China has completed its Strategy for Plant Conservation, a guideline for wild plant conservation management, as a response to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).
"China is a big country with rich wild plant resources and is also a member of the Convention on Biological Diversity. As such, it must play a leading role in carrying out the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation," said Jia Jiansheng, an official with the State Forestry Administration (SFA) of China, on Tuesday.
Jia, deputy director of the SFA wildlife protection department, made the remarks at the ongoing Global Botanic Gardens Congress held in central China's Hubei Province.
China has fantastic plant diversity with more than 30,000 species of vascular plants and makes up 10 percent of the world's total.
This diversity represents the remnants of early Miocene flora of the whole North Temperate region and is the source of crops, medicinal and horticultural plants.
However, with the rapid development of Chinese economy, increasing population and constant damage to the environment, the number of endangered plant species is climbing quickly.
Jia said that 15 percent to 20 percent of rare plants in China are now threatened or on the verge of extinction.
To preserve plant diversity, China decided in 2002 to draw up a document -- China's Strategy for Plant Conservation -- to guide protection work nationwide.
Framed in terms of the GSPC's 16 targets, the document describes the current status of plant conservation, problems and constraints that have to be dealt with, and sets out a list of actions to take.
(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2007)