A team of 19 scientists from China, India, Nepal and Bhutan have embarked on a month-long expedition to the Himalayas, which extends through all four countries.
The researchers will compare the geography, physiognomy, geology, ecosystem and economic development of the southern and northern slopes of the Himalayas, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) that has organised the expedition.
One of the team's major tasks is to determine how the resources of the Himalayan region can be better used, so as to support the sustainable development of adjacent Asian countries, said Zhang Wenjing, chief scientist of the team.
The expedition team will work on the northern side of the Himalayas, inside Chinese territory, for one week. They will then leave Chinese territory via Zham in Tibet and begin research on the southern side of the Himalayas.
"This is the first time that Chinese scientists will conduct scientific research on the southern side of the mountains," said Zhang, a researcher with the Chengdu Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment under the CAS.
The Himalayas, the world's highest mountain belt, extends about 2,400 km from east to west. China's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau borders the Himalayas to the north, while India, Nepal and Bhutan lie to the south.