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Tibet seeks Aus conservation know-how


17:10, April 12, 2013

A Tibetan academic delegation will tour Australia and New Zealand in April, holding dialogues with research institutes on issues as environmental conservation.

The Tibetan researchers will share ideas about ecological management with think tanks and universities in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne this week, before making their way across the Tasman.

Dawa Tsering, a professor at the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences, who Thursday led a discussion at the University of Sydney, said Tibet has already introduced a number of measures for environmental protection.

"Now we have more than 40 different regulations and laws relevant to reserve management, wildlife protection, ecology, construction and environmental protection," Tsering explained.

These strategies include managing 47 nature reserves, converting pastures and farmland to grassland or forest, and constructing an ecological security barrier worth 15.5 billion yuan.

For the past ten years Tibet has also offered compensation to the local people who depend on the forest and grasslands, and as recompense for conflicts between humans and wildlife, Tsering said.

Strategies such as these have allowed endangered species like the Tibetan antelope, wild yak and snow leopard to increase in numbers, but urbanization still threatens the balance between progress and the environment, said Tsering.

"I think every corner of the world today is hit by the so- called modern culture, and in Tibet we are also facing this new challenge of urbanization and how to manage the negative impact on the environment.

"Urbanisation is a reality,and there are impacts on the air pollution, water pollution. This kind of problem is a reality, but we are trying to control it," said Tsering.

Tsering said the delegation was interested in exploring conservation strategies and how they might be adapted and applied in Tibet.

Kerry Brown, Executive Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, said Tibet would likely need to overcome political bureaucracy to carry out environmental reforms.

"I think environmental issues are very political, so it's interesting to hear about how national reform and sustainability agendas are translated into a very specific area which obviously has big challenges of sustainability and equity," said Brown.

Brown also said he welcomed the discussion raised by the delegation as an extension of Australia-China academic collaboration.

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