China's Largest Lake May Vanish in 200 Years
Desertification had been brought about by overgrazing around Lake Qinghai, in the remote western province of Qinghai, which is at the crossroads of several bird migration routes across Asia and is about 360 km (220 miles) in circumference.
Overfishing has also reduced the catch of the unusual scaleless naked carp in the lake to just 10 percent of what it was 40 years ago, Xinhua said on its Web site (www.xinhuanet.com).
Over the next 10 years the government has pledged 6.8 billion yuan (US$871.4 million) to address the lake's environmental problems, Xinhua added.
"Experts predict that if it continues shrinking at its present rate, the lake, which on average today is 18 metres (59 ft), could completely disappear in 200 years time," it said.