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International Symposium on Wetland Protected Area Systems



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Haikou, 6 December -- From December 4th to 6th 2017, the International Symposium on Wetland Protected Area Systems was held in Haikou, aiming to showcase the latest achievements in wetland conservation in China. The symposium was jointly organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Survey & Planning Institute of State Forestry Administration, the Forestry Department of Hainan Province, the Haikou Municipal Government and the Development and Reform Commission of Hainan Province.

“Wetland conservation supports more than half of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr. Carsten Germer, Assistant Country Director of UNDP China, while delivering a speech in the opening ceremony, pointing out that wetlands are important for a healthy ecosystem. Therefore, the global cooperation should be strengthened for the challenges that countries might confront during the process of protecting the wetlands, and the sustainable development goals can be achieved through the cooperation.

Wetland experts shared their experiences in wetland protection policies and protective systems both home and abroad, and discussed the models, experience and technologies of wetland restoration as well as some successful cases in practicing the sustainable use of wetlands. Experts stressed that currently the wetlands in China face serious problems such as area reduction, functional deterioration and a decline of biodiversity. At present, problems such as a lack of legislation and funds, weak support in science and technology as well as inadequate management restrict the process of wetland conservation. Therefore, the goal of stabilizing the wetland areas to 800 million mu by 2020 remains distant.

Since 2013, the "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Hainan Wetland Conservation Network Management and Protecting Global Biodiversity" project has been jointly implemented by UNDP, the Global Environment Fund (GEF), Forestry Department of Hainan Province, and Dongzhaigang Nature Reserve. Through legislation and environmental improvement, protected areas were enlarged, while the effectiveness of management was enhanced.