A delegation led by Chinese State forest administration’s vice-minister, Mr Chen Fengxue visited the office of Wetlands International, the Netherlands, and signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on 24 May.
The MoU focuses on the international collaboration between SFA and Wetlands International in the coming years.
Both parties also discussed the conservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems of outstanding importance for waterbirds, including through international collaboration to conserve Yellow Sea wetlands.
Through the discussions commitments for further collaborations were also reached, including a joint-workshop on river basin management and “room for the river” approaches, further program on peatlands, and technical exchange between the Wadden Sea and the Yellow Sea.
China has enormous wetland wealth and has already included almost 18 million hectares of wetlands in nature reserves.
Recognizing that challenges linked to urbanization, flood management, water scarcity, desertification, climate change and human health all connect to the status of China’s rivers and wetlands, the SFA, the focal agency for wetlands, developed a National Wetlands Conservation Action Plan with 17 other ministries to guide measures for wetlands involving all sectors.
Wetlands International has collaborated with SFA since the 1990s, an office was established in Beijing in 1996 and the government of the People’s Republic of China became a member of Wetlands International in 2000.
In particular the collaboration has resulted in community-based management and rehabilitation of the vast high mountain peatlands of the Ruoergai Marshes on the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau and the peatlands of the Altai Mountains in NW China.