How did Tibet’s Hangtso National Wetland Park Realize Its Environmental Protection Transformation? | The “Great River Great Journey” Activity Team Visited Wildlife Custodian Chemi Dorjee
2020/11/23 16:32:00 本站

On November 15, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) “Great River Great Journey” / “The Ode to the Yangtze” activity team visited the Hangtso National Wetland Park in Nagqu City, Tibet Autonomous Region, which is located on the tributary of the upper Yangtze River, with a total area of 2,543.85 hectares. It is an important part of water storage and flood regulation and alleviation of low water. The superior ecological environment makes it the best choice for the migration of more than one million migratory birds every year. The attentive wildlife protectors guarantee the reproduction of the offspring after the birds arrive.


Chemi Dorjee, a villager who grew up in Pula Village, Nagqu City, is also a ranger in the lake area of the Hangtso National Wetland Park. At 58 years old, he has been in this job for 33 years. Bird watching around the lake in an environment with high cold and sun exposure and heavy wind and sand, cleaning up rubbish, and filling in ruts so that the grass continues to grow are almost the basic content of his daily work. Compared with other people, Chemi Dorjee’s face and hands are darker, covered with chapped wrinkles.


In 1987, the phenomenon of poaching in Hangtso National Wetland Park was very serious. The birds lay eggs in the evening, and the poachers shot them to death the next day and stole the eggs for sale. For almost three years, no migratory bird could be seen on the island of Hangtso Lake. It is no longer a bird paradise, but a ‘ruin’ after the poachers’ revelry. It was at that time that Chemi Dorjee spontaneously went to the Hangtso Wetland and started the work of protecting birds. "Seeing someone killing the birds makes me very heartbroken. It's like my home is destroyed by others. This is my home. It's my duty to protect it," Chemi Dorjee said, patting his chest. Under the protection of more and more people, the government established five major districts in Hangtso Lake in 2000 to provide subsidies to wildlife conservation workers in the park. This makes Chemi Dorjee feel more responsibility from state support on his shoulders while voluntarily guarding his hometown.


On a certain day in 2002, eight vehicles asked to enter the Hangtso Lake for field inspection in the name of local unit. Due to lack of experience, the staff in the park were not suspicious. That evening, Chemi Dorjee was doing work around the lake as usual. Suddenly, he heard a few gunshots from the center of the lake, rushed over and he found that it was the eight vehicles that asked to enter the park that day to hunt, kill and steal in the protection center. He immediately stepped forward to stop them. Under the chase and interception of the many poachers, he almost died. Although Chemi Dorjee was alone at that time, he did not have the slightest fear. He said: "I used to protect my hometown spontaneously out of obligation. Now the country attaches great importance to us, and I am more responsible for protecting the park." His profound emotion and sense of belonging to this land made his definition of "home" no longer a corner place, but this vast land and all the things that grew up with him there. Instead of calling him a "ranger", a "custodian" is more appropriate.


As a Tibetan, Chemi Dorjee has a high love and respect for birds. He has been with birds since he was young, and his feelings for birds are like for domestic cattle and sheep. He is familiar with the migration of every bird species; on which day they will arrive there and when they will lay eggs. In addition to spontaneously protecting the safety of birds, he also took the initiative to take the responsibility of treating injured birds. Since 1987, he has treated an average of 20 birds every year. At first, villagers encountered injured birds in the wild and could only sent them to Chemi Dorjee’s home for treatment. Today, there has been an independent bird rescue station in Hangtso Lake, and Chemi Dorjee has rescued more than 600 injured birds. He said: "Every time I watch these birds fly away, my heart is very complicated. I think I will take care of the birds here all my life. Even if I walk with a cane, I will take care of them here." Protecting life with life is probably the best interpretation of this cause.


Regarding the expectations of the work, Chemi Dorjee said that he hopes to have a telescope dedicated to bird watching to observe the situation in the park in time, and also hopes that more people can be assigned to the park to share the work. Now, Chemi Dorjee takes his son to learn how to care for birds, to be familiar with the content of the park and work, to inherit this career, and guard this land.


It is reported that the "Great River and Great Journey" / “The Ode to the Yangtze” activity is organized by Xinhuanet and co-organized by China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF). This activity mainly focused on ecological environment protection, humanities and nature, poverty alleviation, major country projects, cultural heritage, and other contents of the cities along the river and formed a series of outcomes. To present the development of the Yangtze River civilization and the Yangtze River in an all-round and three-dimensional way.

(Photo credit: Ren Wanli)

Original Chinese article:

By / Maggie