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China's 1st protected area on South Pole
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China is setting up its first "Antarctic Specially Protected Area" near the Grove Mountains on the South Pole in an effort to better protect the rare glaciated and wind-erosion landform in the region, China Ocean News reports.

The specially-protected area sits around the Mount Harding in the middle of the Grove Mountains and measures 12 kilometers in length and 10 kilometers in width. The area, which is some 400 kilometers away from the Zhongshan Station, is dotted with typical glaciated and wind-erosion landform rarely seen elsewhere in the world.

The setting up of the specially-protected area will protect these glacial and geological phenomena - which are excellent samples for scientific research and have huge aesthetic value - from destruction due to ill-organized human activities.

The founding plan for the specially-protected area was authorized by the 31st Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting held in Kiev, Ukraine in May, 2008.

The concept of setting aside areas for special protection was introduced in 1964 when the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Agreed Measures for the Conservation of Antarctic flora and fauna.

Now 14 countries have set up 70 specially-protected areas and seven specially-managed areas on the Antarctic pole under the Antarctic Treaty.

(CRI July 29, 2008)

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