Collaborative management of Qingliang mountain, Hangzhou,China

Collaborative management of Qingliang mountain, Hangzhou, China

Qingliang Peak.jpg

Qingliang Mountain nature reserve was approved in 1982. Since 1950, the collectivization of land in China was carried out, and then all the land and natural resources were owned by the citizens of China and administered on their behalf by the government. After the tenure reforms beginning in 1982, the work of clarifying forest ownership in Lin'an was completed, more communities got Certificate of Forest and Woodland Tenure Right. Through the collaborative management, the protection network has been established and the nature reserve has been improved. In 2001,Changhua forest farm has become the first forest farm in China to gained the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, thus promoting the sustainable development of forest management and forest economy. However, in the surrounding community, the social economic development level of residents is relatively low, the dependence on natural resources is still strong. There still have the conflict between forest protection and villagers' interests, forest resources protection and Sika deer habit protection. There were many difficulties in the process of development, and there still is a long way to go in the future.

Location and geography

Figure 1. The location of Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve. Google Maps.

Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve (118°52 '~ 119°11' E, 30°05 '~30°17' N), is located in Lin’an district of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province[1]. Qingliang Mountain is located at the junction of Anhui and Zhejiang Provinces, with an elevation of 1784.4 meters, it is the highest elevation in the northwest of Zhejiang province. The landform gradually rises from southeast to northwest, forming the vertical belt spectrum series of climate from north subtropics to warm temperate zone and the changeable small landform and microclimate[2]. The total area of the protected area is 11252 hm2, and the forest coverage rate of 91%.[3] In this nature reserve, state-owned land covers 3019 hm2, accounting for 26.8%, collective land covers 8233 hm2, accounting for 73.2%. The collective land covers 12 administrative villages in 3 towns including Qingling Mountain town, Longgang town and Changhua town[4]. And the forest coverage rate has risen to 95% (85%) compared with that before the reserve was built, there are still about 1,000 local villagers living in the reserve[1].

Culture and history

The reserve consists of Longtangshan, Qianqingtang and Shunxiwu. The following is the historical development of Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve.

  • 1982: Qingliang Mountain nature reserve was approved[5].
  • 1985: Longtang mountain, the main body of the mountain, was established as a provincial nature reserve with the approval of Zhejiang Provincial Government.
  • 1997: Zhejiang Provincial People's Government approved the extension of Longtangshan nature reserve and added two parts (Qianqingtang and Shunxiwu).
  • 1998: The area was expanded and approved by the State Council to be a national nature reserve[1].
  • 2004: the compilation committee of Zhejiang Province determined that this national nature reserve was a pure public welfare institution[2].

Qingliang Mountain is a forest and wildlife protection area with the nature of biological provenance and natural ecosystem protection area. There are more than a thousand species of higher plants in the Qingliang Mountain nature reserve, including more than 400 woody plants, and 33 species of national key protected plants. There are a total of 80 species of national and provincial key protected wild animals, and the Qianqingtang is a habitat area for wild sika deer, and it is the most eastern and southern site of the wild population distributed on China's land[2].

History of the Forest Tenure Reform

Before 1980s, tenure changes of the forests in three villages are similar to Naidu Village in Yunnan Province. Local forest farmers in Lin'an had customary rights, and the land uses were regulated by customary, unwritten practice before 1950s. However, between 1950s and 1980s, the collectivization of China was carried out, and then all the land and natural resources were owned by the citizens of China and administrated on their behalf by the government. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the system of forest rights in the southern collective forest areas has undergone several major changes, including land reform, primary cooperatives, senior cooperatives, people's communes and forestry "three decisions" (stabilizing the mountain right to forest rights, delimiting private mountains, and determining the forestry production responsibility system)[6]

