China vows better wetland preservation
Updated: 2013-10-25 15:35
Birds fly high above the largest wetland reserve in Jilin province, Oct 23, 2013. China will continue to strictly protect its wetland resources and aim to increase the wetland area to 53.3 million hectares by 2020. [Photo / icpress.cn]
JINAN -- China will continue to strictly protect its wetland resources and aim to increase the wetland area to 53.3 million hectares by 2020, a forestry official said on Thursday.
"China will press forward with the ecological progress and lay a solid ecological infrastructure for sustainable economic development," said Zhao Shucong, director of the State Forestry Administration, at the opening ceremony of the third China Wetland Cultural Festival, held in Dongying, of East China's Shandong province.
China currently has about 36.2 million hectares of natural wetland, equating to 3.77 percent of the national territory, according to Zhao.
He said the wetland is facing many problems such as shrinking area, dysfunction and decreasing biodiversity due to excessive development.
"China is still facing a tough task to protect its wetland resources," the official noted.
Zhao said China would strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries as well as related international organizations to draw on their advanced ideologies and technologies and establish a regional cooperative protection mechanism.
China has already designated 46 pieces of wetland of international importance, including five new nature reserves in Shandong, Heilongjiang, Jilin and Hubei provinces.