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China national parks

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Presentation prepared for the symposium "Finding common ground [for conservation] across the rangelands of Central Asia and Tibetan plateau" at Conservation Asia 2018; held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, on August 6-10, 2018.

See http://conservationasia2018.org/.

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China national parks

  1. 1. DEVELOPING CHINA’S PROTECTED AREAS Dr J Marc Foggin Acting Director, Mountain Societies Research Institute University of Central Asia All photographs © Marc Foggin All rights reserved Inclusive approaches to conservation… with lessons learned… for achieving sustainability
  2. 2. PROTECTED AREAS ON THE TIBETAN PLATEAU Changing Land Management Regimes on the Tibetan Plateau How herding communities are affected by, and responding to, large- scale transformations under China’s National Parks • Major changes in land management systems over the past two decades • More participatory and inclusive approaches have been trialed • National park system now in development • Challenges and opportunities
  3. 3. PROTECTED AREAS ON THE TIBETAN PLATEAU • Pastoralism as sustainable food system • Local community conserved areas • National nature reserves, etc. • National parks …observing change since 1994
  4. 4. • Tibetan Plateau ~ 1/4 of China • Extensive rangelands, wetlands, deserts, high mountain ranges • Climate, agriculture, population 6% 94% TIBETAN PLATEAU IN CONTEXT Source: Foggin 2018
  5. 5. Source: Li et al. 2015 Ecological Red Lines
  6. 6. Source: Cao et al. 2015 Xu et al. 2017 China’s PA Network Legislative context of PAs
  7. 7. Source: Miller-Rushing et al. 2016 China’s PA Network Protected Areas in China (as of 2014)
  8. 8. Source: Foggin 2016 Sanjiangyuan Region
  9. 9. Traditionalpastoralismin theSanjiangyuanregion Domestic livestock Sociocultural context
  10. 10. Traditionalpastoralismin theSanjiangyuanregion Life on the edge Sociocultural context
  11. 11. Traditionalpastoralismin theSanjiangyuanregion Seasonal mobility Sociocultural context
  12. 12. Traditionalpastoralismin theSanjiangyuanregion Dependence on yak Sociocultural context
  13. 13. Majorrapidchanges occurring ‘Nomads without pastures’?
  14. 14. Majorrapidchanges occurring Urbanization? What future?
  15. 15. WHAT TRANSFORMATIONS? • Household situations • Access to markets • Communications • Natural resource management • Land fragmentation • Human-wildlife conflict
  16. 16. Timeline of major transformations… Local initiatives from ~1990 to present Traditional period until major changes,1958 Modern period from 1958 to present • Western Development Committee, Wild Yak Brigade • Village wildlife laws • Local civil society, local PAs • Initial trialing of community co-management, focus on snow leopard in Muqu • Revolving funds and herders’ cooperatives • Community-based tourism and other targeted poverty alleviation • Hunting livelihood • Subsistence only • Tracking of wildlife • Traditional knowledge • Tribal organization • Risk minimization strategy (vs. profit maximization) Until relocation of local community in 1958… • Communes created • Privatization of assets (especially livestock) • Household Contract Responsibility System • Grassland Laws, etc. • Western Development Strategy, eco-migration, other development policies • SNNR plans adapted, now including co-management • Trial phase of National Parks • Communes created • Privatization of assets (especially livestock) • Household Contract Responsibility System • Grassland Laws, etc. • Western Development Strategy, eco-migration, other development policies • SNNR plans adapted, now including co-management • Trial phase of National Parks
  17. 17. LESSONS LEARNED Source:Foggin2018 BiodiversityLivelihoods and culture in protected areas
  18. 18. Moreinclusiveapproaches Communication and partnerships
  19. 19. Community co-management Moreinclusiveapproaches
  20. 20. ESTABLISHING NATIONAL PARKS
  21. 21. HOW ARE HERDERS COPING? The CHANGES • Moving from nature reserves (focus on conservation only) to national parks – dual goals, conservation and development • Support from national park management authorities, focus on capacity development, serving as community wardens • Local voices are increasingly heard — yet not uniformly or entirely, and still some relocations are deemed necessary
  22. 22. HOW ARE HERDERS COPING? The RESPONSES • Facing relocations, herders are exhibiting mixed reactions: • Sometimes with hope for a better future, especially for their children; or for some people, keen adoption of new livelihood opportunities • But other times, with real concern about how to respond to policies; or sadness at anticipated loss of culture and traditional practices; or with some apprehension about all the changes and unknown
  23. 23. Community associations trialed and developed, incl. ‘community development revolving funds’ – building local business and administrative capacities LESSONS LEARNED through development of community associations
  24. 24. Local herders’ cooperatives established – supporting the development of endogenous and environmentally-friendly business ventures LESSONS LEARNED through development of community cooperatives
  25. 25. Source: Foggin 2018 LESSONS LEARNED through recent transitions Summary of
  26. 26. BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE KEY QUESTIONS • What is China’s BRI? • How can BRI benefit/threaten biodiversity? protected areas? • What does BRI mean for the mountains of Central Asia? • What partnership should be developed? Map created by Peter Cai, reproduced with permission of the Lowy Institute for use in Foggin 2018
  27. 27. FINDING COMMON GROUND, KEY MESSAGES FOR POLICY MAKERS • Need to incorporate environmental and social considerations (cf. integrated approach, “three pillars of sustainability”) • Local perspectives and voices should be included in project prioritization, planning, implementation (cf. inclusive approach, synthesis of different ways of knowing) • People-to-people exchanges under BRI can bring multiple benefits (cf. dialogue, mutual learning)
  28. 28. THANK YOU!
  29. 29. REFERENCES • Cao, M.; Peng, L.; Liu, S. Analysis of the Network of Protected Areas in China Based on a Geographic Perspective: Current Status, Issues and Integration. Sustainability 2015, 7, 15617–15631. • Foggin, J.M. Environmental Conservation in the Tibetan Plateau Region: Lessons for China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the Mountains of Central Asia. Land 2018, 7, 52. Available at: http://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/7/2/52 • Foggin, J.M. Snow Leopard Landscape Conservation: Partnering with Local Communities in Western China and Central Asia for Conservation and Development. 2016. Available at: https://bit.ly/2Hvx2Gg • Li, Y.; Lu, C.; Lu, U.; Deng, O. Ecological Characteristics of China’s Key Ecological Function Areas. J. Res. Ecol. 2015, 6, 427–432. • Miller-Rushing, A.J., et al., A Chinese approach to protected areas: A case study comparison with the United States, Biological Conservation 2016. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.022 • Xu Weihua et al. Strengthening protected areas for biodiversity and ecosystem services in China. PNAS 2017, 114(7):1601-1606. Available at: www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1620503114
  30. 30. Dr Marc Foggin Acting Director, Mountain Societies Research Institute University of Central Asia marc.foggin@ucentralasia.org

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