China National Parks for People
Economic growth in China has relied on the consumption of natural resources which has led to widespread environmental degradation across the country. In recent years, providing access to clean water, safe food and fresh air – basic human needs – for the people of China’s megacities is becoming increasingly challenging.
China’s new ‘Beautiful China’ and ‘Ecological Civilisation’ concepts indicate that the nation’s leaders understand the challenge and want to balance economic development with environmental protection.
In November 2013, the Chinese government announced its intention to explore the establishment of a national park system, as part of its 13th five-year plan. These new national parks aim to improve nature conservation and provide benefits to people. But the current and biggest challenge to implementation is a technical one: where and how to draw these ecological ‘red lines’ to achieve this balance?
The Luc Hoffmann Institute (LHI) China National Parks for People project has supported the new national park institutions and provided the latest knowledge to help guide their efforts. The project has linked research to policy in an opportune ‘policy window’ given China’s national drive to achieving its eco-civilisation vision.
The project has collaboratively produced a roadmap for ecosystem services governance in national parks that partners intend to use in forming new guidelines being established to manage the pilot phase of the new national park system.