China celebrates achievements of its national parks

(Chinadaily.com.cn) 09:56, August 21, 2023

Visitors are led by guides in boats along a section of the Jiuqu Creek in Wuyishan National Park in Fujian province last month. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Second National Park Forum held in Xining, Qinghai province, on Saturday, drew attention to the achievements in China's national park development.

This year's forum, attended by experts, policymakers, and conservationists, has the theme "National Parks: Beautiful Homeland of Harmonious Coexistence".

The five national parks that China has announced their establishment in 2021 have shown successes in restoring and improving ecosystem functions.

The Three-River-Source National Park in Qinghai province has achieved the overall protection of the headwaters of the Yangtze, Yellow, and Lancang rivers, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said.

Chen Gang, secretary of the Qinghai Provincial Party Committee, told the forum that the estimated snow leopard population in the province has crossed 1,200. As a top predator in the plateau food chain, the healthy survival of a snow leopard requires at least three to four hundred blue sheep in the lower food chain, which in turn requires at least 100 square kilometers of grassland.

"Behind the recovery of the snow leopard population lies the overall optimization of the natural ecosystem brought about by national park construction, which has had a profound impact on biodiversity conservation," he said.

"Previously, enterprises came to invest in Qinghai were most interested in mineral resources. Now, companies are finding opportunities in environmental resources and green development," he said.

The changing mindset is driven by the profound transformation of comprehensive green development led by the national park construction, he added.

Other four national parks have also witnessed success.

The Giant Panda National Park spanning Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces has protected over 70 percent of wild giant pandas.

The Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces has seen the tiger population exceed 50 and the leopard population exceed 60.

The National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest in Hainan has witnessed the recovery of a population of 37 gibbons in six groups.

The Wuyishan National Park in Fujian and Jiangxi provinces has discovered 17 new species so far.

Fernando Lugris, Uruguay ambassador to China, said: "I am absolutely impressed with the level of the development of the conservation in the country. I think the relevant authorities here in China doing a marvelous job in expanding the system of national parks."

Grahame Morton, ambassador of New Zealand to China, told the forum that the national parks protect iconic landscapes, provide jobs and inspiration to people, a safe haven for rare species of flora and fauna, and protected integrated habitat for endangered animals and birds.

He said he looked forward to discussing and learning more about China's expanding network of national parks, and sharing New Zealand's experience.

So far, China has established over 9,000 nature reserves, protecting 74 percent of terrestrial wildlife species under national key protection, the administration said.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Hongyu)


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