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Preserving and developing the biodiversity of Tianma Nature Reserve
Located in Anhui Province, Tianma National Nature Reserve is home to abundant biodiversity but faces major ecological and economic challenges. AFD is providing financial and technical support to local authorities in order to preserve the nature reserve’s biodiversity and develop ecotourism.

Tiantangzhai Town is located in the heart of the Dabieshan Mountains, a major mountain range in Central China. The area is located on a geological base which dates back 1.8 billion years and is home to some of the oldest plant species in the world, as well as 251 animal species, including 27 endangered species.

Tourism activities have developed since the 1990s and are the main driver of the municipality’s economic growth. The town is facing many challenges, however, including overly-concentrated tourist flows, unbalanced economic development, an outdated cable car system, significant pressure on natural environments and weak management capacities. The local authorities sought support from AFD to overcome these challenges.


This project combining conservation and development has four components:

  • Restore and preserve biodiversity: reforestation of wasteland, forest protection, ecological and landscape restoration of rivers, implementation of systems to control insects and fires, forest road maintenance, and an anti-poaching program;

  • Increase scientific knowledge and ecological monitoring with the creation of monitoring stations and remote digital supervision, and the launch of research and monitoring programs;

  • Develop ecotourism: create a biodiversity center, actions to raise awareness among tourists about the environment, modernization and extension of the cable car line;

  • Support residents in adopting organic farming.


The project will contribute to protecting and developing Tiantangzhai’s natural resources, while creating jobs through the development of ecotourism. By creating alternative and better-paid job opportunities, the project will also improve living conditions for local populations. Finally, the project will have a positive impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

Project start date
Financing tool
20 000 000
Financing amount
Tiantangzhai Investment Company