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Ecological Protection and Restoration in Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve, Qinghai Province, China

  • Xi-lai Li
  • Gary BrierleyEmail author
  • De-jun Shi
  • Yong-li Xie
  • Hai-qun Sun
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Geography book series (BRIEFSGEOGRAPHY)

Abstract

Historical data and published results are reviewed to assess the rationale and design criteria used to establish the Sanjiangyuan (Three Source Region) National Nature Reserve in Qinghai Province, China. This area, which comprises the headwaters of the Yellow, Yangtze and Mekong Rivers, has been described as the ‘Third Pole’ or the ‘Roof of the Earth’. Key drivers for the designation of this ecological reserve include concerns for sustainable water resources management and biodiversity management, especially the protection of endangered flora and fauna. These issues are placed in context of prevailing and prospective threats, namely climate change, environmental degradation associated with overgrazing and burrowing mammals, and human-induced pressures (population growth and various land use practices). Ecological protection and restoration measures being applied in the Sanjiangyuan region are reviewed. The approach to environmental conservation and management parallels initiatives applied in many other parts of the world, with 18 core areas, connected and/or surrounded by buffer areas, with experimental areas beyond. Adopted measures are framed primarily in relation to wetland functions, striving to protect water resources and the precious but fragile ecosystems in this region. Water resources planning strategies and landscape ecology programmes link lake and river ecosystems to grassland, forest and wetland management strategies at the landscape scale.

Keywords

Conservation Rehabilitation Ecological reserve Grassland Mountain region Ecosystem management 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (30760160), MOE (2010-1595) and MOST 2011DFA20820. The authors thank Chen Gang, Jiang Lu-Jia, Qiao You-ming, Li Ji-lan, Pei Hai-kun, Lu Guang-xin, Wang Chun-qing, Fu Yang and Zhang Jing for their help in collecting information for the manuscript, and Igor Drecki for drafting the figures. Helpful guidance by the editor of this special issue, David Higgitt, and two anonymous reviewers is gratefully acknowledged. Critical appraisal and constructive guidance by Marc Foggin is particularly appreciated.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xi-lai Li
    • 1
  • Gary Brierley
    • 2
    Email author
  • De-jun Shi
    • 3
  • Yong-li Xie
    • 1
  • Hai-qun Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural and Animal Husbandry CollegeQinghai UniversityXiningChina
  2. 2.School of EnvironmentUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Qinghai Agriculture and Animal Husbandry BureauXiningChina

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