Learning from the Thames – Dongying Wang
In fact, the Thames is acknowledged to be one of the world’s cleanest urban rivers. But like many of China’s rivers today, at one time urban and industrial growth threatened its ecosystem – almost to the point of collapse.
China’s rapid industrialisation has seen many rivers repeat the same tragedy that happened to the Thames in the nineteenth century. In the 1830s, salmon disappeared from the Thames, not to return until the 1970s.
The 2006 Yangtze Freshwater Dolphin Expedition failed to find a single trace of the baiji; it is almost certain the “goddess of the Yangtze River” is now extinct. Numbers of the finless porpoise, a species unique to China, are also plummeting, and it may soon follow in the baiji’s wake. [Full Text]