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SEPA Warned to Protect Environment over Holidays
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The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) has warned local nature reserves of their responsibility for environmental protection during the tourist peak over the week-long May Day holiday.

The West Lake in Zhejiang Province

The development of tourism depended on a sound environment, but the growing tourist volumes threatened the environment of nature reserves, said Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of the SEPA.

China lacked a legal framework for environmental protection in tourism zones, Wu said.

He urged local environmental departments to inspect and supervise the areas, and all activities that were destructive should be immediately stopped and corrected and the perpetrators prosecuted according to the law.

According to a SEPA report, 82 of the country's 226 national nature reserves, or 36.3 percent, reported illegal activities that damaged the environment in 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency May 1, 2007)

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