China to formally establish its first national parks
China on Tuesday announced it would formally establish its first batch of national parks.
Sanjiangyuan National Park, Wuyi Mountain National Park, Giant Panda National Park, Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park and Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park are among the parks on the list. The protected land area is 230,000 square kilometers and they cover nearly 30 percent of the key terrestrial wildlife species found in China.
They are among 10 pilot national parks which have been reviewed by the country's authorities for national-park status in the past years.
The national park system aims to end the segmented management of a nature reserve that covers multiple provinces so that the integrity of wild animals' habitat can be guaranteed.
China launched a pilot national park system in 2015. From July to December 2020, an evaluation group made up of 26 experts from 16 institutions carried out an evaluation of the natural resources and pilot work progress in the parks.
Progress has been seen over the years. Giant Panda National Park, for instance, has integrated 81 nature reserves spanning three provinces since the pilot program began. Consequently, the management of giant pandas' once divided habitats has been unified.
Each park aims to protect the habitats of some endangered species. In Hainan, the habitat of the elusive black crested gibbon, among the most vulnerable primates on the planet, is protected at Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park. Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park aims to protect Siberian tigers and leopards.