大家好，我是 Kyle Obermann。The China Current特約撰稿人，在這裡我會向您展示「野性中國」。
在中國–老撾邊境線上有一條 500 公里的茂密熱帶雨林。在中國一側，西雙版納的自然保護區保護著大部分野生森林，保護區之外的橡膠樹林面積很大，一直延伸到塵土飛揚的地平線。同時，在老撾一側，零星的小村莊點綴在森林的風景中，只有通過經常發生水災的紅色土路才能進入。
中國貓科動物保護聯盟 (CFCA) 在這裡與老撾當地護林員合作，保護中老邊境的雲豹。疫情爆發前，我和這些護林員在他們的村莊和周圍的叢林中度過了一個星期，尋找雲豹的蹤跡。
Rainforests are hotspots for species richness across the world. And among China’s sweeping canopies, we can learn so much about our world and how to protect it.
Hi, I’m Kyle Obermann, Nature Contributor for The China Current, showing China’s wild side.
The China-Laos border runs along 500km of thick, tropical rainforest. On the Chinese side, the nature reserve at Xishuangbanna protects much of the wild forest, where beyond the reserve rubber tree groves stretch into the dusty horizon. Meanwhile, in Laos, small villages dot the landscape of a forest only accessible by red dirt roads prone to frequent flooding.
This is the setting where the Chinese Felid Conservation Alliance, or CFCA, is working with local Laotian rangers to protect clouded leopards on the China-Laos border. Before the outbreak, I spent a week with these rangers in their village and the surrounding jungle, looking for traces of the leopard.
In the last decade, China has carried out an overhaul of its cities and lands, strongly prioritizing green growth and nature protection. As it successfully protects its own lands and resources, China is beginning to export and share its knowledge and methods with other nations by hosting this year’s international COP15, spreading the idea of ecological civilization, and last month declaring it will stop investing in new coal projects along the Belt and Road Initiative.
On-the-ground green groups have also begun to share their experience with other developing nations. The CFCA began working with Laotian rangers when they suspected that clouded leopards may share habitat between China and Laos and realized that many of the Laotian rangers lacked equipment, experience, and funding. The CFCA now works with Lao partners to research the leopards that frequently cross the man-made country boundaries across the rainforest.
It was the dry season when we entered the rainforest, so water was very scarce during our expedition. We spent over a day hiking and sleeping in the hot jungle with only a few bottles of water. Much of the vegetation was either too thick to go through without a machete or covered in spines. In the evening, we spent the night in the jungle, chopping out a clearing in the brush and simply sleeping on a tarp and sleeping bag underneath the stars with the sounds of nocturnal wildlife surrounding us. The rangers kept us company with good food and song.
The Chinese scientists helped the Laotian rangers pick the best spots in the forest to install infrared trail cameras that would trigger if a leopard or other animal passed. In turn, the Laotian rangers skillfully guided us through the forest and back to the village safely.
Since then, the cameras have caught traces of the clouded leopard on camera. Both the Chinese and Laotians hope that by documenting leopard habitat, they can increase leopard populations in China, and aslow deforestation in Laos.
Borders are human inventions. Nature doesn’t pay attention and often our artificial boundaries can even inhibit or hurt wildlife. This is why as challenges become more systematic and interconnected, cross-border collaboration is essential. China is not only working with Laos and other countries in Southeast Asia, but African nations as well to share and implement best protection measures. This is the kind of collaboration that wildlife and our planet needs and gives hope for the future.