Episode Five in the BBC Science and Nature series "Wild China"
China's heartland with its Han people is the centre of a 5,000-year-old civilization. This land contains the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, and Beijing's Olympic Stadium and is home to some of China's most charismatic creatures such as the giant panda, golden snub-nosed monkey, and golden takin.
China has undergone significant development in the past 50 years, bringing many environmental problems. The programme explores the deep, complex and often extraordinary relationship between the Chinese peoples, their environment and its creatures, and finds out what it means for the future of China.
Watch Documentary - Wild China - Land of the Panda
This Fourth episode features central China,home to the Han Chinese.They're the largest ethnic group on Earth ,& their language Mandarin the most widely spoken.This looks at how the relationship between people & wildlife has changed over time.Ancient Chinese beliefs placed great importance in the harmonious co-existence of man & nature.At the beginning of China's period of rapid economic growth,this ideal was largely forgotten.A number of political references contrast the more enlightened environmental policies of the current gov't with those under Chairman Mao, which led to widespread degradation.The Chinese alligator & crested ibis are 2 species saved from extinction by direct intervention.Other animals have benefited from ancient spiritual beliefs & customs which live on, promoting respect & reverence for wildlife:the yellow weasels & Mandarin ducks of Beijing are 2 such creatures.However,wildlife is still threatened by illegal poaching for food & traditional medicine.West of Beijing lie the fertile lands of the N.China Plain & the Loess plateau,source of the Yellow River.Increased demand for water has changed the river's flow, & soil erosion causes dust storms w/c reach the capital.Further west,the Qinling Mt.'s are a refuge for some of China's rarest species including the takin,golden snub-nosed monkey & giant panda. Giant panda courtship & mating is shown, filmed for the first time in the wild.In the colourful lakes of Jiuzhaigou, unique fish swim amongst forests preserved underwater