The Dongting Lake area in Hunan Province will be restored to a
sustainable biodiversity environment within five to 10 years.
Work on the lake's restoration is being carried out by a
Sino-Norwegian team. Members of the team held a seminar yesterday
in Changsha, capital of Hunan.
The Sino-Norwegian Project of Biodiversity Protection Management
in Dongting Lake started in June 2005. The Norwegian government is
paying 3.6 million yuan (US$479,000) toward it.
"The project is expected to serve as a model and provide experience
for the protection of other major Chinese lakes such as Taihu Lake
and Dianchi Lake," Song Xiaozhi, vice-director of the international
corporation department of State Environmental Protection
The second largest fresh water lake in China, Dongting is also
one of the seven most important wetlands in the world.
"Dongting Lake is of both national and international importance
when it comes to its biodiversity, especially the migration of
birds, including some from Norway. And its ecosystem is related to
the Yangtze River," Per W. Schive, environmental counselor of the
Norwegian Embassy in China, told the seminar.
The lake area has more than 1,452 kinds of plants, 303 kinds of
birds and 114 kinds of fish. A number of them are under State
However, excessive sand and mud from the surrounding rivers have
been piling up in the lake, endangering waterborne plants and
animals, Wang Desheng of the Hunan provincial water resources
Also, deteriorating water quality due to industrial discharge
and agricultural wastewater, as well as illegal fishing, have
depleted the number of fish in the lake in recent years.
The project is not only focused on restoring the area, but also
promoting awareness of different government departments of
biodiversity conservation and management.
"It is also a kind of awareness-raising project, as China has
already has a good knowledge of the kind of animals and plants in
the area," Schive said.
Lakes in China,
September 28, 2007)