CHINA Mount Qilian National Park to be set up in 2020

CHINA

Mount Qilian National Park to be set up in 2020

By Cao Zinan | chinadaily.com.cn

15:29, February 18, 2019

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This photo shows the scenery of Qilian Mountain National Park in northwest China's Gansu province, Aug 9, 2017. (Photo:VCG)

Mount Qilian National Park, one of the country's first pilot national parks, is set to be established in 2020, according to a draft plan released by the Forestry and Grassland Administration on Friday.

According to the draft, which seeks public opinion from Feb 15 to 28, the park is located at the border of Northwest China's Gansu and Qinghai provinces, covering a total area of 50,200 square kilometers. Gansu is home to 68.5 percent of the park's area with the rest in Qinghai.

The national park is divided into core protected areas and general control areas.

The core protected areas, which account for 55 percent of the total, include the main headwaters and catchment area in the Qilian Mountains, forests, wetlands and grasslands, and habitats of snow leopards and other endangered species.

The park extends to northern Gansu and includes the nature reserve of Mount Qilian, in addition to a series of other nearby national parks and wetlands.

Besides, areas where the ecosystem is fragile or damaged, and areas left behind by industrial and mining enterprises need to be protected and repaired.

The mountains are known for their natural resources, hence the abundance of mines. Mining is often seen as a fast way to make money. Since the 1970s, the number of mines has mushroomed across the mountain ranges, particularly in the reserve.

An ecological restoration campaign was launched in October 2015 across the reserve, which covers close to 2 million hectares, with construction projects under close scrutiny and mines being decommissioned.

The Qilian Mountains are known as the "Mother Mountains" by the people of Gansu. The snow and glaciers on the mountains provide precious water to more than 5 million people living in the Hexi Corridor area.

Under a plan released in 2017, China aims to set up a batch of national parks and form a unified management system by 2020.

Looking forward, there will be 60 to 200 national parks built in the country, covering 6 to 9 percent of the country's territory, said the Forestry and Grassland Administration last year.

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