New law to protect Qinghai-Tibet Plateau ecosystem

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A new law on ecological conservation on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau just came into effect on Sept 1.

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is “the roof of the world, the water tower of Asia, the third pole of the earth, and an important ecological security barrier for China”. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Ecological Protection Law is a new addition to China’s laws for special regions.

The law was passed in April during the second session of the Standing Committee of the 14th National People’s Congress. It consists of seven chapters and 63 articles, aiming to put ecological protection first, focus on tackling the problems of ecological protection on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and promote comprehensive, systematic and source management of mountains, rivers, forests, fields, lakes, grasslands, desert and ice, so as to provide legal guarantees for ecological protection and sustainable development on the Plateau.

The law prohibits, for example, the production and construction activities that may cause soil erosion in areas that already suffer severe soil erosion or have fragile ecology. It bans sand mining and related activities that do not meet conservation requirements in nature reserves for river sources and imposes strict rules against the construction of new small hydropower stations on the Plateau, Xinhua reported.

The enactment and implementation of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Ecological Protection Law is expected to make a significant contribution to protecting the rich ecosystem of the area.