Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China, has extraordinary importance to millions of people in Jianxi and the provinces downriver, but it is also recognized globally for its remarkable diversity. The lake’s abundant aquatic resources ‐ ‐ of great economic importance to local people – include diverse aquatic vegetation, a remarkable array of fish species, the only freshwater porpoise in the world, and the largest concentrations of wintering waterbirds in East Asia. IUCN recognizes Poyang Lake to be one of the most important wetlands in the world.
IUCN and the International Crane Foundation (on behalf of the Wetlands International – IUCN SSC Crane Specialist Group) have published “An Ecosystem Approach to Resolving Conflicts Among Ecological and Economic Priorities for Poyang Lake Wetlands”, a report includes the input of Jiangxi Provincial leaders and scientists from diverse disciplines. It recommends that an Ecosystem Approach be applied to the management of Poyang Lake in order to safeguard ecosystem functions of the wetland and to design development strategies that harness their socio‐economic potential while sustaining values of the wetland into the long‐term future.
The report warns that given the global and regional importance of Poyang Lake, and the many uncertainties regarding lake functions and human impacts, construction of large scale hydropower should be considered in a most careful and thorough manner. IUCN and Wetlands International believe that Poyang Lake can be best managed as a single, complex system to include the lake and its entire watershed.
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