Panda national parks coming to China
China's government has announced plans to create a 27,000sq km national park for pandas.[Photo: cnidea.net]
China's government has announced plans to create a 27,000sq km national park for its treasured pandas - a move which will uproot at least 172,000 people.
The plans were first unveiled in August last year, with officials from the provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi working together to help the endangered species.
Mining, road building and urban infrastructure, combined with an increasing population, have caused pandas to be isolated from their bamboo-rich habitats in mountainous areas.
Sichuan's provincial forestry department announced the plans, which will relocate 32,000 workers as well as people living in the area, in an effort to carve out a dedicated area pandas can call home.
Efforts by the Chinese government over the last decade has seen the number of pandas in the wild has grown by 16.5 per cent to at least 1,864 – mainly in Sichuan province.
The panda park will be the first in a number of planned parks for China, with a five year plan seeing the creation of 20 such national parks, each focusing on different endangered species, such as Asian elephants, Tibetan antelopes, Siberian tigers and Amur leopards.
The new system of national parks, announced by Prime Minister Li Keqiang, will start with the panda park, along with eight other pilot sites, including a Beijing Great Wall National Park.