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NW China province announces wetland parks

By Source:Xinhua 2016-02-01

Northwest China's Qinghai Province plans to establish four new wetland parks, bringing its total number to 15, the provincial forestry department said on Thursday.

The four new wetlands, which have been approved by the State Forestry Administration (SFA), will be located in the Tibetan autonomous prefectures of Huangnan, Yushu and Guoluo as well as Ledu District of Haidong City. They will cover a total of 93,200 hectares.

Three of the parks are in the Sanjiangyuan region, the cradle of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers and a paradise for herders and wildlife.

"The parks' highland ecosystem comprising rivers and meadows has high scientific value, and safeguarding them can help better protect the environment of the Sanjiangyuan region and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau," said Ma Jianhai, director of the forestry department's wetland protection center.

Global warming and human activity has caused the shrinkage of wetlands and increasing decertification. According to the SFA, around 9 percent of China's wetland has disappeared, been converted to farmland or used for infrastructure in the past decade.

Qinghai has more than eight million hectares of wetland, more than any other Chinese province. Wetlands are known as the "kidneys of the earth" for their role in water purification, flood control and maintaining biodiversity.

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