The Sichuan forestry department announced plans to build three national parks to better protect the endangered panda. There are 46 panda conservation centers in the Sichuan province, in southwest China.
Three areas, one surrounding Baoxing and Lushan counties of Ya’an city, another surrounding Pingwu county of Mianyang City, and Chengdu city have made plans to apply for the establishment of national parks.
“It is highly possible for all three cities to gain approval, possibly at the same time,” said Yao Sidan, director of the Sichuan provincial forestry ministry.
“Building national parks will help break administrative barriers and create a better environment for pandas,” said Yao.
Specific plans on the parks will be made ready in early 2016 and submitted for approval by the State Forestry Administration, Yao said.
Only 1,864 giant pandas live in the wild, mostly in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Shaanxi. About two million hectares of land, about four percent of the land in Sichuan, is habitat for pandas.