This photo taken on March 1, 2023 shows black-necked cranes in Lhunzhub County of Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Shen Hongbing)
LHASA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has achieved overall carbon neutrality, said Yan Jinhai, head of the regional government, during a forum opened Sunday on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau ecosystem.
The Namjagbarwa forum on the building of a national ecological civilization highland in Tibet kicked off Sunday in the region's Nyingchi City. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Yan said Tibet is able to make greater contributions to China's dual carbon targets.
Currently, the carbon sink of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau ecosystem amounts to 162 million tonnes per year, accounting for 8 to 16 percent of China's total ecosystem carbon sink, according to the experts attending the forum.
Based on data, combined with the findings of China's second scientific research survey on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the annual carbon sink of Tibet's ecosystem in recent years reached around 47.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, with its annual carbon emission totaling about 11.5 million tonnes, indicating that the region has actually been in a state of carbon neutrality, the experts explained.
A villager patrols in the forest in Gaiba Village of Gongbo'Gyamda County in Nyingchi City, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, July 20, 2023.(Xinhua/Sun Fei)
More than 120 government officials, experts and scholars including famous academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering are at the two-day forum.
"The ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau absorbs a net 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, which is far more than the anthropogenic emissions of the plateau region. It is clear that the plateau has achieved carbon neutrality," said Piao Shilong, a CAS academician.
Meanwhile, other experts and scholars will deliver reports on the assessment of the carbon budget of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau ecosystem, aiming to reveal the function and change characteristics of the plateau's carbon sink under the influence of climate warming and humidification.
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with an area of around 2.58 million square km, spans six provincial-level regions in western China, including Qinghai and Tibet.
During the forum, Yao Tandong, a CAS academician and the team leader of the second comprehensive scientific expedition on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, unveiled some important research results of the expedition.
Scientific research members from Tibet University collect aquatic life samples near the mountaineering base camp in the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, May 22, 2023.(Xinhua/Sun Fei)
Getting warmer, more humid, and greener with more dark matters is the major trend of climate change on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau over the years and in the future, said Yao.
This year marks the sixth anniversary of the launch of the second comprehensive scientific expedition on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
A law on ecological protection of the plateau, also known as "the roof of the world," came into effect on Sept. 1. Based on the new law and other relevant official documents, the expedition team will further carry out their international cooperation project on the scientific research of the Third Pole Environment (TPE) to deepen global cooperation on climate change, according to Yao.
The Third Pole covers the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and surrounding areas, storing abundant snow and glaciers.