Feature: Biodiversity conservation goes mainstream in China

While climate change is already a widely discussed topic around the world, biodiversity conservation is less talked about as an environmental theme.

As one of the most bio-diverse countries globally, China is actively promoting the awareness of biodiversity protection among the general public -- with the help of the internet.

Ahead of the World Earth Day, which was observed on Thursday, a discussion on biodiversity conservation featuring internet celebrities and industry insiders was streamed on China's short-video platform Kuaishou, attracting more than 100,000 views and 1 million likes in less than three hours.

Speaking at the event, Tibetan herdsman Tamdrin, who became an internet sensation after his video went viral last year, shared his encounter with nature back in his hometown in Litang County, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

"Lately, I've been learning from books and from nature. I want to tell everyone that there's a lot to learn from nature," said Tamdrin, who is better known by his Mandarin name "Ding Zhen".

A second-grade student with the screen name "smart older sister" delivered a speech on her travel experiences across the world and the friends she met along the way: deer in Nara of Japan and giant panda in Sichuan.

"I once visited an ice cream shop where they sell Earth-flavored ice creams. But, each customer can buy only one ball. Do you know why?" she asked. "Because we only have one Earth," the 7-year-old influencer continued after a brief pause, as the audience burst into laughter.

Organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the event was part of a campaign by the UNDP aimed at raising public awareness of biodiversity protection, especially among young people.

"Biodiversity is fundamental to human well-being and economic growth. Yet, our ecosystems are on the verge of collapse," Beate Trankmann, UNDP resident representative for China, told Xinhua in an interview.

China has taken steps to address the challenges in biodiversity and achieved progress in protecting its wetlands, Trankmann noted.

"China is also making progress in mainstreaming biodiversity, adapting and implementing biodiversity conservation policies in national and local regulations with the support of UNDP," she said.

Biodiversity was also listed as a key theme for the publicity campaign by the Ministry of Natural Resources for this year's Earth Day, along with the widely discussed "carbon neutral" issue.

In October this year, China is scheduled to host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province, where the participating nations are expected to address challenges in biodiversity protection.

"This needs to include taking environmental issues into the heart of economic and financial decision-making and rethinking how public and private finance can co-generate positive effects for biodiversity. As the host, China has an opportunity to push this agenda," Trankmann said.

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