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Sichuan wetlands revived


08:18, September 14, 2012

EFFORTS to protect wetlands on the Tibetan plateau in southwest China's Sichuan Province from overgrazing are being ramped up, local environmental officials said.

Large swathes of the Zogye Wetland have been restored since the establishment of the Zogye National Nature Reserve in 2002, according to Ega, head of the Zogye County wetland protection bureau. The wetlands have faced danger in the form of 460,000 livestock, mainly yaks and horses, raised by 3,000 local families.

"We have been stepping up efforts to protect the shrinking wetland by urging local herders to restore the land and giving them compensation for doing so," said Ega, adding that the herders receive subsidies worth a total of 250,000 yuan (US$40,000) annually to compensate them for land that their animals are unable to graze on.

Local ecological authorities have informed the herders of the wetland's importance and strengthened patrols around the wetland, which functions as a major source for the Yellow River, China's second longest waterway.

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