News from China: vulnerability assessment workshop held in Beijing

29/01/1999

Workshop on the Vulnerability Assessment of the Yellow River Delta Held in Beijing, China

As a part of the project entitled "Vulnerability Assessment of Major Wetlands in the Asia-Pacific Region", the workshop on the vulnerability assessment of the Yellow River Delta was held in Beijing, China, on 22 January 1999. There were 40 participants, from State Oceanic Administration, State Forestry Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Agriculture, State Environmental Protection Administration, China Meteorological Administration, as well as Natural Reserve and local government agencies in the Yellow River Delta.

This is a project of the Asia Pacific Network (APN) for Global Climate Change, coordinated by the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (ERISS), based on Jabiru, Northern Australia. The project has chosen two sites for vulnerability assessment. One is in China (the Yellow River Delta) and the other in the Philippines (Olango Island). The assessment method has been adopted following the example practiced in the Alligator River Region, Australia.

Dr. Rick van Dam, the researcher of ERISS, briefed the participants on the progress of and methods applied in the project. Mr. Li Peiying, the researcher of this project on behalf of the research team, made a summary report on the vulnerability assessment in the Yellow River Delta. One of the conclusions is that "the estimated relative sea level rise rate in the Yellow River Delta is 8 mm/year and the sea level rise will be 48 cm by the year 2050. This will lead to critical impacts such as the frequency of storm surges and El-Niño events to strengthen hydrodynamics, beach erosion, and landward retreat, wetland loss, saltwater intrusion, and land salinization, etc." It was suggested that a dynamic environment monitoring and management system be set up; that public awareness of environmental ecology; and that sustainable development be strengthened. The participants greatly appreciated the research results and provided their comments and recommendations. The research team will finalize the report and submit to the ERISS and the decision-makers in China for consideration. It is believed that the method used in this project can be followed by other projects in China as well as in other countries.

For further information please contact Mr. Yuan Jun, the Wetlands International-China Programme in Beijing (wetgef@public.bta.net.cn)

-- reported by Li Lukang, Senior Adviser, Wetlands International-China Programme li.lk@263.net

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