Experts divided over China's plan for nature reserve alliance

By Zhou Changqing, He Yue and Cheng Yunjie
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, September 18, 2013
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China’s Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve in Jilin Province is at the center of an ecological protection debate after revealing ambitions to establish and lead a new international organization, the World Protected Areas Alliance.

China’s Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve [File photo]

Around 150 ecologists and nature reserve managers from China and 15 countries and regions were divided on the mission and operations of the proposed organization after a feasibility discussion Sunday in the Changbai Reserve in China’s northeast.

Talks continued during the First Changbai Mountain International Ecological Forum that opened on Monday and concluded on Tuesday. A proposal for the new organization was prepared by the Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve Management Bureau.

Cai Hongwei, the bureau’s deputy director, said the initiative aims to strengthen communication and cooperation among protected areas worldwide and improve nature reserve management.

Xie Yan, an associate research professor with the Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences charged with leading the project, detailed the draft work plan for the alliance.

“More than 10 percent of land is covered by protected areas worldwide. However, there is a lack of long-term cooperation mechanisms among protected areas, many advanced concepts and technologies have not been widely promoted, and the joint forces of scientific research and conservation have not been applied,” she said. “Therefore, it is crucial to establish the World Protected Areas Alliance to promote information exchange and sharing in research, conservation and management of protected areas.”


Some experts expressed concern that the proposed organization might overlap existing international organizations such as the World Commission for Protected Areas under the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization.

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