Threats to China’s Biodiversity by Contradictions Policy
- 547 Downloads
China has among the highest biodiversities in the world, but faces extreme biodiversity losses due to the country’s huge population and its recent explosive socioeconomic development. Despite huge efforts and investments by the government and Chinese society to conserve biodiversity, especially in recent decades, biodiversity losses may not have been reversed, and may even have been exacerbated by unintended consequences resulting from these projects. China’s centralized approach to biodiversity conservation, with limited local participation, creates an inflexible and inefficient approach because of conflicts between local communities and national administrators over the benefits. Although community-based conservation may be an imperfect approach, it is an essential component of a successful future national conservation plan. Biodiversity conservation should be considered from the perspective of systems engineering and a governance structure that combines centralization with community-level conservation. In this paper, we describe China’s complex challenge: how to manage interactions between humans and nature to find win–win solutions that can ensure long-term biodiversity conservation without sacrificing human concerns.
KeywordsBiodiversity conservation Unintended consequences Centralization Community-based conservation China
This work was supported by the National Key Technology R&D Program (No. 2012BAC08B05). We thank Geoffrey Hart of Montréal, Canada, for his help in writing this paper. We are also grateful for the comments and criticisms of an early version of this manuscript by our colleagues and by the journal’s reviewers.
- Adams, W.M., and J. Hutton. 2007. People, parks and poverty: Political ecology and biodiversity conservation. Conservation and Society 5: 147–183.Google Scholar
- Bianba, C. 2011. The number of Tibetan antelope increased to 150 000. Xinhua: Xinhua News Agency. http://news.xinhuanet.com/local/2011-06/10/c_121519392.htm (in Chinese).
- Duan, X., S. Liu, M. Huang, S. Qiu, Z. Li, K. Wang, and D. Chen. 2009. Changes in abundance of larvae of the four domestic Chinese carps in the middle reach of the Yangtze River, China, before and after closing of the Three Gorges Dam. Environmental Biology of Fishes 86: 13–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Endangered Species Scientific Commission (ESSC), People’s Republic of China. 2012. http://www.cites.org.cn/ (in Chinese).
- Fangchenggang Daily News Agency. 2011. Construction of the Baishiya reservoir. http://www.fcgsnews.com/news/hot/20110924/16615.shtml (in Chinese).
- Li, J. 2010. Wulagai wetland drought due to a lack of water in Inner Mongolia. Sina News Agency. http://news.sina.com.cn/c/sd/2010-05-24/165220336475.shtml (in Chinese).
- Liu, W., X. Wang, L. Zhou, and H. Zhou. 2003b. Studies on destruction, prevention and control of plateau pikas in Kobresia pygmaea meadow. Acta Theriologica Sinica 23: 214–219 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). 2009a. China’s Fourth National Report on Implementation of the Conservation of Biological Diversity. Beijing: China Environmental Science Press (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- MEP. 2009b. Statistical Communique on the National Environment. Beijing: State Environmental Protection Agency (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- MEP. 2010. Statistical Communique on the National Environment. Beijing: State Environmental Protection Agency (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). 2000–2011. Statistical Yearbook of China. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
- Past Grassland Organization. 2010. http://www.cjcy.net/china/ (in Chinese).
- Plummer, J., and J. Taylor (eds.). 2004. Community participation in China. Issues and processes for capacity building. London, UK: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Shen, X., Z. Lu, S. Li, and N. Chen. 2012. Tibetan sacred sites: Understanding the traditional management system and its role in modern conservation. Ecology and Society 17: 13.Google Scholar
- Shi, F., Q. Chang, and R. Ma. 2012. Investigation of the effects of elimination of the plateau mouse in the Nature Reserves Conservation program in the Three Rivers’ Headwaters on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Heilongjiang Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine 1: 80–84 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- Xi, Z. 2010. Final days for the Tibet antelope: Photos. http://blog.sina.com.cn/xizhinong (in Chinese).
- Xu, J.C., E.T. Ma, D. Tashi, Y. Fu, Z. Lu, and D. Melick. 2005. Integrating sacred knowledge for conservation: Cultures and landscapes in southwest China. Ecology and Society 10: 7.Google Scholar
- Yang, Q., and L. Zhu. 2012. Meeting the goals of the biodiversity protection convention in 20 years. Environmental Protection and Circular Economy 5: 4–10 (in Chinese).Google Scholar