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by Xinhua writers Cheng Lu Phillies Carlos Santana Jersey , Li Linhai and Liu Hongming

XINING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- It's hard for Tashi Sangye to characterize his zeal in protecting the ecology of the Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau - one of the cleanest areas left in the world.

But the 45-year-old lama monk knows, due to rapid tourism development and climate change, environmental degradation is now a significant issue facing the plateau, an area of incredible natural beauty.

He also sees fewer local children capable of naming the animals and plants surrounding them because of a lack of educational resources.

It was these combined observations that spurred Tashi Sangye to initiate the "Children of Flowers" program in 2011, he told Xinhua on Friday Phillies Aaron Altherr Jersey , which is International Volunteer Day.

The public welfare program is a collective effort between Tashi Sangye, fellow lama monks and local herdsman to educate the plateau's youth about the unique environment they call home.

Every July and August, Tashi Sangye and other volunteers teach Tibetan kids basic knowledge of the plateau's flowers using stories, songs and games.

"My kids, the name of such white flower is 'lamb flower'. The story goes that they appear after ewes give birth to lambs in the grassland," he told.

"The place where 'lamb flowers' bloom is where I was born; The warmth of mom's sheepskin coat brings me to sleep." He even sings the household song "Mother's Sheepskin Coat" to capture children's attention in remote regions.

Currently Phillies Tommy Joseph Jersey , more than 1,200 local children aged between six and 12 have participated in the program.

For Tashi Sangye's next step, he says he will call on volunteers to educate the children on rare local animals.

"As long as they know them, especially in childhood, they will protect them for a lifetime," he said.

Tashi Sangye was sent to the Palyul Monastery's subsidiary temple in Jigzhi County at the age of 13 by his impoverished parents. Now as a Khenpo Phillies Rhys Hoskins Jersey , a spiritual degree given in Tibetan Buddhism, he has achieved a high social status among local herdsmen.

He loves observing and drawing birds, and has recorded the habits of nearly 400 species.

In 2007, he founded the Nyanpo Yutse ecological protection association, which now has more than 100 volunteers including local herdsmen and lama monks from temples in Jigzhi County.

In addition to teaching knowledge about plants and animals, his group of volunteers also monitor change of mountain snow and lakes on the plateau. They have published eight picture albums in the Tibetan language and mandarin Phillies Nick Williams Jersey , introducing local ecology to the public.

In addition to its residents, the biodiversity of this holy land is also guarded by foreign NGOs and volunteers.

At the same time Tashi Sangye was observing birds around his temple in the 1980s, George Schaller, a senior conservationist at New York-based NGO Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), was beginning his study on plateau wildlife in Changtang, a vast region in northern Tibet where few humans reside.

The first branch of WCS was established in Lhasa in 2007. Over the past seven years Phillies Aaron Nola Jersey , volunteers have inspected one of the planet's most desolate places to protect wildlife and help them live with people in harmony.

"We try to resolve conflicts between humans and wildlife and teach local people how to build a harmonious relation with nature," said Zhao Huaidong who is in charge of WCS's program in western parts of China.

China has more than 46,000 glaciers, mainly on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, that are a major source of the country's largest rivers. But statistics show glaciers on the plateau and surrounding areas have shrunk by 15 percent from 53,000 to 45 Phillies Maikel Franco Jersey ,000 square kilometers over the past three decades.

"The environment of Mount Qomolangma needs more public attention since the shrinking glaciers will damage the balance of global water resources and affect global ecology," said Kang Shichang, researcher with the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Kang is among a group of volunteers and climbers who participate in a yearly clean-up of the area that started in 2004. Each year, they clean up decades old trash that has accumulated on Mount Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest, at altitudes as high as 8 Phillies Mike Schmidt Jersey ,000 meters while encouraging tourists to protect local ecology.

Nationwide there were more than 40 million registered volunteers by the end of November 2013. The figure is expected to exceed 60 million by 2018.

"It shows more people have time and money to do volunteering jobs. Most importantly, they have the consciousness to help others," Tsering Paldron, a Tibetan volunteer, said.

George Schaller once said every inch of land on earth needs to be protected. Tashi Sangye doesn't know him, but it's difficult for those who have lived on the plateau not to share sentiments about the natural beauty surrounding them.

"As a monk Womens Pat Neshek Jersey , it is a kind of Tibetan Buddhism practice to plant a seed in children's heart to seek harmony with nature, protect it, and treat it in awe," he said.

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