National Forest Culture - Everyday Life

Gate of the Garden of Ethical Plants

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There are about 5000 varieties of high-rank plants and 600-700 vertebrates in Xishuangbanna and they account for 1/6 and 1/4 of the total in China separately. Yunnan is a world famous "kingdom of plants" and "kingdom of animals", and Xishuangbanna is the crown of the kingdom. Ever since human beings come into being on earth, forests provided abundant food and medicines for human beings; and this is also the case in the modern history. 

The Museum of Rain Forest and
 Garden of Ethical Plants within
the Tropical Botanical Garden

In the vast sea of forests in Xishuangbanna, there live over 10 ethic groups, such as the Dai, the Hani, the Yao and the Jinuo etc., and they ask for all the things they need for their clothing, food, living, traveling and medicines from the forests. In the historical process when they made use of the wild plants, sometimes they succeeded, and sometime they failed; they accumulated enriched experiences and learnt many methods for using the plants; and these have become important forming parts of the ethical forest culture. In the aspect of food, all peoples like to have things that are different. For example, the mosses in the rivers, the worms in the bamboos and the ants in the mountains all become their delicacies. Such eating habits also help the local people to obtain all beneficial elements needed by the body, and they are no doubt beneficial to the human health. The ethical forest cultures, which have close relations with the clothing, food, living and traveling of the minority groups, also have positive significouldce for the sustainable use of the rain forest, for the development of green food, and for the development of natural medicines; and they are important parts of the treasure house of the Chinese civilization.