Make Sika Deer Be Re-seen in the Wild, and Primitive River Crabs Reappear in Rivers
China Environment News

Improvement of the biodiversity conservation system to promote the ecological protection level in Shandong

◆ Reporters: Zhou Yanling  Wang Wenshuo

"Shandong Province has taken the lead in updating biodiversity conservation strategy and action plan, planning eight strategic tasks such as advancing the improvement of biodiversity conservation related policies and regulations and continuously optimizing biodiversity conservation spatial network, designating 15 land priority areas and 15 marine priority areas, and determining 10 priority areas and 16 priority actions for biodiversity conservation," Guan Yanming, member of the party committee and deputy director-general of the Department of Ecology and Environment of Shandong Province, introduced the progress of biodiversity conservation in Shandong at a press conference held by the Shandong Provincial People's Government.

Improving the in-situ and ex-situ conservation system, and developing an ecological security pattern of "two barriers and three belts".

Shandong Province is located in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, bordering the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea, with complex and diverse landform types, distinctive warm-temperate monsoon climate features, developed water systems and small river runoff. The vegetation types are mainly coniferous forest and broadleaved deciduous forest, forming a complex and diverse natural ecosystem. There are terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, bushes, meadows and wetlands, and marine ecosystems such as coastal zones, islands, estuaries and coastal waters, which lead to rich biodiversity.

With regard to biodiversity conservation, the in-situ and ex-situ conservation systems have been gradually improved in Shandong Province. In terms of in-situ conservation, efforts have been made to build a scientific and perfect natural ecological space, forming an ecological security strategic pattern of "two barriers and three belts" ("two barriers" are ecological barriers in the mountainous areas in the middle south of Shandong and the hilly areas in the east of Shandong, and "three belts" are ecological belts along the coast, along the Yellow River and along the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal), and the redlines were designated for ecological protection of land and sea areas, and 488 nature reserves of various levels and types were established, thus forming a complete natural ecosystem conservation network.

As for ex-situ conservation, by the end of 2020, the province has built 40 zoos, 38 botanical gardens and 9 large aquariums; and set up 52 agricultural germplasm resources banks, 40 forest germplasm resources banks and 62 livestock and poultry germplasm resources banks, and established the only provincial platform for conservation and utilization of aquatic germplasm resources in China, which has made remarkable achievements in ex situ conservation of biodiversity.

Since 2017, in order to strengthen supervision and law enforcement, the province has carried out intensive supervision of "Green Shield" Nature Reserve for five consecutive years, and found that all violations of laws and regulations have been rectified. The province has performed a series of joint law enforcement actions, which have effectively cracked down on and deterred illegal and criminal acts that destroy wildlife resources, such as illegal hunting and trading of wildlife.

Significant conservation results have been achieved, and a number of typical areas have emerged

Guan Yanming told reporters: "since the biodiversity conservation work was carried out, a number of typical areas with remarkable conservation achievements have emerged in Shandong, such as the Yellow River Delta, Mount Kunyu, Changdao County and Nansi Lakes."

Shandong Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve, established with the approval of the State Council in October 1992, is located at the Yellow River estuary, with a total area of 153,000ha. It is a wetland nature reserve with the protection of the newborn wetland ecosystem and rare and endangered birds in the Yellow River estuary as its main body, and has the broadest, most complete and youngest wetland ecosystem in the warm temperate zone of China.

Over the years, the Yellow River Delta Nature Reserve has pioneered the detailed planning of nature reserves in China, and established a patrol monitoring system to realize real-time monitoring of key areas and important nodes in the nature reserve. The first eco-environmental positioning observation and research station in the Yellow River Basin was established, which provided a better platform for the study of biodiversity and sustainable development in the Yellow River Delta. The wetland of 350,000mu has been restored successively, which is conducive to promoting the sound development and virtuous circle of the wetland ecosystem.

The nature reserve currently has 1,627 species of wild animals, 368 species of birds (187 species previously), 685 species of plants, 512 species of insects, 6 species of amphibians, and 195 species of macrobenthos. The oriental stork has grown from 7 chicks in two nests in 2005 to 306 chicks in 105 nests in 2019, with a total of 1,639 chicks successfully bred, making the nature reserve become the largest breeding place for oriental storks in the world, and receive the honorary title of "Hometown of Oriental Storks in China" by China Wildlife Conservation Association.

Mount Kunyu National Nature Reserve, another nature reserve, creatively established the "Mount Kunyu Model" to solve the contradiction between ecological conservation and development, and has achieved remarkable results. The recorded animal and plant species in the reserve increased from 2,234 to 2,523. The population of the only remaining badger species in Jiaodong Area increased steadily. The population of precious wild Chinese medicinal herbs such as Ganoderma lucidum and Gastrodia elata increased year by year. The wetland creatures such as primitive river crabs that had disappeared for many years reappeared in the river channel, and the wild sika deer was found in the field monitoring.

Wang Qing, director of the Ecological Protection Division of the Department of Ecology and Environment of Shandong Province, said: "although remarkable results have been achieved in biodiversity conservation in Shandong, the overall situation of biodiversity conservation and restoration in the province is not optimistic under the international situation of accelerated global species extinction, continuous loss of biodiversity and ecosystem degradation. And major problems to be encountered include partial degradation of ecosystem functions, high degree of endangerment of some species and so on."

To this end, the province will continuously intensify its efforts to improve the level of biodiversity conservation; carry out in-depth background investigation of biodiversity, build a regulatory platform for biodiversity conservation, integrate biodiversity data of relevant departments, and build a full and accurate biodiversity database of the whole province; strengthen diversified cooperation in biodiversity conservation, and promote the exchange of knowledge, information, science and technology and the sharing of achievements through cooperation with the Global Environment Facility, biodiversity finance, etc.

It is also necessary to actively carry out biodiversity publicity activities, popularize successful cases of biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilization, and guide social organizations and the public to take the initiative to participate in biodiversity conservation; perfect the social participation mechanism, and encourage enterprises and social organizations to carry out activities such as publicity and education on biodiversity conservation, consulting services, violation supervision and legal aid through project funding, government purchasing services from social organizations and other means.