China will set up a national botanical garden system to strengthen ex-situ conservation of endangered plant species, said the National Forestry and Grassland Administration Thursday.
The system is expected to help the country gradually bring 85 percent of its native wild plant species and all key protected plant types under ex-situ conservation, according to the administration.
Constituted by botanical gardens of various scales, the system will provide an integrated conservation network for wild plants, and play a vital part in China's biodiversity protection.
The regional variation in climate and vegetation will be taken into account for the spatial layout of these botanical gardens, the administration said.
The State Council has recently approved a plan to develop the country's first national botanical garden.
To be situated in Beijing, the Chinese capital, the garden has a planned area of 594 hectares and will focus on plant science research, development of core technologies for plant resources utilization, and the breeding of rare and endangered plant species.
China is one of the countries with the highest plant diversity, providing habitat for over 36,000 types of higher plants. It now has 162 botanical gardens, where 60 percent of the country's native plant types are under ex-situ conservation.