WWF invests $5.9 mil to protect panda habitat

Posted on 13 January 2010

Chengdu, China – The World Wide Find for Nature (WWF) will invest US$5.9 million over the next three years to help protect panda habitat in China.

The plan is an extension of the global conservation group’s Green Heart of China project, which covers important panda habitat across four mountain ranges in the western provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi.

“One of the main goals of this project is to integrate all giant panda habitats into a fluid network to help protect the forests, grasslands, wetland, lakes and species that are crucial to their survival,” said WWF-China Country Representative Dermot O’Gorman.

"The only way we are going to protect the long-term security of the giant panda is to ensure that the existing habitat remains of high quality."

New “panda corridors” between the existing 66 reserves are part of the plan, which will help the engendered animals move around their increasingly fragmented habitat with more ease.

WWF will also continue to work with local governments to reduce the impact of infrastructure development, tourism and other threats to panda habitats, as well as expand alternative livelihood projects to reduce the impacts local residents have on the environment.

There are close to 1,600 pandas living in the wild, with the largest concentration found in the in the southwestern province of Sichuan. Smaller populations are also found in Gansu province and northern Shaanxi province.

At present, 71 per cent of the giant panda population and 57 per cent of their habitat is under protection.

For more information please contact

Chris Chaplin, Communications Officer, WWF-China
+86 10 6511 6237, cchaplin@wwfchina.org

About WWF China

In 2010, WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) celebrates 30 years of conservation work in China. As the world’s largest independent organization dedicated to the conservation of nature, we have developed innovative programmes that encourage the protection of biodiversity, sustainable development, and footprint reduction in regions across the county including the Yangtze River, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Mekong River, and the Amur-Heilong River Basin. Our major achievements include helping the Chinese government establish a network of more than 60 giant panda reserves, setting up the central and lower Yangtze wetland conservation network, encouraging the sustainable use of forests, the publication the China’s first footprint report, and the launch of China’s pioneering low carbon demonstration cities, Baoding and Shanghai.

For recent news from WWF-China, visit www.wwfchina.org