Timeline of the Forest Tenure Reform in Lin'an
Time Event[7] Major content[7]
1981-1991 "Three-fix" Policy The pilot project of "three decisions" in forestry was carried out (stabilizing the tenure of mountains and forests, delimiting members' freehold forest, and implementing the responsibility system for forestry production), since then, the reform of collective forest rights system has begun.
1993-1997 Improve stock cooperative system The forestry stock cooperative system was implemented in over 90% of country forest farms in Lin'an to promote the development of forestry economy.
1998-2002 Issued the implementation opinions on establishing and improving the circulation mechanism of forestland use right The city implemented the policy of extending the contract period for 50 years and granting " Certificate of Forest and Woodland Tenure Right".
2010 Implement the collective forest lease policy. The administration bureau applied to the forestry department for suggestions on classified compensation and subsidies and approved the Qingliang Mountain nature reserve to take the lead in implementing the collective forest lease policy.
2012 The work of clarifying forest ownership in Lin 'an was basically completed The work of clarifying forest ownership in Lin'an was basically completed, with a total of 194,900 hectares of collective forested land confirmed, and more than 100,000 copies of "Certificate of Forest and Woodland Tenure Right" granted.

Distribution of tenure[6]

distribution of tenure in the south China

Forestry administrative system of Qingliang Mountain

Figure 2. Forestry administrative system

The establishment of Chinese national forestry management institution has a long history. Chinese current state-owned forestry management system belongs to the model of "integration of government and enterprise". This system is a model of direct management based on administrative organization and administrative levels using administrative means. It is established on the basis of a highly centralized planned economy system. Its guiding ideology is guided by the planned economy, and its management methods are mainly based on administrative orders and directive plans.[8] In the case study of Naidu Village in Yunnan Province, with the system of forestry administration, Naidu has decentralized its authority, and villagers have gained more rights while forestry development in the region has improved. A similar forestry management system (Figure 2) was used in Qingliang Mountain nature reserve, but in terms of local management, it is a little different from Naidu's.

The highest forestry administration agency is the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China, followed by the Zhejiang Provincial Forest Administration Bureau. This area is administratively managed by Lin 'an Forestry Bureau and operationally managed by Zhejiang Provincial Forest Administration Bureau. The Zhejiang Province Editorial Board approved 36 reserve personnel in the Zhejiang Qingliang Mountain National Nature Reseve Administration. There are Offices (Administrative Section), Resource Protection Section, Scientific Research and Education Section, Community Management Section, 4 Protection Stations, and Changhua Forest Farm. Lin'an Forest Police Brigade set up a forest police squadron in the reserve, in order to maintain security in Qingliang Mountain nature reserve.[2]

The main responsibility of Lin 'an Forestry Bureau is to implement Forest Law of the People's Republic of China, Wildlife Protection Law of the People's Republic of China and the local forestry regulations and rules, and to study and formulate policies and development plans for forestry development and forestry ecological environment construction. The Bureau is entrusted with the following tasks: to study and draft local forestry regulations, after deliberation and approval, and organize the implementation. To be responsible for the construction of forestry ecological environment for public welfare, the management of flowers, seedlings and seeds and the management of forestry industry, and to exercise the functions and powers of forestry administrative law enforcement; To organize the construction of afforestation and various forestry bases and projects; The state - owned forest farms, nurseries, forest parks, collective forest farms and forestry workstations shall be subject to macroscopic guidance.[9]


A person, group of persons or entity whose long-term welfare is likely to be dependent or subject to the effects of the activities, has an emotional connection and care about the community in a locally important or customarily- claimed forest area and not supported by funding from the outside.

Local communities

The social economic development level of the surrounding community residents is relatively low, the dependence on natural resources is still strong.[10] In this community, there are more mountains and less arable land, the economy has been based on agriculture, such as food, tea, trees, pecan, bamboo shoots and alpine vegetables. In recent years, with the development of ecological tourism and outdoor hiking, local communities relying on the unique tourism resources, tourism economy got fast development, formed by 'agritainment' as the leading industry of economy.[10] Under this kind of economic structure, a variety of stakeholders whose long- term welfare depend on the activities are generated. Here are the list of the affected stakeholders.

