Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (9): 1032-1040.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019217

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Transformative changes and paths toward biodiversity conservation in China

Rui Yang(),Qinyi Peng,Yue Cao,Le Zhong,Shuyu Hou,Zhicong Zhao,Cheng Huang   

  1. School of Architecture, Tsinghua University/ Institute for National Parks, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084
  • Received:2019-07-04 Accepted:2019-09-25 Online:2019-09-20 Published:2019-09-25
  • Contact: Rui Yang

Abstract:

Earth is experiencing its sixth mass extinction, and in response to the severity of accelerated biodiversity loss, the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Biodiversity Targets. However, the IPBES global assessment showed that most of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for 2020 will possibly be missed, because of which the IPBES called for transformative changes in nature conservation in its global assessment report. China has made significant progress in biodiversity conservation, put forward with completed eco-civilization system, try to develop a protected area system, stress the importance of biodiversity conservation by inspection and “Green Shield” action. In addition, up to 18% of territory has been designated as protected area. However, biodiversity is still declining at an accelerated rate, more species are threatened. Although a series of reforms to eco-civilization has started the transformative changes, such as mainstreaming biodiversity in central government, managing all the protected areas in one department, emphasizing the importance of biodiversity in national spatial planning and China Ecological Conservation Red Line (ECRL) designation, systematic strategies and actions are still in need for biodiversity conservation. It is important to further implement “mainstreaming” at different levels, establish a systematic legal system and effective conservation mechanism, guarantee enough funds, clarify the status of biodiversity in production and living space, and make ecosystem service possible to become economic benefits. Therefore, it is necessary for China to achieve transformative changes in terms of conservation awareness, spatial planning, and conservation actions by promoting balanced economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress. It is possible to mainstream conservation awareness, coordinate between conservation and utilization, and promote citizen-based conservation actions if China combines the forces of law, governance, market, technology, and society. This approach world form an efficient and integrated mechanism to achieve the ideal state of biodiversity conservation, “living in harmony with nature”.

Key words: transformative changes, mainstreaming biodiversity, coordination between conservation and utilization, national spatial planning, protected areas