China makes headway on biodiversity protection
Updated: May 22, 2024 21:41 Xinhua

BEIJING, May 22 -- As one of the world's most biodiverse countries, China is moving towards the symbiosis of economic development and environmental protection, supporting global efforts on biodiversity conservation.

Wednesday marks the International Day for Biological Diversity, with this year's theme being "Be Part of the Plan," in a call for action from all stakeholders to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.

Here are some notable facts and figures about China's progress in biodiversity protection.

-- China has innovatively applied an ecological protection red-line system, which protects certain areas from industrial and urban development to ensure that ecosystems can continue to function effectively. The country aims to keep the national ecological protection red-line area above 3.15 million square kilometers.

-- China has created more than 11,000 natural protected areas, covering 18 percent of the country's total land areas, and with dedicated funding and management in place to conserve biodiversity.

-- China is striving to establish the world's largest national park system by 2035.

Its first batch of national parks has been established, consisting of the Sanjiangyuan National Park, the Giant Panda National Park, Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park and Wuyishan National Park. Together, they span a protected land area of 230,000 square km and are home to nearly 30 percent of the country's key terrestrial wildlife species.

-- Thanks to China's relentless efforts, over 300 endangered species are on the path to recovery. Notably, the population of giant pandas in the wild in China has risen from about 1,100 in the 1980s to around 1,900. The crested ibis, which was once thought to be extinct in China, has seen its population soar from only seven in the 1980s to more than 7,000.

-- China has the fastest-expanding forest area in the world. Since 2000, it has been at the forefront of global efforts to green the planet, contributing to around a quarter of the world's newly added green areas.

It is also the country holding the world's largest area of man-made forest. In 2023, China planted nearly four million hectares of forest.

-- China continues to increase financial investment in biodiversity protection. This year, its transfer payments for local governments from the central budget, aimed at supporting the development of key national ecosystem service zones, expanded further to 112.1 billion yuan (about 15.77 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 3 billion yuan compared with the previous year.

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