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Experts say China's 30-year wetland protection effective, fruitful

Environment
China has always adhered to ecological priority, systematic management and scientific utilization in wetland protection, effectively implementing the Ramsar Convention and benefiting the world, experts have said.

XinhuaUpdated:  November 11, 2022

China has always adhered to ecological priority, systematic management and scientific utilization in wetland protection, effectively implementing the Ramsar Convention and benefiting the world, experts have said.

They made the remarks at a side event titled "China's 30 Anniversary of Accession to the Ramsar Convention: Achievement and Outlook" held in Geneva on Thursday during the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention.

The event, hosted by China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), gathered nearly 100 representatives from the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, contracting parties and international organizations, who spoke highly of the effectiveness of China's compliance with the convention.

Li Chunliang, deputy director of the NFGA, said that over the past 30 years, China has taken a historic leap in wetland conservation through a combination of survey and monitoring, engineering planning, laws and regulations, scientific research and education.

According to official data, China's mangrove area has increased from 220 square km in 2001 to 270 square km now, becoming one of the few countries in the world with a net increase in mangrove areas.

Musonda Mumba, secretary-general of the Ramsar Convention, said that China's great achievements in wetland protection is of absolute importance not only at the national level, but also at the international level.

"I want to say that in celebrating these 30 years, it's really an honor to realize and see that the wetlands leadership from China goes beyond the national jurisdiction of China ... I look forward to the next 30 years," she said.

In the past decade, China has created and restored more than 800,000 hectares of wetlands, including 64 wetlands of international importance, 29 of national importance and 1,021 of provincial importance, according to the latest survey by the NFGA.

"I've been involved in coastal, wetland conservation in the Yellow Sea and have to say that China's progress on this, especially in the last five years, has been a huge inspiration to me and many others who care about coastal water birds around the world," said Nicola Crockford, principal policy officer of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

Professor Lei Guangchun, chair of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention, said that China's wetland conservation and restoration practices have set up a model for the rest of the world.

Since its accession to the Ramsar Convention in 1992, China has already established a system for wetland protection and restoration that incorporates laws and regulations, investigation and monitoring systems.

Thanks to a government-led working pattern comprising departmental collaboration and social participation, China has designated 64 wetlands of international importance, with 13 cities having been awarded "International Wetland City" titles.

With achievements of completing more than 4,100 wetland protection and restoration projects, including more than 600 wetland natural reserves and 900 national wetland parks, China has been awarded twice the "Ramsar Wetland Convention Award" by the Secretariat of Ramsar Convention. 

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