Bush seeds 1 kg 30RMB 1.5kg 45RMB
Grass seeds 1 kg 25RMB 10kg 250RMB
Total   56.5RMB   445RMB


Item Total mu Total Quantity Set Price per mu Total Price
Trees 10,000 1,000,000 150RMB 1,500,000
Bush seeds 10,000 15,000kg 45RMB 450,000
Grass seeds 10,000 100,000kg 250RMB 2,500,000
Transportation       40,000
Management fees       30,000
Total 10,000 1 million trees + 115,000kg grass 445 4,520,000


Note: A total of 100 trees will be planted in a mu of desert. Between each tree, there will be a space of three meters. In each mu of 100 trees, 1.5kg of bush seeds and 10kg of grass seeds will be sown.



Project Goal


  • Restore grassland ecosystems to bring sustainable community livelihood





Project Objectives


  • Plant one million trees in 10,000mu (666.7Ha/6.667 sq.km)of desert in three years
  • Plant and restore grassland and forest vegetable in six initial sites
  • Eliminate desertification threatening local livelihood and Yellow River reservoir
  • Revitalize rural village livelihood
  • Reduce soil erosion
  • Raise awareness of local grassland restoration
  • Promote local community participation
  • Incentivize locals to engage through planning, implementing, and owning
  • Build a sustainable ecosystem through planting and conservation training
  • enhance soil humidity, structure and fertility (soil wealth protection)
  • protect local property and lives from flooding
  • create wildlife habitats to slow the rate of loss of biodiversity
  • re-introduction of locally extinct, but historically economically significant plant species


Project Description


            The desert area is situated alongside China’s first Yellow River reservoir dam (Longyangxia) constructed in 1986. The growing desert is a threat both for the water reservoir and local livelihood.The region is characterized by low temperatures, low but highly variable precipitation, frequent strong winds, high evaporation, thin and sparse vegetation cover, and widely distributed areas of fine sandy particles.

            Communities surrounding the desert in Guinan County are suffering from environmental degradation. A lack of sufficient desert prevention, continued overgrazing within pastureland enclosure, and lack of adequate rainfall contribute to the loss of vegetative cover and thus desertification. Although much of the desertification in the county goes back to generations, in many places, desertification emerged as recently as ten years ago and some parts almost even less.

In order to prevent the desertification and reverse environmental degradation, local government implemented such policies as fence enclosure to limit the livestock and relocate some local nomads to local township towns. These artificial policies were not a panacea for the local desertification. They rather had the opposite effects in certain places. Pastureland was divided for each family according to the number of people in a household. With limited land and increased population, local residents could not generate sufficient income from herding alone. As a result, almost half the population of local herders gave up herding and relocated to local township town to pursue non-farm activities. Meanwhile, their pastureland is leased to the remaining herders. While the number of herders had declined over the years, the number of livestock actually had increased to sustain local income. In some part, the pastureland is overgrazed more quickly than ever before. The environmental degradation gave rise to the loss of local habitat coupled with the desertification that resulted in the loss of biodiversity.

Parts of the herding area have now lost natural water storage capacity in the soil. Due to lack of vegetation and trees, the soil conditions are such that rainwater runs-off almost as soon as it lands, exacerbating the rates of soil erosion.

The local households are endangered in several important ways. With the unimpeded expansion of desert, local nomads are on the verge of losing their land and resettling to a local urban town. Without situating in strategic locations or adequate vegetation and trees in the surroundings, flooding jeopardize local people and their property. Rainstorms had flooded out several family houses over the years. The region is arid dry. Rainfall become more unpredictable in recent years due to climate change. Flood is not uncommon in the area when rainstorms hit the area that result in long and wide erosions throughout the edges of grassland. These erosions soon become giant canyons.

According to a recent scientific study carried out in the watershed of the local region on assessing desertification trends from 1975’s to 2005’s revealed some of the following facts:

           The local landscape is characterized by four major ecosystems: grassland, desert, forest, and wetland. Grassland occupied 72% of the area, unused land accounted for 11%, versus 10% for water areas and wetlands, 6% for forest, 1% for farmland, and 0.1% for built up land.

