China's Fragile Forests| 5mins
Director: Sean Gallagher | Producer: Sean Gallagher
Focus Years: 2011 | Country: United States
Natural forests cover about 10 percent of Chinaâ€™s surface area, but few of the forests remain in a primary or pristine condition. These forests are threatened primarily by timber collection, mining, unregulated harvesting of flora for traditional Chinese medicine and excessive development related to increased tourism.
In Chinaâ€™s southern provinces, the mountainous forests that previously covered much of the region have been reduced by about 92 percent.
It is these forests which are home to last of the Giant Pandas, which number only approximately 1600 in the the wild. Progressive habitat destruction has pushed China's most famous species to the brink of extinction.
In 2011, the UNâ€™s official "International Year of Forests", the forests of the southwest of China were classified by Conservation International as one of the worldâ€™s top ten most threatened forest regions.