Where We Work

Guizhou

Map of Guizhou

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Guizhou is a province in south-western China comprising mainly plateaus and mountainous areas. It is the only Chinese province that is without flatlands. Guizhou has a population of more than 34 million of which 39% are ethnic minorities and 65% live in rural areas. Most people live in mountain villages. Mainstream development in recent years has diminished the biological and cultural diversity of the mountainous areas of Guizhou where small scale farming is practiced.

The life of rural communities has been greatly affected by the intrusion of outside culture and the problem of large numbers of young people leaving their rural homes to work in urban areas. If these communities are to maintain a sustainable way of existence, respect for traditional cultures and love for land and nature must be reawakened among the villagers. Development models suitable for rural communities in mountainous areas have to be adopted.

Guizhou Programmes Focus on Three Areas

Guizhou programmes focus on three areas: Wisdom of Nature, Ecological Agriculture and Traditional Knowledge and Innovation.

Wisdom of Nature

There is a saying in Guizhou: "The number of sunny days does not exceed three; the area of flatlands does not exceed three square miles". This encapsulates the special climate and environment characteristics of Guizhou. These special conditions have given birth to rich biodiversity in the province. Taking these features into account, we partner with Guizhou people to explore the essence of 'ecological civilisation'. This aims to initiate a kind of production and consumption which is sustainable, rooted in respect for and protection of nature. It aims for a harmonious and symbiotic relationship among people, between people and nature and between people and the community. Through activities such as people’s forums, seminars and consumer education, we facilitate the local people to develop passions and a sense of responsibility for their homeland and its natural environment.

Ecological Agriculture

Since 2003, PCD has been promoting ecological agriculture and cultural preservation in rural communities in Guizhou. For the former, we have been facilitating the establishment of farmers' networks, organising exchange and learning activities, providing training on knowledge and skills of ecological agriculture to farmers and restoring and preserving traditional crop varieties. We have also facilitated the exploration of the connection between traditional culture, ecological agriculture and ecological preservation, with an aim to revive the traditional knowledge related to the ecological system of agriculture. We also encourage the innovation of farming practices which are conducive to the conservation of agricultural ecology.

In the future, we will facilitate communities to learn about the diverse roles of agriculture in sustainable living. For example, the value of mutual help and self-reliance is discovered through the activities of farming. This kind of learning, which has been concentrated in individual communities in the past, will be expanded to various social groups organised across communities.

Traditional Knowledge and Innovation

In previous years, the Guizhou team has been supporting communities to restore their traditional festivals, so as to encourage the younger generations to rediscover the roots of their culture. We put a high value on the training of youngsters in this regard.

We will continue our collaboration with communities of minority races, such as the Miaos and Dongs, to probe deeply into the core cultural values rooted in their traditional knowledge. In such a way, we explore the spiritual support for communities to attain self-fulfillment.

We encourage communities to pay attention to the inheritance of their highly valued traditional knowledge and culture. In such a way, the self-consciousness of a community will be aroused, as well as its sense of responsibility to preserve its own culture.

In urban areas, we support the recording of local history and cultural memories so that local people will develop a sense of connectivity and responsibility with their own place.

Theme photo of Guizhou