Sichuan Tianfu Bank and WWF Signed A Strategic Cooperation Agreement
The world's first Panda Friendly Certification was officially released in Chengdu, China, on 26 October 2018. This is an important sustainable use product certification system created by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for Chinese producers and giant panda protection after the FSC forest certification system and MSC aquatic product certification system that have been used around the world. It marks the beginning of a period when consumers around the world can buy sustainable produced products from China while protecting the wild giant panda.
"Mountains, rivers, lakes, seas and human society are unified life community”, said Yan Xun, the inspector from Nature Reserve Management Department of National Bureau of Forestry and Grassland. “Economic development and environment protection are not opposites, but should complement each other. And panda friendly certification standards have built such a bridge, combining environmental protection with ecological poverty alleviation.
Environmental protection product certification system is now widely used in the world. It regulates manufacturers' manufacturing process. For example, organic food certification requires the production process not to use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, etc. Wood and paper products with the forest certification FSC logo requires that the raw material must not from endangered tree species or illegally logging. The Panda Friendly Certification is an innovative attempt by WWF based on its years of experience in panda conservation. A qualified "panda friendly product" needs to meet a series of "stringent" requirements, the core of which are: forest farming products that are from wild panda distribution areas; the collection or planting process meets the requirements of sustainable utilization, and has contributed to the protection of giant pandas and its livelihood.
This certification provides a solution to the conflict between wildlife conservation and community development in remote areas. Since the 1980s, the survival situation of giant pandas in China has improved significantly with the joint efforts of the government and civil society. The fourth national survey of giant pandas shows that both the population and habitat area of wild giant pandas are growing. However, wild giant pandas still face multiple threats overall: 33.2% of the pandas still live in the mountains outside the protected area, and the panda habitat area outside the protected area accounts for 46.2% of the total habitat area..
Jean-Paul Paddack, WWF's director of global conservation, explained the idea of Panda Friendly Certification, "Most of the giant pandas outside the protected areas are located in state-owned forest farms and community collective forests. The daily livelihood activities of local residents will inevitably disturb them. In order to protect the pandas, the activities of the residents are more or less restricted, so are their ways to make a living. But the large-scale use of resources is not only a threat to pandas and their habitats, but also unsustainable. Moreover, the communities around the habitat of giant pandas are often located in remote areas, and it is difficult to compete with the plain area. Only by taking the characteristic, small scale, and fine sustainable development model, can the market find the way out. Panda Friendly Certification has such characteristics -- outstanding quality, and added value. We believe it can protect pandas and alleviate poverty ecologically at the same time."After the certification system was released, One Earth Foundation, Sichuan Tianfu Bank and WWF signed a strategic cooperation agreement. Sichuan Tianfu Bank promises to continue to invest funds in the protection of wild giant pandas in the next three years, and to support the protection of giant pandas and their habitats through professional environmental protection organizations.