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BEIJING, Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by China.org.cn on the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity:
Over the past few days, the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) has been underway in Yunnan province. This area is well-known as a treasure trove of biodiversity in southwest China. Just a few months ago, a herd of wandering Asian elephants in the region received extensive media coverage both in China and abroad, offering the public a glimpse into Yunnan’s extraordinary ecosystem where humans and elephants live in harmony.
But there is another perspective on this story.
The original habitat of the wandering Asian elephants is Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, which is the border area of China and Laos. Each year, dozens of Asian elephants can be seen moving back and forth across the two countries’ national boundaries.
To protect these elephants, China and Laos have designated an area of some 200,000 hectares on the border as the “The China–Laos transboundary biodiversity reserve.” The two sides have established patrol routes inside the area, invited guards from both countries, and carried out joint training programs.
In the Lao side of the reserve, hunting and logging have long been part of the daily lives of local ethnic groups. For this reason, China has provided assistance by helping Laos establish patrol and supervision teams and offering facilities such as firewood efficient stoves, solar lampposts and reservoirs. This helps reduce firewood consumption and improves the living conditions of villagers as well as the habitat of Asian elephants.
Via these efforts, wild elephants that were once afraid of humans are able to wander freely across the border, the number of the Asian elephant herd has also been boosted.
The “travelling herd of elephants” that previously appeared in the media reflects Chinese people’s tolerance and protection of elephants. Meanwhile, the situation described above shows people that in order to truly achieve the ideal state of “harmonious coexistence between humans and nature,” cross-border cooperation in biodiversity protection is of paramount importance.
In fact, similar to its cooperation with Laos, China has established transboundary protection areas (PA) and ecological corridors with many other countries such as Russia and Mongolia. The number of species in the China–Russia transboundary nature reserve continues to grow, and wild Siberian tigers are beginning to migrate freely between PAs in Russia and China. In addition, China also proactively supports other developing countries in biodiversity conservation.
The ongoing COP15 in Yunnan demonstrates that China has taken its due global responsibility in protecting biodiversity. It also reflects the spirit of upholding multilateralism and foster global synergy on biodiversity protection and governance. This is consistent with the practical efforts China has been making over the years.
It is all humanity’s hope that the meeting can open a new chapter for the global governance of biodiversity and encourage every country to jointly build a harmonious and beautiful home for all.
COP15: International cooperation in biodiversity protection
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