Work stepped up on wetlands protection

By Li Hongyang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-04 06:48
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A worker feeds black-necked cranes at a wetland reserve in Zhaotong, Yunnan province. CAO MENGYAO/XINHUA

Field monitoring stations and information platforms play key roles

In November, China announced that about 11 million hectares of wetlands would be included in its national parks system.

This important decision was made at the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Several wetlands management committees and bureaus are pressing ahead with plans to build national parks, including the Yellow River Estuary National Park in Shandong province and Qinghai Lake National Park in Qinghai province.

In June, the Shandong provincial government applied to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration to set up the Yellow River Estuary National Park to protect the waterway's delta.

The authorities in Shandong have since completed the preparatory work and will start the project soon.

Xu Mingde, director of the Yellow River Estuary National Nature Reserve Management Committee, said an area of 3,518 square kilometers has been allocated for the national park.

The reserve is a global breeding ground for the Oriental White Stork and black-billed gull.

To prepare for the national park, the reserve returned thousands of hectares of farmland to wetlands and beaches. It also invested billions of yuan in projects such as connecting water systems, dredging tidal ditches, restoring sea grass beds, and treating invasive species.

After it is established, the national park is expected to integrate sea and land resources, Xu said.

Since the National Park Administration approved Qinghai Lake National Park in April, the Qinghai Lake National Nature Reserve has completed plans for ecological and water protection, and a scientific research and monitoring system in the lake's basin.

Some 16 key projects, including grassland treatment, sand prevention and control, and wetland protection and restoration, have been launched, according to officials at the reserve.

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