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China unveils plant conservation strategy
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China on Tuesday unveiled its national Strategy for Plant Conservation amid efforts to halt the loss of the country's exceptional flora and fauna diversity in the face of its rapid economic growth.

The strategy, in both Chinese and English, was made by the State Forestry Administration (SFA), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).

Taking four years to be formulated, the strategy describes the current status of plant conservation, problems and constraints that have to be addressed, and sets out a list of actions to take.

"The document is framed in the 16 targets of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and will guide China's wild plant conservation and management in the future," said Jia Jiansheng, SFA deputy director.

China has more than 30,000 species of vascular plants and makes up 10 percent of the world's total. The country has established more than 2,300 nature reserves covering 15 percent of its area, the strategy said.

However, the number of endangered plant species has soared in the past 30 years due to the rapid economic development, increasing population and constant damage to the environment.

It is estimated that 15 to 20 percent of rare plants in the country are now threatened or on the verge of extinction. China plans to "effectively conserve" 90 percent of its plant species through state-protection by 2010, according the strategy.

(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2008)

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