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Oregon cooperation helps spur green action

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-07 10:13

The file photo shows a wind power plant in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Many years of cooperation between Oregon and its sister states in China have inspired the two sides to share information and projects to advance their action on climate challenges.

"We are one planet and the actions taken or not taken by one jurisdiction inevitably affect the other. Global climate action must entail both friendly competition and also productive partnerships," Oregon State Senator Michael Dembrow said at a recent conference in Fuzhou, China's Fujian province.

Dembrow attended the Third China-Oregon Forum on Climate Change and Sustainability during his visit to Fujian on a goodwill mission. The forum, which was also livestreamed for an audience in the United States, brought together officials and researchers from Oregon and its sister states-Fujian province and Tianjin municipality — to explore best knowledge and practices to fight biodiversity loss and climate crisis.

One of the forum's highlights was the signing of a cooperation agreement between Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and Wuyishan National Park in Fujian. It was inspired by last year's conference that placed value on conservation for tourism in the national parks of both countries.

"This is a trend that will continue particularly as we move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic period," said Dembrow.

Proud accomplishment

The two national parks established a sister park relationship seven years ago. "This is a proud accomplishment that I hope will be carried along into the future based on mutual friendship and respect. There is much that we can learn from each other about honoring our heritage," said Crater Lake National Park superintendent Craig Ackerman.

He said national parks and protected areas are unique and sensitive lands in both countries and they can serve as an early warning system to threats from rising temperatures, drought and other human-influenced environmental conditions.

For example, climate change-driven impacts from white pine blister rust and infestations of mountain pine beetles are devastating forests throughout the Cascades and Rocky Mountains of the US, and research is being conducted at Crater Lake on identification and cloning of DNA-resistant species of whitebark pine, said Ackerman.

He said research and mitigation efforts will be shared and that impacts from increasing pressure of public visitation in vulnerable areas are also being investigated in cooperation with other countries, including China.

Under the cooperation agreement with Wuyishan park, "we will seek to encourage exchanges between concerned land managers in China and Oregon", he said.

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