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China able to restore ecosystems: expert

N.C.N. Limited 徽标 N.C.N. Limited 2021/10/12 Yang Shilong
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Aerial photo taken on Sept. 29, 2021 shows a herd of released elks running at the Daqingshan Nature Reserve in Hohhot, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Darhan)

"China can prove that protecting wildlife is not a burden to growth, economic growth and prosperity. The income per capita of China has been increasing," said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, adding China's successful protection of the elephants, the pandas and the tigers are "good examples."

by Xinhua writers Yang Shilong, Hu Yousong

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- China has been able to restore ecosystems and to deal with the restoration of landscapes, watersheds and forests, a leading expert on environmental policies has said.

"China has done very good within the Chinese territories," in terms of its ability to restore and preserve ecosystems, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Rodriguez, who served Costa Rican Environment and Energy Minister for three terms, is scheduled to deliver remarks on Tuesday at the the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known as COP15, which kicked off Monday in Kunming, the capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

The conference is to review the post-2020 global biodiversity framework so as to draw a blueprint for biodiversity conservation in the future.

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Tibetan antelopes are seen in Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve in northwest China's Qinghai Province, April 20, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Gang)

"China has very good policies and legal framework on payment for environmental services. And the benefits has been seen in terms of restoration in many regions of China," he said.

Rodriguez expressed his appreciation about the first draft of the Kunming Declaration, which will set a new framework for the global biodiversity conservation.

"The most relevant element of (the draft) is the call on parties to mainstream biodiversity protection in decision-making, and recognize the importance of conservation in protecting human health," he said.

"I see the Kunming Declaration generating those conditions. And of course, we'll be very, very happy that we can begin the COP with these very important, relevant political outcomes," he added.

Rodriguez said having China as the presidency of the CBD is "a great opportunity for all in our aspiration to become nature positive by 2030."

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Giant pandas "Lulu" (R) and "Xiaoxin" frolic on a tree at the Qinling Wild Panda Training Base in Foping Nature Reserve, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, April 2, 2020. (Photo by Pu Zhiyong/Xinhua)

"China can prove that protecting wildlife is not a burden to growth, economic growth and prosperity. The income per capita of China has been increasing," he said, adding China's successful protection of the elephants, the pandas and the tigers are "good examples."

"I come from a country Costa Rica that has been able to prove in a sense that protecting nature and restoring the (rain)forest is not a burden for growth and development," he said, adding in the last 25 years, the country has doubled the size of its forests while tripling its GDP per capita.

And now China needs to be more aware of the "global footprint" and set the right policies for sustainable supply chains, bringing out deforestation out of it and cracking down the international organized crime on wildlife trafficking, he said.

And in recent years, China has also given high priority to sustained development and made headway in balancing biodiversity conservation and human's production and consumption, he said.

"China's political commitment and political actions are positive. We need more as many of the countries, but I'm optimistic that the new framework are great and can create the conditions by which we can in 10 years be nature positive," he said. 

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