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Ranger lets nature work

Updated: 2023-10-07 10:07 ( China Daily )
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Sanitation workers clean up garbage on steep cliffs at Wulingyuan scenic area in Hunan province. [Photo by Deng Daoli/China Daily]

Xiao Shizhen, professor at the School of Geography and Environmental Science, Guizhou Normal University, says that Wulingyuan's protection is a tortuous progress and it now embraces the idea of focusing on conservation and sustainable development.

According to Xiao, this transformation was achieved through the collaborative efforts of relevant management authorities, expert teams, as well as various local departments and enterprises.

"Now management is highly effective and continues to see improvement. The awareness of protection has been elevated greatly among all the teams, including local government and managing authorities. We see that the heritage value of Wulingyuan is well-preserved, with its integrity well-maintained," she says.

"Success in heritage declaration doesn't mean we can engage in development or other activities without restrictions."

Since 2015, Xiao and her team have written Wulingyuan's state of conservation reports to the World Heritage Committee, providing responses to concerns in a scientific and rational manner.

She analyzed the actual situation, proposed resolutions and offered recommendations on how to implement them. She stated in the reports that the infrastructure facilities, such as cable cars and an elevator in the scenic area, have brought positive impacts despite some negative influences on the aesthetic landscape.

"Tourists can enter and exit more quickly, improving the efficiency of sightseeing, so they no longer need to stay longer on the mountains. As more tourists can now appreciate the mountains' scenery, it has promoted the development of the tourism industry," she says.

She adds that it's also good for fire prevention and handling tourist emergencies.

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