At the Third Chinese Wetlands Cultural Festival held in October 2013 representatives of China’s government, international organisations, academia and NGOs, together with Dr Briggs, Secretary General of the Convention of Wetlands, agreed on a joint call to action to promote the wise use of wetlands.
The Dongying Statement recognizes that “maintaining healthy wetlands is a national responsibility related to human welfare and ecosystem security for current and future generations.” It calls for the protection of wetlands and their biodiversity, by improving wetland management, strengthening regional and international cooperation, and encouraging the participation of communities through public awareness and education programmes.
During the Festival, Dr Briggs discussed opportunities for closer cooperation with Vice-President Luo Fuhe and Mr. Zhao Shucong, Minister of the State Forestry Administration. He also met the Managers of China’s new five Ramsar Sites (Chen Lake, Dajiu Lake, Dong Fang Hong, Momoge and the Yellow River Delta) and chaired the ceremony in which they received the certificates for their Ramsar Sites.
Dr Briggs also visited a number of wetland parks close to Shanghai, and the Chongming Dongtan Ramsar Site where a pioneering project is being implemented to remove the invasive alien grass species Spartina that has spread over the intertidal area.
Report by Lew Young, Senior Regional Advisor for Asia-Oceania