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Poaching, Illegal Felling Cost China 4.089 Bln Yuan Last Year
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Poaching and illegal felling of trees cost the country 4.089 billion yuan in 2006, said State Forestry Administration (SFA) spokesperson Cao Qingyao.


There were 216,168 cases reported from December 2005 to November 2006, up 3.1 percent year-on-year, said Cao.


More than 211,580 of the cases have been closed and more than 30,000 people have been punished.


During a coordinated crack-down involving a number government departments last year some 1.78 million wild animals both alive and dead were seized from poachers.


According to the SFA, it rescued many thousands of live wild animals from poachers, without explaining how they had been captured by poachers. It also treated and released back to the wilds many injured wild animals that had been captured and harmed by poachers.


More than 1.2 million cubic meters of timber which had been illegally felled were confiscated.


The SFA said it will fight illegal cross border trading of timber and strengthen international cooperation.


The Chinese government has given high priority to the conservation of forest resources and endangered species.


China has required importers and exporters of wildlife to obtain licenses after the country joined the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).


The country has been an active member of up to five international conventions on forestry, namely the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Convention of Biological Diversity (UNCBD), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Ramsar Convention of Wetlands, and CITES.


(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2007)

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