Strengthening the Effectiveness of the Protected Area System in Anhui Province, China to Conserve Globally Important Biodiversity

The Challenge

For centuries the wetlands of Yangtze Basin have provided nesting, staging and migratory habitat for wildfowl along the East Asia Pacific flyway and for species residing in this area. Unfortunately, during the last 20 years, wetlands in Anhui have been greatly reduced in area and quality of habitat. Land conversion to agriculture, overfishing, the introduction of caged fisheries in the 1990s, and pollution from land-based resources resulted in the decreasing quality of the wetlands in Anhui. There are three barriers we must overcome to deal with these threats as well as to build capacity in Wetland Protected Area (WPA) systems at the local, provincial, and national levels:

  • Limited capacities of integrating wetland issues into provincial and sectorial policies and plans;
  • Limited knowledge and experience with integrated basin management of wetlands, which requires  an appropriate coordination mechanism;
  •  Limited tools and capacities for effective WPA site management, which needs comprehensive understanding of PA planning principles and methods, PA staff capacity assessment and training 

The Response

The project will strengthen the management effectiveness of the WPA systems in Anhui in response to the existing and emerging threats to the globally significant biodiversity and essential ecosystem services.  In order to achieve this goal, the following will be implemented:

  • Through WPA planning and management, strengthen the provincial capacity and basin-level coordination for the sustainability of the WPA system;
  • Reduce on-site threats to biodiversity at the Shengjin Lake Natural Reserve (NR) and adjacent WPAs

NR management plans will focus on reducing overfishing to sustainable yields, sustainable tourism planning and upgrading of technical skills, and human resources and financial planning and management with a broad range of technical interventions. Meanwhile, since WPA in Anhui Province and elsewhere are extensively impacted by upper stream activities of Yangze River, this project will also promote integrated river basin management. This will ensure that upstream threats are managed holistically with credible threat reduction targets in WPA itself.

Achievements



Some project achievements include: 

  • Increase of 80,000 ha of new wetland protected area coverage;
  • Increase management effectiveness of six WPAs in Anhui through a combination of training, technical interventions, and enhanced interactions and coordination of NR management with different sectors;
  • Improve the provincial PA system’s financial sustainability

This project will deliver more resilient and better planned WPAs, improve habitat in quality and area, increase management and technical capacity across the PA system, improve and sustain funding to support these roles, and mainstream wetlands biodiversity across sectors. The global benefits of this project will be the improved protection and habitat for keystone and other migratory waterfowl, and  greater resilience of these important habitats to climate change.

Who finances it?

Donor Amount
Chinese Government US$ 11,687,800
In-kind US$ 5,759,455
GEF US$ 2,654,771 

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