BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for strengthening cooperation on wetlands conservation and scaling up wetlands action across the world.
He made the remarks while delivering a speech via video at the opening ceremony of the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14).
In his speech, Xi noted that it is important to build global consensus on prizing wetlands, show respect for nature, minimize disruption and damage caused by human activities, and protect the ecological security of wetlands in order to leave the beautiful wetlands to future generations.
"It is important that we advance the global process on wetlands conservation, redouble efforts to preserve authenticity and integrity, include more important wetlands in nature reserves, improve cooperation mechanisms and platforms, and increase the coverage of wetlands of international importance," Xi said.
He also called for enhancing people's well-being globally by leveraging the role of wetlands in promoting sustainable development, tackling climate change, protecting biodiversity, and delivering more benefits to people around the world.
Historic achievements have been made in wetlands conservation in China. The country has increased the area of wetlands to 56.35 million hectares, put in place a protection system and enacted a Wetlands Conservation Law, according to Xi.
The president further noted that China will pursue a modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and promote high-quality development in the wetlands conservation cause.
China has recently drawn up a layout plan of national parks. Under the plan, China will designate a number of national parks, accounting for about 10 percent of the country's land area. About 11 million hectares of wetlands will be incorporated in the national park system, with a focus on developing wetland national parks including the Three-River-Source National Park, the Qinghai Lake National Park, the Ruoergai National Park, the Yellow River Estuary National Park, the Liao River Estuary National Park and the Songnen Plain Crane Homeland National Park.
A national wetlands conservation plan and major conservation projects will be implemented, Xi added.
China will promote international exchanges and cooperation to protect the four bird migration routes passing China and to build an international mangrove center in Shenzhen, Xi said, adding that China supports the convening of a conference of the World Coastal Forum.
"Let us join hands to write a new chapter in global wetlands conservation," said the Chinese president.
Themed "Wetlands Action for People and Nature," the COP14 is scheduled to run from Nov. 5 to 13 in China's Wuhan and Switzerland's Geneva.