Poorly run State parks face censure

Updated 2018-01-27 10:24:02 China Daily

Researcher says facilities are important part of nation's natural protection plan

National parks under poor management or with illegal projects and activities being conducted in them will be kicked off the national parks list, according to the State Forestry Administration.

The construction of golf courses, private lounges, industrial zones and real estate projects are not allowed in national parks, according to a notice from the administration.

Photovoltaic or wind power generation and industrial activities that will lead to environmental pollution or damage to the national parks, such as mining and quarrying, are also banned.

"All industrial development projects are prohibited in national parks, which should function as hubs for biodiversity and forest protection. Any project that contravenes the principle should be punished in accordance with the law and regulations," the notice said.

Statistics from the administration show that China has 881 national forest parks, covering a total of 12.8 million hectares.

However, the notice said some parks attached too much importance to resource exploitation and neglected environmental protection due to a lack of awareness of sustainable development and poor management.

The notice emphasized that land use in national forest parks is under strict control. Tourism and projects with sustainable development goals, such as ski resorts and religious buildings, can be promoted after comprehensive expert evaluation.

It also said such projects should not be constructed in core landscape areas and ecological conservation areas that are under strict protection.

The National Park Management Regulation issued by the administration in January 1994 was amended in 2011 and 2016. The regulation defines a national forest park as a forest area with an extraordinary landscape and concentration of natural resources, which are well known in the region.

Under the regulation, parks are divided into several areas under different levels of protection, including core landscape areas, ecological conservation areas and tourism areas as well as those allocated for park management and service provision.

"National forest parks are an important part of the country's natural protection plan. They contribute a lot to our mission to build a beautiful China," said Xiao Wenfa, director of the Forest Ecological Environment Protection Center, which is part of the Beijing Forestry Scientific Research Institute.

"Eco-protection is more important than exploitation. A good environment with green mountains and clean rivers is our greatest future fortune. We will see more benefits from the protection work in the near future," he said.

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