China's endangered species, including pandas, golden monkeys and Tibetan antelopes will receive more effective protection, according to a report by a senior official.
Zhou Shengxian, director of the State Forestry Administration (SFA), said in his report that the SFA plans to set up more nature reserves and breeding bases in the next two years in an effort to preserve China's endangered wildlife and plants.
Delivering his report to the 30th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress here on Saturday,Zhou said China had launched an official project in 2001 to protect wildlife, plants and natural resources.
Within a period of less than two years, the original project gave rise to the creation of 71 new projects and to the establishment of 249 nature reserves, he said.
Statistics from the SFA show that China now has 1,213 nature reserves covering a total of 117 million hectares, or 12.19 percent of China's entire territory. Meanwhile, intense preservation and artificial breeding efforts of endangered species such as the panda and the golden monkey and of endangered plant species such as cymbidium and cycad are well under way, said Zhou.
Zhou said China has also passed new legislation in an effort to prevent illegal deforestation. The State Council has enacted a series of regulations on the protection of natural resources within recent years, including a regulation on the protection of wild plant species.
Zhou said he expects the number of illegal deforestation cases in 2002 to be less than 450,000, down 20 percent compared with thenumber in 1997.
Zhou said despite the progress achieved, problems still remain.He warned that deforestation, poaching and damage to the ecosystem in some areas has not been halted yet.