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China mulling sites for national park system

By Li Hongyang Source: Updated: 2022-12-30


A village nestles in a valley in the Wuyi Mountain National Park. [Jiang Kehong/Xinhua]

China has announced 49 areas in 28 provinces in which national parks have either already been established or could potentially be built, creating the largest national park system in the world once they are completed, according to the National Park Spatial Layout Plan released by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration recently.

Li Chunliang, deputy head of the administration, said at a news conference on Thursday that the areas represent the country's most important natural ecosystems, most unique natural landscapes and richest examples of biodiversity.

"By 2035, China will basically complete the development of its national park system," he said. "It will be the largest in the world in terms of coverage, biodiversity and public participation."

Of the sites announced, 13 are in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, accounting for 70 percent of the total area of the national park candidates.

The Yellow River Basin has nine candidates, while 11 are in the Yangtze River Basin.

The spatial layout plan of national parks covers forests, grasslands, wetlands and deserts, which will protect more than 80 percent of the wild fauna and flora under national key protection.

The national parks will be jointly developed through franchising, volunteer services and ecological management, Li said.

The 49 sites announced include the five national parks that were established last year — the Three-River-Source National Park, the Wuyishan National Park, the Giant Panda National Park, the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park and the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park.

The national park plan was jointly created by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.