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The Nature Conservancy

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China program authors a new book

The giant panda is just the beginning, China boasts more than 10 percent of the world’s biodiversity.

Diverse ecosystems, including grasslands and forests, support the country’s wealth of biodiversity.

Biodiversity is threatened by massive land use change, especially from energy development (Three Gorges Dam).

The good news is that China has more than 5,000 protected areas, including the Wanglang Nature Reserve.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of protected areas varies widely; illegal use such as logging and grazing is not uncommon.

To better protect biodiversity, the government is working with the Conservancy and other partners to strengthen the management protected areas, such as Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve.

The government, with assistance from the Conservancy, is also designating national parks, like Laojunshan National Park.

The Conservancy is also promoting new private land protection tools. The Motianling Land Trust Reserve project is an example of this new model.

“Private” land protection is possible in China: Although the government and villages own all land in China (there is no private land ownership), individuals can hold use rights to land for 30-70 years.

Therefore, opportunities abound to expand the use of private tools, through partnerships between the local communities, government, NGOs, and conservation developers (developer Dai Guofu shown below, at his Monkey Island conservation development site).

With help from the Conservancy, China's growing land protection system will benefit people and the planet.

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