Summary of tasks achieved
By China Ramsar Convention Implementing Office in 2001
Over the last year, the China Ramsar Convention Implementing Office, at the State Forestry Administration, has completed works as following:
1. Participating in the formulation of the National Wildlife Conservation & Nature Reserve Development Program Master Planning, in which schemed wetland demonstrating projects have been implemented already by now. As an important part, the Office actively contributed to development of the national program with high-qualified wetland projects. After ratification by State Planning and Development Commission (SPDC) in June, 2001, the Office began to execute such priority projects as Reducing Water Pollution In Wuliangsuhai Wetlands By Bio-Treatment, in Inner Mongolia, Establishment of Wetland Public Awareness And Education Center, in Jiangxi Province, and Establishment of Nan Tongting Lake Wetland Monitoring Station, in Hunan Province.
2. Developing National Wetland Conservation Program Planning. Instructed by Premier Zhu Rongji, the State Forestry Administration decided to develop the National Wetland Conservation Program Planning. As the leading office in China, we had undertaken the arrangement, and made efforts to organize wetland experts drafting the document. The official document has been ratified by SPDC and by now is under the procedure of approval by State Council. The Planning put the conservation of nature wetlands and restoration & rehabilitation of wetlands by bio-treatment as top priorities. In the Planning concrete targets are: 1) to build another 333 new wetland nature reserves, making wetland nature reserve reach 643 by 2010, which would cover more than 90% of nature wetlands in China; 2) to implement wetland restoration & rehabilitation through 6 types of demonstration projects, thereby returning 1.5 million ha to wetlands; 3) to enhance the capacity building of Ramsar implementation, bringing Ramsar Sites in China to 80 by 2010. Meanwhile, the scheme will emphasize scientific research on wetlands, resource inventory and public awareness in wetland conservation. In short, the Planning is a strategy scheme of China government to conserve wetlands.
3. Assisting China People's Policy Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in organizing the investigation on Wetlands and Wildlife Conservation. CPPCC is the most important policy consultative body for China's top decision-makers. From 2000 the involvement of CPPCC, with our help in the field, has caused significant influence on the development of wildlife protection. In 2001, we organized a consultative meeting on wetland conservation, participated by 8 members of CPPCC and relevant experts, and then drafted a proposal on wetland protection. As a result, CPPCC submitted the proposal, named as Enhancing National Wetland Conservation, to State Council. We hope which could lay strong ground for application of wetland lawmaking.
4. Completing the National Wetland Resource Inventory. Through all 2001, we had been urging and coordinating the submission of inventory outcome from individual provinces. Now the general guidelines for the national wetland inventory outcome have been finalized after discussion with some experts, combined with concrete suggestion on data collection and mapping. At present, the five-year national wetland resource inventories are almost finished in immediate future. The result of the inventories is outlining basic disruption of wetland in China, which will play important role in wetland policymaking.
5. Making efforts to facilitate wetland lawmaking. After organizing research and conducting investigation into wetland conservation, we proposed a drafted wetland law, which is prerequisite to apply State Council for Wetland Conservation Law. Considering it could take long time to come into effect, we prepared another official document that further steps controlling wetland diversion should be taken by government and it also has been submitted to State Council for approval.
6. Implementing Ramsar Convention and strengthening international cooperation. After nearly for three years preparation, we finished the submission of another 14 Ramsar Sites to Ramsar Bureau last December. During the process, we undertook tremendous but effective coordination with Ministry of Agriculture, State Environment Protection Administration and State Ocean Administration, as well as 7 provinces and 14 Nature Reserves. In order to improve Ramsar implementing capacity at local level, last March, we for the first time held the Ramsar Site Training Workshop for local managers and professional workers. With 15 copies of RIS sheets containing about 150,000 Chinese characters, we had organized and involved into the tough translation, assisted by the Ramsar Bureau technically. The documents are now under the evaluating process in Ramsar Bureau. Meanwhile, as the head of wetland management, we are also responsible for guiding such programs as GEF/UNDP wetland project, WWF Yangtze Project, and they are going well and smoothly. The program, Effectiveness of Management in 10 Nature Reserves, sponsored by WWF, is well under its way in line with project plan, and the part that have been completed has won high remarks of WWF program officer. From the responding letter with good praise, the Ramsar SGF program implemented by our office last year was successful, so Ramsar Bureau asked for the outcome information and pictures and these are expected to be put on the Ramsar Web site. Those cooperative programs that we are applying for, such as IUCN Mekong Program, Shengjin Project sponsored by EU and Ramsar SGF for 2002, are promising. In addition, the participation of international meeting in wetlands is also our priorities. Last year representatives from our office attended some conferences like Ramsar East Asia Subregional Meeting in Bangkok, Wetland International Board Meeting in Wageningen, and the Ramsar 26th Standing Committee Meeting in Gland. During these meetings we not only presented the content required by meeting, but also the brief introduction of China strategic program in wildlife and wetland protection. It is clear that the involvement into these activities enables us to learn advanced experience in wetland management and at the same time show China's determination on the field. We are now preparing the materials for COP8.
7. Enhancing further public education and awareness. Besides regular education activities, last year we actively supported Beijing Municipal Government to compete the bid for 2008 Olympic Game by organizing 20th Bird-love Week, which triggered positive impact on the campaign domestically and internationally. Collaborated with CCTV, we shot a documentary series, Wetlands on the World's Fastigium, which illustrated the beautiful views and importance of wetlands to society. The China Wetland Web, supported by our office, has been winning wide attention and offering a authentic window of wetland information. Sponsored by Ramsar Bureau financially, we organized the translation of Ramsar Toolkit into Chinese, which had been delivered to wetland managing authorities, agencies, nature reserves at various levels, as well as NGOs. Internationally, we were regularly reporting to Ramsar Bureau about China's plans or achievements in wetland conservation, and by the opportunities presenting meeting, we always introduced Chinese priorities actions, fields and developing targets to participants. On the other hand, we have finished a CD, the China Wetland in English, which officially gives an introduction on China wetland conservation. And it is believed that the CD could draw attention when it, as a gift, appears on COP8 this November.