The Beidaihe Declaration
adopted by the International Workshop on Wetland and Waterbird Conservation in North-East Asia, Beidaihe, China, 4-7 March 1997
The Beidaihe Declaration
on Conservation of Wetlands and Waterbirds in North-East Asia
The International Workshop on Wetland and Waterbird Conservation in North-East Asia, was held in Beidaihe, China from 4th - 7th March 1997. It was attended by experts and senior officials from China, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation, with representatives of international organisations and other international experts. The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Forestry of China, Environment Agency of Japan and Wetlands International.
The Workshop agreed on the following statement:
Commending the Government of China for hosting the Workshop and taking important steps for wetland and waterbird conservation, such as developing a national wetland action plan;
Congratulating China, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation for nominating 16 important sites for cranes at the launch of the North-East Asian Crane Site Network on 7th March 1997;
Recognising the critical role of wetland resources in North-East Asia for sustaining human populations;
Aware that wetlands in North-East Asia have a very high biological diversity and play a critical role in the life cycle of many species;
Noting the high levels of threat to wetland ecosystems throughout the region, for example from the degradation of water catchments and pollution, drainage and conversion, or over-exploitation of the resources;
Further recognising the urgent need to strengthen regional cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, especially transboundary wetlands and migratory wetland species;
Further noting the need to enhance coordination at the national and local level for wetland management, and to increase awareness of the importance of wetlands;
THE WORKSHOP CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENTS AND PEOPLE OF EACH COUNTRY IN NORTH-EAST ASIA TO WORK TOGETHER IN PARTNERSHIP, TO CONSERVE WETLANDS, WATERBIRDS AND OTHER WETLAND RESOURCES.
The workshop further recommends that the following actions be undertaken for the conservation and wise use of wetlands in North-East Asia:
1 . Develop and strengthen partnerships between governments and other organisations for regional cooperation on the development of management techniques, sharing of information and expertise, training and research;
2. Encourage universal membership of the Ramsar Convention and active implementation of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002.
3. Work together to support the conservation of migratory waterbirds through implementation of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 1996 -2000, development of action plans and establishment of site networks.
4. Explore the development of a regional agreement for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and consider involvement in the activities, or membership of the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species.
5. Build on the launch of the North-East Asian Crane Site Network to create an active programme using cranes as a symbol to conserve key wetlands, create awareness and strengthen international cooperation.
6. Actively work to strengthen or establish transboundary wetland protected areas especially in the Amur River Basin, Mongol Daguriin, Kherlen River Basin, Tumen Delta and Lake Khanka/Xingkai, and focus efforts on wetlands associated with major river basins, such as the Amur and Yangtze Rivers.
7. Encourage countries in the region to develop national wetland and waterbird protection and wise use policies and action plans, and to establish mechanisms for their implementation.
8. Improve coordination of wetland conservation through the establishment of national, and where appropriate, provincial wetland coordinating organisations or mechanisms.
9. Strengthen national and local institutions to ensure that they have adequate human and financial resources to effectively conserve wetlands and waterbirds.
10. Develop and implement strategies for education and public awareness to support wetland conservation initiatives.
11. Establish mechanisms to encourage greater involvement of local communities in the sustainable management of wetland resources.
12. Work to ensure that wetland conservation is given adequate consideration in national and regional development strategies.
13. Prepare or update national inventories of wetlands and ensure their effective analysis and dissemination to determine trends and priority areas for action.
14. Regularly review progress of implementation of these recommendations at appropriate regional fora.
The workshop further resolved to request that:
15. The countries of North-East Asia work together with relevant international organisations to generate resources for, and support and monitor implementation of the actions proposed above.
16. The Government of China convey this Statement and other recommendations of the workshop to the governments of all countries in North-East Asia and appropriate international organisations.
Beidaihe, 7 March 1997
Chairman of the Workshop: Mr Zhen Rende, Director, General of Forest Plant and Wildlife Protection, Ministry of Forestry, China
Vice Chairman: Mr Hikari Kobayashi, Director, Wildlife Protection Division, Environment Agency, Japan
Vice Chairman: Mr Faizal Parish, Executive Director, Wetlands International - Asia Pacific