Zhalong Wetlands – China’s Wetlands Crisis
It has been a little while since my last update here on the blog, for which I apologise. It has been a very busy few weeks with lots of shoots and lots of travels. As a way to say thanks for your patience (if you have dropped in on here recently and found no updates!) is to offer you a sneak peak at some the images I took recently that will be making their way into a new multimedia piece that I am working on this week, as a coninuation of my work on China’s wetlands crisis.
Last week I travelled to the province of Heilongjiang, which lies in the north-east of China. I travelled to this region as it was one of the last regions of the country that I had not had the opportunity to get to during my coverage of environmental issues in China over the past couple of years. This area is crucial to China as it is the ‘bread basket’ of the nation, producing vast amounts of food which are fuelling the people of China to make some of the amazing economic changes we have seen over the past few decades.
This ‘fuelling’ is coming at a cost however, as huge areas of wetlands are being convereted into farmland, resulting in the obliteration of the majority of the region’s wetlands. Experts that I have spoken to estimate that between 50-70% of the regions wetlands have completely dissapeared, just in the past 50 years. Heilongjiang is one of China’s hardest hit regions by wetlands dissapearance.
Located in northern China, the region also suffers from the effects of climate change, as the region becomes drier and drier due to decreasing precipitation. Coupled with the effects of man such as harvesting of reeds, overfishing and the excessive use of groundwater, it has led to a dangerous and critical crisis which has engulfed the region.
I hope these images wet your appetite for the multimedia piece which I hope will be released soon. If you have already seen my multimedia pieces on the same issue but in different parts of China, you can view them here, here and here!