Wetland protection: ‘Wuhan Declaration’ adopted at COP 14

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The 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (COP 14) was held from Nov 5 to 13, simultaneously in Wuhan, China (main venue) and Geneva, Switzerland (branch venue), with attendees participating both online and offline.

During the conference, the Wuhan Declaration was officially adopted and released, calling on all parties to promote the protection, restoration, and management of wetlands, as well as their rational and sustainable use.

A total of more than 600 delegates from 142 contracting parties and relevant international organizations participated in the activities at the main venue.

Many INGOs including WWF, the Natural Resources Defense Council, International Crane Foundation, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden attended COP 14, where they co-hosted and co-organized several side forums.

More than 400 government representatives, NGOs, local communities and representatives from vulnerable groups from more than 30 countries participated in the forums, discussing issues such as the governance of riverside areas, the protection of bird habitats, biodiversity and sustainable development.

The Convention on Wetlands, signed on Feb 2, 1971, is the world’s first intergovernmental multilateral environmental convention, with the COP being held every three years.

China signed the convention in 1992 and is the 67th contracting party. Since then, 1,693 wetland parks have been established in the country.

As the host country of COP 14, China promised to draw up a new national blueprint to promote a series of infrastructure construction projects, and to formulate legal and administrative systems for wetland protection.

The Shenzhen International Mangrove Center and a special fund for the protection of wetlands will be established to bring together people from all walks of life and make greater contributions to global mangrove conservation and governance.