China's Hoh Xil expects stricter protection as world heritage site - Human & Nature - Tibetol

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China's Hoh Xil expects stricter protection as world heritage site
update:July 10,2017
July 10,2017--Overjoyed by Hoh Xil's successful inclusion in UNESCO's World Natural Heritage List on Friday, Lodro Cering dressed up in his favorite crimson Tibetan robe and put on a string of Buddha beads to celebrate.
Lodro Cering works as a mountain patroller in Hoh Xil. He said he and his co-workers were excited that the this piece of land they have protected is drawing attention from around the world.
Hol Xil, remotely located in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in northwest China's Qinghai Province, has an average altitude of over 4,600 meters, making it an ideal habitat for Tibetan antelopes.
Besides Tibetan antelopes, some 230 species of wildlife, including Tibetan gazelle and wild yak, live in the area.
The inscription of the site was made during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland, making Hoh Xil the 51st Chinese site to enter the list.
The program entering the UNESCO's list covers some 6 million hectares, including around 3.7 million hectares of core area and 2.3 million hectares of surrounding area.
Hol Xil means "beautiful young woman, blue mountain" in Mongolian. It was beset by poachers in the 1980s, who hunted Tibetan antelopes for their hide, which was made into shahtoosh shawls. In 1996, the nature reserve was set up to protect the animal, and the reserve was upgraded to a national one in 1997.
Currently, over 70 people are employed by the Hol Xil National Nature Reserve's administrative bureau to patrol the mountains for animal protection, and over 90 percent of them are of Tibetan ethnicity.
The population of the Tibetan antelopes increased over the years thanks to intensive protective efforts, and Hoh Xil currently has more than 60,000 antelopes.
Peking University's professor Lyu Zhi has focused on the study of ecology of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. She said the successful inscription meant that stricter protection measures would roll out to protect the plateau.
Li Xiaonan, chief of the administrative bureau of Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve said laws and regulations concerning the protection of Hoh Xil would be further improved. More environmental education activities will be organized to heighten protection awareness.
Wang Lianbang, vice head of the housing and construction bureau of Yushu, said successfully entering the world heritage list would bring more opportunities to the scientific research of Hoh Xil.
Hoh Xil is considered a living laboratory of earth and changes in temperature, precipitation, icebergs and frozen soil in this area have global implications, according to Wang.
Local Tibetans have also benefited from the upgrade in status, which was started in 2014.
In Zhidoi County and Qumarleb County located within the heritage site, mud houses of villagers have been turned into prefab ones, and gravel roads have been replaced by cement roads.
Herder Jamba Cering said: "For our herders living here for generations, we will always keep alive our awe of nature and carry on our efforts to protect wildlife."
Lodro Cering is looking forward to more people joining his league to protect the ecological system of Hoh Xil.
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