International Workshop on Peatland Conservation and Sustainable Use set for China, July 2004

04/08/2003

Third Announcement
International Workshop on
PEATLAND CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE

LANZHOU CITY, GANSU, CHINA
7-9TH JULY 2004

Organizers
Gansu Forestry Department
Wetlands International-China Office
Global Environment Centre

Sponsors
UNEP-GEF


Introduction
The International Workshop on Peatland Conservation and Sustainable Use will be held in Lanzhou City in Gansu province in western China from 7-9th July 2004. It will be followed by a seven days technical visit to the Ruoergai Plateau, one of the world's largest high altitude peatlands. The workshop and technical visit will provide a unique opportunity for participants to see these unique peatlands and to give guidance on restoration and sustainable use options. It will also give opportunities for the exchange of the latest information on the status and management practices of peatlands in China as well as their importance for biodiversity, water resource management and climate change.

Purpose of Workshop
To bring together peat experts and managers working on or interested in peatlands in China to share experience and identify strategies for protection and sustainable use of peat resources.

Objectives of Workshop and Technical Visit

  • Exchange information on peatland values and threats and promote their conservation
  • Identify and promote options for sustainable management and community involvement for peatlands conservation and sustainable use.
  • Discuss and develop techniques for restoration of degraded peatlands.
  • Facilitate international cooperation and exchange on peatland management

Background
China has a wetland area of 66 million ha (not including rivers and ponds) with natural wetlands covering 26 million ha. The wetlands of China are characterized by their numerous types, large number, wide distribution, rich biodiversity and importance to local communities. China has almost all types of wetlands specified under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. In addition, the high altitude wetlands of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau are unique in the world.

The peat resources of China are abundant. While peatlands are found throughout the country the largest areas are in the Ruoergai Plateau, Daxinganling Mountain, Xiaoxinganling Mountain, Sanjiang Plain and the west of Yungui Plateau. A total of 5,719 locations of peatland have been recorded.

The Ruoergai peatlands cover an area of about 500,000 ha at an altitude of 3400-3900m in the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The peatlands are found in a shallow basin surrounded by hills and mountains, and comprise part of the headwaters of the Yellow River. The peatlands are of global importance for conservation of biodiversity as well as playing important roles in water storage and supply, and carbon storage. The peatlands are also important for the livelihood of local communities especially nomadic Tibetan herders.

Wetlands International and the Global Environment Centre are currently working on a three year programme with local authorities to assess options for rehabilitation and sustainable management of the peatlands in the Ruoergai Plateau.

Theme /Main Topics of Workshop

  • Status of peatland and values for biodiversity, hydrology and carbon storage
  • Sustainable use of peatland and community livelihood options
  • Peatland rehabilitation strategies and techniques
  • Minimizing negative impact of peatland landuse (drainage, grazing, mining, forestry etc.)

Expected Outputs

  • Strengthened information exchange among different sectors and institutions
  • Advice on how to restore the degraded peatlands in defined areas
  • Improved awareness on peatlands conservation and management

Working Languages
English and Chinese

Timetable
The workshop will last 10 days, including 3 days meeting and 7 days technical visit (optional).
The technical Visit will visit the following sites:
a) Maqu Peatlands county (Gansu Province) - pristine peatlands with high biodiversity
b) Ruoergai and Hongyuan counties (Sichuan Province) - extensive peatlands - some pristine and others facing impacts from grazing, drainage, desertification or mining
The technical visit will end in Chengdu City of Sichuan Province.

Paper Presentation
Those who are interested to make an oral presentation at the workshop are requested to send an abstract of their papers (one page/ A4, English or Chinese) by the 1st March 2004 to the organizers by fax or e-mail. Equipment (Overhead Projector, Slide Projector and Powerpoint / Video Player) will be available for the presentations.

Deadline
Participants are requested to send their registration form by means of the enclosed "Registration Form" by 1st April 2004 as latest.

Accommodation
Accommodation for the participants will be arranged through the organizer only after receiving the registration forms.

Travel
Lanzhou City is accessible by daily flights from Beijing or Chengdu. Those joining the technical visit should arrive in Lanzhou and depart from Chengdu as ground transport will be provided between Lanzhou and Chengdu. Those attending the workshop only should fly in and out of Lanzhou.

