Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


the first-stage ecological conservation and restoration project in the TRSR; assessment on ecological effects; policy recommendations

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The three-river source region (TRSR) is located in the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. As the source region for the Yangtze, Yellow, and Lancang rivers, the TRHR is often referred to as the 'Chinese water tower'. Nevertheless, in recent decades, owing to the impact of rapid climate change and intense human activities, the ecosystem in this area have undergone severe degradation which posed a serious threat to the ecological security of regions downstream from the TRHR. To tackle the ecological deterioration, the first-stage of an ecological conservation and restoration project in the TRSR was launched in 2005. A comprehensive scientific understanding of the ecological effects and problems of the project is critical for adjustment of the project implementation. Therefore, improving and consolidating the effects of ecological conservation and restoration was significant for the future large-scale ecological conservation and restoration. Based on the targets of 'The general planning on ecological conservation and restoration in the TRSR nature reserve in Qinghai Province' (abbreviated here to 'The Plan'), we carried out the monitoring and assessment on the ecosystem condition, change trend, and driving forces in the TRSR, in addition to the comprehensive assessment of the ecological effects of the project. The results showed that since the beginning of the project, the overall trends in ecosystem degradation have been initially contained and partial improved, the ecological effects of this project are remarkable, and the objectives of 'The Plan' have been basically achieved. However, the situation of the regional ecosystem in the TRSR is still far from the ideal state. In order to achieve the ultimate goal of "entire recovery, overall improvement, healthy ecosystem, stable functions", we must expand the protect scope and maintain the protection for long term.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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