Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (2): 210-216.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017311

Special Issue: 青藏高原生物多样性与生态安全

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles    

An observation to the new initiative of community conservation guard posts in the pilot Three-River-Source National Park

Xiang Zhao1, Ziyun Zhu1,2, Zhi Lu1,2,*, Lingyun Xiao1,2, Sonamtso Mei1, Hao Wang2   

  1. 1 Shanshui Conservation Center, Beijing 100871
    2 Center for Nature and Society, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
  • Received:2017-11-20 Accepted:2018-02-20 Online:2018-02-20 Published:2018-05-05
  • Contact: Lu Zhi
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors


Community-based conservation has been proven as an effective approach for biodiversity conservation, and is an important part for National Parks in China. As the first pilot of the new national park system in China, the Three-River-Source National Park initiated a new arrangement to employ 16,621 villagers from each household living in the national park to serve as conservation guards. Local Tibetan herders take the main responsibility of Sanjiangyuan conservation and in return receive payments from the national park. Such an arrangement coincides with local people’s willingness of participating in conservation, influenced by traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture. However, in addition to conservation, poverty alleviation is set as a priority target especially when guards were selected, which to certain extent compromised the effectiveness of conservation. While understanding the needs of poverty alleviation, we analyzed institutional rationales of such a selection, and made policy suggestions that conservation targets should become the first priority and more resources and space should be allocated to local governments and communities for self-governance on conservation decisions and actions. NGOs may also contribute to assist these practices.

Key words: Three-River-Source region, national park, community-based conservation, community conservation guard posts