The Amur River unites countries
A meeting of the Amur-Heilong Steering Committee took place in Jilin Province, China, on May 12-17. Representatives of WWF China, WWF Mongolia and WWF Russia, the three neighboring countries, gathered together to make up a joint plan on the Amur Ecoregion conservation. It was rather symbolic to have the meeting on the bottom of the Changbaishan Mountain very close to the like-named national park. This area was historically inhabited by the Amur tiger so its restoration is one of the common tasks of the Russian and China staff.
About 20 years ago WWF selected 200 Ecoregions globally important for conservation of the biological diversity of the Planet. The Amur Ecoregion is one of these “hot spots” and a program for its conservation is in the list of 35 priority territories for WWF International.
“Amur can be regarded as a real border between Asia and Europe where Russian bears meet Asian tigers. This is “a fusion” land where the unique nature, cultural traditions and growing economies mingle,” notes Yury Darman, head of WWF Russia Amur branch, a distinguished ecologist of the Russian Federation.
“The Amur Ecoregion unites Russia, China and Mongolia. Only together we can save the Amur River free-flowing”.
Participants discussed plans for transboundary cooperation for the coming three years. One of the strategic directions of the joint work is to conserve rare big acts, the Amur tiger and Amur leopard. The Green Belt of Amur Program envisions support and expansion of protected areas, wetlands, and conservation of rare and endangered species like Oriental stork, white-naped and Manchurian cranes, Mongolian gazelle, and migrating fish. Action plans for sustainable forestry and development of “green” economy were also elaborated.