On 12 April DFD officially handed over the environmental information system DELIGHT to Chinese authorities.
The transfer took place in the Dongying administrative district of Shandong Province. The district is located between Peking and Shanghai on Lake Bohai in the Yellow River estuary. This highly dynamic river delta is an important stopover and breeding ground during east Asian bird migration and contains valuable wetlands. It is caught between the conflicting priorities of rapid urban development, a growing oil industry and intensive agricultural use on the one hand, and the need to protect and preserve the ecosystem and further expand ecotourism on the other.
The German-Chinese project “Delta Information System for Geoenvironmental and Human Habitat Transition”, DELIGHT, is financed by the German Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF, and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, MOST. For three years urban and natural changes and their drivers in the Yellow River delta have been studied in the context of this project, using an interdisciplinary approach. Local and regional decision makers and numerous German and Chinese science institutions are involved, along with small and medium-size private sector companies.
The DELIGHT environmental information system will in the future facilitate local planning processes in the Dongying administrative district. With the help of this instrument, quantitative delta parameters can be visualised and analysed to assist the decision-making process when making plans for land use in the delta. It provides access to data on coastal erosion and land reclamation, the expansion of aquaculture, changes in agricultural acreage, urbanisation processes, the identification of point and area sources of water pollution, and key indlcators for coastal currents and the sediment and algal content of seawater.
The system was jointly developed by a German-Chinese consortium based on a local analysis of needs. It was implemented this year at the "Bureau of Land and Resources", which will run it on behalf of all Chinese delta stakeholders. In order to make this possible, the official handing over of the system was preceded by numerous training workshops conducted over several years on the use, maintenance and further development of the DELIGHT environmental information system.
More information on the German-Chinese DELIGHT project can be found via the link at right.