China Reveals Aggressive Plan To Protect Biodiversity

In celebration of 2010 as the Year of International Biodiversity, China has unveiled one of the most ambitious conservation plans seen in many years.

China’s voluntary biodiversity action plan divides 23 percent of the country into 35 priority conservation areas, promises state funds for protection; and sets a target of controlling biodiversity loss by 2020 (Guardian).

“If China can implement this plan systematically, then they will be managing better than any other country,” said Matthew Durnin, a Nature Conservancy scientist who helped draft the strategy.

The plan was revealed on the opening day of the Convention on Biological Diversity, an international treaty ratified in 1993.

Although the CBD is essential for acknowleding a shocking lack of progress toward protecting the world’s speices, many fear that commitments made this during the international gathering will be quickly forgotten in the pursuit of economic prosperity.

“Sometimes the laws are not well implemented so the destruction … goes unpunished,” Yan Xie, of the Wildlife Conservation Society told the Guardian. “China has done a great deal, but we cannot be optimistic about biodiversity conservation while the underlying problems remain of habitat loss, pollution, overuse of pesticides and over consumption.”

Nevertheless, the country has already begun to put its plan into action. The province of Sichuan has set aside over $130 million to set aside five critical ecological protection areas: one links to existing giant panda reserves, another restores an area damaged by industry, two conserve semi-tropical flora and fauna, and another offsets the impact of dams (Guardian).

The CBD, which is nearing the end of its first week, hopes to address biodiversity loss, deforestation and land degradation addressed as a single challenge for established and developing nations all over the world.

Proactive, voluntary efforts like those in Sichuan are important for setting a conservation precedent, but critics warn that without setting international standards and holding countries that continually fail to meet goals accountable, little progress will be made.

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Image Credit: Flickr - WoodleyWonderWorks

53 comments

Laura Saxon
.3 years ago

Good for them! Thanks for sharing.

Tim U.
Tim Upham3 years ago

China has not been proactive in the past, but with the wealth it is now accumulating, that can go into saving endangered species, protecting ecosystems, and most important of all, cleaning up environmental pollution. Especially, with the Yangtze River being a basket case for pollution and extinction. Giant pandas can be the flag ship species, but it is too late for the Yangtze River dolphin or baiji and Chinese paddlefish.

Rosemary Mchugh
Rosemary Mchugh5 years ago

"You cannot currently send a star to Cynthia because you have done so within the last week."

ruth a.
ruth a.5 years ago

gotta start somewhere. Give 'em credit!

Ruth R.
Ruth R.5 years ago

It would be wonderful if all countries will help save some natural areas on their own and help save all the species possible. Thank you for the article.

tom Booth
tom Booth5 years ago

China leading the way in conservation??? see it to believe it

Carol Cowbrough
Carol Cowbrough5 years ago

Lets hope they stick to it then.

Charlene R.
Charlene Rush5 years ago

China, like it or not, is heading toward being the leading country in the world, possibly, within my lifetime.

This can become a reality, if our citizens don't stop fighting with each other, and start working together to achieve success.

Our two party system may have worked in the past, but is not working favorably, at the present time. I like the 6 party system that Germany presently maintains. It may not be perfect, but, then again, look at ours.

Corporations against the people, is what we have now.

Marie G.
Marie G.5 years ago

Please hope that China's words are followed by definite action. Words are so easy to say.

Shin Takahashi
Shin Takahashi5 years ago

Appreciated China for this time. Moreover, China should educate to to stop killing Tigers for medicine.Thanks.