BEIJING — A research center for national park planning has been established in an effort to facilitate the protection of China’s nature reserves, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
The research center is located in Kunming, capital of Southwest China’s Yunnan province, and will be run by the Kunming Prospecting and Designing Institute of the administration.
Chief economic engineer Zhang Hongwen of the administration, who doubles as the director of the national park management office, said it was very necessary to set up such a research center, given the need to improve the professional and scientific nature of national park construction and management.
With more than 70 researchers specialized in zoology, botany, wetland and nature reserve protection as well as landscaping, the institute has been dedicated to national park research since the 1990s. Its research team has engaged in national park research, resource surveys and overall planning
Since 2015, the institute has participated in the design and the early-stage surveying of some 20 national parks in Yunnan, Hainan, Shaanxi, Fujian, Sichuan, Hubei, Shanxi, Jiangxi provinces and Tibet autonomous region.
Zhang urged the researchers at the newly established center to stay on top of the needs of China’s national park development and conduct in-depth studies on the theories, technical methods, policies and specific practices concerning national park development.
China piloted 10 national parks across the country in 2016, some protecting endangered species, some for environmental protection and others dedicated to preserving historic sites like the Great Wall.
Under a plan released in 2017, China aims to set up a batch of national parks and form a unified management system by 2020.