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China reiterates environmental protection on Qomolangma

Updated: Feb 28,2019 8:59 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s environmental authority vowed consistent efforts to protect the environment at Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in Tibet autonomous region on Feb 28.

Efforts will be taken to strengthen monitoring, enhance mountaineering trash clean-ups, reduce tourism and climbing activity-generated pollution and rectify irregularities, Liu Youbin, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told a press conference.

The measures came after the reserve banned ordinary tourists from entering its core zone to better conserve the environment of the world’s highest mountain.

Liu said the environment on Mount Qomolangma has seen significant improvement, but the number of tourists has kept increasing, and allowing tourists to enter the core zone of the reserve will add pressure on environmental protection there.

Ordinary tourists are banned from areas above Rongpo Monastery, around 5,000 meters above sea level. A new tent camp will be set up nearly 2 km away from the original one.

For travelers who have a climbing permit, the mountaineering activities will not be affected, according to the reserve which was set up in 1988.

Though ordinary visitors can’t go beyond the monastery, it won’t affect them from appreciating the mountain, Liu said.

Covering an area of around 33,800 square km including a 10,312-square km core zone, the reserve is home to one of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems.

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