China's national parks project enters construction phase: official

China's national parks project has moved from pilot to construction phase with the establishment of its first batch of parks, Tang Xiaoping, head of China's research institute for national parks said on Thursday.

Aerial shot of the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park. (Photo: CFP)

On October 12, 2021, President Xi Jinping announced on the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) the formally establishment of the first batch of five national parks, including the Sanjiangyuan (the Three-River-Source) National Park, the Wuyi Mountain National Park, the Giant Panda National Park, the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park and the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park.

According to Tang Xiaoping, these national parks meet the three standards of national representation, ecological importance and administrative practicability. The parks also cover typical natural ecosystems and precious natural landscapes as well as cultural heritages in the area and offer protection to the most important flagship species. He said, the five first national parks play an exemplary and leading role to the further construction of national park systems in China.

Tang also addressed how to balance local people's livelihood and ecological protection in the national parks. He emphasized, areas in national parks would be divided into different sections based on functions. For core protected areas including ecologically sensitive areas and high biodiversity areas, no farm and tourism are allowed; for other parts of the national parks, authorities would encourage and lead the locals to remodel into green industries including under-forest economy and tourism.