Of­fice opened for up­com­ing na­tional park in North­west

China Daily (Canada) - - TIBET - By XIN­HUA in Xi’an

Tourism and or­ganic farm­ing will be piloted in se­lect ar­eas of San­jiangyuan, known as “Asia’s wa­ter tower”, fol­low­ing the launch of the ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fice for the coun­try’s new­est na­tional park.

The ad­min­is­tra­tive bureau of San­jiangyuan Na­tional Park opened last week in Xining, cap­i­tal of North­west China’s Qing­hai prov­ince.

It will take five years for the 123,000-square-km na­ture re­serve, which was es­tab­lished in 2000, to be el­e­vated to na­tional park level.

San­jiangyuan, on South­west China’s Qing­hai-Ti­bet Plateau, is home to the head­wa­ters of the Yangtze, Yel­low and Lan­cang-Mekong rivers.

Over the past decade, the re­serve has re­ceived 9 bil­lion yuan ($137 mil­lion) of gov­ern­ment fund­ing to re­ha­bil­i­tate its frag­ile ecosys­tem. Around 700,000 herds­men and farm­ers have re­ceived com­pen­sa­tion for loss of earn­ings due to on­go­ing ecological pro­tec­tion ef­forts.

“Over the years, ecological degra­da­tion has been ba­si­cally curbed, which has helped con­serve some 8 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter and in­creased grass land by 30 per­cent,” said Li Xiao­nan, direc­tor of the ad­min­is­tra­tive bureau.

How­ever, there are still prob­lems, such as over­lap­ping au­thor­i­ties, weak law en­force­ment, a lack of pub­lic aware­ness and a con­flict be­tween ecological pro­tec­tion and peo­ple’s need for higher in­comes, he said.

Li said the ad­min­is­tra­tion bureau would de­velop tourism, or­ganic farm­ing and stock­breed­ing in cer­tain ar­eas to cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

To this end, test schemes will be car­ried out in four coun­ties in Golog and Yushu pre­fec­tures as well as Hol Xil, cov­er­ing a to­tal of 123,000 square km, or 30 per­cent of the re­serve.

WU GANG / XIN­HUA

San­jiangyuan, on the Qing­hai-Ti­bet Plateau, is home to the head­wa­ters of the Yangtze, Yel­low and Lan­cang-Mekong rivers.

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