Climate Change Adapation

One of the biggest issues for freshwater experts is determining how to assess a river basin’s vulnerability and ability to adapt to climate change. To address these complicated issues, WWF, together with over 20 experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China Meteorological Administration and Fudan University
drafted the Yangtze Basin Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Report in 2009.

The report is the first-ever large-scale publication on climate change research at the river basin level. It aims to evaluate the impact of climate change on representative ecosystems and water resources in the Yangtze River basin, pinpoint adaptation strategies, and provide support to decision makers. WWF’s Changsha office also investigated the relationship between water level change and biodiversity loss in Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake. Connected to the Yangtze through tributaries, the lake’s water levels have been dropping over the last few years due to climate change and the Three Gorges Dam. As an important wintering ground for Siberian Cranes and a valuable resource for local residents, WWF is working with nature reserves in the area to look for adaptation strategies that keep the lake’s assets in balance.

Eco-fishery and green pig farming are key solutions towards climate change mitigation in the Yangtze River Basin. Through WWF-sponsored eco-fishery training sessions, 250 local fishermen and managers from 30 lakes in the river basin have improved their technical capacity. Over the past three years, an environment friendly pig-farming project sponsored by WWF has also yielded encouraging results. The pig farms participating in the project can treat 80 tons of wastewater and harvest 150 m3 of methane daily, eliminating 3,000 tons of greenhouse gas per year from a single pig farm, the equivalent CO2 absorption effect of planting 20 ha of mixed broadleaf forest. Importantly, 60 households are now using biogas produced by the project for free.

© WWF / Donald G. REID
The Yangtze River Basin Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Report was released on November 10, 2009.
© WWF / Donald G. REID