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China honors its promise to protect nature

By Liu Wei and Li Mengxin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-23 08:23

Aiming higher

However, China is aiming to go bigger with its green development strategy. Last year, the Overall Plan for the National Park System came into effect, which includes 10 national parks, the protection of many endangered species and the preservation of historic sites such as the Great Wall for the sake of the natural environment.

According to a report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October, the country will develop a nature reserve system that will mainly comprise national parks.

"In the past, nature reserves tended to be small and mainly offered shelter to a single species or had an incomplete ecosystem. National parks will help to improve the situation," said Cui Guofa, a professor in the nature reserve department at Beijing Forestry University.

However, national parks often cover much larger areas than nature reserves, while establishing them usually requires a larger number of people to be relocated from the core zone. The construction of the Old Creek park in Sichuan has resulted in the relocation of 170,000 people, according to the provincial forestry department.

Wang hopes that the national parks will at least try to emulate the model used at Xianghai, which stresses both ecological protection and community development and "leads the locals to protect the environment".

Zhang Xuejun's New Year resolution is to maintain the clear waters and lush mountains, while becoming richer along with his fellow villagers.

"Farmers from other villages as well as some businessmen have come to see how I feed my free-range chickens. I hope more households will join me this year," he said.

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