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November 6, 2009

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Lakes core to survival

THE 13th World Lake Conference ended yesterday in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, with a declaration to call for governments and the world to combat lake pollution and promote lake rehabilitation.

About 1,500 delegates from about 45 countries attended the conference titled "For the Rehabilitation of our Lakes: Global Challenges and Chinese Innovations."

Wan Bentai, chief engineer of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, announced the Wuhan Declaration at the closing ceremony.

The declaration says lakes represent the main source of readily accessible fresh water and restoring lakes' ecosystems is important for addressing climate change.

It says water scarcity, pollution, degraded ecosystems and shrinking wetlands have threatened the survival of humanity. It calls on all nations to develop a common vision to facilitate the restoration of lakes and their basins.

"The declaration sets a vision or framework for actions, showing people what they should be doing on lake protection," said Walter Rast, director of International Center for Watershed Studies at Texas State University.


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