Local gatherers

Tea in Qingliang Mountain

Among the income of community masses, the income of tea industry accounts for about 60% ~ 70%, agricultural income accounts for about 5% ~ 15%, the income of aquaculture industry accounts for about 5%, with the per capita income of 1,044 CAD in 2010, slightly lower than the local average.[11]

Local tourism operators

Tourism industry solves the problem of employment and surplus labor in the surrounding areas, but also improves the investment environment of a region, enhances comprehensive competitiveness, improves visibility, and brings direct and indirect economic benefits. The increasing number of tourism related products and services can increase the income of people in the community and increase their employment opportunities. [5]

Employees of nature reserve

The nature reserve employs local people—— who are familiar with local conditions, have a strong sense of responsibility, and have certain knowledge and skills of nature protection as the management and protection personnel.[5]


Affected Stakeholders Relative Objectives Relative Power
Local gatherers Developing undergrowth economy vigorously Low level of interest, low level of power
Local tourism operators Protecting the natural environment

Expanding breeding industry actively

High level of interest, low level of power
Employees of nature reserve Carrying out intensive management and reducing dependence on forest resources.

Developing the surrounding area community economy, realize community collaboration.

Medium level of interest, high level of power


Any person, group of persons, or entity that is linked in a transaction or an activity relating to a forest area, but who does/do not have a long-term dependency on that forest area.

Sika deer in Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve

Qianqingtang Wild Sika Deer Protection Station

This station believes that to protect sika deer, some forest trees must be removed to facilitate sika deer activities. However, according to the relevant policies of the National Forestry Reserve, Qingliang Mountain nature reserve should implement a logging ban.

The main problems in the protection of sika deer in south China

  • Community participation in the cause of protection enthusiasm is not high.
  • Suitable habitats are facing shrinking.
  • The phenomenon that wildlife endangers crops occurs from time to time, and the compensation mechanism does not work well.[12]


Tourist is also an interested stakeholder. In recent years, with the development of ecotourism and outdoor hiking, tourism economy has been developing rapidly. The only thing visitors are interested in is the beautiful scenery and entertainment in this reserve. In order to promote the development of tourism, the Zhejiang Province Government specifically established Qingliang Mountain Town, and invested huge sums of money for substantive development and extensive publicity, which established the brand of Qingliang Mountain tourism development across the country. The stone steps in Qingliang Mountain have been paved to an altitude of 1,061 meters, and many scenic spots have been effectively used. A major difficulty is that the number of tourists increases during holidays, which makes it difficult for relevant departments to manage tourists' safety.[13]

Furniture factories

In Changhua Forest Farm, most of the wood is sold to furniture factories which are only interested in the price and quantity of the wood. Before 2006, it is permitted to cut trees, such as pine, cedar, moso bamboo. The cutting area used to be 2,000 to 3,000 cubic meters, but now because of the government’s policy which take the view of protecting forest areas, the cutting area is limited to 300 cubic meters. The price of different kinds of trees also changed a lot over the years, for example, the price of pine used to be around 150 CAD to 168 CAD per cubic meter, now it's 94 CAD.

Shexian and Jixi management stations

They are fully funded public institutions, set up at the level of deputy section, subordinate to the leadership of the forestry bureau in their respective counties, with fixed annual funds of 56,000 CAD and 35,000 CAD respectively.

Interested stakeholders Relevant objectives Relative power
Qianqingtang Wild Sika Deer Protection Station Responsible for monitoring and protecting national first-level protected animals—Sika Deer Medium level of interest, low level of power
Tourists in Qingliang Mountain nature reserve Beauty and entertainment in this reserve Low level of interest, low level of power
Furniture factories Price and quantity of wood materials High level of interest, low level of power
Shexian and Jixi management stations
  1. Protect natural resources and strengthen forest fire prevention.
  2. Protect the biodiversity of the reserve, especially for Sika deer, Hynobius amjiensis and Nothodoritis zhejiangensis
  3. Serve the masses and solve their practical problems
  4. Carry out popular science propaganda and education activities[14]
Low level of interest, high level of power

Development obstruction in the nature reserve

  • Decentralized management makes it difficult to prevent and control hidden dangers.

