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Wetland Conservation Network Set to Tackle Climate Change

Chongming, Shanghai - The first Wetland Conservation Network along the Central and Lower Yangtze River was established on November 3 2007 with a memorandum of cooperation endorsed by 20 wetland reserves to tackle the climate change across the region. The Secretary General of Ramsar Convention, Mr Anada Tiega, and more than 100 delegates from forestry bureaus at different levels as well as twenty nature reserves of the region attended this significant event.

Supported by the WWF HSBC Climate Partnership Programme, the network is the first of this kind in China and aims at increasing the region's resistance and resilience to climate change through working on policy advocacy, awareness-enhancing education and training, capacity building and eco-based environment conservation in the next five years.

Covering an area of 800,000 square kilometers, almost equal to the size of Turkey, the region also holds unrivaled possession of natural wetlands totaling 5.8 million hectares in China, standing as a home to abundant wildlife and biodiversity. Although over 60 wetland nature reserves have been set up, wetlands in the region are continuously suffering ecological degradation, biodiversity losses and water pollution caused by the huge population and burgeoning economic development, which poses a steep challenge in the context of climate change worldwide.

The Ramsar Convention is striving for promoting the effective management and wise use of the wetland by building the platform between the concerned party for wetland conservation networks in the past few years. Till now, several wetland conservation networks in the area, country and river basin level have been established including Mediterranean Wetland Conservation Network, South Afica Wetland Conservation Network after their advocacy. "I believe the increased interactions between WWF, Forest sector at all levels and nature reserves in the Central and Lower Yangtze can only lead to better outcomes for our newly energized attack on the phenomenon of climate change," said Anada Tiega, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention.

WWF has achieved concrete results since 2003 when it partnered with Hubei Forestry Bureau to conduct a pilot project on wetland conservation network research that promotes the effective wetland management. Reassured by the successful experiences, the Wetland Protection and Management Center of the State Forestry Administration has expressed strong support for the establishment of the wetland conservation network that is described as a timely and practical means to tackle the threats facing the area, especially the climate issues.

For further information, please contact:
Yang Man, communication coordinator, WWF Wuhan office
Tel: 027 8275-3845 ext.605
E-mail: yangman@wwfchina.org

Delegates from Nature Reserves in Central & Lower Yangyzte River Basin

Main representatives of the launch ceremony

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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