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Water release into Zhalong Nature Reserve. The reserve plans on releasing up to 100 - 200 million cubic meters of water into the reserve to help replenish the wetlands in 2008.





Workshop on Water Management Planning for the Songnen Plain in Northeast China

The SCWP is supporting management interventions at internationally important wetlands within four National Nature Reserves in Northeast China: Zhalong, Xianghai, Keerqin and Momoge. These wetlands have been adversely affected by a combination of drought and water diversion for human uses in recent years, therefore providing water to restore the ecological functions of these wetlands has been a high priority for the project. Studies were initiated at three of these sites in order to develop plans for the management of water resources needed to restore the wetlands: a Wetland Restoration and Water Management Plan and separate Water Monitoring Plan for Zhalong; and Water Co-Management Plans for Xianghai and Keerqin, which share a common boundary and lie in the basin of the Huolin River.

Dry lake bed in Jilin Province

Water diversion from wetlands in the Zhalong Nature Reserve

The Project’s National Coordination Unit (NCU) for China, with assistance from Jilin Forestry Department, held a Workshop on Water Needs for the Habitats of Siberian Cranes and other Waterbirds in NE China’s Songnen Plain in Changchun in Jilin province on the 2nd of September 2007.  Officials and experts attended the workshop from the State Forestry Administration, Songliao Water Commission, Northeast China Forestry University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Forestry,  Northeast China Normal University, Jilin Forestry Department, Heilongjiang Forestry Department, Inner Mongolia Forestry Department, Jilin Water Department, Heilongjiang Water Department, Inner Mongolia Water Department, Nenjiang Zhongyin Management Office, Tongyu County Water Bureau, Zhenlai Water Bureau, Keerqin County Water Bureau, Zhalong National Nature Reserve, Xianghai National Nature Reserve, Keerqin National Nature Reserve, and Momoge National Nature Reserve.  The International Crane Foundation assisted with workshop preparations and participated in the event.

Workshop on water managment planning for the Songnen Plain

At the meeting, the Zhalong Water Management Plan and Xianghai and Keerqin Water Co-management Plans were presented.  The participants intensively discussed and made constructive suggestions on improving awareness among the relevant agencies regarding the water needs of habitats for Siberian Cranes and other waterbirds on the Songnen Plain, on including the water needs for these habitats into watershed planning and regional water resource planning, and on pushing to establish a long-term water supply mechanism for the four project sites. 

Siberian Cranes at Keerqin Nature Reserve

Workshop Conclusions and Recommendations

The main outcome of the workshop was a set of important recommendations made by the participating experts:

 (1) Zhalong Water Management and Wetland Restoration Plan and Xianghai and Keerqin Co-management Plans analyzed the water resource situation for Zhalong, Xianghai and Keerqin Nature Reserves, studied water supply timing, amount of water, supply routes, and allocation of water resources, and developed water resource management and wetland restoration plans.  These plans are feasible and operational. The workshop participants recommended relevant government agencies to include them in their watershed water resource management plans as well as middle and long-term management planning for the Songnen Plain.

 (2) To better implement international treaties and maintain wetland ecological functions and global ecological security, it is recommended that ecological water supply projects and the cost for maintenance of the projects be included in national investment plans, establishing a long-term mechanism for wetland conservation and management. 

 (3) Recommend relevant agencies further strengthen capacity building for wetland nature reserve management and establish a network for wetland ecological monitoring, providing a platform for systematic wetland scientific research and study.
 (4) Strengthen public education and publicity in order to improve public awareness and concern regarding the conservation of wetlands required as waterbird habitat.

 (5) Momoge Nature Reserve is an important stop-over site for internationally important waterbirds.  However, water resource management and wetland restoration planning has not started yet.  It was recommended that the SCWP start to develop the Momoge Nature Reserve Water Resource Management and Wetland Restoration Plan to improve the ecological conservation and management of the reserve. (Note – this work is now underway in 2008)

For the next steps, the China NCU will distribute the recommendations to relevant governmental agencies for consideration in their future planning processes.

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Last update: 19 June 2008

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