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China, Australia Team up in Forestry Resources Management
A Sino-Australian project on forestry resources management was launched Tuesday in Qinghai Province, northwest China, to improve the natural environment of the arid province.

The project is designed to promote forestry resources management expertise among local officials and farmers, raise their awareness of the ecological issue, assist them to curb soil erosion and increase the forest coverage in the shortest time possible, said Lydia Morton, an official from the Australian Embassy in China.

The project is expected to lift local farmers out of poverty and help maintain sustainable development in the province, she said.

If successful, it will be promoted to other provinces in northern China to improve their overall environment, said a local forestry official.

With 12.25 million Australian dollars (6.7 million US dollars) from the Australian government, the project is the largest of its kind ever to be launched in Qinghai Province.

The Chinese central government and the Qinghai provincial government have also spent 32 million yuan (3.85 million US dollars) on the project.

Qinghai, at the source of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, China's two longest rivers, has abundant resources. However, the province is strapped for money and technology to improve the environment because of its poor natural conditions and underdeveloped economy.

To date, the Chinese government has invested 440 million yuan (53 million US dollars) to help improve Qinghai's natural environment.

(Xinhua News Agency July 24, 2002)

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