Protected Areas and National Parks

Learn how Conservation International China is working to improve protected areas and national parks


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Improved management of protected areas and national parks

Protected areas (PA) are the key for conserving nature. While establishing protected areas is never the end of conservation stories, but instead, it is where conservation efforts start. The Chinese government is establishing a natural protected area system with national park as the focus for better management. Yet China is still a freshman in national park management with less advanced domestic experience. During the past 5 years, CI China has successfully piloted a co-management model in Sichuan Province. The co-management model, piloted in Sichuan Anzihe Protected Area, is targeted to serve as good reference for the management of the Giant Panda National Park (GPNP).

© Kyle Obermann

Conservation International developed China’s first PA co-management model that is jointly led by government and a conservation organization, with Anzihe PA as the pilot. Under the co-management framework, a management committee was established, governed by the nature reserve, government, and NGO. Members of the management committee jointly lead the management of the Protected Area and formulate the Master Plan for management.

The Master Plan for Anzihe was approved by the Forestry Administration of Sichuan Province in November 2018. It sketched in detail for guiding the medium- and long-term development plans for Anzihe PA on ecological conservation, scientific research and monitoring, nature education, recreation experience, sustainable community development, and branding & communication. The Master Plan is known as the first comprehensive regional plan made among China’s giant panda national parks.

What is the co-management model all about?
  • Ecological conservation, to manage natural resources within the protected area based on science.
  • Scientific research and monitoring, to have real-time command of the status and changes of resources within a protected area.
  • Nature education, to raise the awareness of the local community and the public on conservation.
  • Recreation, to bring the public closer to nature.
  • Community development, to help local communities succeed in nature-based development. 

Activities have been carried out as per the Master Plan.

Capacity building for local nature reserves

Staff from nature reserves (NR), local NGOs, and communities are at the frontline for conserving natural ecosystems and promoting sustainability practices in the area. How a critical ecosystem can be well managed and conservation stories can be better shared depend on the capability of these key personnel.

To enhance the comprehensive capacity of the frontline personnel, Conservation International held regular training sessions for rangers and staff from local nature reserves in Sichuan, Nanchang, and Guangdong provinces, including sessions on daily patrolling APP use, conservation communication toolkits, legal knowledge sharing, management planning, etc. From these activities, participants said that they did not only learn how to apply new tactics in their daily work, and how to tell appealing stories to the public, but also gain more confidence and enthusiasm for future conservation efforts.

VIDEO: Anzihe Co-management and Nature Education