Yunnan a natural choice for UN event
The richness of Yunnan's biodiversity is believed to be one of the reasons why COP 15, a major United Nations gathering on environmental issues, is being held in the southwestern province.
The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, also known as COP 15, is being held in Kunming, the provincial capital, from Monday through Friday.
The framework for post-2020 global biodiversity will be discussed in detail at the meeting, and new, long-term protection goals through 2030 will be established.
The second part of the conference will also be held in Kunming in the first half of next year.
China has some of the greatest biodiversity in the world. Yunnan, which accounts for only 4.1 percent of the country's land area, is the province with the most biodiversity resources in the country.
Qiu Jiang, vice-governor of Yunnan, said the province is one of 36 areas in the world with the most diversity of species.
Yunnan is China's "treasure house of biodiversity", "a kingdom of plants and animals", and "a bank of species' genes", he said during a speech at a forum on global ecological civilization, held in Dali Bai autonomous prefecture on Saturday.
Yunnan has a wide variety of vegetation and ecosystems, with the exception of ocean and desert ecosystems, according to data from the province.
The distance between its southernmost and northernmost points is about 960 kilometers, and the altitude variance is 6,600 meters, giving the province seven different climate conditions, including tropical, subtropical, temperate and highland climates.
With 19,333 types of plants and 2,273 types of vertebrates, Yunnan is home to more than half of the country's species, according to official data. Sixty species of vertebrates and 45 wild plants are under national first-class protection.
Kingdom of rare animals
The province is also home to endangered rare animals, such as the black snub-nosed monkey and the green peafowl.
Yunnan has the largest number of newly discovered species in China. Over the past three decades, a total of 3,718 new species have been discovered in the province, accounting for one-third of all discoveries nationwide.
Yunnan also has the largest number of edible fungi species in the world and is home to Asia's largest flower market, where seven out of 10 fresh-cut flowers in the country come from.
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