BEIJING, August 28, Chinadaily -- Chinese lawmakers on Monday began reviewing a draft law on soil pollution prevention and control, as the country has escalated its fight against pollution.

The draft law was submitted to the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) for the third reading at a session that runs from Monday to Friday.

There will be national standards for soil pollution risk control, and a nationwide soil condition census should be conducted at least once every ten years, according to the draft.

A network of monitoring stations are required to be established nationwide with data and other information collected shared among environmental, agricultural, natural resources, housing, water resources, health, and forestry and grassland authorities, it said.

Environmental and health authorities of the State Council are required to conduct screening and evaluation of toxic and harmful substances in the soil and make public a list of them.

According to the draft law, the central and provincial-level governments should establish funds to prevent and control soil pollution.

The draft law on prevention and control of soil pollution was submitted to the top legislature for its first reading in June.
China is escalating its fight against pollution. The top legislature revised the law on air pollution in 2015 and the law on water pollution in 2017, restricting various sources of pollution and making environmental data more transparent.

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URUMQI, August 19, Chinadaily -- A pilot snow leopard protection project was launched Thursday in the eastern Tianshan Mountains, a major habitat of the species in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

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KUNMING, August 14, Chinadaily -- A dozen of wild Asian elephants went on a parade and enjoyed a special fruit feast at the Asian Elephant Breeding and Rescue Center in southwest China's Yunnan Province on Sunday, the World Elephant Day.

Established in 2008 in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, a 241,000-hectare rainforest, the center has rescued 13 wild Asian elephants, ten of which are still receiving medical care and rehabilitation training at the sanctuary. So far, five elephants have been successfully born.

The animals are under Class-A protection in China and are included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as "Endangered."

"Enhanced protection has led to a rise in the number of the mammals in recent years," said BaoMingwei, an elephant doctor. "In the 1990s, only about 180 wild Asian elephants were living in China, but now the population is estimated to exceed 300."


In China, wild Asian elephants are scattered in a few regions, with Xishuangbanna one of their primary habitats. However, according to the provincial forestry bureau, wild elephants caused 32 deaths and 159 injuries from 2011 to 2017.

"Population growth, reclamation expansion, and a decrease of habitats for wild elephants are the primary causes for the conflicts," said Chen Mingyong, a professor at Yunnan University.

The simple digestive system of Asian elephants makes them easy to feel hungry. They have to eat about 300 kg of plants every day. "If the forests can't meet their needs, they may risk stepping into farmland to fill their belly," according to Chen.

The increase in the number of wild Asian elephants in recent years comes with more activity, and an overlap of animal habitats and places of human activities.

"Some rivers and valleys have been turned into farmland for rubber, tea, and corn for economic benefits. Infrastructure construction destroys the homes of wildlife animals," Chen said.

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BEIJING, August 5 -- The Measures for the Administration of Forest Ecological Protection and Restoration Fund was issued, which aims to strengthen and regulate fund use and management of forest ecological protection and restoration.

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CHENGDU, July 25, Xinhua -- A leopard has been caught on camera in a nature reserve that is a major habitat for giant pandas, the administration of the reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province said Wednesday.

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