Government, public urged to make more efforts in wildlife protection

Source:Xinhua-Global Times Published: 2014-3-3 1:03:01

Greater efforts from the government and public are needed to protect China's wildlife, a promotional campaign on Sunday urged.

The launch of the campaign in Beijing by the State Forestry Administration was attended by foreign embassies' representatives as well as officials from the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

A press release said environmental pollution, logging and illegal trading remained a threat to wildlife and habitats. The government and public need to take more measures to improve protection.

Under joint efforts by the government and the public, the situation of more than 70 extremely endangered species, such as wild pandas and crested ibis, is improving. Habitats are also improving, according to the press release.

The campaign comes ahead of World Wildlife Day on Monday, designated by the UN to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild fauna and flora.

China introduced special protection for endangered species, such as pandas and golden monkeys in the late 1980s, and banned poaching and trading.

The country also led an operation code-named Cobra II against international wildlife crimes between December 30, 2013 and January 26, 2014. The operation cracked over 350 cases involving the capture of more than three tons of ivory products and over 1,000 hides.

The Chinese government also destroyed 6.1 tons of confiscated ivory it had seized over the years in January in south China's Guangdong Province.

China's wildlife protection still faces many challenges, experts said. The Hong Kong-based NGO WildLifeRisk revealed that over 600 whale sharks are killed every year in a local factory in Puqi township of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, describing the factory as "the world's largest whale shark slaughterhouse." Though local officials refuted the allegations, one factory owner admitted that sometimes endangered sharks were caught and processed.

Zhang Wei, dean of the College of Wildlife Resources of the Northeast Forestry University, told the Global Times earlier that there is a market for wildlife products such as ivory and shark fins, so businessmen will try all means to hunt for them. Raising public awareness should be the prime task in protecting wildlife, he added.

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