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NGOs Unite to Protect Environment

Domestic and foreign entrepreneurs have teamed up to protect Inner Mongolia's biodiversity.


The combining of international forces was announced at the Asia-Pacific Meeting of US-based group Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Beijing yesterday.


At the meeting, TNC and China's Alxa SEE (Society, Entrepreneur and Ecology) Ecological Association expressed their willingness to cooperate in protecting biodiversity in the autonomous region's Alxa League.


"Although TNC focuses on the protection of biodiversity, while our association puts its major efforts into control of desertification (in Alxa), our aim of achieving harmony between humans and nature is the same," said Liu Xiaoguang, president of the Alxa SEE association.


"We hope we can learn from TNC how to better protect biodiversity in Alxa League."


An environmental non-governmental organization (NGO), the Alxa SEE Ecological Association was founded last year by nearly 100 entrepreneurs.


TNC was founded in 1951 to preserve plants, animals and natural communities by protecting the environments they need to survive. It now works in 28 countries.


Having already collected donations of about 100 million yuan (US$12 million) from its members, the Alxa SEE association is carrying out desertification control, forestry protection and alternative energy development projects.


Desertification in Alxa is a prime cause of the sandstorms which hit Beijing every spring.


"The reasons for setting up the association are very simple," said Victor Wang, a board member of the association and CEO of Gwcom Inc.


"First, Beijing has been plagued by sandstorms every year. If the capital's sky is blue, it is a very beautiful city. But when the sandstorms come, it really disturbs our lives," Wang said.


"We want to pay back society. Environment protection is a major concern for China."


According to Su Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Forestry's International Forestry Cooperation Center, NGOs will play an increasingly important role in protecting China's ecology.


"The government wants to expand cooperation with non-governmental organizations to better the environment," he said. "We hope an effective partnership can be forged between the government, non-governmental organizations and entrepreneurs."


(China Daily November 10, 2005)


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