“This is an unprecedented project, an unprecedented scientific expedition, a life discussion facing the future.” – The tone set for this project by Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, the Secretary-General of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) at the launch meeting.
Recently, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) decided to officially launch the “Lop Nur Biodiversity Survey and Monitoring” project with a ten-year period and 2020 as the starting year. The goals set by this ambitious project include digging into the past and examining the present.
Dig deep and record the changes and current status of Lop Nur in genes, species, and ecosystems, and thoroughly study Lop Nur’s biodiversity and understand the impact of climate change. Explore the impact of ecological changes on the Chinese national culture and life forms, and provide scientific support for the development of the western region and major engineering decisions.
Only by understanding the past can one plan the future. Lop Nur has the characteristic of “Ear” feature. Lop Nur was born from the end of the Tertiary to the beginning of the Quaternary and has a history of millions of years. As the watershed center of the entire Tarim Basin, the lake area reached 20,000 square kilometers in the historical period, and there are traces of human activity before the history. In the past 2000, the climate and environment in Lop Nur has changed drastically, which has become a typical case of environmental evolution in arid regions, and is also a microcosm of the historical, geographical, and environmental evolution in Xinjiang and even Central Asia.
What does Lop Nur look like? Since the second half of the 19th century, a large number of domestic and foreign explorers and scientists have conducted surveys, and excavations in Lop Nur and its neighboring areas from different professional perspectives such as geography, geology, climate, history, archaeology, etc., and put forward various opinions and assumptions, sparked an academic debate for more than a century.
Lop Nur has many stories about it, the mystery of the big ear, the mysterious disappearance of the Loulan ancient country, and the bare bones that were found… This seemingly calm place is always shocking, puzzling, and obsessing. As of now, there is no biodiversity survey on the Lop Nur system.
“We have completed a number of continuous scientific investigations on Zhuonai Lake in 2019 and figured out the huge impact and potential threat of the Zhuo Nai Lake’s dam breach on the Sanjiangyuan ecological barrier and even the overall downstream ecosystem. Finally, we formed a proposal and submitted it to the country.
I once said at that time, ‘Without scientific intervention, Zhuonai Lake will evolve into the second Lop Nur’. So now we are going to make clear the current situation of Lop Nur’s biodiversity and ecological problems through this inspection spanning over ten years, planning the future of mankind from a macro perspective is also a challenge and research on the basis of human survival.” Dr. Zhou emphasized.
CBCGDF has established special working groups including scientific group, liaison group, advocacy group and comprehensive group to clarify the composition of the project’s core personnel to ensure that the project is carried out in a steady, long-term and safe manner.
In addition, the scientific investigation will also adhere to the principle of full openness, and invite various government agencies, scientific research experts, citizen scientists, media reporters, and corporate representatives to participate together. Welcome to sign up!
(Video credit: CBCGDF)
Original Chinese article:
By / Maggie, Zhang Daqian (Intern)
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