Achieving equitable governance by developing a systematic plan

Mount Huangshan Scenic Area © Marie Fischborn
Published: 28 September 2016
Last edited: 31 May 2022
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After decades of management, Huangshan has developed a plan system based on the Master Plan of Huangshan Scenic Area, the most important and basis plan with legal effect. The plan system is 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
Forest Management
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
Sustainable development goals
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities


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.Resource protection: according to investigation and monitoring, the forest coverage rate of Huangshan has increased from 56% in the 1970s to 98% now. The instantaneous value of negative oxygen ion concentration in air has the highest peak value of 267000 per cm3. There are 1805 species of advanced plants and 323 species of vertebrates, and the species population size is stable. The 1019 units of physical landscape resources listed in our protection objectives have been well protected. Based on 2009, the total electricity and water consumption within our scenic area is reduced by 20%.

2. Tourism development. In the decade before the Covid-pandemic (2010-2019), the average annual growth rate of tourists was 3.73%, and the average growth rate of tourism revenue was 7.27%.

3. Community development. There are 1225 small and medium-sized enterprises in our community. Our management committee has maintained close relations with nearly 200 travel agencies and more than 300 other affiliates (transportation, hotel, shopping malls and interpretation companies), making them realize that jointly protecting Huangshan is to protect their common interests.


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.

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chinahsgeopark_5186's picture

Alisa Chen Huangshan Scenic Area Administrative Committee

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Huangshan Scenic Area Administrative Committee
Huangshan Scenic Area Administrative Committee