Strengthening the Management Effectiveness of the Protected Area Landscape in Altai Mountains and Wetlands

The Challenge

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China is a significant store of biodiversity with diverse landscapes and a rich ecosystem. Altai Mountains and Wetlands (AMWL) in XUAR is internationally recognized for its extraordinary landscapes, traditional cultures and livelihoods, and unique biodiversity. However, three macro-level barriers hinder efforts to conserve the biodiversity Protected Areas (PA). Firstly, the weak provincial legal and regulatory framework has led to insufficient systematic PA management. The second barrier is the disconnection between PA system management and the sector planning processes and development activities, which threaten important wetland areas. Last but not the least, the limited local capacities and communities’ participation in the PA management process serve as significant barriers.

The Response

The project will deliver three key outcomes to tackle the barriers identified above, to strengthen Xinjiang’s provincial capacity and to preserve the Altai Mountains and Wetland landscape.

1. Strengthening the provincial systemic, legal and institutional capacity for enhanced protection of wetland ecosystems,  through PA planning and management

2. Conserving the AMWL through strengthened sustainable PA planning and management

3. Developing the “community co-management” approach in Liangheyuan national reserve, by improving management efficiency

Through achieving these outcomes, this project will contribute to the establishment and effective management of a representative PA system which can fulfill its role of safeguarding globally significant biodiversity.


The global environmental benefits of the project are:

  • Significant reduction of threats to global biodiversity from incompatible development projects
  • Addition of 150,000 ha of terrestrial landscapes under formal protection
  • Improved overall PA management, institutional capacity and financial sustainability.

The co-management framework within the PA system will also help to  institutionalize and support the local community partnerships on biodiversity conservation.  This will enhance the impact of environmental awareness programmes. In addition, it increases human resources needed for local environmental monitoring and management. The project promises a widespread impact on conservation. 

Who finances it?

Donor Amount
Chinese Government US$ 16,500,000
GEF US$ 3,544,679
In-kind US$ 4,500,000

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