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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 01:14 GMT
Plans to protect Bhutan's bio-diversity

The World Wildlife Fund and the government of Bhutan have signed an agreement to promote conservation in the Himalayan kingdom.

The agreement, which was signed in Chicago and also involves the city's Field Museum, calls for a 10-year survey of Bhutan's unique wildlife.

It also envisages establishing a biodiversity museum and research centre and will offer educational programmes for Bhutanese students.

Bhutan has managed to preserve about 72% of its forest intact and is counted by the WWF as one of the world's outstanding eco-regions.

The country is also home to some of the rarest animal species, including the clouded leopard and red panda.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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