Tibet encourages public to improve conservation

Tsultrim Tharchin works as an animal protector at a national reserve in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. He is not only an animal lover, but an expert in Tibetan antelope.

“This is the season when Tibetan antelopes give birth, and I usually start my day early to patrol the reserve, observe once endangered species and see if they need help,” Tsultrim Tharchin said.

The Serling Tso Lake National Nature Reserve in Xainza County now employs 42 animal welfare workers, including Tsultrim Tharchin, each receiving a monthly payment of 3,000 yuan (approximately US $ 464).

According to official data, Tibet has provided 700,000 jobs for local farmers to jointly protect the regional ecological environment, creating a total income of 4 billion yuan for them since 2016.

Tibet continues to be one of the best places in the world for the environment, maintaining stable environmental quality in 2020, according to a report from the region’s ecology and environment department.

By the end of 2020, Tibet had built 47 nature reserves covering an area of ​​412,200 km², which is more than a third of the region’s total, the report notes.

Improving the environment has also benefited the local economy. Last year, the number of visits to Tibet reached over 35 million. An increasing number of households in the region have taken advantage of the flourishing tourism industry and have seen their annual per capita income increase by more than 10,000 yuan.

Local authorities are also encouraging public efforts to improve ecological environmental protection, employing local farmers to work as rangers, forest park wardens, grassland supervisors and township environmental supervisors.

Phu Tsering has worked for years to protect the forests and mountains of Tsashol County, Maizhokunggar County, Lhasa City.

Over a decade ago, local farmers still relied on firewood to prepare their meals and warm during winters. So they used to climb in the mountains to cut down trees. Wildlife, such as black-necked cranes and red deer, were sometimes hunted by poachers, the forest keeper said.

Due to the massive size of the reserve, Phu Tsering typically patrols for dozens of hours each day to deter those who intend to cut down trees. He also regularly gives courses on the importance of environmental protection in the villages around the reserve.

“Protecting the nature reserve is safeguarding our own living environment,” said Phu Tsering, adding that his years of hard work are worth it as long as it pays off.

Nowadays, the protection of the ecological environment is widely recognized in Tibet by the local people. More and more breeders have become custodians on the plateau and have benefited from the work.