Updated: Aug 18
“Panda Friendly” is a product certification standard proposed by the World Wildlife Fund. To qualify, a product must meet the following requirements: produced in panda distribution areas, contribute to panda conservation and community livelihood, and meet the requirements of sustainable use.
Most communities in panda habitats are poor with an average income of only $500 per year. In order to prevent damage to the pandas' habitat, local villagers can't rely on any revenue from activities like logging and collecting herbs. As a result, local villagers need to find other ways to supplement their income.
To resolve the conflict between wildlife conservation and economic development in nautral panda habitats, WWF experimented with the idea of a "panda friendly" product.
The Southern Schisandra berries from Pingwu county became the first certified Panda Friendly product. Locals are able to collect Schisandra berries without any permanent damage to the environment as long as they leave some for future growth. Products like Schisandra berries are rare, but have the potential to both support habitat conservation and sustainable development.
If you want to support pandas and the people help them survive, you can find Schisandra berries on websites like Amazon and vitaminshoppe.