Strengthening Globally Important Biodiversity Conservation through Protected Area Strengthening in Gansu Province

The Challenge

Gansu province is a biologically-rich part of China with a considerable wealth of biodiversity within its borders. However, there are two macro-level barriers hampering efforts to reduce threats to Gansu’s biodiversity Protected Areas (PAs). One is a weak provincial legal and regulatory framework and institutional capacity for sustainable management and financing of Gansu’s PA system. The second is an absence of effective PA management and business planning, and operation at site and sub-system level.

Before UNDP’s intervention biodiversity conservation and financing in Gansu was stuck at a basic level and could not gain wider support from multiple stakeholders. Business-as-usual was insufficient for purpose with systemic institutional, financial and individual constraints upon effective conservation of valuable resources.

The Response

The project’s intervention works towards two key outcomes in order to overcome the barriers identified above:

•    The creation of a strengthened provincial policy framework and improved institutional capacity for sustainable management and financing of Gansu’s PA system
•    A pilot to demonstrate sustainable PA management and financing in Taohe Basin.
Activities under the first outcome will target the provincial level, rectifying systemic and institutional weakness. The second outcome will focus on four nature reserves. Through working directly with the PA management authorities and local stakeholders, outcome two interventions will put into operation and demonstrate actual application of the outputs under outcome one. Demonstration work will be used to refine provincial level PA management, financing and capacity building strategies, thereby ensuring wide replication of the lessons learned across the province.


The overall progress of this project has been good. All designed activities were implemented according to the approved work plan. Under outcome one, the Taohe Forum has been established, serving as an information sharing and exchange platform for provincial level departments and stakeholders. A technical report on the forum is currently under development. The Assessment Report of the Law and Regulation Framework of Gansu’s Nature Reserves and Assessment Report of Biodiversity-related Laws and Regulation in Gansu Province, Action Proposal for Strengthening Institutional Capacities for Effective PA Planning and Management of Gansu Forestry Department and Capacity Strengthening Plan of Provincial Training Institutes have been developed and circulated.

The pilot project in Taohe has also been productive already, with the four demonstration PAs yielding a host of reports and policy plans, developed with participation from across the board. A series of trainings and seminars on monitoring and management techniques have also been conducted, and the technical equipment required for effective biodiversity conservation has been purchased, sufficient for all implementation areas.

Who finances it?

Donor    Amount
GEF       US$ 1,738,000
Co-financing     US$ 7,280,000

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