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SHIJIAZHUANG, September 1 - The Guyuan County in Hebei Province invested more than 50 million yuan for wetland protection in the past three years, and farming on more than 2,000 hectares of tidal flat and wetland surrounding the Guanting Reservoir is expected to be ceased for the purpose of wetland protection this year. With the implementation wetland protection projects, the establishment of wetland protection organizations and the improvement in wetland protection policies and regulations, Hebei Province has established a wetland protection system.

In the past 10 years, the wetland system in Hebei was remarkably improved with the implementation of wetland protection projects. Since the 11th five-year plan, the province has implemented the wetland protection and restoration projects, including the Hengshui Lake and the Nanda Port projects, and has invested a total of 112 million yuan in wetland protection, including 44.83 million yuan from the central government. In 2014, Hebei applied three national wetland protection and restoration projects, including the Beidaihe River, which will need an investment of 69 million yuan. For the three projects -- the Beidaihe River, Hengshui Lake and Shandian Lake, the province applied for 88.2 million yuan from the central government for wetland protection and compensation for restoring the wetland by stopping farming activities.

In 2013, the Hebei commission office for public sector reform approved the establishment of the Hebei wetland protection and management center, and most wetland nature reserves have also set up special organizations, including the Shandian River national wetland park. At present, the province has set up 192 wildlife epidemic disease monitoring stations, which help monitor wetland and wildlife diseases and epidemic.

In addition to financing support, policies and regulations have also been gradually improved, creating a sound policy environment for the protection of wetlands. At the end of last year, the Hebei provincial government enacted the Rules of Hebei Province on the Protection of Wetlands, which went into effect on February 1 this year. The rules are the legal basis for promoting and strengthening wetland protection in the province.

Hebei also made different arrangements for the protection and utilization of different types of wetlands -- plateau wetlands, plain-area lake wetlands and coastal wetlands. In the Zhangjiakou and Chengde regions which are the water sources for Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, in particular the Bashang region, their ecosystems are important but fragile and call for strict protection.

At present, total wetland area in Hebei is 941,900 hectares. The province has established 11 wetland nature reserves, and 27 wetland parks, including one certified national wetland park and seven wetland parks which are set for approval to be national wetland parks, as well as 19 provincial-level wetland parks. About 38% of wetlands in the province is effectively protected.

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