20 natural lakes disappear each year in China

Updated: 2011-12-12 19:30


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NANJING - China has about 24,000 natural lakes, but they are disappearing at a rate of about 20 every year, according to a declaration released at an environmental forum that ended on Sunday.

China's natural lakes cover an area of 83,000 square km and play an important role in maintaining ecological balance, controlling floods and reducing droughts, according to a declaration issued at the First China Forum on Lakes in Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu province.

However, China's lakes have been confronted with severe challenges due to climate change resulting from human activity, the declaration said.

"Every year, about 20 natural lakes dishearteningly disappear," the declaration said, noting that human activity has created serious consequences for the lakes.

"Water quality is deteriorating, sediment is accumulating, wetlands are shrinking in size and aquatic organisms are dying out. Consequently, the lakes' capacity for flood control and drought relief have been affected," the declaration said.

The declaration said the lakes will not be able to adapt themselves to the damage caused by human activity.

China's Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei pledged at the forum to increase government input into lake protection.

More than 800 experts and officials attended the forum, which was held from December 10 to 11.