[photopress:Hotels_quinghai_lake.jpg,full,alignright]Qinghai Lake, China’s largest inland salt water lake, in the northwestern province of Qinghai, is to be protected.
The protection will be more significant than it has been in other areas in the past. Jetik Majil, vice governor of Qinghai, where the lake is located said, ‘Not only the projects under construction, but also existing hotels and restaurants will all be demolished.’
Under a new plan for tourism development around the lake, permanent buildings including hotels, restaurants and tourism service facilities will be relocated to an ‘accommodation zone’ at least three kilometers away from the southern bank of the lake.
Jetik Majil said, ‘Grassland will be restored after the buildings were put down. In the future, tourists can only tour around the lake riding horse or bike, or by electric bus, or walking on plank road.’
The 4,300-square-km Qinghai Lake, held to be a ‘Holy Lake’ by Tibetans, is more than 3,200 meters above the sea level, and home to 189 species of birds and a crucial barrier against the invasion of desert from the west.
According to Dong Lizhi, deputy manager-general of the Qinghai Lake Tourism Development, more than 890,000 people visited the lake in 2006 and by July this year, the lake had received more than 500,000 tourists and the figure is expected to hit one million by the end of this year.
To curb the ecological degeneration near the lake, the Chinese government has invested RMB470 million to recover vegetation around the lake and to stop the desert encroaching. The government has banned fishing in the lake since 1982.
Source: China View