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China to learn from US national park system

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

(Global Times) – China will work with an independent US institute to learn from the country’s successful management of national parks amid efforts to improve the environment.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the US Paulson Institute on Monday inked an agreement to cooperate on a national park system for China over the next three years.

Nine regions have been chosen to trial national park systems in a pilot program that will run until the end of 2017. The regions are Beijing, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Zhejiang, Fujian, Hubei, Hunan, Yunnan and Qinghai, according to a guideline on reform issued by the State Council in May.

The program will research into how the management of national conservation areas, geological parks and the wood parks can be improved, successful measures will be rolled out cross the country, according to the NDRC.

The pilots will not establish national parks, but rather explore and develop a management system for such parks.

China only has a handful of national parks in places such as Heilongjiang and Zhejiang provinces. Although some scenic areas use the English term national park, they are just conservation areas.

The NDRC will mainly provide policy direction and the institute will give research and technological support, according to the agreement.

China has thousands of conservation areas, which cover about 18 percent of the country.

The Paulson Institute was founded in 2011 by former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson to promote economic growth and environmental preservation in China and the United States.

In September 2014, the institute launched a project on climate change and air quality with focus on China’s air pollution.

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