A radical national park development plan was announced by China’s forestry authorities on Wednesday.
Tang Xiaoping, an official from the State Forestry and Grassland Administration, told a press conference in Beijing that they are planning between 60 and 200 new national parks, covering 6 to 9 percent of the country’s landscape.
However, Tang didn’t give a specific time when construction would begin or when it could end, reported Chinese news portal China News.
Logo of the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, designed by an art professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. It combines images of a Siberian tiger and Amur leopard with Chinese elements.
At present, China has ten national parks, which should not be confused with its nature reserves and national-level scenic and historic interest areas.
The forestry official also stated that China will draft a series of standards for the construction of national parks, explaining that there are three evaluation standards when constructing a national park. The region selected should have a complete ecosystem, be typical and representative, and benefit its local population.
A team of experts will undertake the evaluations, noted Tang, adding that about 50 regions will be included in pilot projects.
He went on to compare Chinese national parks with those in Western countries. He said that China has more diversified geography and a large number of wildlife species, but the country lacks related management experience.
Moreover, unlike those national parks in Western countries that have only a few local residents, many nature reserves in China have numerous residents, which poses a great challenge in protecting the sites.
At the press conference, the logo for the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, China’s first national park under the direct management of the central government, was released. Inaugurated in August 2017, the park covers more than 1.46 million hectares of land in both Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces in northeast China.