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A review and assessment of nature reserve policy in China: advances, challenges and opportunities

  • Jiliang Xu (a1), Zhengwang Zhang (a2), Wenjing Liu (a3) and Philip J. K. McGowan (a4)

Abstract

There were 2,541 nature reserves accounting for c. 15% of China's land territory by 2009. As nature reserves hold the majority of the country's wildlife they play a fundamental role in protecting the country's biodiversity. National policies relevant to nature reserves have had a positive effect on biodiversity although these policies are now facing increasing challenges. We reviewed the development of relevant policy and legislation and identify and assess challenges, using a questionnaire survey and personal interviews. The main challenges identified and assessed included lack of harmonization between government departments, between nature reserves and other protected area designations, and between nature reserves and local communities. In addition, recent transfers of responsibilities between government entities, potential impacts of forest tenure reforms, and issues surrounding natural resource use and ecotourism were identified. These obstacles could undermine the achievements of biodiversity conservation in China if they are not addressed soon. Given these findings, we make recommendations to guide future policy formulation in relation to nature reserve management and development.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail xujiliang@bjfu.edu.cn

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