People's daily life and production use fire more frequently, especially in the traditional holidays. Besides, the dispersal of villagers makes it difficult to track them in real time. In addition, during holidays, the number of tourists increases, which makes it difficult to manage their safety management and the safety of tourists' use of fire.

  • Conflict between forest protection and villagers' interests.

After the protected area was established from 1998 to 1999, villagers could no longer cut the original forest and the forest could no longer be produced and managed. This situation directly affects the interests of the common people and village collectives, so they do not understand, support or even doubt the work of the protection area.

  • Compensation for wildlife damage is unclear.

Although the Wildlife Protection Law clearly states that wild animals damage crops, once wild animals such as wild boars damage crops, it is easy to be prevaricated by local government and cannot really solve the problem of compensation.

  • Defect of laws and regulations.

The plantations, collective forests and mountain forests in Qingliang Mountain nature reserve have a large area, but the habitat of sika deer is mainly shrubs. The large-scale mountain forest species are not suitable for the growth and reproduction of sika deer, but according to the law, it is not applicable. The law stipulates that trees in nature reserves are mainly replaced by nature and are not allowed to be cut down, and this will inevitably have a negative impact on the survival of the sika deer, and such problems need to be addressed urgently.[1]

Specific management practices of the nature reserve

  • Establish network system

The administration pays attention to the construction of conservation alliance, establishes a systematic protection network with Ningguo, Jixi, Shexian and Chun 'an, and conducts aperiodicity communication every year, aiming at protecting the peripheral areas of these protected areas, and reaching a consensus by both sides at the same time.

  • Improve the management of ecological public welfare forests

After the reserve was established, community co-construction was strengthened, such as road repair and infrastructure construction.

  • Strengthen research publicity and education

The science and technology museum of the authority is used as a base for learning and communication, and professionals are arranged to give lectures to students regularly.[1]

Practical results of protected areas

  • Established joint protection coordination agency— strengthen community co-construction
  • Established a joint protection committee under the coordination of Lin’an Municipal Government— properly deal with the forest policy of the collective forestland in the protected area and implement the responsibility of management and protection.
  • Formulate apanage to hire protection coordinator system— raise the enthusiasm of community masses to participate in protection.
  • Advocate sustainable development— drive community economy development
  • The nature reserve cooperates with the local government to implement rural road construction, small agricultural machinery and liquefied natural gas and other subsidies.
  • The management of nature reserve has changed from "passive protection" to "active protection" in collaboration with local communities.[3]
  • For local forest farmers, in this community, the economy has been based on agriculture, such as food, tea, and bamboo shoots. ŸWith the development of tourism, this area transformed the advantage of natural landscape resources into the advantage of economic resources. Besides,
  • For the enterprise such as furniture factories, they could get less wood resources from some forest farms in Qingliang Mountain, because of the relevant logging ban policies promulgated by the government. Like FSC certification in Mazagao and Swedish area, in Qingliang Mountain area, after being certified by FSC, in Changhua forest farm, FSC certified timber that is much higher than the price of non-certified wood, for example, the price of Chinese fir has been doubled.
  • For the natural environment, the FSC certification achieves the sustainable management and preserves the High Conservation Value Forests in Qingliang Mountain nature reserve. Besides, the establishment of Qianqingtang Wild Sika Deer Protection Station also make a great progress in wildlife conservation

However, we have come up with some problems at present and in the future in Qingliang Mountain nature reserve development