Climate
Lanzhou is of continental climate, characterized by scarce rainfall, low humidity and great difference of temperature between day and night. Weather in Lanzhou City may reach 17- 30degC in July. Participants who are interested in the technical visit are requested to bring warm clothes as the weather changes greatly in Ruoergai peatlands on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (3,400 to 3,900 m. altitude). The temperature in July is about 12-23degC in Ruoergai Plateau.

Entry Visa
Foreign participants are required to obtain a tourist visa at Chinese Embassy in respective countries.

Costs
Registration fee
International participants - US$150/person
Local Chinese participants- US$75/person
Participants should arrange their own travel to Lanzhou City;
Meals and accommodation will be charged at US$ 80/person per day during the workshop;
Cost for the technical visit including transport, meals, accommodation and travel guides, etc. will be charged at US$690.

Note that places for the technical visit are limited and will be allocated on a first come-first- served basis. Registration fee and payment for the technical visit should be sent prior to the meeting to secure the reservations.

Contact Address
Secretariat of Peatlands Conservation and Sustainable Use Workshop
c/o Wetlands International-China Office
Room 501, Grand Forest Hotel,
No. A3 Beisanhuan Zhonglu,
Beijing, 100029, CHINA
Tel: +86-10-62058405
Fax: +86-10-62377900
E-mail: wicp@public3.bta.net.cn or wetgef@public.bta.net.cn


Draft Programme Outline

Workshop

Day 1 Opening ceremony
Technical sessions:
Status and values for biodiversity, hydrology and carbon storage
Sustainable use of peatland and community livelihood options

Day 2 Technical sessions:
Peatland rehabilitation strategies and techniques
Minimizing negative impact of peatland landuse

Day 3 Discussion
Recommendations
Closing ceremony

Technical Visit

Day 4-10 The technical visit will start at Lanzhou city (at 1500m above sea level) and travel to Maqu, Ruoergai & Hongyuan counties (at 3400-3900m above sea level), where participants will visit the extensive peatlands of Ruoergai plateau. Main features include:
500,000 ha of high altitude peatland with unique flora and fauna.
Grazing by two million yaks and sheep managed by nomadic Tibetan herders.
Review of impacts of drainage and overgrazing, and review of proposed restoration activities.
Discussions with/ advice to local government agencies and people.

Tentative itinerary

Day 4 Travel to Maqu County (travel from Lanzhou to the Ruoergai plateau, visit Gahai lake restoration project)

Day 5 Visit the Yellow River plains and the pristine Maqu peatlands by jeep and/or horseback

Day 6 Cross the centre of the Ruoergai Marshes and visit the Ruoergai National Nature reserve. Meet with local agencies.

Day 7 Ruoergai County - assess land degradation problems and visit nomadic Tibetan herders in Ruoergai peatland.

Day 8 Travel to Hongyuan, visit the first bend of Yellow River and Peatland nature reserve.

Day 9 Visit peatlands in Hongyuan County - Review impacts of drainage and mining, and test sites for rehabilitation

Day 10 Leave Hongyuan to Chengdu City (about 10 hrs drive) - Cross divide between Yellow and Yangtze rivers. Travel down Yangtze river tributary to Chengdu, see forest rehabilitation in Yangtze catchment.
OPTION : Stay overnight in Chengdu or depart home




REGISTRATION FORM

Full Name (in block letters) :................................................................…………… (Male / Female) Organisation : ...................................................................................................................................
..................................................................................................................................
Address : ..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
Present Position : .............................................................................................................................
Phone : ................................................................ Fax : ……………………………………………........
E-mail : .................................................................
Travel plan to participate in the workshop
Date of arrival in China : ............................................. Flight No.: ....................................................
Date of leaving China : ................................................Flight No.: ....................................................
I will join the technical visit Yes / No
Title of Presentation: ........................................................................................................................
……………………………………………………………………………………...
I will need the following equipment for my presentation: (Overhead /Slide /Video /PowerPoint)
I will be accompanied by :
Name............................................................... Nationality ………………………………………...


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