Oct. 22, 2017


An open letter for the protection of Tamarix austromongolica forest

An open letter for the protection of the rare, wild, ancient Tamarix austromongolica forest

in Qinghai’s Three River Source Region

February 24, 2011
Source: Green Earth Volunteers

http://www.greensos.cn/ljy/html/mtgz/view/91102.html

 

Honorable Director Zhao Haoming:

   We are environmental NGOs, scientists, and university environmental protection societies.

     Last August, we learned from Wu Yuhu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, that a rare, wild Tamarix austromongolica forest was discovered in Tongde County, Qinghai Province. According to identification provided by authoritative botanists specializing in the genus Tamarix, this wild forest, which is in the Three Rivers region in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, is specific to China.  The forest also holds several world records including the oldest tree (400-500 years old), the largest diameter at breast height (327 centimeters), the highest altitude among China's wild distributions (2,700 meters), and the most ancient, longest living genetic type in the wild genus Tamarix. In addition, these ancient trees recorded hundreds of years of climate change in the Three Rivers region. Specific to China and rare worldwide, this forest in its entirety, if well preserved, doubtlessly will become a calling card for biodiversity in Qinghai and the Three Rivers region. This forest’s amazing scientific discovery is even publicized on the front page of the Qinghai Environmental Protection Department website, under the environmental dissemination and education column (http://www.qhepb.gov.cn/News/detail.aspx?ContentID=12720).

   Inside China's largest national conservation area—Three Rivers Nature Reserve, this wild, ancient Tamarix austromongolica forest ought to be well protected. But it is our understanding that the location of the forest in Tongde County’s Ranguo Village is inside the inundation area of the Yangqu Hydropower Station, which is on the upper reaches of the Yellow River.

   In July 2010, when the wild, ancient Tamarix austromongolica forest was discovered, initial work on "three supplies and one leveling" [water, electricity, roads and ground leveling] for the Yangqu Hydropower Station was underway. As early as May 2009, Huanghe Hydropower Development Co. Ltd., the company charged with building the hydropower Station, had already appointed its environmental impact assessment firm, Northwest Hydro Consulting Engineers, and started publicity work (Qinghai Daily, http://news.idoican.com.cn/qhrb/html/2009-05/07/content_34436221.htm). One document pertaining to a project bid indicates that construction of the Yangqu Hydropower Station is to be completed in 64 months, starting with a preparation stage from February 2011 to January 2013. However, as of February 11, 2011, the official environmental impact assessment for the Yangqu Hydropower Station still had not been made public.
  
Earlier, representing 47 scientific workers in the botany field, Wu Yuhu wrote a letter to the Qinghai provincial government regarding this situation. Subsequently, in November 2010, Qinghai Governor Luo Huining sent a written recommendation to the forestry bureau to investigate the situation and bring about protection.

   In order to maintain the justice and dignity of Environmental Impact Assessment Law, actively support the Interim Procedures for Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessments, and rescue and protect the precious, wild and ancient Tamarix austromongolica forest, we would like to present the Qinghai Environmental Protection Department with the following recommendations:

   1. Huanghe Hydropower Development Co. Ltd., the company charged with building the Yangqu Hydropower Station, and Northwest Hydro Consulting Engineers, its environmental impact assessment firm,  should provide timely, public reports on the progress of the environmental impact assessment.

   2. Both the construction and consultancy firms should hold forums and hearings to discuss the impact of the Yangqu Hydropower Station on the wild, ancient Tamarix austromongolica forest with experts including Wu Yuhu.

   3. At the same time, we propose the reassessment of biodiversity in the Yangqu Hydropower Station’s inundation area in order to reduce the impact of construction on biodiversity.

Yours sincerely,

Friends of Nature, Green Earth Volunteers, Wu Yuhu, Chinese Academy of Sciences Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology (representing 47 national biology workers), Green Zhejiang, Jixi Environment Network, Green Han River, Saunder's Gull Conservation Society of Panjin City, the Biodiversity Protection Unit of Lanzhou University’s Green Team, and Green Bosom Friend

 

Note: Mr. Zhao Haoming: the Director of Environmental Dept., Qinghai Provincial Government

 

Translator: Qin Kai
Proofreader: Karen Marshall/Megan Ko
 




Copyright © 2011 - All Rights Reserved - 绿家园环境科学研究中心 京ICP备09016501号