BEIJING • Unesco is due to vote on China's effort to secure special recognition for a vast, traditionally Tibetan region.
But a Tibet advocacy group is challenging China's bid for Unesco Heritage Site listing, arguing that the designation would disrupt the lives of nomads on its fragile lands.
The region, known as Hoh Xil or Kekexili, is part of the high-altitude plateau in Qinghai province and is twice the size of Belgium.
The International Campaign for Tibet - which is critical of China - is trying, at a minimum, to delay consideration of the application to address concerns over development plans for the region.
It fears a listing could bolster China's efforts to resettle tens of thousands of pastoralists from the plateaus into villages, while threatening the environment in general.
"This controversial nomination would signify Unesco endorsement of China's forced relocation of Tibetan nomads, who have protected the grasslands and wildlife for centuries," said Mr Matteo Mecacci, president of the Tibet organisation.