Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve Bureau

Region

Asia

Country

China

Flyway

East Asian - Australasian flyway

Initiative

WLI Asia-Oceania

About

Name of organisation

Jiangxi Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve Bureau

Funding support

Administrative and project funds

Number of staff

102

Number of visitors per year

25,000

Overall aims of the centre

Protecting the rare migratory birds represented by the Siberian Crane, the Yangtze Finless Porpoise, and other wildlife, as well as the wetland ecological environment, conducting scientific research related to ecological conservation to achieve the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources.

Description of the centre

Natural Resources: The Jiangxi Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve Bureau (hereinafter referred to as PLNNR) primarily aims to protect rare migratory birds such as the Siberian Crane, the Yangtze Finless Porpoise, and the wetland ecological environment. It conducts scientific research related to ecological conservation to achieve the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources. PLNNR harbors abundant flora and fauna resources and is rich in biodiversity. Statistics show that it contains 602 species from 128 families of higher plants, 653 species of vertebrates, including 391 bird species. Annually, 200,000 to 400,000 migratory birds winter in the reserve, including 19 species classified as National First-Class Protected Species and 73 as National Second-Class Protected Species, and 25 species listed as “threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Therefore, PLNNR is renowned globally as a “paradise for rare birds”. The population of Yangtze Finless Porpoises numbers 1,249, with nearly 50% of the total inhabiting Poyang Lake.

The PLNNR preserves the most intact wetland ecosystem in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, designated as a Ramsar wetland site. It bears the crucial responsibility for global migratory bird migration and ranks first among 1,060 critical habitats along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway in terms of score, contribution, and significance. Moreover, its beautiful natural environment and diverse biodiversity make it a “natural classroom” for environmental education. At the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the “Exploration and Practice of Siberian Crane Conservation in Poyang Lake” was honored with the “Biodiversity 100+ Case Studies” certificate and included in the “Global Case Selection”. In 1992, PLNNR was identified as a global priority area for biodiversity conservation and designated as a Ramsar wetland site. It became a member of the East Asian-Australasian Shore Birds Conservation Network in 2006 and received the Best Conservation Award from the Global Wide Fund for Nature (GNF) the same year. In 2012, PLNNR was listed among the world's seven endangered wildlife habitats. It has also been included in the list of “National Science Popularization Education Bases”, “Jiangxi Province Youth Environmental Education Base”, and “WWF Natural School”.

Environmental Education Resources: The PLNNR currently hosts 6 environmental education rooms. Among these, the “Poyang Lake Wetland and Migratory Bird Education Center”, the first of its kind in Jiangxi Province dedicated to Siberian Cranes, covers a total area of 1,314 square meters, providing the public with a specialized space for wetland and migratory bird scientific education. Inside, there are areas for an overview, local culture, achievements, specimen display, and specialized sections for Siberian Cranes and Yangtze Finless Porpoises. It also features facilities such as a digital sand table, interactive Siberian Crane game, VR experience, AR photography, and a smart monitoring platform. Adjacent to the center, there are classrooms, natural education trails, an environmental resources court, and a wildlife rescue center. Additionally, PLNNR has repurposed abandoned shipping containers to build the two-story “Crane School”, complemented by outdoor micro-wetlands and natural trails. Each education room offers unique features, providing the public with diverse learning experiences. Furthermore, each station in PLNNR includes bird-watching decks, corridors, educational posters, and high-definition telescopes, ensuring visitors have an excellent experience.

Work Areas

Main CEPA work area

Publishing Environmental Education Materials and Developing Educational Courses: In 2022, PLNNR published the first book on wetland and migratory birds in Poyang Lake titled “Wonderful Life at Poyang Lake”. This initiative was complemented by the development of five courses: “The Siberian Cranes Return to Our Hometown”, “The Secrets of Birds Preferring Poyang Lake”, “Siberian Crane Baby's Wildlife Friends”, “We All Live at Poyang Lake”, and “Poyang Lake Wide Waters, Yangtze Finless Porpoises Roaming”. To promote these courses in primary and secondary schools, PLNNR organized specialized training sessions, attended by approximately 40 representatives from surrounding reserves, primary schools, and natural education institutions who received course-completion certificates finally. By 2024, PLNNR had implemented natural education courses based on different chapters of “Wonderful Life at Poyang Lake” and distributed copies to 40 primary schools, reaching about 2,000 students. The book has been well-loved by teachers and students, significantly enhancing wetland and bird conservation efforts and advancing the environmental education of Poyang Lake into a more standardized, scientific, and diverse phase.

