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Panda Pad and Ancient Ruins Go for Listing

China has officially entered two sites for inclusion on the World Heritage List next year.


The Wolong Nature Reserve, home to the giant panda in Sichuan Province, and the ancient Yin Ruins in Henan Province, have been nominated, a senior cultural relics official said at a sideline meeting of the ongoing 29th session of the World Heritage Committee in Durban, South Africa.


The applications have been submitted to the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said Zhang Bai, vice-director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.


The Yin Ruins are the ruins of the capital city of the late Shang (also known as Yin) Dynasty (1,600-1,100 BC) in Henan's Anyang, where inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells were discovered in 1899.


The Wolong Nature Reserve, covering 9,510 square kilometers, is home to about 300 wild giant pandas.


At the same time, deliberations and discussions are being held on another 42 possible nominee sites, including the old city zone of Macao, officials said. The result of the deliberations will be released today.


"Macao, which is China's sole nominee this year, has a good chance of being included on the World Heritage List," said an official from the World Heritage Office under the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.


To help the applications, offices have been set up under the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Construction.


Preparations are well under way.


For example, Sichuan Province has shut down 78 mines and firms that cause pollution, suspended the construction of three power stations and completed the technological renovation of 180 enterprises, reports said.


The measures have resulted in a better environment for the endangered species, said Cui Guangyi, deputy secretary-general of the Sichuan provincial government.


(China Daily July 14, 2005)

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