            Under the influence of a semi-humid climate and prevailing strong winds, aeolian desertification has developed widely in the watershed’s reservoir and its surrounding areas, leading to deterioration of the region’s ecological environment and reducing the reservoir’s capacity as a result of deposition of sediments blown into the reservoir from aeolian desertified land and carried into the reservoir by surface runoff.

            The aeolian desertified land was mainly distributed in the river valley, around lakes and flat parts of the watershed, and was mainly characterized by wind erosion of grassland and the deposition of wind-blown sand. During the 30 years between 1975’s and 2005’s, replica watches swiss the area of aeolian desertified land increased by 210,227.39 ha, which represents a 14% increase compared to the 1975’s area. Human activities and natural factors influence aeolian desertification at the level of regional landscapes. Livestock grazing on natural rangeland was the main economic activity. As a result of China’s reform and opening up policy, which was implemented in 1978, the regional livestock population increased greatly, showing a nearly linear increase and the resulting overgrazing led to deterioration of much of the area’s grassland, which accelerated aeolian desertification.

            Since 1998, a series of key national projects have been initiated to combat degradation of the area’s eco-environment. The measures that have been taken include abandoning and revegetating farmland on unsuitable land to produce forests or grassland, protecting native forests against deforestation, and taking steps to conserve both soil and water. These projects slowed the rate of aeolian desertification from 1989’s to 2005’s and led to obvious restoration of grasslands and forest vegetation in some areas. Although some positive impacts were shown, these projects have not greatly improved the vegetation cover. This is because of the general ecosystem fragility in the area and lack of rigorous local community participation. Given the region’s harsh climate, aeolian desertification will continue to threaten the region’s eco-environment if local government and communities implement long-term conservation programs.

            Local elders give ample narratives in witnessing the rapid growth of local desert within their generation. However, lack of community awareness on anti-desertification and rigorous participation is one of the key challenges. Herdsmen become mere bystanders and exploiters of the land degradation with limited knowledge and resources on preventing desert. Livestock continue to be a key economic activity for many locals. Wherever there is a lush grassland, locals unhesitatingly exploit it.

Official statistics also reveal that Qinghai province has a total of 44,317 km2 desert, consisting one of China’s eight major desert regions. Within the province, Guinan County has the largest county level desert with 747 sq.km of desert.The county has a total size of 6,593 square kilometers, out of which, there are 5,047 sq.km of grassland, 747 sq.km of desert, 167 sq.km of cropland, and 134 sq.km of forest. Riverbeds and town seats are not counted here.

The local county government implemented a number of tree planting projects for several years, but most of these are done in visible parts of the desert from main roads and paths. Besides, there is a limited community engagement in such project as they are sub-contracted to private companies or individuals. Once such the projects discontinued, they are subject to failure due to the lack of local residents engaging the projects, taking ownership and monitoring the conservation areas.


Project Implementation and Sustainability

            100 trees are best planted in 1 mu (or about 666.7 square meters). A minimum of 600 trees are planted by two people per day with a tree hole excavator. With a selection of project team from local villagers, one representative from each household will participate throughout the course of this project implementation.

            Awareness, local participation and ownership in this project will create values for sustaining the project after the end of this project funding. Locals will look after the plants perpetually with a concept protecting their homeland and a place that generate income by herding moderate number of livestock. One or two long-term people will look after the plants with an estimation of 1,000 to 2,000RMB per month. Each village assign their watchmen for the grassland and plant project, which the government has certain maintenance subsidies annually.

            In the coming three years, this initiative may be scaled up to be implemented with other communities in the area that are affected by desertification. The legal owner of the trees would be the local village committee or the village collectively, while the individual households have the grassland use right. Ganglha and the local village committees will supervise the project.

            Given the current policies of environmental displacement, local communities are incentivized to protect the environment in order to live in their natural land. Furthermore, introduction of certain economic trees could produce fruits that would ultimately bring income to the local households to do further conservation work and maintenance of the plants in the long run.




Project Sites (red lines)


Site two.

Site Two.

Site four to six.


Additional Information