The rape of Yunnan

Check out Running Dogs’ depressing post on the environmental carnage being inflicted on China’s surreally gorgeous province of Yunnan.

The figures are stark. 70% of the province’s natural habitats have been lost, according to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). 73 plants included in the Key National Protected Wild Plants List can no longer be found. The virgin forest coverage of Xishuangbanna has dropped by 27%, with little hope of recovery. Most of the cropland has been saturated with chemical fertilizers, the rivers are in more and more trouble, and the air quality in the big cities is getting worse and worse, the report says.

I’m making it my vow to get to Yunnan within the next 8 months. Everyone I know who has been there tells me it is one of God’s great gifts to the planet, with scenery of such breathtaking beauty it scarcely seems real. Leave it to China’s current leaders to rob us of this splendor.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

I’ve been there several times, it’s generally speaking, too overcommercialized right now, like all other famous scenic spots in China nowadays.

October 27, 2004 @ 9:33 pm | Comment

To Crazy Taiwanese hippie:
it depends…Yunnan is pretty big, I think you must have not travelled around it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been to Xishuangbanna, Dali. They were both great. And there are some other good choices: Lijiang is a good place and deserves a look. Oh…and Shangrila!!! If you go to Zhongdian, you will see the Shangrila on the Earth, I haven’t been there though. My mum has been working there for one year until she could not stand the altitude striss. But it would be OK for short-term tourists. It was really gorgeous.

October 27, 2004 @ 10:32 pm | Comment

Yeah, I know what you mean, I’ve been there, the mountainis great,the snow , the yak and all that. And the cuisines and Saguaro Cactus Fruit are great too, and I didn’t even have to buy bottled water there, there’re so many natural springs there I can take freely.

But people are getting more&more mercenary and the environment is deteriorating rapidly. The smog produced by burnign coal is sometimes unbearable. The garbage produced by visitors is polluting the lakes and rivers. Most local residents have no idea about environment protection. The local Gov.’s attempts to enforce the law more often than not are conpramised by the urge to boost local economy . Though they are promoting “eco-turism” , but I’m not sanguine about that.

October 28, 2004 @ 12:10 am | Comment

Try the Nu River Prefecture in the northwest of Yunnan. Largely untouched, apart from a narrow road winding along the banks of the river itself. Beautiful scenery, and if the power companies have their way, the scenery will be gone within a decade.

October 29, 2004 @ 2:03 am | Comment

I recommend Yuanyang in South-East Yunnan. The terraced rice fields there are absolutely stunning but still not that well known.

October 29, 2004 @ 8:07 am | Comment

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