News from the P.R. of China
(12 September 1997)
China Science and Technology Newsletter
The State Science and Technology Commission, People's Republic of China
No. 125, August 30, 1997
Breakthroughs in Protecting China's Wetlands
The Program on Protection of China's Wetland Biodiversity and Their Sustainable Utilization financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was kicked off on July 16, 1997. The program is the first of its kind in using GEF's donation to protect and utilize China's wetlands, which will great promote the conservation of China's wetlands.
As briefed by Wang Zhibao, Deputy Minister of Forestry, China is one of the countries enjoying rich wetland biodiversity in the world. China has 63 million hectares of wetland in different types with extensive coverage. The Chinese Government has attached great importance to the conservation, utilization, and research of wetlands. Up to date, China has established 152 wetland nature conservation zones and become a signatory country of [the Ramsar] Wetland Convention in 1992. It also signed bilateral agreements with Japan, Australia, Russia, and other countries on protecting wetland and aquatic birds and carried out numerous international exchanges and cooperation with UNDP, UNEP, World Bank, Wetland Convention, Wetlands International, and World Nature Foundation. To promote wetland conservation and sustainable utilization, the Chinese Government has listed conservation of China's wetlands and its rational utilization as a priority in China's Agenda 21. In the meanwhile, with the help of the World Nature Foundation and Wetlands International, 17 ministries and commissions under the State Council are preparing China's Action Plan on Wetland Conservation to promote the healthy and coordinated development of China's wetland conservation.
photo caption: The Zhalong National Nature Conservation Zone and Ramsar site,
in Heilongjiang Province.