COP14 Special / News

Wonderful Wetlands

China Daily |  Updated:2022-11-01

With a rich variety and broad distribution of wetland resources, ranging from cool temperate to tropical regions, from plains to plateaus and mountainous areas, China has long valued the protection of this unique type of ecosystem. Since the State Council, China’s Cabinet, issued a national wetland conservation plan in 2003, the central government has spent 19.8 billion yuan ($2.73 billion) in wetland conservation and restoration. That includes implementing more than 4,100 wetland restoration projects. With continuous improvements in wetland conditions, the restoration efforts in the country have shifted from rescue to comprehensive protection. To date, the country has established a multifaceted wetland protection and management system, which includes 64 Wetlands of International Importance and 901 national wetland parks.

64 Wetlands of International Importance in China

The Convention on Wetlands’ contracting parties are to place suitable wetlands onto the List of Wetlands of International Importance, also known as the Ramsar List. The convention has several mechanisms to help contracting parties designate their most significant wetlands as Ramsar Sites, and to take action to manage them effectively, maintaining their ecological character. There are over 2,400 Ramsar Sites across the world, covering more than 2.5 million square kilometers. Of them, 64 are located in China, covering a combined area of 73,200 sq km.

901 National wetland parks

A key part of China’s wetland protection system, wetland parks are aimed primarily at wetland ecosystem preservation. Meanwhile, following the principles of comprehensive protection, scientific restoration, rational utilization and sustainable development, the system also works for science popularization, scientific research, sightseeing, and leisure activities. To date, there are 901 national wetland parks across the country, some 90 percent of them open to the public free of charge, providing a shining example of practicing the concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets.

13 International Wetland Cities in China

Recognizing the importance of cities and urban wetlands, the Convention on Wetlands has introduced a Wetland City accreditation scheme, which aims to promote the conservation and wise use of urban wetlands, as well as sustainable socioeconomic benefits for local people. China ranks No 1 worldwide with 13 International Wetland Cities, six of them recognized at the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention in 2007 and seven accredited at the 59th meeting of the convention’s Standing Committee in May.

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