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Environmental protection in Tibet

The Government of China is committed to ensuring sustainable development and the protection of the environment, across its territory and beyond. The autonomous region of Tibet plays an important role in this endeavor, serving as an important ecological security barrier for China as a whole. On the other hand, protection of the ecology and environment is a key principle underpinning the central and provincial government’s approach to the sustainable development of this region, where important proactive measures are being implemented to mitigate climate change. In order to preserve the unique natural environment of Tibet, 95% of the land surface of the region is protected, with exploitation and development either restricted or forbidden. Thanks to these efforts, in partnership with local communities, progress has been remarkable.

In 2009, the State Council issued The Plan for Ecological Security Barrier Protection and Improvement in Tibet (2008-2030), earmarking 15.5 billion yuan for investment in 10 projects related to ecological protection and sustainable development. Since the adoption of the 12th National Five Year Plan, a total of 2.4 billion yuan has been spent on such projects. Ahead of the adoption of the 13th National Five-Year Plan, the China National Development and Reform Commission issued in August this year the Notification on Formulation of the Plan for Pair-Aid to Tibet’s Economic and Social Development, which clearly sets out conditions regarding the respect of “green development” guidelines, the prioritization of eco-protection, and ensuring that planned projects are designed in line with the capacity of the local resources and environment.

The provincial government of Tibet has also issued regional laws to promote energy saving and circular economy, as well as for the mitigation of climate change. The authorities have taken measures, including establishing an eco-protection subsidy system, to implement these laws. They have also launched key projects on natural forest protection and reforestation in critical areas. Local capacity-building is also a priority: so far under the 12th National Five Year Plan, 5.6 billion yuan has been allocated to environmental protection capacity-building and all local communities in Tibet have set-out plans for comprehensive environmental improvement measures.

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