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The national workshop in China focused on a centralized database for Chinese protected areas, the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) and the IUCN protected area management categories. The workshop was co-hosted by IUCN China, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and UNEP-WCMC. The workshop also saw the presentation of the Chinese translation of the IUCN Guidelines on Protected Areas Management Categories for the first time.
The one day workshop was held at the Yuyang Hotel in Beijing, with around 30 participants attending. The meeting was conducted in Chinese with simultaneous translation. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, State Forestry Administration and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, national and international organizations in China, and other protected areas experts.
Presentations given included by the ministries on their view of the protected area system in China, by CAS on a national PA database for China, by UNEP-WCMC on the WDPA, by IUCN Asia on IUCN’s activities in the region, by Sue Stolton on the IUCN categories, and by Xie Yan, CAS on recommendations for a PA category system.
The workshop aimed to:
1) to reach an understanding on how China can collate data on protected areas and update the WDPA
2) to inform participants about the WDPA and protected area standards, and specifically the IUCN categories;
3) to discuss the possibility of assigning the IUCN categories in China
Financing: economic growth in China - need to invest more into its protected areas system and the management of its existing protected areas.
Spatial planning: there are conflicting PA datasets in China that hinder good spatial planning and ensuring development is not within protected areas. One accurate PA dataset would better inform these processes. The goal should be sustainable protection.
Community involvement: there needs to be more community involvement with the management and decision making processes of PAs, and devlopment of eco-tourism that can ensure sustainable livelihoods for communities
Legislation: better laws are needed for protected areas in China, as many are just under regulations. Understanding the protected area system in its entirety could help enable such reform of the laws.
Wider audience: information on protected areas needs to be made available to a wider audience, including the economic and development sectors, and there was support for making the information public. There is an urgent need to collate the data and make it available.
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