World Wetlands Day in China
World Wetland Day
Fu Yuan, Heilongjiang Province
To commemorate the World Wetland Day 2007 a two-day program was organized in Fu Yuan County lodged on the bank of Heilongjiang River, far northeast corner of China. The program was organized as a joint undertaking between Sanjiang National Nature Reserve and UNDP/GEF funded wetland Project "Wetland Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use in China".
Over 150 students form different local schools, school teachers, community members, local leaders, representatives from different government institutions and form UNDP/GEF project took part in the program.
February 1 program was focused on speech, song, dance, art and handwriting (Chinese words) competition programs. A total of 61 students took part in these competition programs. Teachers and senior staffs from Sanjiang NNR and UNDP/GEF Project served as the judges in competition activities. 1st February programs were conducted in the community hall located in the northeastern proximity of Fu Yuan town.
Second day "the World Wetland Day" program activities started with Wetland Parade in the morning hours. Despite extreme cold of ca -10 degree Celsius students of all ages holding the banner and placard with wetland conservation slogans walked for about 30 minutes through the busiest road in the town. Wetland Parade was followed by speeches and remarks by Nature Reserve authorities, local leaders, representatives form local government institutions, student leader, teacher and senior Project personnel; dance by three best dancing students, singing by three best student singers, speech by the best student speaker; and prize distribution. All these programs were conducted within the premises of the Sanjiang NNR headquarters. (Wetland Parade photos below.)
Mr. Zhang Qing Yan, Director of the Sanjiang NNR, in his remarks highlighted on the natural wealth of Sanjiang NNR and urged all stakeholders to actively support the activities undertaken by Reserve to protect and manage the Sanjiang wetland ecosystem. Sanjiang NNR covering a total area of 198,089 ha is one of the unique mosaics of wetland ecosystems.
Mr. Dong Shu Bin, Director of Honghe NNR, also took part in the program and made his remarks on WWD. Honghe lies about 150 km south from Sanjiang NNR and is connected by a Nongjiang river corridor. Sanjiang and Honghe NNR provide a safe breeding ground for globally threatened Red Crowned Crane, White-naped Crane and Whooper's Swan.
Dr. Jiang Ming, UNDP/GEF Project Coordinator, highlighted on activates undertaken by UNDP/GEF project in Sanjiang plain and briefed students on important function and values of wetlands.
Dr. Shant R. Jnawali, Wetland Biodiversity Conservation Specialist and IUNV, highlighted on Ramsar Convention, importance of World Wetland Day, threats to wetland ecosystems and role of different stakeholders in wetland conservation.
Mr. Zhao Guang Zhi, Deputy Director from Education Bureau stressed on the role of academic institutions and students in wetland conservation. Currently, 6 wetland youth volunteers clubs (WYVC) are active in Fuyan and support various wetland conservation endeavors.
Ms. Wang Dong Xue, Leader of WYVC, made her remarks on role of students in wetland conservation and told that small school children could bring a big change in the society.
Ms. Wang Dong Xue from Number 1 Middle school, was selected the best speaker in speech competition. In her speech, Ms. Wang highlighted current status of wetlands, threats, role of students and need for a participatory and collaborative efforts to ensure the long term conservation of the wetland ecosystems.
Ms. Ma Yun Xiang, a school teacher also made her remarks on WWD and stressed on the role of teachers in wetland conservation
Ms. Cao Bing from Number 1 Middle School won the first prize on song competition. "Eighteen bends of the mountain road" was the title of her song. Her sweet voice and singing style was highly admired by all participants.
Ms. Zhang Shiting, an eleven years old girl form Number 3 Primary School, performed the Mongolian dance and won the first prize.
Ms. Zhang Wei Wei, from Number 1 Middle School, drew a beautiful art on winter status of wetland ecosystem in Sanjiang plain and won the first prize.
Ms. Wang Xin Yue, from Number 3 Middle School, presented best Handwriting on Chinese Characters and got the first prize.