Governance of Biodiversity Conservation in China and Taiwan

Governance of Biodiversity Conservation in China and Taiwan

Environmental Governance in Asia series

Gerald A. McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng

China and Taiwan have roughly one-eighth of the world’s known species. Their approaches to biodiversity issues thus have global as well as national repercussions. Gerald McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng explore the ongoing conflicts between economic development, typically pursued by businesses and governments, and communities seeking to preserve and protect local human and ecosystem values.

Chapter 5: Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation

Gerald A. McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, development studies, asian development, environment, asian environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


Globally, countries establish protected areas – nature reserves, parks, historical sites, monuments – to preserve rare and endangered species and their ecosystems. Soule and Torbough contend: ‘As an effective strategy of conserving biodiversity, the setting aside of protected areas is the sine qua non of effective management’.1 The United States (US) was the first nation to create a protected area, Yellowstone National Park, in 1872; in 2005, at least 100 000 protected areas are found in more than 100 countries. China and Taiwan are latecomers to this form of biodiversity conservation, with histories of less than 50 years. In this chapter, we explain the evolution of protected areas and the functions they perform. For China, we examine the distribution of conservation units, geographically and administratively. Then we consider five large obstacles to effective management: architecture of the system, administrative organization and enforcement, limited financial support, human resource problems, and conflicts between local populations and protected areas. We also give an example of a relatively well-managed protected area, the Mount Gaoligong Nature Reserve in the Yunnan Province. For Taiwan, we also treat the distribution of protected areas. Then we turn to coordination, management, and fiscal problems. The example for Taiwan is a proposed park to be co-managed with aboriginal peoples. The chapter concludes with a comparison of the protected area systems in China and Taiwan. EVOLUTION OF THE PROTECTED AREA SYSTEM The World Conservation Union (IUCN) defines a protected area as ‘an area of land and/or sea specially dedicated to the protection and...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information