Beijing, July 12 (IANS) Greenpeace East Asia on Wednesday said that illegal mining and road construction is going on in the Konglong River Nature Reserve in Chinas south-western Yunnan province.
It said that it uncovered this through satellite imagery analysis and fieldwork.
The Konglong River Nature Reserve forms part of China’s last remaining habitat of the endangered green peafowl.
“The green peafowl’s numbers in China have fallen to less than 500, and it is listed as a class one protected animal,” Greenpeace said in a statement.
It called for an immediate assessment of the green peafowl’s habitat and asked the Yunnan provincial government to delineate ecological protection zones accordingly.
“The mining activity in this area is in flagrant disregard of the law, endangering a protected habitat and contributing to the threat of extinction of one of the world’s rarest birds,” Greenpeace East Asia forests campaigner Yi Lan said.
“The Yunnan provincial government needs to urgently draw up its ecological red lines to protect this internationally important bird. China and the world are watching.”
Greenpeace said it also found that two roads servicing a hydropower project had been built in Konglong River Nature Reserve, one of which extends into the reserve’s core area.
According to the statement, Greenpeace used data from Global Forest Watch and high-resolution remote-sensing images from satellites Quick Bird and SPOT 6, in addition to conducting on-site fieldwork, to monitor and analyse the green peafowl’s habitat.
“Under China’s guidelines on ‘ecological red lines’ issued in February 2017 by the state council, all provinces must draw up ecological protection boundaries by 2018.
“Ecological functions within these boundaries must be protected from exploitation and damaging development,” it said.
Greenpeace called upon Yunnan’s government to initiate an immediate assessment of the green peafowl numbers and habitat in Shuangbai and Xinping counties and “for ecological red lines to be drawn up to prevent any further threat to the endangered green peafowl”.