A court in Southwest China's Sichuan Province recently accepted a case accusing a company's mining operations of damaging a giant panda habitat in a national reserve.
The Guangyuan Intermediate People's Court in Guangyuan, Sichuan sent a notification on Monday to the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, a Beijing-based nonprofit public foundation that filed the lawsuit.
The foundation found there were quarries in the core area of the Sichuan Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve, located in Qingchuan county, Guangyuan, the foundation's WeChat account announced.
"The date of the trial is not decided. We will publish the case updates on our WeChat account," a press manager surnamed Wang of the foundation told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Wang was not able to reveal official materials from authorities to the Global Times as of press time as they involve evidence for the case and the trial has yet to be held.
Zhao Huawen, founder of the Eudemonia Bank, a Chengdu organization dedicated to protecting the pandas, told the Global Times that the sentence in the case must bring severe punishment as the quarries have seriously damaged the pandas' habitat.
"Human activities like mining in panda habitats and reserves seriously affect their survival and reproduction," Zhao said.
"It is impossible for a company to open a quarry there without the permission of the local government," Zhao said, suggesting the alleged corruption will eventually destroy the pandas' habitat.
The reserve's management office denied that there was such a quarry in the reserve.
Covering an area of 40,000 hectares, the Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve is home to about 39 wild giant pandas, according to data posted on its official website in 2013.