China's Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve is currently at the center of an ecological protection debate after revealing ambitions to lead a new international organization, the World Protected Areas Alliance.
Some 150 ecologists and nature reserve managers from China and 15 countries and regions remain divided on the mission and operations of the proposed organization after a feasibility discussion Sunday afternoon in the Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve. The talks were a prelude to the First Changbai Mountain International Ecological Forum that opens on Monday.
Delegates plan to continue discussion of the issue during the two-day forum and give feedback on Tuesday to the forum's organization committee based on a proposal prepared by the Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve Management Bureau.
Deputy Director Cai Hongwei of the Management Bureau of the Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve in northeast China's Jilin Province said that the initiative aims to strengthen communication and cooperation among protected areas worldwide and improve nature reserve management and social influence.
"I hope this forum can bring new ideas to global ecological protection and become a milestone in the exchange and cooperation of world protected areas, with concerted efforts and support from the world's leading ecologists and global ecological organizations," said Cai.
Xie Yan, an associate research professor with the Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences charged with leading the project, detailed the draft work plan for the alliance.
"More than 10 percent of land is covered by protected areas worldwide. However, there is a lack of long-term cooperation mechanisms among protected areas, many advanced concepts and technologies have not been widely promoted, and the joint forces of scientific research and conservation have not been applied," she said.
"Therefore, it is crucial to establish the World Protected Areas Alliance for promoting information exchange and sharing in research, conservation and management of protected areas," she added.