Nepali experts laud China's efforts to preserve ecology

(Xinhua) 17:01, October 12, 2021

KATHMANDU, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- As one of the world's richest countries in terms of biodiversity, China's efforts to develop "ecological civilization" are contributing to global biodiversity preservation, Nepali experts said.

Even though China's advancement in material development in the last four decades has resulted in environmental problems to some extent, the country has also made great strides in the preservation of ecology, biodiversity and wildlife, noted the experts.

"China is one of the leading countries in the world in the areas of biodiversity conservation and ecological system restoration," said Krishna Prasad Oli, a former member of Nepal's National Planning Commission with expertise on biodiversity and renewable energy.

"China has increased the protected areas for biodiversity and the areas covered by forest," he told Xinhua. "China has brought greenery even to the desert areas."

He spoke of China's heavy investments in Tibet and Xinjiang in efforts to restore the ecological systems in the two autonomous regions. "Besides preserving the ecology, China is also reaping benefits by promoting eco-tourism," said Oli, who used to teach in some Chinese universities as a visiting scholar.

Oli also lauded the growing populations of giant pandas which were once on the verge of extinction as well as the Asian elephants in China.

Days ago, China issued its first white paper on biodiversity, detailing how the world's most biodiverse country has endeavored to protect its ecosystems in pursuit of harmony between humans and nature.

According to the white paper, the population of giant pandas in the wild has grown from 1,114 to 1,864 over the past four decades, while the Asian elephant population in the wild has risen from 180 in the 1980s to about 300 at present.

China was the first globally to propose and implement the "red line" strategy for ecological conservation, an important institutional innovation in its land-use planning and eco-environmental reform.

The country's proposal of "Drawing a 'Red Line' for Ecological Protection to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change" has been selected by the United Nations as one of the 15 best Nature-based Solutions around the globe.

China's ongoing efforts to advance "ecological civilization" are great for the preservation of biodiversity, said Prabhu Budhathoki, a Nepali expert on biodiversity conservation.

"The breathtaking development in China over the last four decades has not only modernized China but also contributed to a complete poverty eradication," he said.

"China also has to bear the environmental cost even though it has been making great efforts to conserve the ecology over the years. By introducing the concept of ecological civilization, China has given utmost importance to reversing biodiversity losses and promoting ecological preservation."

China has set a target of having carbon dioxide emissions peak by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. To this end, the country has been investing heavily in green technologies, including solar and renewable energy.

At the UN General Assembly last month, China announced that it would not build new coal-fired projects abroad, a move that could be pivotal in tackling global emissions.

"By taking such a move, China has shown that it is ready to shoulder global responsibility toward preserving our ecology and environment," said Oli.

Nepal's ecological future will also rely on what China and India do in environmental protection, according to Nepali experts. Budhathoki stressed that Nepal would benefit "massively" if its two neighbors strive to reduce pollution. 

(Web editor: Shi Xi, Hongyu)


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