Having analyzed in depth the status of global biodiversity and how to effectively conduct nature conservation, Dr XIE Yan, an associate research professor from the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with over 200 experts from various disciplines, established the GPAFS in 2013 based on last 20 years’ rich research and conservation practice. Dr XIE Yan is serving as a Steering Committee Member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, was Secretary General of the International Society of Zoological Sciences (ISZS) and China Program Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), she has 20 years experience on biodiversity conservation focusing on conservation of endangered species such as the Amur tiger, Tibetan antelope, Chinese alligator and on wildlife trade control. She organized the first large scale evaluation of over 10,000 Chinese species following the IUCN Red List Criteria and promoted the development of the draft Protected Area Law of China. Her work has a significant influence on China conservation policy and on awareness about conservation issues.

The GPAFS is working with the World Commission of Protected Areas (WCPA/IUCN) to establish a Protected Area Friendly System Task Force under the WCPA so as to further enhance international cooperation to build on the GPAFS’ theoretical researches and practical demonstration projects.

In 2016, the Paradise International Foundation and the Global Protected Area Friendly System co-sponsored the “Paradise – Protected Area Friendly Product” program in order to support PA-friendly production in and around protected areas, support product sales, and provide sustainable funding for conservation. While achieving conservation objectives, it seeks to simultaneously produce natural, healthy and reliable agricultural products for consumers through a strict quality control system.

An agreement on the following objectives has been reached for the “Paradise – Protected Area Friendly Product” program:  by the end of 2019, criteria and certification procedures for protected area friendly products are developed and improved, and a global trade platform for GPAFS products is established. Thirty-seven million RMB of PA friendly products from 300 PAs in China and 80 outside of China are sold.

Since its start in November 2016, over 70 products from 42 protected areas have submitted applications to the program.