CHENGDU, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The Sichuan branch of Bank of China plans to offer a loan of at least 10 billion yuan (1.57 billion U.S. dollars) to help poor people living in areas to be included in a planned national park for giant pandas.
The fund, to be used in a variety of poverty alleviation projects, will be offered between 2018 and 2023, according to an agreement signed in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province on Tuesday.
The projects include collaborations between Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and the governments of 19 counties to be included in the park.
Last year, China announced a plan to set up the giant panda national park spanning three provinces -- Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu -- to help the endangered animals move around and strengthen their gene pool, which will allow ease of movement for pandas currently living in isolated areas on six mountains in the provinces.
The park will cover 27,134 square kilometers, three times the area of America's Yellowstone National Park.