Scientists kick off research on China's largest freshwater lake
Beijing, Aug. 3 (Xinhua-ANI): Chinese scientists started on Friday a research program on the country's largest freshwater lake to bolster economic development in the region.
The program, the second in three decades, will bring scientists together from 30 institutes around the country to conduct research on the ecological, environmental and hydrological systems of Poyang Lake in east China's Jiangxi Province, said Hu Zhenpeng, director of the program.
The three-year program at a cost of 10 million yuan (1.59 million U.S. dollars) will also look into the social economy of the lake region, Hu said.
"We hope to establish a comprehensive, systematic and authoritative database, which is also long-term based and dynamic, to solve the natural and social problems facing Poyang Lake, and to realize sustainable development in the region," Hu said.
The database will provide scientific and technical support for the establishment of the Poyang Lake ecological and economic zone, Hu added.
Poyang Lake is a key water supply source for about 1 million people and a natural habitat for numerous migratory birds and aquatic species.
Over the past years, reduced rainfall, rampant sand dredging and the building of dams at the upstream of the Yangtze have caused the size of Poyang Lake to shrink from 4,000 sq kms at its peak to about 200 sq kms in January this year. Environmentalists estimate that about 70 percent of Poyang's fishery resources have vanished over the last three decades.
China conducted its first scientific research on Poyang Lake from 1983 to 1988. (Xinhua-ANI)
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