Qinghai takes huge strides toward green future

By Xu Wei in Golmud, Qinghai | China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-04 07:47
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Volunteers in Nangqian county, Qinghai, gather together after an environmental protection event in March 2021. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Qinghai, where two other national parks are being developed, has seen a steady recovery of its endangered species. The population of Tibetan antelope has risen from fewer than 30,000 to more than 70,000, and the number of Przewalski's gazelle, found in the wild only in China, has risen from about 300 to over 2,700.

Meanwhile, the province's ecological protection efforts, which span several decades, have brought key benefits to local herdsmen by raising their income and living standards.

Dondrub Chophel, secretary-general of the Snowland Great Rivers Environmental Protection Association, a Qinghai NGO, said the work local residents perform as rangers for national parks is just one of many examples of local herdsmen benefiting from wide-ranging protection efforts. He said that in the past, the herdsmen had only one way to boost their income — raising the number of sheep and yaks in their pastures.

"Now, the improved ecology and greater biodiversity offer the herdsmen much broader channels to increase their incomes," he said.

In addition to being official rangers, the herdsmen work as volunteers to monitor snow leopards. They also organize cultural experiences and activities related to nature education, he said.

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