当前位置: 首页 > 专题集锦 > 2019中华环保世纪行 > 青海采访

Qinghai's Sanjiangyuan: Bluer water, greener mountains

浏览字号: 来源: Chinadaily  2019年07月09日 15:32:24


The Lancang River is pictured in Zadoi county, Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Qinghai province, June 21, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

After China first piloted the national park system in 2016 with the establishment of Sanjiangyuan National Park in Northwest China's Qinghai province, environmental degradation there has been effectively curbed. The water quality has improved and the mountains have become greener.

"The biggest change, intuitively speaking, is that the mountains have become greener, the water clearer and the sky bluer," said Tobgyal, director of the ecological environment bureau of Qinghai's Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, in an interview with journalists on June 20. Yushu is one of four major prefectures in the Sanjiangyuan area.

"The water quality of the Yangtze River in Yushu is generally maintained at Level I. In the summer, when there is more rain, it's at Level II. Basically it's kept between Level I and II nowadays," he explained. China measures water quality according to five levels, with the first three grades meaning a high enough quality to be used as the source of drinking water.

Sanjiangyuan ("Three River Source"), an area of Northwest China's Qinghai province, contains the headwaters of China's three major rivers: the Yellow, the Yangtze and the Lancang. As the upstream region of these rivers, Sanjiangyuan has the potential to significantly impact the water quality of the entire country.

Since the late 20th century, the lakes there have shrunk as a result of human activities and overgrazing. In 2016, the State Council, China's cabinet, approved a proposal to set up part of Sanjiangyuan as the country's first pilot park for the national park system, which is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2020.


A marmot is pictured in Zadoi county, Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Qinghai province, June 21, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Returning pastures to nature

To better preserve the grasslands and reduce environmental degradation caused by grazing, local herdsmen have returned their lands to nature and resettled in county urban areas.

"I used to be a herder. I moved out from my pasture because I learned livestock cause damage to the land," recalled 50-year-old Dorje Tsering, a Tibetan herdsman who moved to downtown Yeqing village in Yushu's Zhidoi county around six years ago.

After relocation, Dorje Tsering and his family now receive an annual subsidy of 2,100 yuan ($300) each, paid for by the county government. The family also makes money by pickingchongcao, or Chinese caterpillar fungus, every year in May and June, as many other villagers do. Caterpillar fungus is one of the most precious ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine.


Blue sheep stroll through the mountains of Zadoi county, Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Qinghai province, June 21, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Grassland guardians

To encourage more residents to take part in environmental protection, the local government has combined this goal with poverty alleviation. They offer positions of "ecological conservators" for every registered family, paying each family a monthly subsidy of 1,800 yuan ($260). The conservators are responsible for patrolling the lands, collecting and disposing of garbage and monitoring wildlife.

With more people working as conservators, Tsewang Dorje, deputy head of the ecological management station of Namsei village, noted the overall environmental awareness of locals has progressed, and environmental protection has gradually become part of their lives.

"We see little rubbish left on the mountains now. Every year before the season for pickingchongcao, we train the villagers and ask them to fill in the pits after digging the caterpillar fungus so as to reduce damage to the pasture. They've also learned the habit of taking their food waste down the mountains. Their conscientiousness has grown a lot," he recalled.

"When people's awareness of the environment improves, my work becomes much easier," echoed Lekga, who has worked as a conservator for three and a half years.

As the environmental status advances, the wildlife population increases. One problem, according to locals, is damage to houses, livestock and people caused by animals such as brown bears and wolves.

To address such concerns, Sanjiangyuan National Park's management committee has purchased insurance for more than 17,000 ecological conservators.

"In cooperation with China Pacific Insurance Co, the management committee guarantees the conservators with compensation of up to 300,000 yuan ($43,600), covering injuries and accidents," said Mou Yonghong, an official from Sanjiangyuan National Park's Lancang River Management Committee.

A mechanism for livestock compensation has also been established: each lost cow is compensated with 500 to 1,500 yuan ($70-200), depending on age.


The Lancang River is pictured in Zadoi county, Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Qinghai province, June 21, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

A database for wildlife protection

Since the pilot park was established in 2016, the Chinese government has invested 2.25 billion yuan ($330 million) for infrastructure construction there, such as monitoring facilities, community education and construction of big data centers, according to official statistics.

In 2015, Yushu's Zadoi county government teamed up with Sanjiangyuan National Park Lancang River Management Committee, Peking University and Shanshui Conservation Center, to jointly launch a field conservation station in Namsei village, which carries out a series of activities ranging from wildlife monitoring to community training and nature watch projects.

"The station's monitoring work mainly focuses on snow leopards. If the number of snow leopards is stable, it means the quality of the pastures and environment here is good," said Liu Xinnong, a student from Peking University who currently works as a volunteer at the station.

"Monitoring efforts in recent years have contributed to the lack of data on wildlife in the region," she noted. It is estimated that there are around 40 snow leopards in Namsei.

Conservation prioritized to economic development

"Yushu is located at the source of China's three great rivers. Both the provincial government and the prefecture government understand (our ecological responsibility) and emphasize protection. We all have this consensus," said Tobgyal, director of Yushu's ecological environment bureau.

The area has prioritized environmental conservation before economic development, also part of the local government's commitment to ensure water quality in the upstream region of China's three major rivers, which influences 20 provincial areas across China.


责任编辑: 冯涛

相关文章

页面底部区域 foot.htm