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Natural resources

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  Renowned as the Kingdom of Non-ferrous Metals, Yunnan has a complete collection and large reserves of various minerals. Of the 168 kinds of minerals discovered in China, 142 ones can be found in Yunnan.

  The reserves of 54 of these minerals in the Province rank among the top 10 in the country. Moreover,Yunnan comes out in the top three places in China in terms of the reserves of 25 minerals including lead, zinc, tin, phosphorous, copper, and silver. Yunnan is also rich in non-metallic minerals such as limestone, dolomite, halite, marble, and granite.


  Energy resource development in Yunnan Province has huge potentials, in particular in the area of hydropower development. Over 600 rivers in 6 water systems across the province hold 222.2 billion cubic meters of water resources in store. The theoretical hydropower reserve is estimated at 103.64 million kilowatts, the exploitable installed capacity amount to more than 90 million kilowatts and the annual generating capacity is up to 394.45 billion kwh.

  Yunnan enjoys three advantages in developing its hydropower resources: First, natural conditions for constructing large or super large hydropower stations are ideal.Second, the hydropower resources are concentrated in several sites, which makes it easy to work out development plans: Third, it is cost-effective to develop the hydropower resources because it involves less construction works and the economic losses incurred by in inundation is smaller compared with other energy resources.

  Other than hydropower, Yunnan province also enjoys bright prospects for developing its geothermal, solar, wind and other energy resources.For example, with its coal reserve ranking the ninth in the country, Yunnan is

  an important coal industry base in southern China.



  Unique natural environment, time-honored history and cultures, diversified and colorful ethnic folk customs and fascinating border landscape distinguishes Yunnan as an ideal site for tourism development not only for China but also the world. Awaiting tourists in Yunnan are a diversity, of ethnic minority cultures in different localities, mysterious religions and folk customs, and unique architectures, costumes, and cuisine of the minority people. To date, there are 11 state-designated scenic areas, 1 national tourism resort area, 48 provincial-level scenic areas, and 8 provincial resort areas in the province. Apart from these attractions, the province also has 22 national or provincial forest parks, 5 nature reserves, 9 national or provincial cities of historical and cultural significance, and 187 cultural relics.

  Tourism development efforts of Yunnan center around the development of plateau lakes, glaziers, karst formations, volcanoes and hot springs, virgin forest, cultural relics, and ethnic folk customs. Up to now, five major tour routes have taken shape in the province, including: the central Yunnan tour route with Kunming at the core, the Xishuangbanna tropical rain forest tour

  route in the south, the northwest Yunnan highland tour route with Lijiang as the focal point, the western Yunnan border tour route and the southeast Yunnan karst terrain tour route.


  Yunnan has particularly rich geothermal resources with 706

  hot springs of different types distributed in 124 counties.

  About 360 million cubic meters of hot water flow out from

  these hot springs every year and the thermal power discharged is equivalent to that of burning 118.7 tons of coal. It is next only to Tibet in geothermal resources and thus constitutes an advantage for Yunnan to capitalize on for the development of its tourism as well as thermal energy industries.



  Ranked first in China in terms of the number and varieties of wild animals, Yunnan is reputed as the Kingdom of the Wildlife. Yunnan is the habitat of 300 species of animals, or 51.1% of the nation's total. Yunnan is also home to 410 species of freshwater fish, nearly 50% of the total. In addition, there exist 263 species of amphibious reptile and 793 species of birds, which account for 40% and 63.5% of China's total respectively. The abundant animal resources make Yunnan a precious Gene Bank of Animals, which is of great scientific research and development potentials.


  Yunnan boasts the largest variety of plant species in China. Of nearly 30,000 species of higher plants in China, 17,000 or 62.9% of the total, can be found in the province, thus giving Yunnan the reputation of being a Kingdom of Plants. 105 varieties of forests are flourishing here, including tropical rainforests, monsoon forests, and virgin forests. More than 4,000 species of trees are found in Yunnan, of which more than 2,700 are arbor species. A full range of tropical, subtropical, temperate, and frigid plants are growing here. Many of them are antique and rare species or species unique to the province. Yunnan is also endowed with particularly rich bamboo resources~ There are a total of 200 species of bamboo plants in the province and the total acreage amounts to more than 100,000 ha. Besides these, Yunnan has more than 300 varieties of cash crops, including tea, rubber, oil palm, anise, tung tree, cinnamon, and coffee, many of which are unique to the province. Yunnan is also a treasure house of Chinese medicinal herbs. More than 2,000 species of medicinal herbs grow throughout the province, of which 1,250 are herbs in common use. More than 400 are used as raw materials for traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions and pharmaceutical manufacturing~ Because of its varied species; Yunnan is also renowned as the homeland of spices. In total, there are around 400 species of spices belonging to 69 families.

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