Natural Resource Specialist on Wetlands

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Based on the transboundary diagnostic analysis of the Yellow Sea, one of the major environmental problems is the enrichment of nutrients in the Yellow Sea which is the major cause of harmful algal blooms in the region. Water pollution in coastal areas has caused social and political attention because of its significant impacts on not only the environment, but also the economy and society as well. More importantly, water pollution issue has been intertwined with other issues such as coastal wetland loss, marine ecosystem degradation and coastal land reclamation, eutrophication from aquaculture, etc. Therefore, more cost-effective, innovative and integrated approaches rather than traditional engineering methods are needed to tackle water pollution in coastal areas under high development pressures in this rapidly changing time.

Manmade wetlands or use of wetland for tertiary treatment of pollution have been recognized as effective ways to remove nutrients and other pollutants from land-based sources in YS region by the PR China, RO Korea and international financial institutions such as the World Bank. Studies indicate that the constructed wetland’s efficiency in water pollutants is reliable, particularly for nutrients removal with a very low wastewater background concentration, meaning it is suitable for the non-point source pollution.

In order to help local government design and invest in cost-effective and with spin-off effect of ecological services for public benefits, the project will develop a regional strategy for using wetland as nutrient sinks based on assessment of good practices that can be applied across YSLME in particular in use of wetland regulatory services to treat wastewater and sewage.