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China has exceptional biodiversity, with ecosystems ranging from permanent ice fields to tropical moist forests. It holds 15% of the world’s vertebrate and 12% of its plant species, in about 6% of the Earth’s land surface.

China has a long history of nature conservation through protected areas (Pas) and has established over 11,800 PAs, including nature reserves, forest parks, wetland parks, scenic areas, water parks, etc, accounting for more than 18% of China’s terrestrial territory. However, only less than 800 Chinese PAs are included in the WDPA, with about 90% categorised as V, and a small proportion as Ia, IV and VI.

In 2019, the Central Government of China published the “Guidelines for developing the protected area system with national parks as the cornerstone”, aiming to develop the PA system with national parks as the key by 2025, and significantly improve the management effectiveness and flow of ecosystem services of PAs by 2035.

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