A deputy to the National People's Congress has called for an effort to be made to compensate for losses caused by protecting wetland resources.
"We should set up a compensation system to make up for the losses people have suffered because of their effort to protect wetlands, when we crack down on the illegal acts of damaging and occupying wetland resources," Xia Yufa, an NPC deputy who is attending the congress' annual session.
He called for a law to protect wetlands from being encroached while at the same time setting up a system to compensate for losses because of the wetland protection.
"Those who have protected wetland resources at the expense of their interests should be given compensation," Xia said. "Only thus," he said, "can people's enthusiasm and initiative be enhanced to protect wetland resources from being damaged."
Wetlands, forests and oceans are the world's three biggest ecological systems, which are of great importance to balance an ecological environment and promote man's harmony with nature, experts say.
Xia made a detailed survey of the Shengjing Lake National Nature Reserve in Anhui province before he came to the session. He found that local economic growth and people's lives have been affected due to the wetland protection, although the wetland's ecological condition is in a good state.
"The local economy develops slowly, for many productive enterprises are not allowed to be run in the protection area," he said. In addition, local crops and aquaculture have been damaged by the foraging of wetland birds, he added.
Every year, the nature reserve loses 2,000 tons of grain valued at about 4 million yuan ($650,000) and 2.46 million yuan ($400,450) worth of fish, accounting for about 10 per cent of the area's fishing revenue.