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China issues regulations to protect fossil heritage


In a bid to help protect China’s fossil heritage and to help deter illegal
fossil hunting, the State Council has issued new regulations that will take
effect as of the first day of next year.

In a bid to help protect China’s fossil heritage and to help deter illegal fossil hunting, the State Council has issued new regulations that will take effect as of the first day of next year.

The new regulation bans the taking of paleontology fossils that have not yet been identified. It further stipulates that any exhibition of fossils under state protection must be approved by the government before being taken to a foreign country.

Paleontology fossils refer to the body and trace fossils of animals and plants formed and preserved in the earth during any geological period of history. Fossils related to ancient vertebrates and ancient humans in the Quaternary Period are subject to rules of protection of China’s cultural relics.

Wang Shouzhi, Director of Ministry of Land & Resources, said, "Paleontology fossils are important for scientific research on the development of geology and the evolvement of human beings, so it’s significant and necessary to issue stronger legal regulation on the protection of the fossils."

Under the regulation, land and resources authorities of the State Council are entitled to trace and claim paleontology fossils that were illegally transported outside China.

State-owned entities are not allowed to sell, exchange, or give away paleontology fossils to private entities or individuals. Moreover, paleontology fossils are not allowed to be sold, exchanged, given away or pledged to foreigners or foreign-owned organizations.