What did humankind do in 2020 to make the world better for all species?

Our increasing human population and activities have caused the erosion of biodiversity. Simultaneously, the worsening environment, depletion of natural resources and loss of biodiversity have become intimately intertwined with our health and well-being. The relationship between humankind and animals is the key to nature preservation. In this article, CGTN summarizes some of 2020's best news about humankind's efforts to live in harmony with animals in the hope of shedding some light on the issues and how they relate to the future.

Chinese scientists and researchers are looking to big data and crowdsourcing to shore up bird conservation and interest along China's coast. 

The Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) launched the iBirding app in Beijing in June 2020. The app will allow amateur birdwatchers and professional researchers to contribute to science by recording their bird sightings.

Singapore destroyed ivory worth millions of dollars to curb the rampant poaching of elephants and prevent the stockpile from re-entering the market. Dealing with stockpiles of seized wildlife products has become a contentious issue among governments. While most countries spend millions to store and protect seized wildlife products, countries like Singapore destroy them after completing the legal proceedings.

For one and a half million years, the Iberian lynx ranged far and wide across the peninsula and southern France. However, by the turn of the millennium, there were none left in Portugal. The Iberian Lynx Portuguese Conservation Action Plan, the National Center for Reproduction in Captivity of the Iberian Lynx (CNRLI) was created in Algarve's São Bartolomeu de Messines to reintroduce the animals in Portugal. Since 2010, 136 animals have been born in this center, of which 101 cubs survived. Eleven cubs were born in 2020, and they are being prepared for introduction.

Mozambique inaugurated a new national park, the Chimanimani National Park (PNC), in the central province of Manica in October as part of the government's efforts to protect the ecosystem, biodiversity, flora and water resources of the Chimanimani mountain range in that province. It is the only habitat in the world for at least 73 species of plants and several rare mammals.

Kaavan, dubbed the "world's loneliest elephant" after languishing alone for years in a Pakistani zoo, was transported to a sanctuary in Cambodia where it can find the much-needed company of other elephants.

Egypt's national project to expand mangrove forests was launched in April and will plant 210 hectares of mangrove trees along the Red Sea coast in Hamata, Safaga and Shalateen areas, as well as Nabq Nature Reserve in South Sinai Province. It's the only country along the Red Sea coast that has established nurseries to cultivate mangrove seedlings.

China aims to further increase its forest coverage to 24.1 percent by 2025, which will contribute to the country's carbon neutrality goal, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) said in December. The country has hired over one million impoverished people to take part in its afforestation and conservation campaign.

A Sumatran tigress named Corina was released in the Semenanjung Forest by environmental officials after her health observations were taken in Kampar, Riau province, Indonesia, on December 20, 2020. The Sumatran tiger, the smallest of the tigers, is a subspecies of tiger native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

In addition to 66.7 hectares of unreaped rice, 33 hectares of lotus root fields and gorgon fruit farms by the Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake, have been left unharvested this year, as local authorities and wildlife conservationists joined efforts to increase the food stock for wild waterfowl wintering in the lake area. The Poyang Lake has become a winter haven for over 100 species of migratory birds in east China.

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