A Peek into China’s National Park Pilot Sites

(Photo: aphotostory/Getty Images)


Located in Yunnan province, the Pudacuo National Park is part of a UNESCO World Heritage-protected region where the headwaters of Asia’s great rivers, the Jinsha (Yangtze), Lancang (Mekong) and Nujiang (Salween) run parallel through deep gorges and snowy peaks.

China has embarked on a plan to create its first system of national parks—a historic effort that will help guarantee the protection of the country’s rich natural heritage, while allowing the public to experience the beauty of nature, for generations to come.

The Paulson Institute is working with the National Development and Reform Commission, with support from the Heren Foundation, on overall research and planning for the parks, through in-depth international case studies, capacity-building training activities, and the development of technical guidelines for the nine pilot parks designated by the Chinese government. This month, the Institute is hosting a delegation of Chinese experts in the United States for intensive training with U.S. national parks and conservation professionals.

By striking the right balance between effective conservation and managed ecotourism, national parks can help China achieve its goals of creating an “ecological civilization” that embraces both development and environmental protection—while providing a source of national pride and spiritual inspiration for the Chinese people.

With this series, we plan to introduce China’s nine pilot parks, highlighting their unique environmental importance and natural beauty. Your attention will be a driving force in facilitating the protection of these beautiful places. We hope you can visit them all one day!