It can be seen that the overpopulation and overuse of natural resources are the deadliest cause of the sharp decline in biodiversity. The main threats to biodiversity caused by human activities, as China’s Fifth National Report on the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity listed, are: Degradation or loss of habitats, Excessive exploitation of natural resources, Environmental pollution, Climate change, and so on.
Degradation or loss of habitats: Habitats for wild animals and plants, such as forests, grasslands and wetlands, have suffered various degrees of damage, such as road construction, resource development, hydropower construction and other activities, which directly threaten the breeding of species and populations.
Excessive exploitation of natural resources: Overgrazing leads to grassland degradation and desertification. overfishing has accelerated the depletion of fishery resources and has also led to the endangerment of some species. Although the Chinese government has been perfecting relevant laws, illegal trade in wildlife or national-level protected species still exists. And is even rampant in some areas.
Water pollution directly threatens aquatic biodiversity: Although overall the quality of the marine environment in China is still good, the pollution in the coastal and inland waters is still serious, affecting marine biodiversity and causing various marine ecological disasters such as red tide. The use of pesticides, fertilizers, and pesticides has also caused more and more serious environmental pollution. And the most serious pollution that now faced by Chinese people is the air pollution caused by PM2.5, which affects not only other species but also ourselves.
Climate change: Climate change has changed the behaviors of species, such as distribution and migration. this caused the disappearance of some species in their original habitats, which directly led to the loss of biodiversity.
To ease this situation the Chinese government has already put some policies into action:
1) Strengthen the protection system
a. Establish situ conservation areas such as forest parks, agricultural wild plant protection spots, wetland parks, geoparks, and marine protection zones. By the end of 2013, 2697 nature reserves had been established nationwide with an area of about 1,463,000 square kilometers. The nature reserves cover about 14.8% of China’s land area.
b. Strengthen the rescue of endangered species. to rescue and conserve endangered wild animals and plants, with the development of endangered species breeding techniques, habitat restoration, and other measures make some critically endangered wild species gradually get rid of the red list.
2) carry out habitat protection and restoration
Continue to carry out the natural forest resources protection, returning farmland to forest, repairing overgrazed grasslands, Beijing and Tianjin sand source management, wetland protection and restoration, and other key ecological projects. Since 2001, the ecological conditions in the key construction areas have been significantly improved. The national forest resources have continued to grow. The forest area has increased by 23.0% over 10 years. The forest coverage rate has risen by 3.8%. A number of important international and national Wetlands have been rescued and about half of the natural wetlands have been effectively protected. The implementation of key ecological projects has promoted the restoration of habitats of degraded ecosystems and wild species and effectively protected biological diversity.
3)Develop and implement incentives that are conducive to biodiversity conservation
In order to avoid negative impacts on biodiversity and the environment, the Chinese government canceled export tax rebates for 553 high-energy-consuming, high-pollution, and resource-based products in 2007, including endangered animals, plants and their products, leather, some wood and disposable Wood products and so on.
traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of , but at the same time, the main ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine are derived from wild animals and plants. And of 1,500 animal species that Chinese medicine currently uses, 60% of them are vertebrates and 40% are listed in the Chinese Protection Directory. In addition, we used to have a Red List of Chinese Species that contains 388 species of plants, all of which are endangered species, but about 20% of them are common herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.
Our dam construction is also a problem. The dams in our country make up 45% of the total number of dams in the world. This figure is very impressive. There are still 70 more than 50,000 kilowatts of dams in planning. The planned area include the world’s biodiversity hotspots, such as the Hengduan Mountains. We used to have a dam in Qinghai Lake. Yellow croaker, which was originally the main economic fish of the area, was originally migrated there. But because of the dams, thousands of yellow croakers died in one day.
Over all, the Chinese government has stepped up its efforts to protect biodiversity by improving protection policies, strengthening protection systems, restoring degraded ecosystems, controlling environmental pollution, strengthening scientific and technological research, promoting public participation and increasing capital input, and intensifying ecological damage. As a result, the ecosystem functions of some regions have been restored and the populations of some key protected species have increased. However, we still need to come up with more ideas in order to conserve the biodiversity as much as possible, including to correct some inappropriate acts in a timely manner..
My report on China’s biodiversity begins with an overview of China’s overall physical and geographical conditions and its corresponding biodiversity. Then details the biodiversity with several endemic but endangered species, the giant panda, south China tigers, etc. Influenced by many factors, such as overpopulation, China is regarded as one of the countries with particularly rich biodiversity but also one of the countries with the most serious loss of biodiversity. The country is facing severe ecological challenges like ecosystem degradations. Even if we have found the right solution on some of the issues, such as the protection of our national treasure giant panda or the preservation of certain habitats, there are still many problems that are neglected or temporarily unresolved. Chinese traditional medicine is still using endangered species as ingredients, but its lack of scientific evidence. We are constructing dams everywhere, which is leading to more serious problems.