Chicago’s Paulson Institute on Monday signed an agreement with China’s National Development and Reform Commission to advise the top planning agency on developing a national system of parks and protected areas, The Financial Times reported, citing the institute’s director of conservation programs, Rose Niu. Beijing has technically designated roughly 18% of mainland China as protected land, but little is done to enforce this mandate by local officials more concerned with guaranteeing the economic growth needed to ensure their ascension through the ranks. “There are a lot of areas where they just draw a line on a map but no real system is set up,” said Niu.
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