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Tibet hammers out major scheme for wetland eco-compensation

Source:China Tibet Online 2015年08月04日 17:38

The Tibet Autonomous Region formulated a three-year pilot scheme recently for ecological benefit compensation targeting key wetlands in Tibet to boost wetland ecological conservation and restoration, China Tibet News reported.

According to the Forestry Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the pilot scheme will tentatively run from 2015 to 2017. The wetlands under the scheme, with a total area of about 412,000 hectares, spread across three national nature reserves in three pilot counties – namely, the Serling Co Black-Necked Crane National Nature Reserve, the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve and the Black-Necked Crane National Nature Reserve in the middle reaches of Yarlung Zangbo River.

To better protect these wetlands, they are divided into lake wetlands and non-lake wetlands (marsh wetlands and river wetlands) and a proper per capita management area is used to assign keepers.

"The purpose of implementing the eco-compensation scheme is to let farmers and herdsmen benefit from wetland conservation and in turn promote wetland conservation and restoration," an official with the Forestry Department said.

Also according to the Forestry Department, a conservation period which begins in May and ends in October is decided according to characteristics of annual migration of wild birds as well as biological habits of other rare wildlife within the wetlands. Grazing and other human activities are prohibited in the wetlands during the period. Farmers and herdsmen who observe wetland conservation will be given a compensation of 90 yuan per hectare per year.

In addition to implement the wetland-wide conservation, grazing will be limited in some key parts of the wetlands under the scheme, which represent a total area of 16,438.2 hectares. Farmers and herdsmen within the areas will be given a compensation of 22.5 yuan per hectare per year.

Grassy marshes within the project area have been degrading due to influence of natural climate conditions, with the current grass coverage rates of some areas dropping to below 20 percent. Tibet will work out a plan to enforce enclosure to wetlands whose degradation exerts major impact on production and livestock grazing of farmers and herdsmen to preserve and restore integrity and stability of the wetland ecosystem, the source from Tibet’s Forestry Department said.

Tibet is home to 6.529 million hectares of wetlands in total, accounting for 5.31 percent of China’s territory, ranking the second in the country. There are four wetland categories and 17 wetland types. The four categories of wetlands are the lake wetland, the marsh wetland, the river wetland and and man—made wetland,of which 99.92 percent are natural.

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