Located to the northeast of Beijing, the Miyun Reservoir is the main source of drinking water for the 17 million residents of Beijing municipality, a city which faces a serious water crisis.
For years inflows have been limited by poor forest functionality and inappropriate activities in the reservoir catchment area. The Miyun Reservoir catchment has significant forest cover, but the forest is unhealthy and is poorly managed, due to national policies that ban all forms of logging and limit access to mountain areas. Such policies also severely curtail the development of livelihoods for communities in the catchment.
In 2007, IUCN and the Beijing Forestry Society (BFS) launched a landscape restoration and livelihood improvement project in the Huayuan watershed, which is in the catchment area. The project aims to restore the watershed landscape through participatory processes, thus optimizing the biodiversity and productivity of the forest landscape. The project will also deliver livelihood benefits to the rural poor and aims to promote more appropriate forest policies, particularly with respect to China’s logging ban. The project will be executed in collaboration with the Sino-German Financial Cooperation Project “Watershed Management on Forest Land, Beijing” and build upon nine years of learning through the Sino-German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) Project “Protection and Management of the Watershed Area of the Miyun Reservoir”.