China plans to build a 10,500 square-mile national park for pandas in the country's Sichuan province to help the preservation of the endangered species. However, this will also mean that they'll have to relocate about 172,000 people. Inhabitants of the area have always caused concern and even threatened panda habitats throughout the years.
The construction of the Panda National Park will further heighten the consciousness of the preservation of the animal. About seven cities and prefectures, and 19 counties will be affected by the building of the park as well as the 2,000 mines and forests in the area.
However, at the moment, the Chinese government has not given any report on where these people will be relocated, or how they will be accommodated to their new locality.
This conservation initiative is seen to have the panda population rebound in the next few years. The park will have to focus on growing and protecting bamboo groves for the animals to survive.
Craig Hilton-Taylor, Head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, told the BBC: "Just by restoring the panda's habitat, that's given them back their space and made food available to them. You need to get the bamboo back, and slowly the numbers will start to creep back."
The IUCN previously considered the animal to be endangered, but it has now updated the statues to "vulnerable" due to the recent improvement in the population of pandas in China. Currently, there are about 2,060 pandas -- 1,864 of which them are adults.
The Panda National Park is just one of the first phases the country plans to introduce the reorganization of its national parks. China will be building 20 parks within its five-year plan. The next national parks to be constructed will focus on the preservation of pandas, Asian elephants, Tibetan antelope, tigers and leopards.