China plans to invest at least 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion) in five years to build a Giant Panda National Park to help the endangered animals mingle and enrich their gene pool.
The money will be provided by Bank of China's Sichuan branch, which signed deals on Tuesday with Sichuan's Forestry Administration, Red Cross Society of China Sichuan Branch, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and 19 local governments in areas covered by the park, China National Radio (CNR) reported.
Aside from building the park, all parties will also cooperate on other things, such as helping people who originally lived in the park area, supporting industries and constructing an ecological culture.
The park, which spans Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces, will cover 27,134 square kilometers, three times the area of the U.S.' Yellowstone National Park. It will have a core area, protecting pandas in 67 current reserves as well as another 8,000 endangered animals and plants, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Pandas isolated on six mountains in Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan will be able to come together in the proposed national park. Multiple administrations in three provinces worsen the situation. When a panda crosses a provincial boundary, jurisdiction becomes blurred, Xinhua said.
The park will resolve such troubles. When it is complete, pandas will roam freely between the current far-flung habitats. It also means a lot of people will have to move - at least 170,000 people in Sichuan will have to relocate to establish the core protection area.