National Forestry and Grassland Administration is pushing to hasten the construction of a Giant Panda National Park in a bid to better protect the endangered species.
Since the establishment of Giant Panda National Park management system, wild giant panda have seen a steady increase in number and have become better connected in their habitats, officials from the administration said in a recent meeting, urging three provinces, Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi, to better cooperate with each other and accelerate the construction of the park with “unified planning, standards and policies.”
China aims to set clear standards for the construction of national parks, and form a unified management system to better conserve pandas.
The Giant Panda National Park has an area of 27,134 square kilometers, and spans over three provinces of Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi, with about 74 percent of the area in Southwest China's Sichuan province alone. Its official setup was announced at the leaders' summit of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity this year in October.
Reports said the Giant Panda National Park holds 1,631 wild pandas, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the country's wild giant pandas. Aside from the giant pandas, the park is also home to highly protected animals, including the snub-nosed monkey.
Officials with the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said the three provinces together with the administration should take responsibility to establish a unified working system, and advance the setup of a mechanism for the Giant Panda National Park management system.
With unified planning, standards and policies, Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi should be on the same page on prompting the Giant Panda National Park management system, such as the management agencies and main planning of the parks, officials said.
They also mentioned the strengthening of epidemic monitors and prevention for pandas.
Research by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) released in August this year showed at present there are 1,631 giant pandas in 17 populations living in national giant panda parks. The number of isolated giant panda populations could be reduced from 33 to 21 nationwide if the habitats in the parks are connected.
According to the fourth national survey of giant pandas, there are 1,864 wild giant pandas across the country. They are key protected wild animals in China and are seen as the flagship and umbrella species of China's endangered-species protection program.