China to build massive $1.5 billion panda conservation area

BEIJING — The Bank of China has pledged at least 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) to create a massive giant panda conservation park in southwestern Sichuan province, the forestry ministry said Thursday.

The Sichuan branch of the central bank signed an agreement with the provincial government to finance the Giant Panda National Park's construction by 2023. The park aims to bolster the local economy while providing the endangered animals with an unbroken range in which they can meet and mate with other pandas in the interest of enriching their gene pool.

The ministry said the park will measure 2 million hectares (5 million acres), making it more than two times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the United States.

Zhang Weichao, a Sichuan official involved in the park planning, told the state-run China Daily that the agreement will help alleviate poverty among the 170,000 people living within the project's proposed territory.

Plans for the park were initiated in January last year by the ruling Communist Party's Central Committee and the State Council, the China Daily reported.

Giant pandas are China's unofficial national mascot and live mainly in the Sichuan mountains, with some in neighboring Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. An estimated 1,864 live in the wild, where they are threatened chiefly by habitat loss. Another 300 live in captivity.

You may also like these

The Latest: Death toll in China's Sichuan quake...

Aug 9, 2017

A local government in southwest China says the death toll from a strong earthquake has risen to 13...

Kevin Kwan: Americans will embrace 'Crazy Rich...

Aug 30, 2017

Kevin Kwan believes America will embrace the "Crazy Rich Asians" movie, which is based on his...

Michelle Yeoh: Weinstein a 'bully,' 'not always...

Oct 17, 2017

Actress Michelle Yeoh says she was aware of Harvey Weinstein's reputation and would have unleashed...

South Korean President Moon in China on visit to...

Dec 14, 2017

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is in Beijing on a visit to repair ties frayed by a dispute over...

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and beyond welcome...

Feb 16, 2018

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and around the world have been celebrating the Lunar New Year Friday

Sign up now!

About Us

Gempak Media delivers the most talked and gempak stories on the Internet to you. Be the first to know about the latest news and don’t forget to share it around.

Contact us: sales[at]gempakmedia.com

Subscribe Now!