Saturday, July 7, 2007

Currently the most polluting country in the world, but with pandas...

China's economy is growing with double digits, China's wealthy are getting wealthier, China is now the most polluting country in the world, China will be the next 'superpower', etc. That's all you read now about China. But then a question hit me, a question which gave China a lot of news coverage years ago before this whole 'boom' took off; how about the pandas??

Even though China has problems such as the overheating economy, the undervalued currency, WTO disagreements and heavy pollution, they have managed to turn around the fate of the giant panda. For many of us probably a symbol of China and of course the logo of WWF. According to the latest research the wild pandas in China are doing much better than we thought! Instead of 1,000 pandas recently thought to be living in the wild, recent estimates from 2006 show there probably are currently as many as 3,000 pandas living in the wild. Two decades ago there were 13 panda reserves in China, in 2006 there were 40. Thanks to a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation, a large portion of the pandas' natural habitat has been placed under protection. However, pandas are still an endangered species according to the WWF and much work needs to be done to get them off that list. But it looks as though their future is definitely a lot brighter than a decade ago. Good news is nice now and then isn't it? :)

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