Posted on: July 25, 2014
Report by WWF China
WWF recently was informed that the Pivotal Project of Poyang Lake Water Conservancy (hereinafter referred to as the pivotal project) has been submitted to the National Development and Reform Commission and is about to enter the stage of approval. WWF has been highly concerned about the demonstration process of the pivotal project, so it is the very time that WWF should further clarify its position toward the pivotal project.
WWF holds the view that, before the scientific research of Poyang Lake’s ecological function and the sufficient demonstration of the environmental impact of the construction are done, the pivotal project should be suspended. In the meantime, the project without a dam is supposed to be the best option for Poyang Lake to sustain a healthy ecological system.
Poyang Lake is the biggest freshwater lake in China. It is also one of the only two lake connecting the lower reaches of Yangtze River. In the year of 1992, the lake was put into The List of Wetlands of International Importance as an ecological wetland, which made it the only representative of China involving in the World Living Lake Net.
Poyang Lake not only creates an essential ecological function for both the local ecological system of Jiangxi Province and migrants, but also plays a critical role sustaining an ecological function of the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River. International extremely endangered species white cranes and endangered species oriental white stork mainly pass the winter here, which made Poyang Lake an important habitat for migrants. At the same time, the fish species found in Poyang Lake account for one third of those found in Yangtze River, which made it an important gene pool of freshwater fish. Additionally, Poyang Lake is also the habitat of Neophocaena Asiaeorientalis, the only freshwater mammal in Yangtze River. Currently, almost half of the existing Neophocaena Asiaeorientalis are living in Poyang Lake.
The ecological diversity of Yangtze ecoregion and the sustainable utilization of wetland are always prioritized by WWF. Based on the working accumulation in the last 15 years, WWF believes that the pivotal project will irreversibly or unsurely impact water quality, fish diversity, habitat of Neophocaena Asiaeorientalis, habitat of migrants and silt quantity in the lower reaches of Yangtze River. Until now, the research and demonstration are not enough to support the approval and construction of the pivotal project. As for the claimant of Poyang Lake drought period is moved up, the period lasts long and the drawdown is normalized, WWF does not think a conclusion like this claimant cannot be drawn from the current statistics. The change of water level has not significantly influenced the quantity of migrants and Neophocaena Asiaeorientalis. Therefore, the conclusion of ecological degradation is not valid to be the basis of the pivotal project.
What’s more, the pivotal project was also expected to solve the problems like a lack of water supply and a decrease of fish catch. While WWF believes that there is no sufficient research and the pivotal project is definitely not the master key.
Under the circumstance, WWF calls for a scientific research of Poyang Lake’s ecological function and a sufficient demonstration of the environmental impact of the construction based on an objective, transparent and justified principle.
WWF is always willing to cooperate with relevant parties to contribute to the sustainable development of the whole region of Poyang Lake ecological and economic zone.