Community-based conservation and sustainable use in Junggar and Turpan, Xinjiang
Local project coordinator: Turpan Botanical Garden and Xinjiang Insitute of Ecology and Geography, CAS
This project aims to enhance conservation and sustainable use of native species and plants of high socio-economic value in the desert ecosystem of Jinghe county Junggar Basin, and Aidinghu, Turpan Basin in the northern part of Xinjiang. This is particularly true for the widely sought after and highly priced Cistanche deserticola (CITES Appendix II), and its natural host Haloxylon ammodendron and H. persicum. Overexploitation and habitat loss have dramatically decreased populations of these species as well as of numerous other native dryland plants. Since 2012, BGCI is supporting a number of propagation and cultivation trials for Haloxylon ammodendron and H. persicum as well as techniques of inoculation with the C. deserticola, to diminish the pressure on the fragile desert habitat caused by indiscriminate collection. With active engagement of the local Uyghur community of Jinghe county and Aidinghu, a number of test sites have been established where the species are being cultivated and the growth rates monitored. Local farmers have been supported to practise similar propagation and cultivation activities on their own land. This work is accompanied by the production of a number of public outreach materials. Nevertheless, environmental awareness campaigns and skill development in propagation and cultivation need to be further stepped up in order to reduce the collection pressure in the wild.
In 2015, BGCI is looking to carry out further propagation tests and train local farmers in inoculation techniques with C. deserticola.