Lawmakers in northwest China's Shaanxi Province enacted a law on Saturday
that is intended to improve protection of the Qinling Mountains, a
habitat of endangered giant pandas.
The law, which will take effect on March 1, is aimed at
preserving biodiversity, preventing soil erosion (which averages 84
million tons a year) and promoting harmony between man and nature
in the mountain range, which is a divide between China's north and
It requires all future development projects in the Qinling
Mountains to be assessed for their possible impact on the ecology
and bans real estate projects and polluting industries in nature
reserves, where the ecology is more vulnerable.
The law also bans mining and resource exploration in nature
reserves and forest parks.
Local governments must ensure immediate demolition of existing
projects that are potentially harmful to the ecology, it says.
The Qinling range, which largely spans Shaanxi Province, covers
more than 50,000 square kilometers.
The range is home to approximately 300 Qinling pandas, a
sub-species of giant pandas on the verge of extinction, and many
other rare animals under state protection, such as golden monkeys,
the red ibis and antelopes.
(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2007)