According to Xinhua News Agency on August 22, since Tibet
Autonomous Region was founded 40 years ago, it has successfully
combined economic development with environmental protection, and
its natural environment quality remains one of the best in the
It said that most forests, rivers, lakes, grasslands, marshes,
glaciers, snow-covered mountains and wild plants and animals are
well protected. Most lakes are pristine, never affected by humans,
and industrial discharge is reduced each year, while there is no
acid rain or any pollution accidents.
In July 1975, the leading environmental protection group in
Tibet came into existence. At the beginning of the 1980s, the first
environment monitoring station was set up there. At
present, seven cities and some counties have corresponding
Administrative environmental protection bodies have increased
from one in 1975 to 72, and professional personnel have increased
from three to over 370.
In 2003 the State Council Information Office released a white
paper on ecological construction and environmental protection in
Tibet. The same year, specific plans were approved by the regional
government, and studies on ecological zoning were developed.
The headwaters of Yarlung Zangbo River have been approved as
second-group state-level ecological reserves, a state-level pilot
project in central Nagqu's grasslands has started, constructive
projects in key nature reserves like Nam Co and Lalu Wetland have
begun, and 16 prefecture-level or city-level reserves have been
Up to now, 17 nature reserves of different kinds have been
founded, including one state-level.
Most pollution from key industrial areas has reached standard
requirements, as the state has ordered the closure of 20 kinds of
industrial plant from 1998 to 2004, resulting in the stoppage
of nine cement producers, one indigenous
refinery, one plastic processing factory, five small
steel factories, four small paper mills and four borax
In 2004, days where the atmosphere was categorized as
"excellent" or "fine" in Tibet totaled 358.
The construction of key projects like the Qinghai-Tibet Railway
and Qinghai-Tibet Highway are supervised with the environmental
protection in mind. From 1998 to 2004, the region's government has
commissioned and responded to 420 reports on the environmental
impact of construction programs.
The region has tried to adapt energy production to local
conditions, developing hydropower, geothermal, solar and wind
energy sources. Non-polluting sources have almost completely ended
the use of burning cow dung, grass and wood for cooking and
Up to the end of 2003, Tibet had established 15 nature reserves
at region level or above (including seven state level), and 25
at prefecture and county level. The total area of reserves was
407,300 square kilometers.
A total of 125 state-level protected wild animals and 39
state-level protected wild plants and precious geologic sites are
(China.org.cn by Zhou Jing, September 5, 2005)