China Pledges to End Species Extinction by 2020

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First Conservation Strategy for China in Nearly Two Decades Aligns with The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Blueprint

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China is developing rapidly and that progress could completely decimate its environment if it doesn't proceed in smart, sustainable ways, says Zhang Shuang, director of the Conservancy's China program.

The central government of China has released the country’s first nationwide conservation strategy in 16 years. China’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan both assesses the progress of China's environmental initiatives over the last two decades and sets out an ambitious agenda for future conservation, including a halt to the loss of all biodiversity in China by 2020.

“China contains a wealth of plants and wildlife that are found nowhere else on Earth. But with a population of more than 1.3 billion people, China is developing rapidly and that progress could completely decimate its environment if it doesn’t proceed in smart, sustainable ways,” says Zhang Shuang, director of the Conservancy’s China program.

With this plan, China is demonstrating its commitment to a greener future and significant advances in the protection of treasured species like the Yunnan golden monkey, black-necked crane and giant panda. The plan, which identifies 32 priority areas totaling 20 percent of China’s land mass, aims to:

  •     Protect 90 percent of China’s protected species and key ecosystems through nature reserves
  •     Halt the loss of biodiversity in China by 2020
  •     Create new trans-boundary nature reserves and strengthen the country’s existing nature reserves
  •     Produce action plans at the provincial level (the first in Sichuan has a proposed 1 billion yuan budget for the creation of five new nature reserves and a wide range of other conservation actions)

For nearly a decade, The Nature Conservancy has been working with the Chinese government to advance large scale conservation. Together, we’ve made significant progress in creating more efficient protected areas, protecting the Yangtze River and lessening the impacts of climate change.

The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan goes a step further and ties the future work of China’s environmental agencies to the same set of priorities that Conservancy’s scientists developed through the massive, years-long Blueprint project. Both efforts not only take stock of China’s ecological makeup but also identify the resources and natural benefits that people and wildlife need most.

“Conservation is a global issue and like the United States, China’s influence is felt around the world,” said Glenn Prickett, director of external affairs for The Nature Conservancy. “With China's Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and President Obama's Great Outdoors Initiative, which aims to reconnect Americans to nature and promotes innovative community-level conservation efforts, we have the makings of real global leadership.”

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 18 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 117 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at http://www.nature.org.

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