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20 Bln Yuan Slated for Tibet Eco-Projects

China plans to invest more than 20 billion yuan (about US$2.63 billion) to protect the eco-system on the Tibet plateau, said a local official on Sunday.

The plan covers a dozen projects listed under the 2006-2003 program on protection and construction of eco-system on the Tibet plateau, a main part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, dubbed the "roof of the world", said the official with the development and reform commission of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

These projects include construction of nature reserve, protection of natural forest, restoration of grassland and pasture, harnessing and prevention of desertification and prevention of geological disasters.

The plan, to be approved soon, will last for about 20 years.

"In the first five years, the investment from the central government will total 7 to 8 billion yuan," the official said.

Tibet plateau boasts various kinds of plants and vegetation due to various landforms and different weather conditions.

Tibet is a region with the most typical biological diversity and is a major gene bank ensuring global biodiversity. However, the local eco-system is very fragile and difficult to recover after being damaged.

The plan will of course play an important role in helping recover and protect the ecological system on Tibetan plateau, said the official.

Analysts say the implementation of the national plan will help ease the pressure posed by global warming on local ecological environment and could ensure sustainable development in the region. 

(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2007)

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