Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Data Point To Some Improvements In China's Environment

Date:
November 2, 2009
Source:
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Summary:
A recent assessment finds some positive trends among indicators of biodiversity loss in China -- notably, growth in forest coverage and improvements in marine ecosystems. However, other indicators, such as the rate of discovery of invasive species, are worsening. Many animals are under growing threat.

The rapid growth of China's forests over the past 20 years makes them the fastest growing forest resources in the world, according to an assessment published in the November issue of BioScience.

The study, by Haigen Xu of the Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences and nine colleagues, examined an array of indicators of biodiversity in China as part of an effort to assess China's progress toward the goals of the Convention of Biological Diversity. Parties to the convention agreed in 2002 to reduce biodiversity loss significantly by 2010.

China is a megadiverse country that has been undergoing rapid development, so the finding of growing forest stocks is surprising, although some of the growth may have consisted of monoculture plantations, which do not increase biodiversity.

The increase in forest cover was not the only bright spot that Xu and colleagues discovered. The amount of desertified land in China decreased between 1999 and 2004, emissions of many industrial pollutants have fallen, and a measure of marine ecosystem health shows that Chinese waters have started to improve--probably because of fishing restrictions--after reaching a low in 1997.

The favorable indicators do not conceal some bleak realities and worsening trends. Pollution in Chinese marine ecosystems is "still very severe;" mammal, fish, and bird species across the country are under increasing threat; and the use of fertilizers and pesticides that pollute rivers and lakes is increasing. Grasslands are declining, and the number of newly discovered invasive alien species shows "a tremendous upward trend," Xu and his colleagues write. The area devoted to nature reserves is large and has grown, although many of the reserves are poorly marked and maintained.

All in all, the authors say, despite major efforts by the Chinese government, "China still faces grave challenges in pollution control and biodiversity conservation." They note that "the next decade is a critical period for China to engage all stakeholders in protecting its rich and unique biodiversity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Data Point To Some Improvements In China's Environment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102121456.htm>.
American Institute of Biological Sciences. (2009, November 2). Data Point To Some Improvements In China's Environment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102121456.htm
American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Data Point To Some Improvements In China's Environment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102121456.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) After a year of poor rains and heavy fighting Somalia is again at risk of famine, just three years after food shortages killed 260,000 people. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins