First LEDDRA Plenary Meeting in Yichang, China
Responses to soil erosion in agricultural areas in China as well as the exchange of experiences as regards good practice in the EU in soil conservation management and monitoring were among the subjects of the first plenary meeting of the FP7-project LEDDRA. The meeting took place in Yichang (China) from 27 to 30 April 2011 and was organised by the Changjing River Scientific Research Institute (CRSRI). Ruta Landgrebe and Sandra Naumann participated as representatives of Ecologic Institute.
The participants of the meeting included the LEDDRA project partners and the Chinese institutions involved in research work in the Zhang Jiachong study site. During a two-day field trip, the Chinese partners presented soil conservation measures undertaken to address the negative impacts of soil erosion by water and to reverse the trend of the loss of soil organic matter and productivity. At three different sites visited, namely Zhangjiachong Small Watershed (Zigui County), Quxi Small Watershed (Zigui County) and Juntianba Small Watershed (Yiling district, Hubei Province), a wide variety of land use forms (e.g. farmland, forest land and tee terraces) and measures were observed.
Soil erosion control measures applied at the study sites include, for example, terracing, ban on grazing, closing hillside or forest maintenance measures and combined bio-engineering measures with farming practices (e.g. soil edge terraces and stone edge terraces were constructed together with a surface water system for irrigation). The evaluation of these control measures revealed an improvement in soil conditions and of the production and living conditions (e.g. increasing income) for farmers.
As part of the Work Package 6 on Policy Context and Policy Recommendations, Ruta Landgrebe and Sandra Naumann carried out interviews with stakeholders in the study sites, discussing the existing legal and financial instruments and its implementation to cope with soil erosion in the region. The outcomes of the interviews and study site analysis will be included in the project interim report by the end of 2011.
In addition to the LEDDRA partners, the meeting was attended by the representatives of the following Chinese institutes:
- Changjiang Water Resources Commission
- Bureau of Soil and Water Conservation
- Bureau of Science and International Cooperation
- Soil and Water Conservation Division, Water Resource Department of Hubei Province
- Technical Assistant Team, EU-China River Basin Management Programme
- Bureau of Water Resource (Yichang city)
- Bureau of Soil and Water Conservation (Zigui county)
- Bureau of Soil and Water Conservation (Yiling county)