China is home to the world’s largest tire industry, and the requisite expansion of rubber plantations is on pace to destroy Xishuangbanna, China’s richest ecosystem of flora and fauna.
Three decades ago, jungles and high mountain forests covered 70% of Xishuangbanna; however, by 2003, that proportion shrunk to less than 50 percent. Scientists project an unchecked expansion of rubber plantations remains possible as long as rubber prices keep rising and the government does not intervene.
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