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Garden for Rare Plants
China will construct the world's largest botanical garden in Shaanxi Province as the country doubles its efforts to rescue endangered rare plants.

With a projected land area of 458 square kilometers, the Qinling Botanical Garden, built by the Xi'an branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, will protect 6,100 rare plant species.

This means that apart from the 3,200 types of indigenous plants already under protection, some 900 temperate plant species and 2,000 tropical and subtropical plant species will be introduced.

Huang Hongwen, director of the Wuhan Botany Institute of the academy, said that within the next 15 years, the number of rare plant species protected by the academy's 12 affiliated botanical gardens will be raised from the present 13,000 to 21,000. The academy plans to invest 300 million yuan (US$36.14 million) on the collection of endangered rare plants and the establishment of gene pools in different climatic zones.

Currently, around 10 percent of the world's most advanced plant species, or 31,000 kinds, can be found in China, and 4,000 to 5,000 of them are endangered.

"The extinction of plants will not only damage the ecology but also affect people's normal production and life," Huang said.

To rescue these endangered plants and secure biodiversity, the academy hopes to team up with the country's 140 botanical gardens to provide better protection for 30,000 advanced plant species in China.

(eastday.com January 6, 2003)

China Builds Large Botanical Garden to Rescue Endangered Plants
Breeding Center for Rare Plants to Be Built in Southern China
World's Largest Botanical Garden Takes Root
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