The Chinese government released a report Wednesday that showed the ecosystem in West China is more diverse now than in the previous two decades.
According to the report, which was drafted by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Environmental Protection Administration, the permafrost has shrunk due to climate changes and human activities.
The ecosystem assessment on the Chinese West is part of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) which was launched by the United Nations in 2001.
Xu Guanhua, minister of Science and Technology, who is also MA Council member, said the Chinese government values protecting and building ecosystems. These values have been included into China's social and economic development outlines.
However, Xu said, China is still faced with challenging job of protecting ecosystems by building a water-saving society and curbing deforestation.
The MA Synthesis Report, which was released at the same time in eight cities, including Beijing, said that humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the past 50 years than in any other period of history.
The degradation of ecosystem services could grow significantly worse during the first half of this century and fall far short of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals, the report said.
Policy and institutional changes will help China reverse the environmental degradation.
(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2005)