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BEIJING, April 1, China Daily -- China has expanded an interdepartmental project to better fight against the illegal trade of wildlife, with 25 central level agencies joining the effort.

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The elephant with huge tusks seen in Kenya. [Photo/IC]

During a conference on Friday, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Ministry of Public Security, the General Administration of Customs and others decided on 24 key actions this year, including the launching of a special campaign to fight against smuggling wild animals, plants and their related products, such as ivory.

Other work to be done includes revising the category list of wild animals and plants under State protection, clearing the traps and nets used for illegal hunting, and severely punishing wildlife-related crimes, according to a conference release.

China launched an interdepartmental cooperation mechanism in addressing the illegal trade of wild animals and plants in 2016 with 22 central government agencies as its participants.

To intensify the efforts, the mechanism has been expanded this year, with new members such as the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Zhang Jianlong, head of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, said on Friday that such a joint-working mechanism has been effective in combating the illegal trade of wildlife in the past years, but closer cooperation among governmental agencies is needed to further reduce or eliminate such practices.

"We should also raise public awareness to protect wildlife by resisting illegal trade and food made of wild animals," he said. 

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