Pandas are a magical creature – a black and white adorable tub of fluff that has seen some scary, endangered times. Many conservationists around the world including zoos in the United States and centers in Beijing, China are working hard to help protect the plight of the Panda. Many of the Pandas’ natural habitats are becoming extinct with the construction of new neighborhoods (unsustainable developments) and other environmental distresses.
In one town in the province of Sichuan, China the city and the conservationists worked together to make sure both local farmers and pandas were both taken care of (one not losing their home, and the other not losing their income).
Sichuan peppers are a big money-maker for local farmers in the community. Unfortunately the area where the peppers grow are home to 36 giant pandas. Due to the rapid decline of the panda species, China enforced strict guidelines and announced the area was now off limits – creating a big financial obstacle for the farmers. This forced them to try to scour and harvest vegetables in the wild, which proved to drastically decrease their income.
The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) wanted both pandas and farmers to flourish in the area where the Sichuan pepper grew. This became known as the Pepper Project.
The WWF made a perfect match by introducing the farmers to the #1 retailer in the world, Carrefour. Their partnership has provided the partners with a direct line of income for the direct purchasing system established between WWF. Since 2010, Carrefour has been the #1 buyer for the Sichuan pepper, creating a substantial income (an increase of 20%) and a stable financial situation for the farmer. They no longer need to worry about where and how to sell their peppers. With Carrefour’s direct help, the project helps nearly 1300 families in the region.
How this helps Pandas:
The area where the Pandas reside is now protected and the sustainable development of a biodiversity-rich landscape helps to produce quality peppers. Customers that purchase these peppers are directly helping the Panda’s land and the farmers’ income. The environmentally friendly land use helps to protect the area from overexploitation.
You can help adopt a panda in the wildlife by visiting.