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Nature reserve determined for major riverheads ecology


08:51, November 17, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese cabinet determined Wednesday a national nature reserve for headwaters of three major rivers in China, setting a target of vegetation coverage growth at 30 percent in a decade.

A State Council executive meeting, which was presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, made the decision. The nature reserve will cover Qinghai's 21 counties of four Tibetan autonomous prefectures and one town of Golmud, through which the Qinghai-Tibet Railway passes.

The headwaters of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers in the northwest province are important sources of fresh water for the whole country and essential to ecology on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

The Lancang River, the upper stream of the Mekong River, runs southward to irrigate a few Southeast Asian countries.

The Chinese government started to implement an overall program for the area's ecological preservation in 2005.

The government hopes the average vegetation coverage increase in the nature reserve of 15 to 20 percent more in 2015, and of 25 to 30 percent more in 2020.

The government also encourages individuals, non-government organizations and social groups to support and get involved in environmental and ecological protection in the area.

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