De­bate on China

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Our Wildworld -

Peter P Thomas states that t “China’s record on con­ser­va­tion c is an ab­so­lute dis­grace” d (Your Feed­back, June J 2018). It is true that with 20 2 per cent of the world’s hu­man h pop­u­la­tion and limited farm­land fa there are great pres­sures p on wild na­ture, but China is do­ing a great deal for con­ser­va­tion. As well as lead­ing the world in so­lar and wind tech­nol­ogy, all forms of hunt­ing and the pos­ses­sion of firearms are banned.

Nearly 25 per cent of China’s ter­ri­tory is in­cluded in na­ture re­serves and there has been sig­nif­i­cant progress in the pro­tec­tion of rare an­i­mals. For ex­am­ple, some 50 ex­ist­ing re­serves for the gi­ant panda are to be amal­ga­mated into an ex­ten­sive na­tional park. Work­ing with Rus­sian and US sci­en­tists, the numbers of Amur tigers in the north-east is in­creas­ing. Nine re­serves for tigers are be­ing in­cluded in a huge na­tional park and tim­ber ex­trac­tion in the re­gion has been cur­tailed.

It is true that there is il­le­gal traf­fic in wildlife prod­ucts in China, but dur­ing my vis­its to tra­di­tional medicine ware­houses in Chengdu I was pleased not to see any pelts or body parts of en­dan­gered species. David Prynn, Ip­swich

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