Two case studies, “Natural Education Activities in Jiangxi Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve” and “The Siberian Cranes Return to Our Hometown”, were featured in the “Wetland China Series: Human and Wetland Natural Education” published by the China Forestry Publishing House. Additionally, a series of manuals and picture books themed on wetland biodiversity protection were designed and produced, including “Manual of Poyang Lake Bird Enthusiast Development”, “10 Little Things I Can Do for Poyang Lake”, “Manual of Migratory Bird Rescue”, “Manual of Environmental Resource Court”, “Manual of the Law on Wetlands Protection of the People's Republic of China”, “Birds in Poyang Lake”, and “Reflections of the Lake, Shadows of the Yangtze Finless Porpoise - Poyang Lake Yangtze Finless Porpoise Picture Book”.

Building a Solid Foundation in Environmental Education Capabilities: With support from WWF, PLNNR has organized practical training sessions tailored to environmental education at Poyang Lake and established a team of 15 professional educators. PLNNR supports educators in conducting diverse environmental education activities in schools, communities, and social institutions around the lake, provides opportunities for them to participate in capacity-building training and various learning courses. Each educator is required to conduct a minimum of 10 environmental education activities annually. Additionally, PLNNR has been honored with the title of “Registered Natural School” by WWF for three consecutive years. Three staff members of PLNNR have been recognized as “Registered Environmental Education Instructors” by WWF for three consecutive years, and four staff members have received certification as “Natural Education Instructors” from the Chinese Society of Forestry.

Strengthening Cooperation: PLNNR actively collaborates with countries such as Russia, Mongolia, and Japan, as well as national reserves including Inner Mongolia Keerqin National Nature Reserve, Jilin Xianghai National Nature Reserve, and Jilin Momoge National Nature Reserve along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway for monitoring, environmental education, and scientific research. PLNNR has partnered with the International Crane Foundation to establish a “Siberian Crane School” and two “Little Crane Schools” in local primary schools within the lake region. In collaboration with Conservation International, PLNNR has established “Migratory Bird Libraries” to provide educational venues and facilities for left-behind children around the lake. Additionally, it has cooperated with the Mangrove Conservation Foundation to develop a ten-year environmental education plan for the reserve.

Seizing opportunities like World Wetlands Day, World Wildlife Day, and International Day for Biological Diversity, PLNNR has organized numerous online and offline environmental education activities with countries along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. These activities include live natural education broadcasts between China and Japan, connecting with Japanese university students, and inviting educators from Russia and Mongolia to conduct diverse environmental education activities in local schools, helping students understand different cultures along the migration routes.

Furthermore, PLNNR regularly conducts themed environmental education activities in collaboration with institutions such as the Jiangxi Provincial Museum and Jiangxi Science & Technology Museum. Activities like “Explore Poyang Lake Together” with the Jiangxi Provincial Museum and three consecutive editions of the creative competition 'Discover the Beauty of Poyang Lake' with multiple NGOs and social research institutions have achieved significant publicity effects. These various thematic promotional activities also contribute to addressing challenges and issues in conservation educationally, such as enhancing the popularization of laws and interpreting the 10-year Fishing Ban policy on the Yangtze River.

Top three successes

  1. Being consecutively honored with the title of “Registered Natural School” by WWF for three years (2021-2023).
  2. Collaborating with countries and reserves along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway to conduct diverse environmental education activities, helping primary school students in the lake area understand the diverse cultures along the migration routes.

Authoring and publishing the first natural education book on wetland and migratory birds in Poyang Lake, titled “Wonderful Life at Poyang Lake”. This book was launched at the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the Convention on Wetlands. It was also included in the recommended list of the China Natural Education Conference in 2023, honored with the National Outstanding Forestry and Grassland Popular Science Works Award in 2023, and recognized as a typical case of CEPA in Chinese Wetland Education in 2024.

Top three challenges

  1. Lack of an international exchange platform for environmental education;
  2. Lack of experience in cultivating volunteers;
  3. Lack of diversified design concepts for environmental education formats.

Expertise

Interpretation techniques

Creating signage / site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails

Visitor centres

Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Building / maintaining structures

Participation

Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers

Education and communication

Early years education; Working with primary schools; Developing resources / materials

General

Project planning.

Contact

Name: Jiangxi Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve Bureau

Address: Building A2, Greenland Twin Towers, Honggutan New District, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China.

E-mail: PYHxck@163.com

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