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Total area of wetlands above 80,000m² in Tibet exceeds 60,000km²

By Liu Fang, Tenzin Sydron Source:China Tiebt News 2020年02月06日 10:02

February 2, 2020 is the 24th World Wetlands Day. This year's theme is "Wetlands & Biological Diversities; Wetlands Nourish Life", aims at understanding the positive impacts of biological diversities of wetlands on ecological environment and human survival & development, emphasizing the importance of wetlands biodiversity.

Wetland, forest and ocean are known as the world's three major ecosystems, and wetland is called "the kidney of the earth". Located at the third pole of the world, Tibet Autonomous Region (T.A.R.) is an important ecological barrier of China. Protection and development of wetland play important roles in ecological civilization construction of T.A.R.

According to a responsible person of T.A.R. Forestry & Grassland Bureau, with various wetland types, wetland area of T.A.R. ranks the second in China, and is a special plateau wetland distribution area of the world.

As the main body of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Tibet has various types of landforms, a complex geographical environment, and wide distributed wetlands. China's famous rivers like Yarlung Zangbo, Nujiang, Lantsang and Changjiang Rivers all originate from or flow through Tibet, thus it is known as "China's water tower" and "Asia's water tower", and is a security strategic base and continuation base for Chinese water resources. Wetland in Tibet is the "species gene bank" and "oxygen supply source" of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and also an important "equalizer" and "regulator" of the river ecosystems originate from here, playing a key role in constructing an ecological safety barrier of China.

Wetland types of T.A.R. are unique and diverse, including riverine wetland, lake wetland, marsh wetland and constructed wetland. Tibet is one of the places with the most abundant types of wetland in China, and its wetland environment and landscape are relatively primitive and natural, because of less interference.

According to the second survey result of Tibetan wetland resources, the total area of wetlands above 80,000m² in Tibet is up to 65,290 km², accounting for 5.3% of the total land area. Among them, natural wetland area accounts for 99.92% of total, among which lake wetland area covers 30,352 km², marsh wetland area covers 20,543 km², riverine wetland area covers 4,345 km², and constructed wetland area covers 50 km².

In recent years, T.A.R. has continuously strengthened the protection of wetland, and issued a series of relevant policies, laws and regulations, laying solid foundation for the protection & management of Tibetan wetlands.

Meanwhile, wetland protection system has been gradually established, which took natural reserves as main body, supplemented by various protection ways including national wetland park, international important wetland and national important wetland. Up to now, the total area of protected wetland is up to 43,080 km².

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