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CRI听力:Development vs Conservation, a Tricky Question for World Heritage Sites 简介:China currently has 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including two inscribed this summer.Local authorities are always eager to generate income through …
CRI听力:Development vs Conservation, a Tricky Question for World Heritage Sites         ★★★★★
CRI听力:Development vs Conservation, a Tricky Question for World Heritage Sites
作者:ttXyy.com 文章来源:广播英语 点击数: 更新时间:2010-9-26 15:43:28

China currently has 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including two inscribed this summer.

Local authorities are always eager to generate income through such natural and cultural treasures. But given the economic incentive, creating a balance between development and conservation at these sites has become a tricky problem for site managers.

XYee has more.


UNESCO's World Heritage mission was created to reach across borders to protect places of global importance. But the World Heritage emblem in a certain sense has developed into a marketing tool for tourism development, especially in underdeveloped regions.

Some activists even say the World Heritage project harms the very places it seeks to protect.

John MacKinnon, an internationally renowned conservation expert, says Chinese sites on the World Heritage List face various development problems, including infrastructure, restoration and maintenance work.

"The main threat will be tourism. I think if tourism develops very highly, that has to be controlled very carefully. There are sites in China where tourism is definitely threatening and degrading the beauty and naturalness of the sites."

In 1998, UNESCO issued a warning on the urbanization tendency of Wulingyuan, a World Natural Heritage Site in Central China's Hunan Province. These remarks forced the local government to demolish buildings in the scenic area and restore the heritage to its original appearance. The clearance work cost one billion yuan, or 150 million US dollars.
The expensive bill has been a lesson to site managers throughout the country.

The Danxia landscape in southwestern China's Chishui has become the newest member of the prestigious club of World Natural Heritage sites for the irreplaceable beauty of its red cliffs.

Mu Rongkun, a senior city official, says Chishui is improving its service industry facilities and building highways to make the remote area more accessible to tourists.

When asked about the balance between development and conservation, he said he would rather use the term "utilizing" than "developing."

"I think the conservation and utilization of the natural resources are not necessarily contradictory to one another. By utilizing the resources with scientific methods, we can better preserve them. To properly utilize the resources, we will improve the conservation measures, raise people's awareness, and take comprehensive methods to better preserve the natural beauty of the sites. Our ultimate goal is to conserve the resources."

Conservation expert MacKinnon made a field trip to Chishui last year to make an assessment on behalf of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, one of the advisory bodies to the World Heritage Convention.
Mackinnon says he was impressed by how clean the Chishui River was which runs through the city and suggested that the government step in and lay down clear rules and restrains to protect the reserve.

"There are lots and lots of Danxia rock formations in China, but there are not lots and lots clean rivers with damaged Yangtze fish. And that thanks to the Moutai industry (along the upper reaches of the river), there are strict regulations about polluting industries along the river. If they can keep the river clean, they can probably keep the site clean. It's really a matter of the will of the local government."

It seems that the local government in Chishui is moving towards that direction.

Mu Rongkun, the city official, gives an example.

"We have been keeping a close eye on the environmental impacts. We invested a lot in the information-based supervision of the reserve by installing video cameras in the core zone. Even if tourists or workers drop a single cigarette butt in the core zone, our staff will immediately discover their misconduct and deal with the problem."


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