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Wetland guardian lauded by internet tycoons

By Zhou Huiying and Han Junhong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-11 15:15
Wang Chunli and her team member clean up the fishing nets in the swamps. [Photo provided by the Publicity Department of Tongyu county to chinadaily.com.cn]

Wang Chunli was surprised to receive a letter from "two Mas" - Alibaba's founder Jack Ma Yun and Tencent CEO Pony Ma Huateng.

In the letter, as the co-chairmen of Paradise Foundation, they praised her contribution to ecological conservation in Xianghai Nature Reserve in Tongyucounty, Jilin province.

The reserve, built in 1981, is an important wetland for migratory birds to reproduce and refresh themselves during their journeys.

It sprawls across more than 1,000 square kilometers and 12 villages in Tongyu county.

In December 2016, the Paradise Foundation signed a 30-year agreement with the reserve and the Jilin government to establish the Xianghai Ecological Protection Center.

The center, which covers 175 square meters, about half of reserve's core zone, is directly managed by the foundation and supervised by the local government.

It is China's first national nature reserve center directly run by a non-profit ecological conservation organization and supervised by a local government.

Xianghai National Nature Reserve in Tongyu county, Jilin province, is an important wetland for migratory birds. [Photo provided by the Publicity Department of Tongyu county to chinadaily.com.cn]

For the past two years, as director of the center, Wang has been wrestling with the needs of human beings and importance of preserving nature.

Every day she leads an eight-member patrol team to control illegal grazing, fishing and poaching in the reserve.

At the same time, she explains the importance of ecological protection to the villagers.

"The good news is that our efforts have paid back," she said. "Rare birds such as red-crowned cranes now return to the reserve and residents' awareness of ecological protection has gradually improved."

Xianghai National Nature Reserve in Tongyu county, Jilin province, is an important wetland for migratory birds. [Photo provided by the Publicity Department of Tongyu county to chinadaily.com.cn]
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