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Environmental Protection
· Protection of Natural Forests
· Comprehensive Treatment of Soil Erosion
· Sand Prevention and Treatment
· Biodiversity Protection
· Nature Reserves

Under the impact of the unique climate on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and increasing human activities, Tibet suffers from low coverage rate of plants in the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley, desertification, and a fragile ecological environment. The Tibet Autonomous Region has set up a special eco-function protection area at the source of the Yarlung Zangbo River, which is geared to protect plant coverage of the Gyima Yangzoin, source of the Yarlung Zangbo River, and its upper reaches. The middle reaches of the river is an area which, with high population density and high concentration of industries, suffers greatly from desertification. Since the 1990s, the regional government has been encouraging the planting of grass and trees to curb the situation.

With the further development of economy, the regional government has placed environmental protection on its work agenda. In 2004, it required the 15 enterprises which contributed 80 percent of the regional pollution to meet the regulated standards of environmental protection. They include the Tibet Yangbajain Geothermal Experimental Power Station and the Lhasa Cement Works.

Despite the trend towards a worsening global environment, Tibet, widely known as "the roof of the world", remains one of the least polluted regions in the world. No acid rain and no radiation pollution have so far occurred there. Scientific monitoring shows that Tibet is exposed to insignificant discharge of "three wastes", referring to industrial discharges, waste water and waste solid materials. Lhasa, the political, economic and cultural center of Tibet, where people live in relative concentration, contributes 90 percent of the regional total for the three kinds of wastes. Even so, the city is the least contaminated urban area in China.

The Qomolangma area meets the State's first class standard for air quality. Tibet has not witnessed any serious environmental "accident" and no dangerous materials or radioactive waste have been found.

In order to prevent urban lifestyle garbage and industrial solid wastes from polluting the environment, Tibet has strengthened its supervision, especially over the activities of hospitals in the disposal of wastes. In 2004, Tibet started construction of the TAR Dangerous Wastes Disposal Center and the TAR Radiation Wastes Bank. Tibet will set up a Hospital Wastes Disposal Center in six prefectures in 2006, to gradually standardize its supervision over the disposal of dangerous waste materials, hospital waste and radiation-active waste materials.

The water quality of the Yarlung Zangbo River, Jinshajiang River, Nujiang River, Lancangjiang River and other major rivers in Tibet remains high. The surrounding area of the 1,600 lakes is not polluted and retains a pristine quality. Though many people visit the Nam Co and Yangzhog Yumco Lake, the water quality is up to the first class standard set by the State.

Protection of Natural Forests
Tibet boasts the largest primeval forests in China. In order to protect the ecological environment, the government strictly controls the logging scale and the annual commercial felling has been kept below 150,000 cubic meters.
Comprehensive Treatment of Soil Erosion
The Tibet Plateau is basically paramos and marshy grasslands, so it is weak in water and soil conservation and thus has long faced serious soil erosion. For nearly 50 years, however, soil erosion has received effective treatment in Tibet thanks to comprehensive measures such as afforestation and waterworks construction.
Sand Prevention and Treatment
Historically, Tibet has been a windy and dusty place. In recent years, affected by the global warming and the enlarging hole in the ozone layer, Tibet has begun to see a raised snow line, dried up lakes and degenerated grasslands.
Biodiversity Protection
Tibet is a region most typical of biological diversity and a major gene bank ensuring global biodiversity. For the moment, there are more than 9,600 species of wild plants in Tibet, of which, 39 are on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) list and under national protection. Of the 789 species of wild vertebrates and nearly 4,000 species of insects, 125 are put under national protection, accounting for more than one-third of wild fauna under national protection in the country. The Tibet Plateau is also the exclusive habitat of approximately 600 species of higher plants and 200 species of terrestrial vertebrates.
Nature Reserves
In 2004, Tibet possessed two State ecological exemplary zones and 15 nature reserves at or above autonomous regional level. These include seven State class nature reserves, covering a total area of 40.773 million hectares or 33.9 percent of the land total in Tibet.
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