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Hainan Fighting Biological Invasion

Some 10,000 volunteers, including teachers, students, farm workers and civil servants, participated in a campaign against invading species in China's southernmost province of Hainan on Sunday.



Arranged by the Ministry of Agriculture, the campaign was held in Liaoning Province and Chongqing Municipality last month.


Professor Qiu Xiaoqiang, who is also vice president of South China University of Tropical Agriculture (SCUTA), said as an island province, Hainan is rich in biological species and has been threatened by more than 160 invasive species.



The university has made breakthroughs in the introduction, reproduction and release of natural enemies of one of the invasive species, according to Fu Yueguan, a researcher with SCUTA.


China has recorded more than 400 kinds of invasive species, including more than half of the 100 most threatening alien species listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, said Fang Fang, an official the Ministry of Agriculture.


The invasive species have caused more than 100 billion yuan (US$12 billion) of losses the country's economy and ecosystem every year, and has been increasing by more than 20 kinds over the past decade, he added.



Government departments, including the Ministry of Agriculture and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, have made joint efforts to control the invasion of alien species, and some regulations and plans are being made, according to Fang.


(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2005)

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