Tibet enacts law on wetland conservation

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A regional law on wetland conservation became effective Tuesday in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, marking the plateau region's determination to preserve its fragile ecology, Tibet's forestry bureau said Wednesday.

The law, endorsed by the regional legislature in November, bans unauthorized exploitation of all wetlands resources, discharges of waste and collection of birds' eggs, said a statement on the bureau's website.

According to the new law, the forestry department will set up a database of Tibet's wetland resources and strive to keep wetlands from further deterioration by supplying sufficient water, banning herding and closing off some of the most fragile wetlands for conservation.

Tibet has 6 million hectares of wetlands, about 10 percent of China's total, including lakes, swamps and marshes.

The Chinese government has spent more than 90 million yuan (106,470 U.S. dollars) to preserve Tibet's wetlands in the last five years.

In 2005, the State Council approved the establishment of a national nature reserve at the world's highest natural wetland, the Lhalu wetland, on the northwest outskirts of Lhasa.

Meanwhile, Tibet's regional government has put about 20 wetlands under protection, covering more than 700,000 hectares in total.

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