The Cultural Landscape of Old Tea Forests of Jingmai Mountain in Pu'er, southwest China, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on Sept.17, making it China's 57th World Heritage site. It is also the first World Heritage Site with the theme of tea.
Located on Jingmai Mountain in southwestern China, this cultural landscape was developed over a thousand years by the Blang and Dai peoples following practices that began in the 10th century. The property is a tea production area comprised of traditional villages within old tea groves surrounded by forests and tea plantations. The traditional understorey cultivation of old tea trees is a method that responds to the specific conditions of the mountain’s ecosystem and subtropical monsoon climate, combined with a governance system maintained by the local Indigenous communities. Traditional ceremonies and festivities relate to the Tea Ancestor belief that spirits live in the tea plantations and in the local fauna and flora, a belief that is at the core of this cultural tradition.