Committed to PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO KNOW
Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  
   
International


China's largest lake may vanish in 200 yrs


China's largest lake, holy to Tibetans but suffering from global warming and desertification, may vanish in two centuries even as the government pledges 870 million dollars to stop it shrinking, Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

Desertification had been brought about by overgrazing around Lake Qinghai, in the remote western province of Qinghai, which is at the crossroads of several bird migration routes across Asia and is about 360 km in circumference.

Overfishing has also reduced the catch of the unusual scaleless naked carp in the lake to just 10 percent of what it was 40 years ago, Xinhua said on its Web site (www.xinhuanet.com).

Over the next 10 years the government has pledged 6.8 billion yuan to address the lake's environmental problems, Xinhua added.

"Experts predict that if it continues shrinking at its present rate, the lake, which on average today is 18 metres, could completely disappear in 200 years time," it said.