Wudalianchi, China

Ecological Assessment, Data Collection and Analysis

Client

Wudalianchi Park Authority

Background

Wudalianchi is an area of intra-continental volcanic activity which lies north of the city of Harbin in the Heilongjiang
province, China. The regional and park authorities planned to nominate Wudalianchi for inscription as a World Heritage Site, which required them to demonstrate the site’s “outstanding universal value”. Although the nomination would focus largely on geological matters, the ecological importance of the site, in a global context, also needed to be assessed.

Description

The Landmark Practice worked with the late Dr. Chris Woods, a leading volcanologist based at Bournemouth University. Chris was an IUCN assessor of nominated sites on behalf of UNESCO, and worked extensively in China. Landmark helped him to (a) assemble and analyse previously gathered ecological data, and (b) formulate the case for site inscription in accordance with UNESCO criteria.

Landmark’s time was divided between assimilating information from various local experts and field-based workshops. Evidence of wildlife features, such as the plant communities, was carefully reviewed and filtered to illustrate how their special distribution reflects firstly, successive periods of volcanic activity and secondly, the location of the site in a transition zone between several biogeographical regions.

Client Benefits

Landmark ecologists provided independent analysis and authoritative validation of The Regional Park Authority’s application to UNESCO, and assisted in drafting the relevant chapters of the final nomination document.