Achieving equitable governance by developing a systematic plan

Mount Huangshan Scenic Area © Marie Fischborn
Published: 28 September 2016
Last edited: 01 October 2020
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After decades of management, Huangshan has developed a plan system for every part of work and clear responsibilities and tasks for different departments, balancing protection and development. Multiple plans address different issues, including resource protection, finance and tourism, developed with expert input. Community cooperation is given top priority to ensure proper implementation. The legal status of the plan, concerted management with communities, and adequate government funding has ensured the full implementation of the plans.


East Asia
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Local actors
Protected and conserved areas governance
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Infrastructure development
Changes in socio-cultural context
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation


Huangshan Scenic Area, Huangshan, Anhui, China
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Huangshan Nature Reserve, a World Heritage site, member of global geopark network, and a national scenic area, is obliged to safeguard the ecosystem’s integrity, while making them accessible to visitors and help improve the living conditions of the neighborhood communities through proper development Management practice in the past indicates that negative impact on the natural resources will incur without a concerted and scientifically designed plan. Willful or short-sighted construction will pose great threat to the sustainable development.


1.Staff in the nature reserve. 2.Tourists. 3. Neighboring communities.

How do the building blocks interact?

The Master Plan has involved the participation of the local community, including land planning, community development and other issues related. Thus, our master plan has legal status, and the rights of community are declared. It protects community’s right and is helpful for communicating with community. Communities can understand and help implement the Master Plan because it has respected their interests and helped with their development.


1.Conservation of natural resources is reinforced. To formulate and implement the plan, baseline studies and monitoring have been carried out. These studies have provided scientific solutions for better conservation, such as the regular rotation of the most frequently visited scenic spots, inventorying of the precious and rare wood and trees, uphill trash collection and downhill treatment. In combination with the educational facilities, the natural reserve has achieved convincing results of resources conservation. 2. Management capacity is updated. Cutting edge technologies are employed in the management, such as digital management platform and “smart Huangshan” project. 3. Infrastructure facilities are improved, such as the fortification of sightseeing trails, visitor center, and toilets, especially, the initiative of the pre-warning system of thunderstorm, which has greatly secured the safety of visitors. 4.The plan has also benefited the neighboring communities. It can promote the economic incentives to the neighboring communities.


When we made our geopark plan, we would discuss details with different departments in our own management body as well as experts and community. This plan also sets a standard for community development. There are lots of restaurants and hotels around the park. To supervise and maintain the quality, we communicate with them, introduce our geopark concept and the positive impact for them, and advise them to use the geopark standard. If one has high quality services, he will be recognized and branded with the Geopark logo.

Contributed by

Alisa Chen Huangshan Scenic Area Administrative Committee

Other contributors

Huangshan Scenic Area Administrative Committee