AMUR-HEILONG RIVER BASIN

 

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Introduction

Climate

Waters and water management

Ecosystems and ecoregions

Species diversity and use of biological resources

Nature conservation: econet and protected areas

Countries & cultures

Economy

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International policy

Nature conservation: econet and protected areas

Protected Areas in the Amur-Heilong River Basin
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The three basin countries- China, Mongolia and Russia had by 2005 established approximately 700 Protected Areas (PA) that cover 235,634 km2 or about 10-11 percent of the Amur-Heilong River basin (see table on protected areas coverage below and description of Protected areas types in Russia, Mongolia, China). That figure is actually lower than the average coverage in Russia and Mongolia and barely reaches the average in China. Why should PA coverage of the Amur-Heilong River basin be less than the national averages for each basin country when we know the basin is of such high conservation importance? A variety of factors contributes to this paradox, including

  1. the remoteness of provinces and less capacity in the region's PA administration;
  2. lack of research on biodiversity values in earlier pre-disturbance years when the need for protection would have been more obvious;
  3. reluctance to establish PAs because of the perceived conflict between conservation and resource extraction and
  4. lack of concern for still relatively abundant biological resources on the part of national policy-makers.

An ecological network uniting the goals and strategies of the protected area systems in the three countries would be a critical step toward establishing a more widespread and ecologically effective protected area system in the Amur-Heilong River Basin as a whole. Conservation along the national borders, especially wetland conservation, grassland conservation and measures to preserve migratory wildlife should be at the heart of future protected areas planning. Cooperation between nature reserves across the border is already underway is the regions where international protected areas are established: Dauria international Protected Area-DIPA in Daurian steppe and International Khanka nature reserve at Lake Khanka. Such cooperation is also needed in virtually all major wetland regions of the Amur-Heilong River basin, especially on Sanjiang wetlands in Amur Midflow.

The Hinggan Gorge and the Land of the Leopard are two important border areas which also urgently need establishment of transboundary network of nature reserves. WWF Vision for Amur-Heilong Conservation envisions cooperation between protected areass in all transboundary ecoregions and eventual establishment of comprehensive ecological network: The Amur-Heilong Green Belt.

Table: Protected Areas in each of the three Amur-Heilong River basin countries at the end of 2005.


Country
Total PAs
National PAs
Provincial/
Local PAs
number
area (km2)
percentage of basin area
number
area (km2)
percentage of basin area
number
area (km2)
percentage of basin area
China
(Nature Reserves)
268
135,046
15
27
37,714
4.2
241
97,332
10.8
Mongolia
8
19,748
8.8
4
11,677
4.8
4
8,281
3.7
Russia
460
80,850
8.1
20
28,620
2.9
440
52,220
5.2
Total: Amur-Heilong River Basin
736
235,644
11.1
50
78,013
3.6
641
130,559
7.5

 

Amursky wildlife refuge. Amurskaya Province (Photo by Yuri Darman)

Also look:

Protected areas in Amur basin:

Protected areas types in Russia, Mongolia, China

Russian protected areas

Mongolian protected areas

China nature reserves

Protected areas planning

Cooperation between nature reserves

 

Econet-ecological networks:

WWF Vision for Amur-Heilong Conservation

Conservation along the border

Wetland conservation

Grassland conservation and migratory wildlife

Selected Amur-Heilong protected areass and proposed fields of cooperation (Table)

Major wetland regions of the Amur-Heilong River basin (Table)

Ecological Network for Amur: The Amur-Heilong Green Belt Concept

 

Model areas for transboundary conservation :

Dauria international Protected Area-DIPA

Middle Amur – Sanjiang wetlands

Khanka – Ussury wetlands and forests

Small Hinggan Mountains-Three Gorges of Dragon River

Land of the Leopard

 

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