The Thirsty Dragon: China Plans Tibetan Conservation Zone To Protect Source Of Great rivers

Via the Shanghai Daily, a report that China is planning to set up an ecological conservation zone on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where the country’s major rivers originate.  As the article notes:

“…The planned national conservation zone covers a 395,000 square kilometer region known as Sanjiangyuan, which is the source of China’s three major rivers – the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers.

The zone will cover 21 counties in four Tibetan autonomous prefectures in northwest China’s Qinghai -Province, as well as the town of -Golmud, a key stop on the way to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

The plan, endorsed at an executive meeting of China’s State Council this week, is aimed at increasing average vegetation coverage in the region by 25 to 30 percent by 2020.

The move is designed to restore the ecosystem in the Sanjiangyuan region and boost residents’ incomes, according to the plan.

A researcher with the Qinghai Academy of Social Sciences described the move as a signal that China is willing to contribute to the global fight against climate change.

“Adequate protection of ecology is a vital issue for China and the world,” said Sun Faping, the academy’s vice president.

The Sanjiangyuan region is known as “Asia’s water tower,” as the rivers arising there reach at least 600 million people.

The region’s fragile plateau ecology has deteriorated over past decades. Pastures have degraded, rats are a frequent nuisance and lakes have shrunk or dried up.

Scientists have blamed the deterioration on global warming and human activity, including overgrazing and a rapid population increase.

In 2005, China launched a 7.5-billion-yuan (US$1.18 billion) -conservation project in the Sanjiangyuan region, with the aim of repairing the ecology and transforming the area into an unpopulated nature reserve.

The project involves the relocation of 50,000 people, mostly Tibetan herdsmen, as well as clean energy development and the reclamation of croplands.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 19th, 2011 at 9:17 pm and is filed under China, Tibetan Plateau, Yangtze River, Yellow River.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

Comments are closed.

© 2023 Water Politics LLC .  'Water Politics', 'Water. Politics. Life', and 'Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty World' are service marks of Water Politics LLC.