Taoyuan, Hunan Community Leaders Visit Yunnan to Study Eco-tourism

From 27 July to 3 September 2012, Future Generations China organized two study tours or field missions to Yunnan. One study tour to Meili Snow Mountain in Yunnan included ten local partners and was led by Mr. Cili Norbu, Executive Director of FGC. The second study tour consisted of ten local villagers and community-based volunteers from Taoyuan County of Hunan, and was led by Ms. Maggie FAN and Dr. WEN Yongshun of FGC. The two missions met in Lijiang and discussed the implementation of “the New Xiangxi Eco-tourism Project” of Taoyuan Model Eco-Community.

Field missions/Study Tours are important means of Future Generatins China to train community leaders. As part of the training for community leaders of Taoyuan Model Eco-Community Project and based on the actual needs of local groups, the eco-tourism field mission visited Lugu Lake at Lijiang, Moso families, Liwubi Island, Old Town of Lijiang, Yulong Snow mountain, Old Village of Suhe, Heilongtan Park, Potato Plant of Shangnanyao Village of Lashi township, and the wet-land in Lashihai Lake. The program of the mission was packed and rich. The mission members did not only enjoyed the natural beauty, but also conducted experience-based holistic study through activities such as experiencing rural meals, group discussions, case sharing, group learning with CPC party secretary Mr. Zhao from Huangshan town as well as FGC partners.  

On August 31, the Taoyuan Eco-tourism delegation and delegation of FCG cooperation partners led by Mr. Cili Norbu met at the multifunctional hall of Lijiang Tiaohu Gorge Hotel for the Eco-Tourism Symposium. The symposium was hosted by Mr. Cili Norbu and participants included entrepreneurs from all walks of life as well as professors. Coordinator of Taoyuan Model Eco-Community project, Mr. Wen Yonghsui first introduced the latest updates, initial results, future plans and challenges of the project with PowerPoint slides. Then some representatives of villagers shared their thoughts about the study mission in Yunnan in the last few days.

Participants expressed their interest and support for the development of Taoyuan MEC project and gave constructive suggestions for environmental protection and development of eco-tourism in the project area. Project Sponsor Dr. Fang Zhang passionately said, “I am truly impressed by the Taoyuan project. I would give it a 100 if I were to grade it! Now I am most concerned about the breeding pollution of Taoyuan Honghe Community. It is a significant problem with a direct bearing on the development and effects of eco-tourism projects.” He also added, “The Taoyuan Pilot Eco-Community building is not only about the hardware, but it also needs to focus on software, integrating into the community. The past achievements of Taoyuan projects have also fully proved this point.” Consultant of FGC Ms. Fang and some entrepreneurs broadly exchanged ideas about the eco-tourism project and Mr. Cili Norbu shared a successful story of Yunnan Shangri-La Yubeng village eco-tourism project.

After that, the FGC Eco-Tourism Delegation continued with their field trip in Yunnan, with every member sharing his/her thoughts about the good points and things to be improved of what they saw that day. Then they discussed among themselves about how to bring home the good experiences, how to improve the service quality, and how to make plans.

During those discussions villager Li Haiqing was one of the most active and contemplative: “We really need to thank you for bringing us here in Yunnan for field trip, or we wouldn’t have had any idea how to really develop eco-tourism, or even what it really is. During the last few days, my ideas have changed a lot. Especially when we were in the South Yao village potato plant in the city of Rafah Township, I was impressed by the purity and hospitality of the people of Yi ethnic group, who welcomed us with songs, dances and great wines. They were protecting every person and every life there with their own action: patrolling the mountains, not hunting animals, not excavating herbs, and they haven’t even laid highways in order to prevent too many visitors flooding the place and destroying the environment. In my opinion, they are in poor materially, maybe lagging behind for several decades from where we are from, but I can see and believe that they are happy!” “Our place may not be as culturally distinctive as Yunnan, but Ruanshui has its own beautiful scenery and rich natural resources. I believe we can do a great job in eco-tourism in Ruanjiang." The articulate Xiang Taoxi told us.

During the seven-day field trip, the members established friendships, reached common goals, established a firm confidence and everyone learned a lot. Although the Yunnan field trip is over, the journey of the members have just begun. In the same determination to develop an eco-friendly, harmonious homeland, they discussed how to develop hiking tour routes, water attractions, the fishing center and farmhouse inns.