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Friday, 5 June 2020, 15:38 HKT/SGT
HTSC joins hands with WWF to support 13 local teams in protecting biodiversity in the Yangtze River region

HONG KONG, June 5, 2020 - (ACN Newswire) - HTSC (Stock Code: 6886:HK; "The Company"), The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the One Planet Foundation Shenzhen (OPF) jointly launched the "One Yangtze River Wildlife Conservation Microfund" project (hereinafter referred to as the "Microfund") in December 2019. As 5th June is celebrated as World Environment Day every year, today marks the first World Environment Day for Microfund. This year's theme is "Time for Nature" and focuses on biodiversity. According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, about 70% of viral pandemics in human history have emerged from animals. In 2020, COVID-19 has cast its shadow all over the world, reminding people that our health is closely linked to nature, and that rebuilding harmony between mankind and nature will require the joint efforts of the global community.

Microfund's aim is to support and promote the protection and biodiversity of the middle and lower regions of the Yangtze River. By providing funds to NGOs, the gaps in protection for some underpublicized and endangered species are being filled. In addition, the launch of Microfund is propagating the public support for local NGOs involved in the protection of biodiversity. Following the applications, reviews, and defense processes, 11 protection projects involving 13 local teams, including Fudan University, have been chosen as the first recipients of the Microfund's grants.

Funded projects / Related Species / Project collaborator
Construction of the Three-party "University-Community-Avian Alliance" for Avian Ecological Protection / Reed Parrotbill / Shanghai Ocean University
Response and Conservation Management of Urban Mammals within Human Activity: A Case Study of Shanghai / Roe Deer, Racoons etc. / Fudan University
Common Pochard Habitat Restoration and Maintenance in Tianfu National Wetland Park in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province / Common Pochard / Suzhou Forestry Research Institute
Protecting the River of Life, for a Radiant Yangtze River - Protection of the Yangtze River Finless Porpoise / Yangtze River finless porpoise / Environmental Protection Association of Jiangsu University of Science and Technology
Biodiversity Conservation and Public Education in Xiaohongshan, Nanjing / Roe Deer, Racoons etc. / Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo
"Migratory Bird Hospital 2.0" Project in Duchang Migratory Bird Reserve Community / Cygnet / Jiangxi Duchang Migratory Bird Provincial Nature Reserve
Background Investigation on Chinese Merganser Resources in Ganjiang River / Chinese merganser / Green Environment Association of Jiangxi Vocational College of Environmental Engineering
Changde Chinese Merganser Education Project / Chinese merganser / Hunan University of Arts and Sciences Bird Protection Camp
Wuhan Habitat Protection of Rare Water Birds such as the Baer's pochard and Black Stork / Baer's pochard and black stork / Wuhan Bird Watching Association and Wuhan Lakes Volunteers Association
Investigation and Protection of Wild Chinese Pangolin in Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces / Chinese pangolin / Changsha Wildlife Conservation Association, Ganzhou Wildlife Conservation Association
Monitoring and Protection of Wild Elk in East Dongting Lake / Pere David's deer / Hunan East Dongting Lake National Nature Reserve Administration

Lighting up the Yangtze River
The Yangtze River is one of the top 10 most biodiverse rivers on earth. The region is known to support 424 species of fish, 280 species of mammals, 762 species of birds, 145 species of amphibians and more than 14,000 species of fauna and flora. Since it is a shared home to a rich and diverse spread of wildlife and 476 million Chinese people, maintaining the ecological balance and lasting vitality of the whole valley is of utmost importance. However, poaching, pollution, overfishing, habitat destruction and unsustainable human activities are increasingly threatening the survival of wildlife throughout the basin.

Lei Gang, chief scientist of WWF's Freshwater Project, introduced that HTSC and the OPF have launched Microfund and aligned themselves with WWF to help protecting rare and endangered species that have, until now, been somewhat unpublicized. He added that protecting the Yangtze River and restoring the ecological standing of the region were now more important than ever. The Microfund supports 11 representative species of the Yangtze River Basin area, including the now threatened Baer's pochard and the endangered Chinese pangolin. It is hoped that this initiative to protect and restore the habitats of the region's representative species will serve as an impetus for future innovative ideas in the promotion of biodiversity conservation projects.

Multiple efforts contribute to the future of the Yangtze River
As the Yangtze River flows through 19 provinces and cities, biodiversity conservation requires efforts from a multitude of regions and parties, to achieve long-term and sustainable development. The first batch of projects funded by Microfund encompasses four provinces and one city along the middle and lower regions of the Yangtze River, including Shanghai, Jiangsu, Hunan, Hubei, and Jiangxi. The project teams are comprised of staff from academic institutions, front-line administrative units, university societies, city zoos and local NGOs, among others. In addition to providing financial support, Microfund also provides technology and project-planning support to facilitate the growth of local efforts, while helping preserve biodiversity.

The project teams will conduct biodiversity surveys, monitoring patrols, community co-management, habitat improvement and will engage with the public to participate in environmental education on location.

HTSC has long been committed to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Yangtze River Basin. As its "One Yangtze River" project has constantly strengthened, an ever mobilizing, united and diversified protection force is under way to serve the "Yangtze River Protection" national strategy. HTSC will also give full play to its professional advantages, continue to consign itself to responsible investment and green finance, actively respond to current social ecological security and biodiversity protection concerns, and leverage more resources to contribute to a better future for harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

Background information:
Since 1999, WWF has been committed to the protection of fresh water in the Yangtze River Basin, and has carried out a great deal of work in the fields of species conservation, connectivity between rivers and lakes, wetland conservation and restoration, and environmental flow, with remarkable results. In 2018, HTSC launched the "One Yangtze River" project and joined hands with professional environmental protection NGOs to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Yangtze River Basin, as well as to carry out biodiversity monitoring, community protection, garbage collection, public education and other work.

Topic: Press release summary Sectors: Daily Finance, Daily News
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