The Tibet Autonomous Region began development of two state-level nature reserves in Qiangtang and the Grand Valley of the Yarlun Zangbo River, Thursday.
The Qiangtang Nature Reserve, located in the northern part of Tibet, with vast pastureland, is home to highland animals and rare species like the yak, Tibetan antelope and black-neck crane.
The Grand Valley is the world's largest of its kind, with the nature reserve covering 962,000 hectares and containing a large variety of plants.
The central government will invest 30 million yuan in these two projects to build patrol and monitoring facilities to protect the wild animals and plants, according to Li Yucai, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration.
So far, Tibet has set up three state-level nature reserves, including the one established in the Mount Qomolangma area in 1996.
According to local officials, the total area of nature reserves of various kinds is expected to reach 40.39 million hectares, about one third of Tibet's territory.
(Xinhua News Agency 09/21/2001)