State Forestry Administration Takes Steps to Preserve Wetlands

March 4, 2005

The State Forestry Administration recently announced the addition of nine new Ramsar wetland reserves in China, a number of which are near the Yangtze River, reports a February 2 Xinhua article. According to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, wetlands that are rare or unique, or that contribute to the preservation of biological diversity, may be added to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance to be recognized as protected areas. The Xinhua article notes the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) assisted with the designation of the wetlands, and quotes a WWF representative as saying that China needs additional laws on wetland protection.

An important part of the ecosystem, wetlands contribute to the preservation of biological diversity, help prevent erosion, and when located near rivers help absorb pollutants and reduce sediment in the water. According to a February 3 China Daily article, the recognition of the nine new wetlands is part of a greater effort to protect China’s rivers, one of its most important natural resources.