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Official Calls for Environmental Protection

China News Daily:

[CND, 01/30/99] Touting the party line, an environmental official, YANG Chaofei, stated that China must protect existing natural ecosystems throughout the country rather than giving way to "constructing man-made ecological environments," reported the China Daily on Saturday.

Yang, confirming data amassed by the State Environmental Protection Administratio (Sepa), stated that every year two million hectares of forests are being destroyed Additionally, a wide spectrum of pollution ravage another ten million hectares of cultivated land.

He said that loosely-regulated local governments control farmland or leave the fields fallow to attract various development projects. In 1997, unused land--53.9 per cent of which was farmland--exceeded 116,500 hectares.

In an interview, Yang remarked that society must realize that man-made environments are inferior to nature's own. Previously pristine forests, rivers, or lakes are difficult to restore once they have been compromised.

It is common sense that natural forests, with trees, bushes, weeds, and mosses and lichens offer better protection from soil and wind erosion than man-made forests.

(Sue BRUELL, WU Yiyi)


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