The growing number of the once-endangered wild giant pandas in China is the latest example of continuous efforts to save the planet’s biodiversity.
In a welcome piece of good news for the world’s threatened wildlife, the at-risk status of wild giant pandas has been downgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable,” as their population has grown to some 1,800. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment attributed the notable progress to China’s drive to establish a relatively complete system of nature reserves.
While this change marks the improving condition of wildlife in China, it does not mean that efforts to protect wildlife in China will be downgraded. Only with a long-term vision and persistent actions can the protection of biodiversity continue to improve.
Green development has become a key component of China’s new vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. Its ecological conservation and restoration projects, such as forest and wetland protection initiatives and the fishing ban in the Yangtze River basin, are facilitating the recovery of rare and endangered species. The wild giant pandas, Tibetan antelopes and milu deer are living in better environments. The numbers of Siberian tigers, Asian elephants and crested ibises have grown rapidly.
The welcome panda news came months ahead of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The meeting, to be held in China’s Yunnan Province that is known for its dense forests and rich biodiversity, will review the “post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”
It is expected to see China and other countries pool their wisdom and resources to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled.
Biodiversity is wealth and treasure. Putting biodiversity conservation high on its domestic policy agenda will help China achieve harmony between humans and nature and foster green, eco-friendly and sustainable growth.