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Save China's Getu National Park

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Save China's Getu National Park


Why this is important

Getu National Park is a part of the South China Karst, a World Heritage site designated by the United Nations, and described as "unrivalled in terms of the diversity of its karst features and landscapes."

In the last two years, Getu National Park's majestic caves have been carved and dynamited, while rare floras in a previously untouched valley have been cut and uprooted. Laid in their places are stairs, bridges, elevators and foundation for hotels and restaurants, all these to make a handful of millionaire developers richer. Not only were the local people denied a share of the profits, their land was expropriated by regional officials eager to enrich themselves through the development.

The tourism office promotes Getu as a World Heritage Site to attract uninformed tourists who are subject to inflated admission fees and an experience removed of natural beauty and the essence of the local Miao ethnic culture.

You, as the UN, have the power to intervene in this all-too-familiar, out-dated model of tourism, which violates the spirit of preservation attached to the naming of these World Heritage Sites. You can suggest to China's central government that all development in this peaceful park shall be suspended pending comprehensive environmental reviews. Transparency must be introduced. Developers must observe all laws related to construction in a national park. Regional officials should be investigated for violations of the law. Finally, local people's petitions for their land rights must be respected and fairly dealt with.

Posted April 18, 2014
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