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Overview of the National Park System Reform Process in China

Yufei Wang, Yixin Hu, and Jingyi Liu

June 2023, English

China is at a turning point from a high economic growth rate to a low one, and the country needs to carry out policy reforms for better governance. In recent years, the National Park system reform has been one of the pilot policies that attracted great attention from governments and the public. The National Park system reform is an initial step for China’s Eco-civilization policy reform, which indicates the determination of the central government to create a sustainable future through policy reforms for a harmonious coexistence between man and nature. The National Park system reform was intended to solve the existing fragmented management of the natural protected areas and establish a new management system by designing a topdown policy.

This paper provides an overview of the policy background, a general introduction to the system, and a discussion of the policy implementation. The central government established corresponding management systems during the institutional restructuring launched in 2018, and five out of ten pilots were selected finally due to their good performance on the policy reform in 2021. In the future, the National Park needs to improve its laws and regulations, and establish the eco-compensation mechanism to encourage local citizens to participate in conservation and receive increasing benefits through green development. The National Park system has become a policy tool for the country to engage in ecosystem conservation. This system can help the country carry out the Eco-civilization reform from pilots to projects for the whole nation.


Conservation, Environmental Management