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China continues efforts to halt degradation of biodiversity

Updated: Dec 3,2015 7:56 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will make more efforts to halt degradation of biodiversity, an environmental protection official said on Dec 2.

The measures will include surveying and assessing biodiversity, a bigger monitoring network, improving in-situ and ex-situ conservation and increasing basic abilities, said Qiu Qiwen, deputy head of the Nature and Ecology Conservation Department with the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Human activity still puts great pressure on biodiversity, although China has made vast progress in protection, Qiu said.

China has established 2,729 natural reserves and placed 85 percent of land biosystems and wildlife under protection.

At present, land reserve areas cover more than 1.7 million square kilometers, 18 percent of China’s land territory. As of 2014, 68 marine reserves were established, covering 7,115 square kilometers.

The country has more than 60 natural reserves for giant pandas and the number of wild giant pandas increased from about 1,100 in 2000 to 1,864 in 2013.

Efforts to protect the crested ibis (Nipponia nippon) and its habitat have helped the population grow from only seven in 1981 to over 1,000 today.

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