Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (3): 21493.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021493

• Conservation and Governance • Previous Articles     Next Articles

How ecosystem integrity is realized at the management level: A case study on the system and mechanism of the unified management of a cross-provincial national park

Xinrui Zhao1, Siyuan He2, Yang Su1,*()   

  1. 1 Management World Journal Press, Development Research Center of the State Council, Beijing 100026
    2 Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resource Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
  • Received:2021-12-01 Accepted:2022-02-17 Online:2022-04-07 Published:2022-03-10
  • Contact: Yang Su


Aims Ecosystem integrity conservation is an important management objective of national parks, and its concept has been reflected in the Master Plan for the Establishment of National Parks and relevant national standards. However, the concept of integrity in these documents and standards is still divorced from demarcation and daily management. In this paper, we are going to study how the academic concept should be transformed to be inclusive of integrity at the management level.

Methods We use the theory on “incentive compatibility”, which means that the driving direction of individual stakeholders’ responsibilities, rights, and interests are consistent with maximization of overall interests, to explain whether the institutional mechanisms are suitable for the ecological integrity of cross-provincial national parks. We divide interests into two parts: one is political interests, and the other is economic interests. Using Wuyishan National Park as a case study, these two types of interests are analyzed.

Results In this paper, we take the cross-provincial Wuyishan National Park as a representative case and discuss the needs for unified management of national parks based on the concept of ecosystem integrity. It is necessary to take the national park as an independent unit of “territorial space use regulation”, which means breaking the original element management model, and integrating the management of “mountains, waterflows, forests, fields, lakes, and grasses”. However, this model is still difficult to meet due to the administrative boundaries and incentive incompatibilities arising from provincial top-down management systems. It’s possible to construct an institutional mechanism to achieve incentive compatibility. Firstly, the same “power and money” system, which is related to management institutions of cross-provincial national parks, should be made. Then a coordination system should be made with two types of coordination: one is to build a coordination mechanism, and another is to build a coordination agency which is similar to asset management. With the first type of coordination, the administration at the cross-provincial level has not been set up, and the coordination is undertaken by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, which is also National Park Administration. With the second type of coordination, learning from the experience of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) in managing enterprises, the cross-provincial administration should be established. Due to staff limitations, it can be established by adding a sign to the Commissioner’s Office of the Forestry and Grassland Administration and developing the relevant departments.

Conclusions Under the institutional mechanism proposed in this paper, the delimitation of national parks in the future can easily realize scientific integrity. These two coordination modes proposed in this paper are feasible schemes to realize incentive compatibility on the basis of daily management consistency. The coordination of cross-provincial national parks can start from the mechanism. As the reforms develop, it should gradually shift to establishing the administration at the inter-provincial level. Finally, the mode of vertical management by the central government should be built, which can solve the problems from the root.

Key words: national park, ecosystem, integrity, unified management, system and mechanism