Forestry officials in China have reported a 9% reduction in the country’s wetlands.
The phenomenon has broader implications for the country’s freshwatwater scarcity levels. China, a country of more than a billion citizens, only holds 6% of the world’s total freshwater. The problem of water scarcity meanwhile is additionally aggravated by food production, urbanisation, or climate change accelerated by China’s industrial activity.
The area of wetlands gone is reportedly over 340,000 sq kilometres, which makes it larger than all of the Netherlands.
Nearly 70% of China’s energy production is still dependant on coal, which in turn demands huge water resource allocation. It also swallows up land which could otherwise be used for agricultural purposes.
China has big plans for wetland protection, with almost 12 billion yuan dedicated to protect the fragile ecosystem within a decade. However, similar endeavours during late 2000s have little to show for themselves; w only 38% of designated funds were actually allocated to protection schemes.