Hubei Shennongjia Heritage Site Expands to Include Chongqing Wulipo Nature Reserve as a World Natural Heritage Site
By Lin Ying, FUZHOU, July 28, 2021 (people.com.cn) On the evening of July 28, 2021, good news came from the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee in Fuzhou, Fujian province that Wulipo Nature Reserve in Wushan County, Chongqing was included as part of the World Heritage site of Hubei Shennongjia and become the third world natural heritage site in Chongqing following Wulong Karst and Jinfoshan Karst.
Located in the northeast of Wushan County at the junction of Chongqing City and Hubei Province, Chongqing Wulipo Nature Reserve borders Badong County and Shennongjia Forest District of Hubei Province to the east and west and has a total area of 35,276.6 hectares. With the complex terrain and dense ravines, Wulipo ranges in altitude from 170 to 2,680 meters above sea level, and display significant vertical changes in its vegetation, which consists of 5 vegetation type groups, 7 vegetation types, and 59 formations.
In June 2013, Chongqing Wulipo was approved by the State Council as a national nature reserve. There are 447 wild terrestrial vertebrates such as Golden Eagles, Forest Musk Deer, Golden Pheasants, 3,001 species of vascular plants such as Metasequoia, Davidia Involucrata, Chinese Yew, and Calanthe Davidii, 2,790 species of seed plants, and 211 species of ferns.
According to sources, this minor modification of the heritage site boundary has opened up the channel for the westward extension of the Shennongjia Heritage Site and included the forest habitats and migration corridors that are vital to the site’s species under unified protection, which has served as an important extension and supplement to the original forest ecosystem and biodiversity, and therefore maintained and improved the integrity and outstanding universal value of the entire heritage site.
Mr. Huang Yong, the Deputy County Mayor of Wushan County, said that after Wulipo became a world natural heritage site, Wushan County Government will continue to strengthen the protection and management of the site. "The new protection management plan will be submitted to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) before February 1, 2022." Said Huang Yong, adding that in the future, Wushan will play nicely the heritage card and create the core tourist attractions consisting of "a world natural heritage, two national AAAAA-rated scenic spots, and a batch of national AAAA-rated scenic spots", integrate "Green Plus" into all aspects of economic and social development, and prioritize ecological conservation and green development.