Diversifying city greenspaces for both wildlife and people in Beijing

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Xiangying Shi, Yuexin Song, Lingdi Tan

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Beijing, as one of the world’s most populated city, is home to rich biodiversity. Situated on two major flyways for internationally migratory birds like Beijing swifts, it also provides habitats for small mammals like leopard cats and badgers. However, fast establishment of urban parks and other green spaces in Beijing does not show sufficient consideration on biodiversity. Birds, insects and other wildlife are losing shelter and food resources due to the loss of mixed landscapes such as cropland, bushes, and natural meadow. Supported by Beijing Municipal Forestry and Parks Bureau and Beijing Forestry Carbon Administration, our pilot project explores nature-based solutions in managing greenspaces in urban areas to restore biodiversity. In Wild Duck Lake Wetland Park, in response to the shrinkage of the cropland habitat, crops were planted to supplement food source for the wintering great bustards and common cranes; in Beijing Olympic Forest Park, under-canopy habitat enrichment through bush planting and brush pile building was experimented, and fallen leaves were left on ground to preserve wintering habit for animals and insects, as well as restore soil fertility; in Beijing Jingxi Forestry Farm, gaps were opened in formerly-planted monoculture forests, allowing under canopy plants to regrow naturally to increase biodiversity. Citizens are engaged in monitoring, field surveys and habitat-restoration activities to increase public awareness and understanding of urban biodiversity. We are now monitoring the pilot sites to assess outcome. We plan to produce guidelines for nature-friendly greenspace management to provide reference for other cities facing similar challenges in ‘lifeless’ greenspaces.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program