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Sino-US Cooperation on Plants and Animals Protection

More than 200 experts and officials from departments concerned in China and the United States have gathered recently in Yunnan Province to draft a plan for the construction a sanctuary for plants and endangered animals in northwestern part of the province.

The project zone, equal to Ireland in area, is the first in China which is designed to feature the protection of rich plants, animals and colorful ethnic cultures, and to maintain sustainable development of local economy, according to reliable sources.

The US. Nature Conservancy and the Yunnan Provincial Government will invest US$2 million and US$3 million, respectively, to protect forest and endangered animal species, popularize new energy resources and to prevent soil erosion in the area, the sources said.

According to the draft plan, the project is aimed at protecting rich biotic resources, colorful ethnic cultures, developing local resources and helping eradicate poverty in northwest Yunnan, a province in southwest China.

The draft plan also aims to, in 20 years or more, turn the project area a good example for other developing countries in Asia to in achieving sustainable development.

The area is home to Yunnan golden monkeys, little pandas and other endangered animal species. The Edinburgh Royal Botanical Garden of Britain regards the area as one of most important bases with rich plant varieties in the Northern Hemisphere, saying the region is of great significance to both China and the world as a whole.

The project zone has a population of more than 3 million, belonging to a dozen ethnic groups which have a history of several thousand years each.

Both the central and local governments of China have attached great importance to the would-be-implemented project.

Sources said that sound ecological environment in the region, where the upper reaches of the Yangtze and Mekong and other local, regional and international rivers flow through, has a direct bearing on more than 500 million people of several south and southeast Asian countries.

(People’s Daily 04/28/2001)

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