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People’s Daily: 70 Percent of Wetlands in the Yangtze River Middle Reaches Disappeared

People’s Daily recently reported from the Annual Meeting of the Yangtze River Wetland Protection Network. Its report stated that the Yangtze River’s ecological security is currently facing a severe threat. The area of the wetlands has shrunk significantly; biodiversity is on a rapid decline as well. For example, one of the largest lake systems, the Dongting Lakes, shrank from a size of 4,350 sq. kilometers 60 years ago to today’s 2,650 sq. kilometers. Its area during its dry-season is now only 500 sq. kilometers. Compared to the total wetland areas of the Yangtze River Middle Reaches in the 1950s, only 30 percent remain today. Starting in 2014, the State Council strategically decided to further develop the Yangtze River Economic Region, which covers 5,326 kilometers of the Yangtze River, out of the full length of 6,397 kilometers. Experts think that the Yangtze River area is now facing the most severe conflict between economic development and natural resource protection. 
Source: People’s Daily, November 2, 2015