Wetland conservation progress in China's Hunan Province

29/10/2004

Hunan Delegation visits the Ramsar Convention Secretariat

Invited by the Secretary General, Dr. Peter Bridgewater, the Hunan Delegation led by Mr. Yang Zhengwu, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Hunan, China, visited the Ramsar Convention Secretariat on October 24, 2004.

Hunan is famous for its Dongting Lake Ramsar site, which used to be the largest freshwater lake in China, and the origin of many Chinese culture traditions. There are 4.7 million hectares of wetlands in the province, which accounts for 22% of the territory. Since the 1980s, five wetland reserves have been established, and three of them are Ramsar sites. A number of projects focusing upon wetland conservation, management, restoration and wise use have been implemented jointly with WWF, the World Bank, and UNDP. In particular, the famous Dongting Lake has been restored from 270,000 ha to 350,000 during the past five years, and a wetland legislation draft is now under review by the People's Congress of Hunan. The goal of the visit to the Ramsar Convention Secretariat is to seek support for the wetland legislation, management, and explore international cooperation.

The Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, praised their progress in wetland conservation and management. He also confirmed that the Ramsar Convention Secretariat will provide support to help their wetland legislation, Ramsar Site management and capacity building, and explore international cooperation opportunities for them.

-- Guangchun Lei, Ramsar

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