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Tibet Environment Well Protected



September 13, 2015

CRIENGLISH.com

Photo taken on Oct. 6, 2014 shows the autumnal scenery of the Medog County in Nyingchi Prefecture, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Located in the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river, Medog boasts of well-preserved environment and biodiversity. [Photo: Xinhua]

Environmental protection has been highlighted as one of the Chinese government's priorities when it comes to the development of the remote, southwestern areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

CRI's Qi Zhi explains.

Dubbed 'The Roof of the World," the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau encompasses Qiangtang.

Qiangtang is China's largest nature reserve in Tibet.

It's located in the northwestern part of the Autonomous Region, covering the foot-hills of the highest points on earth, as well as part of the Tarim Basin and the extreme western regions of China.

Situated more than 5-thousand meters above the sea level, and making up an area of nearly 300-thousand square kilometers, Qiangtang is almost 3-times the size of the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu.

Karma Tsedrup, one of the local Environmental Protection Officers, says Qiangtang is ecologically unique, in that it affects the entire region around it.

"The Qiangtang Natural Reserve is dominated by a special paramos ecosystem. This means the region plays a key role in how climatic changes evolve both here in China and in other parts of Southeast Asia."

Qiangtang is among 47-nature reserves in Tibet which cover over 400-thousand square kilometers in total.

Tibet is one of the areas of China which has abundant water resources.

Lakes in the Region cover a total area of more than 25-thsouand square kilometers.

The autonomous region is also where the Yangtze and Yellow River start.

Qiangtang is also home to more than 100 different kinds of mineral deposits.

Around two-fifths of China's copper reserves are located in the area.

Large amounts of lead and zinc are also in Tibet.

Despite the opportunities, Zhang Tianhua with the Tibetan Resource Management Bureau says they still want to maintain the environment in the Region.

"We will never choose to develop the economy at the cost of the environment. When it comes to environmental protection, we do everything we can to make sure it is safe."

As part of the environmental commitment, no new mining projects in the region have been approved over the last 2-years.

A number of existing mining operations have also been closed.

At the same time, steps are also being taken to try to stop the desertification of the region, which lies on the southern edge of the Gobi Desert.

Jia Qinqing is a forestry official from Shandong who has been sent-in to try to help create tree-breaks in the desert areas.

"At first, most of the trees died not long after being planted. But now, keeping trees alive isn't a problem thanks to our improved watering, fertilizing and maintenance techniques."

One issue still creating a challenge in the Qiangtang Region of Tibet is a lack of people willing to make the step out into the wilderness.

Zongga with the Regional Environmental Protection Bureau says a lack of personnel is becoming a significant problem.

"The staff at all our natural reserves in Tibet have less than 400 people. Each of them has to take care of more than a thousand square kilometers of land."

In an attempt to try to bridge the gap, money has already been set aside this year to hire an additional one-thousand rangers to help patrol the protected areas of Qiangtang.

For CRI, I'm Qi Zhi.


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