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China is to carry out a systematic research on common problems in world natural heritage protection, according to a meeting held on Dec. 4 in Beijing on natural heritage ecological conservation and management. 

Scientists and experts from about 20 institutions of China are to join the research project led by China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. 

The project will make analysis on typical characters of the natural heritages’ outstanding universal value (OUV), and therefore establish a theory and approach framework for OUV assessment. 

Scientists and experts hope to build a technological system for natural heritage ecological protection through their research, by integrating ecological maintenance, ecosystem conservation and ecological restoration technology. 

China ratified the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of the UNESCO in 1985.  

Up to 2016, China has declared a total of 50 World Heritage sites, second only to Italy’s 51 sites. Among them, 11 are natural heritage sites, 4 are cultural and natural heritage. This makes China also the country with the second greatest number of natural heritage sites. 

“Constant emergence of large-scale serial heritage sites shows that China is paying more and more attention to world heritage declaring. Meanwhile, it also poses challenges to our heritage protection and management,” said YANG Zhaoping, a researcher with the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, also leader of the project. 

The project will adopt technologies such as earth observation, and data assimilation and fusion technology, and build a dynamic monitoring system for the heritage sites. An information platform for natural heritage monitoring and protection will also be established. This platform will cover information from three levels, including the state, the province and the heritage site. 

“We hope that the project will provide strategic orientation, scientific foundation and technological support for natural heritage declaring, and their ecological protection, as well as the harmonious development of tourism and protection,” said YANG. 

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