China’s economic approach to protecting its ecology
Later this year, China will announce the first parks to be included in its new protected-areas system. It is aiming to replace the current fragmented network of poorly managed protected areas with a national-park model similar to that in other nations.
Since the idea was mooted in 2013, the Chinese government has drawn on expertise from around the world and set up ten pilot national parks to test specific conservation strategies.
Yet, millions of people work in and around these areas, doing everything from farming to running hotels. And once the parks receive formal protection, there will be a much smaller window for commercial activities and these people risk losing their livelihoods, says Rose Niu, chief conservation officer at the Paulson Institute…