Ecological Conservation and Sustainable Development of Changbai Mountain

Feng Han
Published: 08 July 2020
Last edited: 08 July 2020
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Summary

Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve contains the temperate mountainous forest ecosystem that is the most typical and best preserved in the same latitudes on the planet and also the most representative natural complex in the northern half of the Eurasia. It is a comprehensive nature reserve that integrates multiple functions of ecological protection, water conservation, public education, scientific research, ecotourism, and international exchanges and cooperation, and praised as the Ecological Lung of Northeast China. It is not only a hotspot for China’s biodiversity research, but also holds a very important position with its high ecological value in the global conservation field. In order to advance both conservation and development, Changbai Mountain actively explores a path that develops urban areas as scenic areas while protecting the ecological environment and seeks to promote the harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

Classifications

Region
East Asia
Scale of implementation
Local
Multi-national
Ecosystem
Area-wide development
Forest ecosystems
Green spaces (parks, gardens, urban forests)
Taiga
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Theme
Fire management
Forest Management
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Mitigation
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Tourism
Challenges
Wildfires
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Lack of technical capacity

Location

Changbai Mountain National Nature Reserve, Jilin, People's Republic of China

Challenges

  1. Environmentally: the increased number of tourists during the peak season increased the risks of forest fires and ecological damage;
  2. Economically: Before restricting the number of people entering the scenic area, most tourists would leave the area directly after the day’s visit. This to a certain extent had hindered the development of accommodation and catering businesses in the surrounding communities of the scenic area. As a result, the income of the local residents was not stable, nor was the local economic development balanced;
  3. Socially: Before building a neighbouring town into a new scenic area just outside Changbai Mountain Scenic Area, the infrastructures and the publicity efforts in the surrounding communities were poor. The adverse effects also increased, such as automobile exhaust, pollutants, and more negative feedback from tourists about poor visiting experiences.

Beneficiaries

  • Local administrative agencies,
  • Tourists,
  • Residents of Changbai Mountain’s surrounding communities

How do the building blocks interact?

  1. Thanks to the sound Reserve’s Master Plan, construction projects related to nature conservation, forest fire prevention, eco-tourism, public education and community development are well-planned and implemented accordingly;
  2. A good ecological environment is the foundation for development. Solid work in forest fire prevention and nature conservation is the core for sustainable development. Only by ensuring ecological safety can development be pursued in a healthy, harmonious and long-term manner;
  3. In order to reduce the pressures brought by too many tourists on the ecological carrying capacity and drive the socio-economic development of the local communities, great efforts were made to innovate and create a new ecotourism model, and to implement the new ideas of sustainable development that promotes an integrated development of the urban and the scenic areas and the internationalisation of the scenic area. Scientific planning and designs and vigorous ecological protection are combined to eventually realise a sustainable green development.

Impacts

To achieve an effective ecological conservation of Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve, the local administrative agency organised the implementation of the Master Plan, carried out the work of forest fire prevention, nature conservation and public education as planned, and formed a good structure for ecological protection. The administrative agency also innovated in ecotourism practices, developing the urban areas as part of the scenic area, promoting economic development in neighbouring communities and increasing their income and job opportunities. Effective measures, such as restricting the number of people entering Changbai Mountain scenic area, imposing traffic control and requiring all tourists to ride in shuttle buses during peak season, have greatly reduced the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Thus the administrative agency was able to not only improve the tourism quality, but also enhance ecological protection and stimulate the development of various industries in the neighbouring communities.

Contributed by

Yueming Zhao Changbai Mountain National Nature Reserve