China's natural wetlands: past problems, current status, and future challenges

  • Authors: An, Shuqing; Li, Harbin; Guan, Baohua; Zhou, Changfang; Wang, Zhongsheng; Deng, Zifa; Zhi, Yingbiao; Liu, Yuhong; Xu, Chi; Fang, Shubo; Jiang, Jinhui; Li, Hongli
  • Publication Year: 2007
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Ambio. Vol. 36(4): 335-341

Abstract

Natural wetlands, occupying 3.8% of China's land and providing 54.9% of ecosystem services, are unevenly distributed among eight wetland regions. Natural wetlands in China suffered great loss and degradation (e.g., 23.0% freshwater swamps, 51.2% coastal wetlands) because of the wetland reclamation during China's long history of civilization, and the population pressure and the misguided policies over the last 50 years. Recently, with an improved understanding that healthy wetland ecosystems play a vital role in her sustainable economic development, China started major efforts in wetland conservation, as signified by the policy to return reclaimed croplands to wetlands, the funding of billions of dollars to restore degraded wetlands, and the national plan to place 90% of natural wetlands under protection by 2030. This paper describes the current status of the natural wetlands in China, reviews past problems, and discusses current efforts and future challenges in protecting China's natural wetlands.

  • Citation: An, Shuqing; Li, Harbin; Guan, Baohua; Zhou, Changfang; Wang, Zhongsheng; Deng, Zifa; Zhi, Yingbiao; Liu, Yuhong; Xu, Chi; Fang, Shubo; Jiang, Jinhui; Li, Hongli. 2007. China''s natural wetlands: past problems, current status, and future challenges. Ambio. Vol. 36(4): 335-341
  • Posted Date: October 30, 2007
  • Modified Date: December 21, 2007
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