Carbon, biodiversity & ecosystem services:
exploring co-benefits

Jiangxi Province, China

As the fourth largest country in the world, China encompasses vast climatic and altitudinal variation, making it rich in biodiversity. According to the last National Forest Resource Inventory Survey of China (2004-2008), total forest area within the country covers 20.4% of total land area. Over the last few years, China has made increasing efforts to develop forest projects that help to secure and sequester carbon.

Jiangxi map
Carbon density and areas of high forest product value
in Jiangxi Province, China (data from Statistics
Bureaux of Jiangxi Province 2005)

In September 2009, UNEP-WCMC and Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES), with support from GTZ, BMU and BfN, investigated the distribution of carbon and biodiversity for Jiangxi Province, located in the south-eastern part of China (see summary report and poster). The results of these analyses helped to answer questions such as how much carbon was stored in Jiangxi’s ecosystems, how carbon density related to biodiversity and people, and how carbon storage related to Protected Areas.

In a second phase of collaboration, a two week workshop was held in June 2010 between UNEP-WCMC and CRAES in Jiangxi Province, China. The aim of the workshop was to incorporate additional datasets that had become available since the first period of collaboration, as well as to improve methods for calculating provincial carbon stocks. The result was an updated carbon map for Jiangxi Province, as well additional analyses of the relationship between carbon and other ecosystem services, such as areas of importance for forest products and honey (see summary report part II).

The updated results indicate that Jiangxi Province stores 492 Mt of total terrestrial carbon stock. This new estimate is considerably larger than the first phase estimate, which put the figure at 420 Mt. Carbon overlays with additional biodiversity and ecosystem service datasets show that almost half of Jiangxi’s carbon is stored in areas important for endemic and endangered species, and more than 45% is stored in areas which are important for forest products (see map).