Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 167-176.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020077

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Progress of agricultural biodiversity conservation in China

Xiaoming Zheng, Qingwen Yang*()   

  1. Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081
  • Received:2020-03-05 Accepted:2020-07-16 Online:2021-02-20 Published:2020-07-28
  • Contact: Qingwen Yang


Aim: Agricultural biodiversity has a significant influence on agricultural production and plays an important role in sustainable development. The Chinese government has emphasized agricultural biodiversity conservation since the early 1950s and achieved many progresses. Here, we summarize China’s main progress toward establishing a supporting system of legislation, policies, research, and capacity building in agricultural biodiversity conservation over the past 70 years, and provide suggestions for the conservation of agricultural biodiversity in the future.
Progresses: China has formulated laws and regulations related to agricultural biodiversity, established management mechanisms, mapped out related programs, and implemented research and capacity building projects. It has also taken conservation actions at the levels of ecosystems, species, and genes. More recently, China established a primary conservation system with both in-situ and ex-situ approaches. We also highlight important gaps in the areas of agricultural biodiversity conservation compared to international and national development strategies, describe the requirements associated with enhancing the conservation system in China, and underscore the need to build capacity.
Prospects: We propose that agricultural biodiversity conservation in China should align with international regulations, such as the Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), promote ecosystem services, create a streamlined process across government sectors, and increase public capacity.

Key words: agricultural biodiversity, legislation, sustainable development, ecosystem services, capacity building