Journal or Book Title: Conservation Biology: Voices from the Tropics
Keywords: Conservation, biodiversity, China
Volume/Issue: Chap. 24
Page Number(s): 207-215
Year Published: 2013
Enormous global efforts have been put into biodiversity conservation, but biodiversity loss continues rapidly in many parts of the world, including China. While China is one of the most biodiversity-rich countries, its biodiversity has been affected by numerous socioeconomic, demographic, technological, political, and biophysical forces both inside the country and elsewhere. The forces behind biodiversity maintenance or loss are complex – they occur at different times and with different strengths, have non-linear relationships and timelag effects, and interact with each other directly and indirectly in many ways (e.g., enhance or offset). Over the past few decades, negative forces have become much stronger than positive ones. To fundamentally alter the trajectory of biodiversity loss, it is essential to explicitly analyze various forces as well as their interactive effects, recognize that biodiversity is part of coupled human and natural systems, and integrate natural and social sciences. China should also elevate its leadership role in biodiversity conservation to the global level and help protect biodiversity in other developing countries. The future of biodiversity in China (and elsewhere) will depend on the relative strengths of existing and emerging positive and negative forces.