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EditPhoto Title:Sacred Lands
EditPhoto Description:The meeting of nature and culture in China
EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_60116949.jpg
EditImage Description:Local Tibetan man in Tagong, Sichuan Province, China
EditPhoto Credit:© William Crosse
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Chinese culture has long recognized the beauty and power of nature. Now, traditional conservation values are being incorporated into China’s modern environmental regulations.


Prayer flags are a common sight in China’s Sichuan Province. Symbols of faith for Tibetan Buddhists, they also mark the boundaries of areas protected by local tradition and knowledge. Tibetans consider certain natural sites such as forests, mountains and lakes to be sacred. These lands are critical to all of China for the important benefits they provide — including fresh water, clean air and sanctuaries for giant pandas and golden snub-nosed monkeys.

So far, these lands have escaped being exploited for their natural resources. But new roads, power grids and dams are beginning to threaten wildlife and destroy forest cover.



Our role

The Sacred Lands conservation project preserves and revitalizes key areas for conservation. Capitalizing on the existing conservation ethic, CI and local partners surveyed 67 monasteries to identify more than 200 sacred mountains and lakes. These efforts, in collaboration with governments, monasteries and communities, helped pave the way for local officials to transfer some authority over the sacred lands to monasteries and communities. CI worked with local governments and agencies to provide training for monks and residents in species monitoring and other aspects of conservation.

This successful project now guides our work to form more community-based conservation projects in the field. In Sichuan and Qinghai, the Sacred Lands model has become the basis of land planning, conservation funding and incentive agreements. Environmental education campaigns, such as the “Most Beautiful Chinese Community” campaign, raise awareness and public recognition of Sacred Lands.


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EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_33007794.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Twin Lake (also called Glasses Lake), Li Tang county, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan province, China
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:200
EditText:CI and local partners surveyed 67 monasteries to identify more than 200 sacred mountains and lakes.
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International
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    EditPhoto RenditionID Small:5[Optional]
    EditPhoto RenditionID Webkit:6[Optional]
    EditPhoto RenditionID Medium:7[Optional]
    EditPhoto RenditionID Portrait:8[Optional]
    EditPhoto RenditionID Large:9[Optional]
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