Today (February 2) is the 25th World Wetlands Day. The theme of this year’s Wetlands Day is “wetlands and water,” aiming to highlight the close relationship between them.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016–2020) period, China has enhanced wetland ecological functions, maintained wetland biodiversity and comprehensively improved wetland protection and restoration, the National Forestry and Grass Administration said on Tuesday.
The Chinese government invested 9.87 billion yuan to promote wetland protection and restoration, and more than 200,000 hectares of wetlands was added nationwide. China has more than 53 million hectares of total wetlands.
Wetlands across the country sustain about 2.7 trillion tons of fresh water, conserving 96 percent of available freshwater resources, the data showed. Rich in animal and plant life, wetlands are a veritable gene pool of species. Wetlands also play an important role in degrading pollution and combating climate change.
Wetlands, forests and oceans are known as the world’s three major ecosystems. Wetlands with pleasant scenery not only provide a variety of material and cultural products for human beings, but also have important ecological functions such as maintaining water source, purifying the water quality and regulating climate. They are sometimes referred to in Chinese as the “kidney of the earth,” “source of freshwater” and “gene pool of species.”
(Compiled by Liu Kechen)