Changyuan River Wetland Natural Park (China - Qixian, Shanxi)

  • Year of commitment : 2019

  • Builder
    Phytorestore and IPPR
  • Manager / Dealer
    Management Committee of the Changyuan River Wetland National Park

Changyuan River Wetland Natural Park won the Sustainable Infrastructure Grand Prize of the 2019 Green Solutions Awards at the China level + a mention for the international Sustainable Infrastructure Grand Prize.

The Changyuan River Restoration Project began in April 2016. It is located in Qixian District, in the province of Shanxi. The owner is Qixian District (about 350,000 inhabitants), represented by the "Park Management Committee" National Wetland of Changyuan River "and its President Mr. Wang.

The project benefits from an AFD loan (French Development Agency) of 30 million euros and belongs to restoration of biodiversity supported by AFD since 2014.

The project foresees 18 actions of ecological restoration, hydraulic, ecotourism, development of the local heritage or scientific monitoring in the framework of the creation of a "national park of the Changyuan river wetlands" on 900 hectares, of which 460 ha are wetlands.

The project is located in the heart of the Loess Plateau in Shanxi Province, a wetland-poor region subject to erosion. Of the 234 animal species and 428 plant species found in the national park, 27 are on the red list, including some of the most endangered and emblematic species such as black stork, golden eagle, great bustard and mandarin duck.

The project is therefore essential to safeguard this ecological heritage and improves the resilience of the local ecosystem and better adaptation to climate change.

The invitation to tender for the design and construction of this national park was won in April 2016 by a FrancoChinoise team composed of:

The main designer, Thierry Jacquet, landscape designer and Phytorestore, who are the representatives of the design team composed of French and Chinese partners: the SMEs Hydrétudes, Tecsol, Paratronic, Naskéo, Sage Environnement, Marcanterra, and the Chinese Institutes Zhaoyang and Sinohydro Bureau 11 for carrying out the execution plans, the Chinese IPPR company, which is a large class A institute based in Beijing.

In the past, the Changyuan River had a permanent bed, where water constantly flowed. However, during the last decades, the bed of the river has been particularly degraded, leading to the disappearance of most wetlands. The permanent bed has also

disappeared for more than 11 km. The sand of the bed has been used by the glass industry, very famous in Qixian. Alternating droughts and floods have also degraded soils by salinizing them. Its location in the great plains of Loess in central China where wetlands are scarce makes it a particularly important place for biodiversity.

That is why restoring a permanent river bed and associated wetlands was essential in order to allow the return of protected species for birds and restore plant biodiversity.

This restoration project is structured around several axes:

  • Restoring a permanent bed over 11.5 km for the Chang Yuan River to conserve large permanent wetlands and protect the water resource. Thus, 900 000 m² of river have been waterproofed in order to save 2 million m3 of water per year. The banks have also been renaturalized with 1,500,000 local wetland plants in the riverbed.
  • Restoring nature through nature, including a 2 hectare vegetable filtering garden to treat 10,000 m3 of water worn daily. The treated water reaches a level that allows it to participate in the ecological restoration of the river and its wet zones. The water output reaches quality 1A, the best regulatory quality set in China.
  • Recreating a strong ecological biodiversity, notably thanks to the creation of a bird park. The river's biodiversity has been enriched in the large wetlands by recreating natural habitats for birds and reintroducing local plants that had disappeared. This has led to the creation of about 50 bird islands in the riverbed and in the park.
  • Developing new ecotourism services, allowing local economic development adapted to the rural context of the district. The new eco-museum and the ornithological park are the privileged places of this new ecotourism development and will to create many ecotourism activities along the Changyuan River Wetland Park.
  • Managing waste, wastewater and energy, including with the creation of a local biogas-powered methanizer and several filtering gardens to treat wastewater, including those of the museum and mountain villages. The anaerobic digestion is of mixed type. The dry input is fed by biomass from local plants of the wetlands and by peeling waste like those from pears. The liquid input is fed by livestock effluents or wastewater from the museum.

    Photo credit

    Phytorestore/Thierry Jacquet


    Green Solutions Awards 2019 - Infrastructures

    Author of the page

  • Julien Douesnard

    Paysagiste concepteur


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    Green Solutions Awards 2019 - Infrastructures