Experts urge more protection for fossils in China

Ancient fossils need more protection, experts said at an on-going paleontology conference in south China.

Experts urge more protection for fossils in China
Fossilized dinosaur skull from northwestern China [Credit: National Geographic]
Shan Huachun, vice director of the China Fossil Preservation Foundation (CFPF), said China's fossils are being damaged by illegal excavation.

"Despite China's preservation efforts, illegal excavation is still rampant and is causing great damage to fossil resources. The government needs to do more," she said at a CFPF working conference being held in the city of Guilin in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

A fossil preservation regulation that requires government approval before engaging in fossil excavation was promulgated on January 1, 2011.

But Shan said the regulation is not enough, adding that the government should learn from the international community in making a more comprehensive legal system for fossil preservation.

Wang Yuan, curator of the Paleozoological Museum of China, said raising public awareness will be instrumental in protecting fossils.

He said most people don't know what fossils are and engage in excavation that inevitably damages fossils.

"Fossil researchers should enhance their communication with the public so that the latter can come to understand what fossils are and learn to protect them," he added.

Shan said the government should work with non-government organizations to boost public awareness of the importance of fossil preservation in order to protect the fossils.

Source: China Daily [May 25, 2013]

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