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.

On behalf of Wetlands International the document was signed by CEO, Jane Madgwick.

The MoU focusses on the international collaboration between SFA and Wetlands International in the coming years, for example on implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in China, management and restoration of peatlands for climate mitigation and adaptation

dws-wetlands-china-madgwick-fengxue-signing-350pxJane Madgwick (left), CEO Wetlands International, and Mr Chen Fengxue, Vice-Minister State Forestry Administration, sign the MoU. Photo by Bart de Gouw.

Joint-workshop on Room for the river
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 programmes on peatlands, and technical exchange between the Wadden Sea and the Yellow Sea.

Most importantly, the meeting was an opportunity to strengthen our friendship.

Safeguard Chinese wetlands
CEO, Jane Madgwick: “The value of wetlands for people and nature are better recognised in China than in most countries. But with rapid growth and development, wetlands have come under great pressure. We are keen to share knowledge and collaborate with SFA and other ministries in China to find ways to safeguard and restore wetlands as a cornerstone of sustainable development.”

China has enormous wetland wealth and has already included almost 18 million hectares of wetlands in nature reserves.

Recognising that challenges linked to urbanisation, 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.

dws-wetlands-china-madgwick-at-work-350pxLong-standing collaboration
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 (on top photo) and the peatlands of the Altai Mountains in NW China.

Wetlands International plays an important role in raising awareness about wetland values for people and nature and has supported the development of Wetland Parks in cities across China.

Most recently, Wetlands International China organised a major waterbird count in the Yellow Sea wetlands, to highlight the importance of the remaining wetlands for waterbird conservation.

This news item was originally published on the website of Wetlands International.

Wetlands International staff with the China delegation. Left to right: Taej Mundkur, Marcel Silvius, Mr Chen Kelin, Mr Wang Renchun, Mr Ma Guangren, Jane Madgwick, Mr Chen Fengxue, André van der Zande, Mr Guo Qingjun, Mr Hu Yuanhui, Mr Zhong Yi.

Read also on this website
Restoring wetlands is crucial to meet SDG-targets, says Wetlands International, 25 April 2016
China and World Wildlife Fund sign MoU on nature preservation Yangtze delta and Yellow river, 28 October 2015
Stockholm water week: Put nature-based solutions at the heart of sustainable WASH, 3 September 2013
Countries: China

More information
Wetlands International
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