Amur tigers, symbol of China’s new environmental policy

In danger of extinction, the population of this big cat has increased from 7 to 55 specimens during the last twenty years in China. The illustration of the environmental policy based on the preservation of biodiversity, analyzes the Wall Street Journal, against the grain of the government’s lack of will in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

After decades “Economic expansion, poaching and human encroachment” in the wilderness, Amur tigers, also known as “Siberian tigers”, were “Functionally off” in China at the turn of the century, remind him Wall Street Journal. From 500 specimens listed a hundred years ago to only 7 at the dawn of the 2000s, the big cats have experienced a renaissance, quite relative but unexpected, for twenty years.

“Wiped out in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and southern China”, they would now number 55 in the northeast of the country, the last Chinese region where these felines still roam. A “Spectacular recovery”, want to believe Chinese scientists from the World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society who recently published a study on the subject.

The merit of this “Rare success in the world of conservation” returns to the awareness of the Chinese on questions of biodiversity, advances the American daily, as well as to the efforts of the government authorities, in particular to fight against poaching. Two weeks before the opening of the COP26 in Glasgow (Scotland), China intends to stage its political voluntarism on environmental issues.

President Xi Jinping also announced on October 12 a plan worth more than 200 million euros devoted to the protection of biodiversity, report it China Daily.

Contradictions or transition

China nevertheless remains “The biggest emitter of greenhouse gases”, shade it Wall Street Journal. Requirement “voracious” from China for basic products that are very harmful to the environment, such as palm oil, soybeans and timber, has very serious ecological consequences in Indonesia as in Brazil, adds the American daily. The latter also mentions the negative environmental consequences of the New Silk Roads project or the use of coal-fired power stations.

“China is the world’s largest market for tiger bones and other relics such as teeth, eyes and mustaches, which are believed to cure all kinds of ailments”, add the Wall Street Journal. The government’s new measures to put an end to poaching and protect its natural spaces give hope that a real awareness will gradually push China to become the engine of environmental protection that it aspires to be on the international scene.

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