The Asian Wetland Symposium on Human Well-being and Wetlands, co-organised by Wetlands International China, brought together 800 participants from 19 countries, including many officials from local governments in China. The event concluded with the adoption of the Wuxi Declaration, in which participants call for a series of actions to be taken for wetland conservation and wise use.
In the declaration, participants call for, inter alia:
- incorporating wetland priorities into legal frameworks and policies
- promoting scientific innovation
- increasing financial allocations for wetland management
- managing wetland resources holistically to improve livelihoods
- strengthening the capacity of Asian countries and establishing a cooperative mechanism for wetlands conservation and wise use in Asia
- protecting the remaining natural wetlands and restoring degraded wetlands to enhance the resilience of people and ecosystems to natural disasters and to mitigate the impacts of climate change
- mitigating the ecological impacts of invasive species on the health and integrity of wetlands
- maintaining the ecological character of rice paddy ecosystems and other wetland agricultural ecosystems; conserving, managing or restoring urban and peri-urban wetlands
- and investing in communications, education and training at the local level
Participants requested the Government of China and the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) to convey the Wuxi Declaration to: the Asia Regional Ramsar Meeting to be held in Jakarta in November 2011; the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP 11) to the Ramsar Convention to be held in Romania in June 2012; and the 11th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in India in October 2012.
The Symposium took place in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China, from 11-13 October 2011, and was hosted by the Chinese State Forestry Administration, Jiangsu Province People’s Government, Wetlands International and the Ramsar Center Japan. It was organized by the Wuxi Municipal People’s Government, Forestry Department of Jiangsu Province, Office of Wetlands Conservation and Management of the State Forestry Administration of China, and sponsored by the Ministry of Environment Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency, WWF and others.
A sister event, the Asian Wetland Symposium Sabah 2011, was held in Malaysia in July 2011, under the theme “Integrated Biodiversity Conservation: Linking Forests and Wetlands.”