GOGREEN logo. It says GOGREEN in light green. Underneath, in dark green, it says: "Governing Green Transitions". There is a green square that frames the text on the left.

Ant Forest Protected Area Project

Time span: 2016-present

SDGs: 1, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17

Partners: Alipay, Fushou Village Community Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, the Paradise Foundation, local governments.

Image by Paradise Foundation in 2020

China is one of the most biodiverse countries globally. In the 21st century, the rapid development of e-commerce technology, exemplified by Alibaba, has opened new avenues for biodiversity conservation. A standout initiative in this realm is the Ant Forest Project, supported by Alipay, officially launched in 2016. Participants in the project can accumulate “green energy” by engaging in low-carbon behaviors, such as using public transport. Upon amassing sufficient “green energy,” consumers can contribute to real tree planting through Alipay. This groundbreaking project, involving 500 million people, earned the UN Champions of the Earth award in 2019.

The Ant Forest Project goes beyond being China’s largest private tree-planting program. Starting in 2019, Ant Forest users can utilize their green energy to adopt specific protected land areas. Some of these reserves are affiliated with state-owned forest farms, while others are linked to local communities. This approach connects consumers’ low-carbon behaviors, biodiversity conservation, and community development. For instance, the Fushou Village Community Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province has been a part of the Ant Forest project since 2019. The village receives an annual budget around 200,000 RMB, and consumers can use infrared cameras to monitor the forest conditions in real-time.

The Ant Forest has provided funding to the Paradise Foundation, an experienced nature conservation organization, in this project. The Paradise Foundation oversees community empowerment and project implementation. Villagers, organized into a self-managed group, handle reserve patrolling, insurance against wildlife accidents, equipment procurement, and economic development. This community-based organization is obligated to engage with the public and regularly report to the Paradise Foundation, Ant Forest, and the local government.

Aligned with the objectives of GoGreen, the Ant Forest Protected Area Project places co-creation and SDGs at the forefront, emphasizing SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 11 (Sustainable Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption), 15 (Life on Land), 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

In GOGREEN, we define the green SDGs as the following SDGs: SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 11, SDG 12, SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15

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