China / Government

China marks World Wildlife Day with pledge of greater protection

By Zheng Jinran ( Updated: 2016-03-03 20:45

China pledged to make more efforts to protect endangered wildlife to mark World Wildlife Day on Thursday. The State Forestry Administration will revise laws and regulations for the protection of wild animals, according to a statement released by the country's top forestry authority on Thursday.

The revised draft of the Law on the Protection of Wildlife will build a mandatory protection system for their habitats, set a threshold for wildlife products to be traded and put a stricter rein on trafficking and other illegal business involving wildlife, it added.

Protection projects on wildlife will be listed in work agendas for the next five years as the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) has stipulated protection targets, for example, conducting specific protection programs on precious species such as the panda and Siberian tiger.

The revised draft was presented to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for discussion on Dec 21.

To call for wildlife protection around the world, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement to mark World Wildlife Day.

He said to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species it is essential to address both the demand and supply of illegal wildlife products through agreed goals and targets and international instruments, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

John Scanlon, secretary-general of CITES said: "We are beginning to turn the tide on wildlife trafficking – but much still remains to be done – and success, very often, comes down to the actions of committed individuals. That is why this year we are rallying around the theme 'the future of wildlife is in our hands.'"

As part of the celebration, the country's forestry authority and government of Hunan province released 18 elk in the Dongting Lake region on Thursday in a bid to improve the local elk community structure and provide more material for researchers.

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