Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 22485.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022485

• Conservation and Governance • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Identifying the management system for national parks in China

Tianao Chen1, Xiang Li2,*()   

  1. 1 School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3WT, UK
    2 Development Research Center, State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Beijing 100714, China
  • Received:2022-08-25 Accepted:2022-12-15 Online:2023-03-20 Published:2023-03-07
  • Contact: Xiang Li


Background & Aim: China has officially established the first batch of national parks and is currently building the world’s largest national park system. Achieving unified, standardized and efficient management is an important challenge, and to address this need, this paper analyzes how to build national parks with high quality and optimize governance systems.

Review Results: We analyzed the difficulties and problems in the current management model of national parks in China through document analysis and compares the management systems of national parks in the United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil. We found that the management of national parks in China at the central level contains some gaps that may compromise high quality management of system. Currently, the forest resource supervision office (FRSO) is responsible for establishing the management organization of each national park and its post-supervision functions; however, this has drawbacks and the FRSO has difficulty fulfilling its role. In addition, there are problems such as the need to optimize the establishment of the FRSO and in addition, it is at times unclear how to solve management problems of cross-provincial boundary national parks. Some countries with large land areas have established a two-level management system at the central level, for example, the National Park Administration and the regional offices (regional management branch), to promote management on the ground. Talking into account the actual situation of China, the management system of national park should incorporate an optimization plan for implementing the park supervision functions, promote regional management, and define the responsibilities of all parties in the vertical management hierarchy.

Suggestions & Perspectives: Based on the review of the China’s national park system as well as other international system, management could be improved by modifying the top-level design from the central level, building the national park administration district bureau management system as soon as possible, integrating the existing 15 FRSOs of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, establishing 6‒7 national park regional bureaus, transferring the resource supervision function to the remaining 8‒9 FRSOs, and clarifying the responsibilities for the management of national parks in China.

Key words: national parks, optimization path, on-site supervision, forest resource supervision office, National Park Regional Administration