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Sub-anchor: Volunteers protecting rare ducks


10-08-2016 12:45 BJT

We now have Han Bin in the studio.

Q1. Tell us what’s the latest on the ducks.

The volunteers told me that as the temperature drops, the ducks are leaving the lake within two weeks. From their monitoring, the remaining ducks are safe, as volunteers continue patrol the lake on a daily basis. Recently, they have raised 80 thousand yuan, planning to build a protection fence in the key areas of the duck’s habitat. But these efforts could be in vain as construction is speeding up, and there's a new possible plan to transform the wetland into a water pond or a sort of water park.

Two weeks ago, China’s Wanda Group signed a 20 billion yuan deal with the local government, to develop the lake’s surrounding areas into a new entertainment tourist spot. The Wanda Group is known for buying Hollywood’s Legendary Entertainment in January. It sees Urumqi’s potential value with China’s Belt and Road initiative. The volunteers have mobilized one of China’s NGOs, to write Wanda an official letter, asking the company not to damage the natural habitat. So far, they haven’t got any reply. The ducks and their home have become a new focal point for different interest groups.

Q2. You have been covering urbanization for years. Tell us more about the challenges in balancing development and eco-protection.

China’s rapid development has brought about many environmental problems. And I hope the rare ducks will not become another victim. It’s too early to predict the fate of the ducks, given the competing interests. But I strongly believe that something needs to be done before it’s too late. The case of white-headed duck is sadly typical of how humans treat nature. There’ve been numerous cases where people sacrifice the eco-system to development. It’s not the question of saving a couple of ducks; it’s an important question of how we treat nature and the future. How Wanda develops the land around the lake deserves the attention of the whole society.

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