China bans export of protected fossils

11:23, November 25, 2010      

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All units and individuals are prohibited to transfer, exchange or give away fossils under state protection to foreigners or foreign organizations, according to the "Fossil Protection Regulations" released by the Chinese State Council.

The regulations will be officially implemented on Jan. 1, 2011.

Ancient biological fossils are the most important information source to research the Earth and biological evolution as well as vital clues that can determine the age of layers of rock. In addition, they are the most important entity study large-scale extinctions in the history of Earth’s evolution.

A fossil under state protection refers to fossils with important scientific value or rare fossils, including type specimens of ancient biological fossils that have been given a name as well as complete or relatively complete preserved ancient vertebrate body fossils.

In order to protect ancient biological fossil specimens, China had successively established five dinosaur, bird and ichthyosaur fossil museums in Lufeng of Yunnan, Zhucheng of Shandong, Lingwu of Ningxia, Sihetun of Liaoning, Chaoyang of Liaoning and Guanling of Guizhou, as well as 17 geological parks in cities such as Benxi of Liaoning, according to Wang Shouzhi, director of the Department of Policies and Regulations under the Ministry of Land and Resources on Nov. 24.

Wang said that the Ministry of Land and Resources has recovered more than 5,000 Chinese fossils of extinct species such as the fossils of dinosaur bones and eggs as well as saber-toothed tiger skulls from Australia, the United States, Canada and Italy, most of which are listed among key fossils under state protection.

Fossils that have not yet been formally identified are not allowed to be taken abroad, and the transportation of fossils to foreign countries requires approval from the Ministry of Land and Resources even if they may be for international scientific cooperation or overseas exhibitions aimed at promoting scientific and cultural exchanges, according to the Fossil Protection Regulations jointly released by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council and the Ministry of Land and Resources on Nov. 24,

Under the new regulations, organizations and individuals are not allowed to sell fossils, and state-owned entities are not allowed to sell, exchange or give away fossils to private entities or individuals.

By People's Daily Online


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