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China-Russia joint efforts on Siberian tiger, Amur leopard protection bear fruit

China

China

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China-Russia joint efforts on Siberian tiger, Amur leopard protection bear fruit

2024-05-18 20:45 Last Updated At:21:27

The population of wild animals inhabiting along the China-Russia border has experienced a significant growth over the past year, thanks to a series of protection measures jointly implemented by Chinese and Russian conservationists, including setting up passages along the border for animals to migrate freely.

As one of the world's most endangered species, Serbian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, mainly lives in Russian Far East and the northeast region of China, with its main habitat in Hunchun, an area near the border between the two countries.

In recent years, China and Russia strengthened cross-border protection cooperation and jointly carried out monitoring and patrolling of tigers and leopards in Northeast China.

The two countries recently launched cooperation to jointly create animal passages to allow the free movement of tigers and leopards across the China-Russia border.

"We have been working with the border administration and opened 290 crossings for animals in the eastern part of the national park along the China-Russian border. Specifically, we've opened up a gap every few hundreds meters along the wire fence on the border of China and Russia, so that wild animals can cross China-Russia borders through the channels. In this way, the population of wild animals inhabiting on the border can be expanded," said Feng Limin, a professor with College of Life Sciences of Beijing Normal University.

Since the animal passages were opened up two years ago, numerous wild animals have moved freely between China and Russia, a benefit for barrier-free gene exchange and offspring breeding.

"We found that the wild animals used those passages at least 30,000 times over the past year, and at least 20 different Siberian tiger individuals crossed the China-Russia border, which is quite exciting. It plays an important role in the rapid growth of tiger and leopard populations in the border area of China and Russia," said Feng.

In the past five years, China and Russia maintained friendly cooperation in ecological protection, established a number of joint protection and joint monitoring systems, and opened up cross-border animal passages, creating a new cooperation model for the protection of cross-border endangered wildlife and the building of a community for human and natural life.

"Under the joint protection of China and Russia, the populations of Siberian tigers and Amur leopards began to grow, and other species such as sika deers moved freely between the two countries, which has sped up their population recovery and provided a good start and example for China and Russia to strengthen cooperation on ecological protection and carry out corridor construction," said Feng.

China-Russia joint efforts on Siberian tiger, Amur leopard protection bear fruit

China-Russia joint efforts on Siberian tiger, Amur leopard protection bear fruit

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Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

2024-06-20 02:18 Last Updated At:06:17

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war in a series of prohibited indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, according to a report issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office on Wednesday.

Released during the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the report details six notable attacks targeting Gaza's residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market between Oct 9 and Dec 2, 2023, which involved the suspected use of GBU-31, GBU-32 and GBU-39 bombs.

"The report details six emblematic attacks involving the suspected use of GBU-31s, or 2,000-pound bombs, GBU-32 1,000-pound bombs, and GBU-39, 250-pound bombs from the 9th of October to the 2nd of December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market," said Jeremy Laurence, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at a press briefing in Geneva.

GBU-31, 32 and 39 bombs are mostly used to penetrate through several floors of concrete and can completely collapse tall structures. Given how densely populated the areas targeted were, the use of an explosive weapon with such wide area effects is highly likely to amount to a prohibited indiscriminate attack, the report finds.

The OHCHR has reported that at least 218 deaths have been confirmed as a direct consequence of the six attacks. However, it cautioned that the actual death toll is likely to be significantly higher.

"The report concludes that these Israeli strikes indicate that the IDF may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war. In this connection, it notes that unlawful targeting when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, in line with a State or organizational policy, may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity," said Laurence.

The report also says that such unlawful targeting may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity.

"Israel's choices of methods and means of conducting hostilities in Gaza since the 7th of October, including through the extensive use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated areas, have failed to ensure that they effectively distinguish between civilians and fighters," said Laurence.

"It became very clear to us that the nature of weapons that were used, especially on a wide area, that have a wide area effect, is extremely dangerous in the context of Gaza, and we have been saying this, in several reports and statements, that Gaza is a very densely populated area. And in these six incidents, we had sufficient information to demonstrate, the civilian casualties, both in terms of the deaths as well as injuries, and where we felt that the principles of international humanitarian law, particularly precaution, distinction, proportionality, were not necessarily followed," said Ajith Sunghay, an official with the OHCHR in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Although the report primarily focuses on Israel, it also highlights that Palestinian armed groups have continued to fire rockets indiscriminately towards Israel, inconsistent with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

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