Pudacuo National Park and Beyond in Yunnan Province: National Parks Envisioned and National Parks in Practice
To identify the roles of different institutions in the national park project, I listed a number of institutions in Yunnan that I would have liked to visit before my departure. After settling in
tions that I had formulated. Without any contact information or an appointment, I understood that this visit might turn out to be a wild goose chase. After showing my identification card and completing some formalities, the gatekeeper allowed me in. I then found the building directory in the reception hall and searched for the room number of the National Park Management Office, an ad hoc agency established to supervise the national park project in Yunnan. I wrote down the names of the director and other staff members of this office and began to shuttle back and forth in the building to find their offices. When I knocked on the door of the deputy director and expressed my intent to interview her about the issue of national parks, she was surprised but accepted my request. She talked to me for approximately an hour about the motivations of Yunnan to collaborate with TNC and introduced the national park model, the current institutional setting at the provincial and local levels and the status quo of the national park project. I still remember the words she spoke to me before the interview ended:
We, the Forestry Department, take charge of all the maintenance and management work of Pudacuo; however, there is still suspicion about us regarding how many benefits we have earned from introducing this national park model. I tell you, nothing! I understand you may write down something in your dissertation that foreigners may read. Therefore, I expect you to look at the positive side and the progress we have made when you write. Don’t just criticize. It doesn’t help at all.