China's first national park will develop rapidly in 2017, with stronger legal and financial support from Qinghai province, the top provincial official said on Wednesday.
The plan for Sanjiangyuan National Park, covering the period to 2025, will be finished this year, making it the first national park plan with specific targets for environmental protection, Wang Guosheng, Party chief of Qinghai province, said on Wednesday at a group discussion of the ongoing session of the national legislature.
In addition, a special court for environmental cases has been established in the city of Yushu to provide legal services for environmental protection work in the Sanjiangyuan area, he said.
"Both are important legal measures: To build the national park and support environmental protection in this key regions," Wang said, adding that they will also make special plans for major natural resources in the region.
The province plans to allocate 1 billion yuan ($144.8 million) in 2017 for infrastructure construction, said Li Xiaonan, head of the administration bureau of Sanjiangyuan National Park.
Under management of the national park, herders and farmers will be central forces behind environmental protection, said the provincial Party chief.
The work is expected to provide jobs, boost farmers' incomes and give them an incentive to protect the environment, he said.
Sanjiangyuan National Park, covering 123,100 square kilometers in Qinghai, is home to the headwaters of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers, which run through more than 20 provincial regions in China, making the region critical for water resources in the country.
However, the ecology of the area has suffered degradation due to human activities such as overgrazing.
Qinghai began trial operation of the management of the national park in March last year, and it is scheduled to officially become China's first national park administered by the central government by 2020.