  • Due to the no-logging policy, only 300 cubic meters of timber is harvested every year in changhua forest farm, and with the intervention of FSC certification, the wood supply in this area is unstable and small.
  • In this region, the shortage of technical personnel is also one of the serious problems. Now in China, fewer and fewer technical personnel are willing to devote themselves to the work of forestry reserves.
  • There is an inevitable conflict between wildlife experts and conservation workers who agree that protecting the deer requires removing some of the trees to allow the deer to move.
  • The validity of forest tenure is limited. At present, the longest period of validity of forest rights in China is 70 years, so how to deal with the management of forest rights in this region after the expiration of the period of validity of forest rights.
  • Lin'an government
  1. Supposed to decentralize powers to lower levels and provide more support and assistance to the development of the management stations.
  2. Government involvement in forest operations and certification are to be encouraged, especially in helping small forest managers popularize knowledge of forestry and forest certification, providing technical guidance, and coordinating among government, enterprises and forest farmers.
  3. Establish compensation mechanism[5]
    • The government increase the input of funds
    • formulate corresponding preferential policies, further improve the standard of compensation fund for forest ecological benefits
    • form a diversified ecological compensation investment system
  • Qingliang Mountain nature reserve—the administration of protected areas should be defined in the legislation as an institution, and the law enforcement agency of the protected areas shall be established to exercise the power of law enforcement uniformly.
  • Ecological environment—ecological tourism development in nature reserves must follow the principle of protection first. Properly protect the environmental sanitation of nature reserves, do a good job in garbage disposal, prevent white pollution.
  • Surrounding community farmers — guide them to change their ideas and production methods, change to the direction of the utilization of forest non-wood resources, realize the leap from resource economy to industrial economy, and realize the sustainable development of forest economy.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Cheng, Z. (2018). Management practice and thinking of Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve. Science and Technology and Economy of Inner Mongolia, No. 3 Total No. 397, 40-41
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Qingliang Mountain National Nature Researve (Nature reserve in Linan District, Zhejiang Province), Baidubaike. (2019). Retrieved 28 November 2019, from清凉峰国家级自然保护区/78499?fr=aladdin
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tong, C. (2013). Protection zone science and education zone -- an empirical discussion on standardized construction of Zhejiang Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve. Environmental Protection, 41(11), 67-68.
  4. Lin'an government. (2019). Report on pre-legislation assessment of Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve in Zhejiang Province. Retrieved from
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Fang, C., & Wang, Y. (2012). Comprehensive protection and development of Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve in Anhui Province. Modern Gardening, (24), 194-195.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Xu, X., Yin, R. and Wang, Z. (2006). Research on forest rights clarification in the south collective forest area. Journal of Zhejiang Forestry University, [online] 2006(01), pp.1-6. Available at:$9A4hF_YAuvQ5obgVAqNKPCYcEjKensW4IQMovwHtwkF4VYPoHbKxJw!!&v=MjY5MjhaZVp1Rmk3bFU3L01QeWZIZHJHNEh0Zk1ybzlGWklSOGVYMUx1eFlTN0RoMVQzcVRyV00xRnJDVVJMT2U= [Accessed 30 Nov. 2019].
  7. 7.0 7.1 The reform of forest right system promotes double harvest of economic ecology in Lin 'an. Lin’an Today. (2019). Retrieved 30 November 2019, from
  8. Zhang, M. (2002). Research on Chinese forestry management system. Southwest Agricultural University.
  9. Lin'an Forestry Bureau, Baidubaike. (2019). Retrieved 30 November 2019, from临安市林业局/4234680?fr=aladdin
  10. 10.0 10.1 Tang, X., & Zhan, H. (2014). Analysis of social and economic situation of communities around Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve in Anhui Province. Journal of Huangshan University, 16(5), 46-49.
  11. Fang, G., Shao, J., & Shao, X. (2011). Current status of conservation and management and development countermeasures in Qingliang Mountain national nature reserve, Anhui Province of eastern China. Journal of Beijing Forestry University, 33, 6-10.
  12. Weng, D., Cheng, Z., & Yu, P. (2012). Present situation and countermeasures of sika deer protection in Qingliang Mountain nature reserve in Zhejiang Province in south of China. Shelter Forest Technology, (6), 57-58.
  13. Wang, Y., &Wang, L. (2007). The characteristics of Qingliang Mountain resources and tourism development. Journal of Huangshan University. 2007(04):93-96.
  14. (2019). 清凉峰管理局 2019年上半年工作总结与下半年工作思路. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Nov. 2019].
Seekiefer (Pinus halepensis) 9months-fromtop.jpg
This conservation resource was created by Hui Chen & Yufei Zhu. It is shared under a CC-BY 4.0 International License.

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