The governor of Jilin Province and one of his departmental directors were honored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Tuesday for imposing a ban on hunting and for their other conservation efforts over the past decade.
Governor Wang Min and Liu Yanchun, director of the Jilin Provincial Forestry Department, were awarded Leaders for a Living Planet certificates for their conservation achievements, said Dermot O'Gorman, WWF's China Representative, at a ceremony held in the Jilin provincial capital of Changchun.
"The successful implementation of the hunting ban got fruitful impacts on ecology conservation," he said.
O'Gorman acclaimed Jilin's success in helping the recovery of endangered species, the expansion of habitat coverage, the increase of nature reserves and for the conservation of wetlands.
Jilin introduced a law in January 1996, banning hunting all terraneous wildlife - the first such move in the country.
The numbers of Siberian tigers, leopards, deer, and wild boars have all increased according to a survey carried out by local forestry authorities earlier this year.
The number of Siberian tigers is estimated at eight to 10, two up from 1998, the number of leopards has increased between four and nine, and the number of deer species has risen from 130-180 to 470-520, the survey said.
Currently, the nature reserves and wetlands stands cover more than 2.23 million hectares, accounting for 11.9 percent of the province, statistics from local forestry authorities show.
"Jilin will continue to ban hunting in the future so as to further enhance wildlife protection and ecology conservation," said Liu of the Jilin Provincial Forestry Department.
(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2006)