Pledge to boost wildlife fight

Updated: 2011-12-10 08:30

By Cang Wei (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Enforcement officers on the front line of China's fight against wildlife smugglers will receive more funding and improved technology, as part of new measures to tackle the menace, authorities said.

The country will also boost cross-department and cross-border cooperation to further protect endangered species and crack down on the illegal animal trade, according to a newly approved action plan.

The news was revealed on Friday by China's endangered species of wild fauna and flora import and export management office.

Pledge to boost wildlife fight

Two officers handle bones and body parts of wild animals that were seized during a campaign by forestry police in Yunnan province in this photo from Nov 9, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

"China has paid great attention to the protection of endangered species and has achieved significant progress since it joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1981," said Yin Hong, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration, one of five government agencies that have formed a joint law-enforcement detachment on animal protection.

The country has made and enforced a series of laws and regulations to protect wild fauna and flora, as well as invested heavily in the construction of reserves and habitats of wild animals.

However, she added: "Due to traditional Chinese medicine and people's eating habits, the demand for wild animals and plants is still great in China."

An action plan to address the protection work recommended by the CITES was also approved on Friday, with 10 species highlighted, including the elephant, rhinoceros and shark.

Wildlife groups have welcomed the pledge to improve enforcement against smugglers.

Fan Zhiyong, director of the species program at the World Wide Fund for Nature in China, said poor enforcement has contributed much to China's animal protection problems.

"The effective cooperation of different departments is vital," he said.

Hua Ning, China project manger of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: "We're glad to know that all the government departments involved have joined the detachment."

"We hope more professional education about wild animal protection can be provided to Chinese people, and relative departments can strengthen cooperation with foreign organizations."

Meng Xianlin, executive director-general of China's endangered species of wild fauna and flora import and export management office, said that a plan to implement the CITES recommendations from 2011 to 2015 has been made, and cooperation with other countries, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia, will be enhanced.

China Daily