The area of nature reserves in the Tibet Autonomous Region, southwest China, now accounts for one- third of its total land space thanks to the region's determined work in ecological protection over the past several decades.
Boasting one of the largest areas of primeval forest in the country, Tibet's forested area is 7.29 million hectares and timber reserves total 2.084 billion cubic meters, the most in the country.
Environmental experts said that Tibet currently has one of the best ecological environments in the world. But global climatic changes and human activities have threatened the "Roof of the World," bringing on the depletion of the ozone layer, deterioration of pastures, desertification, and industrial pollution. Some local lakes have dried up.
With the help of the state and other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities of the country, Tibet started a series of afforestation projects in the past several decades. These projects include tree-planting, protection of natural forest, growing seedlings, and desert treatment.
Tibet has established 13 nature reserves since the 1980s to protect local unique landscapes, rare plants and animals. The total area of these protection zones has reached 384,700 square kilometers.
(People's Daily 09/26/2001)