Environmental protection makes China's wetland areas flourish

Updated: Nov 7, 2022 By Hou Liqiang China Daily Print
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Migratory birds from Northeast China and Siberia gather at the Fuhe Wetland Park in Wuhan last winter. ZHANG CHANG/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

Important anniversary

This year marks the 30th anniversary of China becoming a contracting party to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. "In the past three decades, under the government's leadership, the ecological conditions in wetland areas have seen consistent improvement, thanks to strengthened efforts by people from all walks of life to promote wetland protection and remediation, and implement the philosophy of sustainable development and the ecological civilization," said Wu Zhimin, director of the wetland management department at the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

"Ecological civilization" is a concept promoted by Xi that emphasizes balanced, sustainable development and harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature.

As home to just 4 percent of the planet's wetland areas, China has met the demands of 20 percent of the world's population for wetland functions in the operations of production, life and ecosystem, Wu said. He added that the country has made significant contributions to wetland conservation and sustainable use.

In 2003, the State Council, China's Cabinet, approved a national wetland protection plan (2002-30). Since then, the central government has allocated 19.8 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) for wetland conservation via three five-year plans, and more than 4,100 projects have been launched to protect and remediate wetland, he said. Wu said comprehensive protection measures were rolled out from 2016 to last year after the government assessed conditions in the country's wetland areas and took action to aid damaged regions. For example, the transformation of Yinchuan's Yellow River Wetland Park into an avian paradise came thanks to a wetland purification project launched by the local government in 2018.

In addition to measures to curb the discharge of sewage and other pollutants into the river, the project included efforts to preserve the river's ecosystem by building wetland and improving drainage networks, said Cao Jing, an official with the Yinchuan ecology and environment bureau. The city has set up eight protected wetland areas — five of them man-made — covering 733 hectares, she said.

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