Conference focuses on wetlands

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The 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) opens in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Saturday, and runs to Nov 13 in Wuhan and Geneva, Switzerland with a declaration to be released and dozens of wetland forums to be held, forestry officials said.

This aerial photo taken on Oct 26, 2022 shows the autumn scenery of Hongze Lake Wetland Scenic Area in Sihong county, East China's Jiangsu province. [Photo/Xinhua]

The main sessions in Wuhan include an opening ceremony, wetland tours and an achievements exhibition for the 30th anniversary of China's implementation of the treaty, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Sideline meetings in Geneva include a standing committee meeting, an international wetland exhibition and a closing ceremony.

Some 1,100 representatives from 142 parties and international organizations have registered for the meeting. Among them, about 400 people will attend the meeting in Wuhan and some 700 people will meet in Geneva.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and use of wetlands and their resources. It has 172 contracting parties so far.

Meng Xianlin, director of the executive committee of COP14, said at a news conference in Wuhan on Thursday that during the conference, the exhibition of China's achievements on wetlands will be held along East Lake in Wuhan to build an important platform and window for society to pay attention to wetlands. The Wuhan Declaration on the coexistence of humans and nature will be released during the meeting.

Meng said that since China joined the treaty in 1992, it has earnestly fulfilled its responsibilities by carrying out international exchanges and cooperation.

"By holding this meeting, China is making its contribution to global wetland and biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation," he said.

Hu Yuanhui, deputy head of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration's international cooperation department, said at a news conference in Geneva that from Nov 7 to 12, the Geneva side will hold 64 thematic forums and side meetings to share the governance experience of various countries and discuss the future of global wetland protection. The secretariat of the convention will issue International Wetland City Certificates to 13 cities in China.

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