Development of a national park framework in China

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University of New Brunswick


China has been on its way to rebuilding a new system of national parks with a General Plan issued in 2017 and a pilot program in progress. Beginning in 1956, China developed a large protected areas system, but has struggled to implement effective management due to ongoing problems. Establishing a brand new national park system will be a great opportunity together with challenges for a revolution of protected area management. The objective of this paper is to assist in the development of an efficient framework for a Chinese national park system. The development of protected areas was reviewed in a sample of both developed and less developed countries that have experience with national parks. Six countries are mentioned in this report; experiences in both less populated developed countries (the US, Canada, and Australia) and populous developing countries (Malawi, South Africa, and Kenya) can likely assist China in the development of its program because problems associated with conflicting land use planning are common across jurisdictions. A Biosphere Reserve model or similar is highly recommended for functional zoning of national parks, as well as seasonal tourism control. Active coordination among state and local agencies, scientific organizations, and individuals should be a critical role in park stewardship. An evaluation system is also suggested for comprehensive assessment and effective national park management. Keywords: China, National Park, Protected Area, Management, Population, Conflicts, Biosphere Reserve