China has ensured that local residents and communities benefit from the building of national parks to conserve its ecosystems, said an official with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on Wednesday.
"Particularly by integrating efforts to advance ecological progress into the poverty eradication drive, we have kept our biodiversity intact, boosted the development of local communities and helped local residents increase their incomes and eliminate poverty," said Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment Zhao Yingmin at a press conference during the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
China has enacted regulation allowing local people to run eco-friendly businesses and prioritizing local people in employing park rangers and other related jobs, he said.
In making a case for a win-win outcome between the building of national parks and local development, Zhao said that, in the Sanjiangyuan National Park, which is set for the ecological conservation of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, 17,211 local herdsmen have been offered jobs as park rangers, with annual incomes per household increasing by 21,600 yuan (around 3,343 U.S. dollars) on average.
In another example, 21 households living in a valley of the Sanjiangyuan National Park earned 460,000 yuan by accommodating visitors at a four-day nature experience event in 2018, added Zhao.
China announced the official designation of the first group of national parks on Tuesday at the COP15, a move to further improve the national park system amid the country's nature conservation efforts.