Na­tion vows to safe­guard wet­lands

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - ByWUYIYAO in Shang­hai wuyiyao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The China State For­est Ad­min­is­tra­tion and theWWF, one of the world’s largest in­de­pen­dent con­ser­va­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions, signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing on Wed­nes­day on Shang­hai’s Chong­ming Is­land, their first MOU to in­clude coastal wet­land pro­tec­tion.

China has made ef­forts to pro­tect wet­lands across the coun­try, in­clud­ing restoration and­pro­tec­tion­pro­ject­sand­pro­mot­ing aware­ness, ac­cord­ing to the StateFor­est Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In the past decade, more than 200 bil­lion yuan ($31.4 bil­lion) has been in­vested in pro­tect­ing and restor­ing wet­lands across China, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, more than 10 bil­lion yuan has been in­vested in restor­ing its Xixi wet­land, which now has 345 kinds of plants, 64 kinds of birds and 226 kinds of in­sects, ac­cord­ing to the city’s for­est ad­min­is­tra­tion author­i­ties.

Un­der the agree­ment, the WWFwill­sup­port the ad­min­is­tra­tion in re­search ac­tiv­i­ties with other mem­ber coun­tries in the East Asian-Aus­tralasian Fly­way Part­ner­ship, a pro­gram that aims at pro­tect­ing mi­gra­tory wa­ter birds and the places they live. WWF will do mon­i­tor­ing and pro­tec­tion work on mi­gra­tory shore­birds species in China’s coastal wet­lands, and con­tinue its work on es­tu­ary wet­lands in­clud­ing Shang­hai’s Chong­ming Dong­tan Nat­u­ral Re­serve and Fu­jian’sMin­jiang.

“China has com­mit­ted it­self to the pro­tec­tion of a cru­cial part of the coast­line,” said Wen­wei Ren, di­rec­tor of the Yangtze foot­print pro­gram of WWFChina.

Re­searchers said that new tech­nolo­gies such as re­mote sens­ing and mon­i­tor­ing by drone­sare­bein­gused­tomon­i­tor and pro­tect wet­lands, and in­te­grated ap­proaches have been tak­en­toen­surethede­vel­op­ment and safety of an­i­mals, birds and many other species that rely on the safety ofwet­lands.

Ac­cord­ing to Ouyang Zhiyun, an en­vi­ron­men­tal re­searcher with the China Academy of Sciences, pro­tec­tion of wet­lands and species will be done in con­junc­tion with ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, con­struc­tion plans, tourism and min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

China has com­mit­ted it­self to the pro­tec­tion of a cru­cial part of the coast­line.”

JI LINGHE / WWF CHINA

Dutch King Willem-Alexan­der watches birds on Shang­hai’s Chong­ming is­land on Wed­nes­day. The king, who is on a state visit to China, wit­nessed the sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween the China State Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion and WWF.

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