Illegal mining discovered in China's last remaining green peafowl habitat - Greenpeace

Press release - 2017-07-12
Beijing, 12 July 2017 - Satellite imagery analysis and fieldwork conducted by Greenpeace East Asia have uncovered illegal mining and road construction in the Konglong River Nature Reserve in China’s southwestern Yunnan Province. The protection area forms part of China’s last remaining habitat of the CITES and IUCN Red List endangered green peafowl. The green peafowl’s population in China has fallen to less than 500, and it is listed as a class one protected animal. [1] Outside the reserve, hydropower facilities and agriculture also threaten the green peafowl’s habitat.

Greenpeace East Asia calls for an immediate assessment  of the green peafowl’s habitat and for 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”, said Greenpeace East Asia forests campaigner Yi Lan.

“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.”

The mine, located in the core zone of Konglong River Nature reserve in Shuangbai County, Yunnan Province, is operated by local miner Yinyang Mining Company. The operation includes mine shafts, roads and mining explosives storehouses, the construction of which are all prohibited under China’s Regulations on Nature Reserves, issued by the State Council in 1994. [2] Greenpeace also found that two roads servicing a hydropower project have been built in Konglong River Nature Reserve, one of which extends into the reserve’s core area.

In addition to conducting on-site fieldwork, Greenpeace used data from Global Forest Watch and high resolution remote sensing images from satellites Quick Bird and SPOT 6 to monitor and analyse the green peafowl’s habitat. [3]

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. [4]

Greenpeace calls on Yunnan’s government to initiate an immediate assessment of  the green peafowl population and habitat in Shuangbai and Xinping counties and for ecological red lines to be drawn up based on this investigation to prevent any further threat  to the endangered green peafowl population.

Moreover, as the host country of the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, China should use this opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to protecting endangered species and their habitats via the ecological red lines mechanism.

Notes to Editors:

A media briefing of the report is available HERE. The full report is available (Chinese only) HERE

[1] Wen Yunyan et al., "Monitoring of Green Peacock in Dinosaur River State Nature Reserve", "Forestry Investigation Plan", Vol. 41, No. 4, August 2016.

[2] 《中华人民共和国自然保护区条例http://www.lawinfochina.com/Display.aspx?lib=law&Cgid=10458&EncodingName=gb2312

[3] http://www.globalforestwatch.org/

[4]http://english.gov.cn/policies/latest_releases/2017/02/07/content_281475561612035.htm

Media Contacts:

Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia, Beijing | +86 156 5241 1229 |

Greenpeace International Press Desk, , phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

 

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