WUHAN, March 31, Xinhua -- The city of Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province will apply for the 2021 Wetland City Accreditation of the Ramsar Convention, the municipal forestry bureau announced.
The announcement was made as the city joined the global "Earth Hour" campaign Saturday night by turning off lights on major landmarks.
Aerial photo taken on June 23, 2018 shows a wetland of the Yellow River Delta national nature reserve in Dongying, east China's Shandong Province. The city of Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province will apply for the 2021 Wetland City Accreditation of the Ramsar Convention, the municipal forestry bureau announced.(Xinhua/Guo Xulei)
Wuhan, which sits at the confluence of the Yangtze River and its longest tributary Han River, boasts about 1,624 square km of wetlands, accounting for 18.9 percent of the city's total area.
The bureau said Wuhan's wetlands are home to more than 400 wild animal species and over 400 plant species.
"Wuhan is a competitive applicant not only because of its abundant wetland resources, but also due to its pioneering wetland protection mechanism," said Lei Gang, an expert with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) China's freshwater program.
"Wuhan was the first Chinese city to implement an ecological compensation mechanism for wetlands and to carry out the strictest lake management regulations," Lei added.
The Ramsar Convention, or the Convention on Wetlands, is an inter-governmental environmental treaty adopted in 1971. It provides the framework for national actions and international cooperation regarding the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
The Ramsar Convention introduced the Wetland City Accreditation scheme in 2015, aiming to recognize cities that make exceptional efforts to safeguard their urban wetlands.
A total of 18 cities from seven countries were honored as international wetland cities in 2018. Six Chinese cities were among the list, namely Haikou, Harbin, Changde, Changshu, Dongying and Yinchuan.