- 1In the past three decades China has experienced fundamental changes to its economy, which have transformed it from one of the poorest countries in the world to the third largest economic body. This gain in wealth has, however, been achieved at severe cost to the environment.
- 2I review the current state of environmental protection and examine the effectiveness of the existing nature reserves for biological conservation in China.
- 3Synthesis and applications. Proactive approaches to environmental management – including significant investment in science and technology, science-informed land-use policy making and international collaboration – are necessary for China to significantly slow down or reverse its current environmental problems.