China sets up foundation to protect largest tropical rainforest

08:31, October 19, 2010      

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A government-sponsored foundation was set up Monday to protect China's largest tropical rainforest in the southwestern province of Yunnan.

The Xishuangbanna Tropical Rainforest Foundation has raised more than 5 million yuan (752,000 U.S. dollars) from the government, businesses and the general public, said Xiong Yunxiang, the foundation's director-general.

The foundation hoped to improve protection and restore the rainforest ecosystem in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southern Yunnan, said Xiong.

"The foundation will focus on rainforest protection, climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in local communities," Xiong said.

The state-level Xishuangbanna nature reserve is home to more than 5,000 plant species, one-sixth of the country's total, and 2,000 animal species, one-fourth of the nation's animals.

"The conflict between protecting nature and promoting local economic development is still obvious. We're short on funds and technology," said Guo Huijun, deputy director of the Yunnan provincial forestry bureau.



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