People and Nature Co-exist Harmoniously in Tibet
[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 02/08/31; August 31, 2002.]
People's Daily [Official Chinese news agency]
In China's Tibet Autonomous Region, local people have a natural tendency to protect wildlife and the environment.
Tibet's Laru Swamp, 6.2 square kilometers wide, is home to over10,000 wild ducks, while over 1,000 black-necked cranes will live just the south of Yarlung Zangbo River this winter.
"It's our duty to protect rare species from poaching, " said Doje, a villager in Jidexiu County. He is just one of many local people who volunteer to protect wildlife from harm from tourists or poachers.
Environmental protection has a long history in Tibet, since Tibetans have worshipped steep peaks and clear lakes as divine andsacred for thousands of years.
Despite this philosophy, local people have recently felt the threat of environmental degradation due to the population boom, overgrazing and excessive deforestation.
The Tibetan Plateau is the cradle of many rivers, as well as a climate "conditioner" in the Northern Hemisphere.
To maintain itself as the cleanest part of China, Tibet will invest 78 million yuan (9.39 million US dollars) to preserve and protect the environment in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River this year, with 80 percent of the capital coming from the central government.
In addition, Tibet has just decided to invest 22.7 billion yuan(2.73 billion US dollars) in the next 20 years to protect grasslands, natural woods, wildlife and foliage resources.
To date, Tibet has built 18 natural reserves at the state and autonomous region levels, covering an area of 330,000 square kilometers, about 27 percent of Tibet's total territory. The primary task of these reserves is the preservation of bio-diversity, including 6,800 kinds of plants and 799 kinds of wild vertebrates.
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