Under the partnership agreement between the Paulson Institute and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a series of sixteen research projects was commissioned between 2015 and 2018 to draw valuable insights from a wide range of researchers in China and the U.S. about national parks and how they are managed. These research projects covered all significant elements of China’s national park development initiative, including governance structure, legal framework, financing mechanism, system planning, management of natural and cultural resources, and concessions for commercial operations and drew on valuable experience from six exemplary countries – Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and the United States.
The results of these research projects were publicly released on November 11, 2018. As the first and most comprehensive publication of its kind, the 14-volume book set marked a significant milestone towards creating a unified and effective national park system in China.
This book series informed the development of China’s Overall Plan for Establishing a National Park System, issued on September 2017. On June 26, 2019, the Chinese government released the Guidelines for Establishment of a Protected Area System with National Parks at the Core, signaling a transformation and streamlining of the management of protected areas in China.
The Paulson Institute is grateful to more than one hundred contributors to the research projects from national and international organizations, such as Tsinghua University, Beijing University, the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Science of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Research Center of the State Council, South-North Institute for Sustainable Development, Global Parks, Lincoln University and Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation.