In addition to revealing new sites selected to become national parks in China, a forum that dedicate to discussing the latest updates in China's National Park scheme was recently launched in Xining, Northwest China's Qinghai Province.
A highlight of the conference was the promotion of several new sites as national parks, which comes after five parks, including the Giant Panda National Park, were established in 2021.
Sites such as the Huanghekou Park situated in the Yellow River estuary in Shandong Province and also the Qian Jiang Yuan-Bai Shan Zu Park in southwestern Zhejiang Province have been included in the list.
Integrating two parks into one, the Qian Jiang Yuan-Bai Shan Zu Park covers 754 square kilometers and embraces the estuary of rivers such as the Qiantang River that gave birth to China's ancient Wuyue culture, the regional culture of Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. With a compete forest ecosystem revealing nature's authenticity, the Qian Jiang Yuan-Bai Shan Zu Park has long been seen as an important ecological safety shield of the Yangtze River Delta.
As China's first park site that integrates both sea and land resources, the Huanghekou Park mainly preserves the wetland ecosystem and is known for being home to endangered bird species.
Xiong Chulong, an environmental and ecological expert, told the Global Times that China's National Park scheme was designed to strategically protect the country's most "unique and representative ecosystems."
"The evaluation process is rigorous and selective. What China is dedicated to protecting with this scheme is not only green natural resources, but a complete sphere of biodiversity, including human interactions," Xiong said.
Promising news regarding the restoration of biodiversity in the first batch of national parks was also updated at the conference. The population of Tibetan antelopes has recovered to more than 70,000 in the Three-River-Source (Sanjiangyuan) National Park. Also 17 new toad species were discovered at Wuyi Mountain National Park, which traverses the Jiangxi and Fujian provinces.
These results came after new regulations were implemented, such as ones that closed around 390 mining units and adjusted over 100 of hydropower stations to cater to the country's eco-green goals. Xiong said that the country has put forth "full dedication and serious effort" into the task.
Conservation should be enhanced with creativity to continue these national parks' sustainable development. For instance, the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park has developed a well-operated industry incubator for black fungus.
Moderate developments in "eco-tourism" and "nature education" are also paths to the sustainable growth of national parks, Guan Zhi'ou, head of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, said at the conference.
"Sensor System," a China designed management scheme powered by technology, was also revealed at the Xining conference. The system collects massive monitoring data through tools like remote sensing and underwater robots and has already been implemented in the first batch of national parks.
Initiated in 2021, the first batch of national parks includes the Three-River-Source (Sanjiangyuan) National Park, Wuyi Mountain National Park, the Giant Panda National Park and the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park. The general planning period for them is from 2023 to 2030.