China just announced that it has secured over $1.6 billion in funding for a massive panda reserve that will help the animals recover their numbers in the wild. The Giant Panda National Park will cover 10,000 square miles – twice as big as Yosemite Park and three times as big as Yellowstone – of mountainous wilderness where pandas can breed and live without human encroachment.
This reserve may border northwestern Yunnan.
One silver lining in Xi's unanimous second-term vote is that he's got the back of the environment & wildlife...
if pandas could vote, they'd reelect him for a 3rd term in '23, bamboo stamping notwithstanding.
Newsflash! President Xi is now Emperior Xi. He is now president for life.
'secured' funds? I doubt anyone will be objecting
Fine for the pandas, but I think creating and maintaining such reserves have a larger importance.
@Dolphin If true, this is great news! But, I'm skeptical. Could you please cite your source of this news.
It has been all over the Chinese news. The money has been put up by one of the big banks, maybe with some arm twisting. It will be good branding for them nationally and globally. In UK we had 'The Listening Bank' ,'The Bank That Likes to Say Yes' , in China they will have the bank that likes to save pandas, or some such slogan.
Okay I found it the The Guardian:
Looks like the cost will be much more for some Chinese:
"The proposal may be less popular among the 170,000 people living in Sichuan that (State news agency) Xinhua says will have to be moved to accommodate the park. Although many families have lived in these areas for generations, the threat they pose by bamboo harvesting and livestock grazing are deemed to necessitate their removal."
The Guardian link you provided was published in March of last year. The updated Guardian story on this was published just 11 days ago:
"Zhang Weichao, a Sichuan official involved in the park planning, told the state-run China Daily the agreement would help alleviate poverty among the 170,000 people living within the project’s proposed territory."
Whether or not rural inhabitants receive assistance depends on how strict the state monitors & enforces the allocation of funds at the provincial/local level, otherwise, mere lip service or worse... a repeat of Wenchuan '08 misappropriation of funds.
In addition to protecting the environment, President Xi promises to tackle poverty in rural China, as well as corruption.
So we'll see.
From what I have seen in Chinese news (or propaganda) as of late, the tendency seems to continue to be to move people from impoverished areas elsewhere and build new houses/towns for them (that all look alike), even without pandas or other wildlife to claim their old environment.
So I would bet that the government does not miss the opportunity to actually provide better housing for these 170 000 people, and make it as public as possible.
A bigger question in my opinion is whether the peasants find other necessities like land to farm or employment.
In many ways I would draw a comparison in this to native American reservations in USA back in the day. At least the Chinese government should note the risks.