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Eco-conservation zone planned for Qinghai-Tibet plateau

(Xinhua)

16:02, November 18, 2011

XINING, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- China is planning to set up a landmark ecological conservation zone on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where the country's major rivers originate.

The planned national conservation zone covers a 395,000-square-km region known as Sanjiangyuan, which is the source of China's three major rivers: the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers.

The zone will cover 21 counties in four Tibetan autonomous prefectures in northwest China's Qinghai province, as well as the town of Golmud, a pivotal stop on the way to Tibet's capital of Lhasa.

The plan, endorsed at an executive meeting of the State Council, or China's cabinet, on Wednesday, is aimed at increasing average vegetation coverage in the region by 25 to 30 percent by 2020.

The move is designed to restore the ecosystem in the Sanjiangyuan region and boost local residents' incomes, according to the plan.

A researcher with the Qinghai Academy of Social Sciences described the move as a signal that China is willing to take responsibility and contribute to the global fight against climate change.

"Adequate protection of ecology is a vital issue for China and the world," said Sun Faping, the academy's vice president.

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