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Global Initiative for Reinforcing Science and Technology Support for Wetland Conservation and Management was released during COP 14
Author: Division of International Cooperation    Time: 2022-11-15

On 12 November 2022, the Science Forum "Science and Technology in Support of Wetland Conservation and Implementation of Ramsar Convention", as a host country activity of the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14), was held in Beijing and Wuhan synchronously. This Forum was organized by the Chinese Academy of Forestry and Administrative Center for China's Agenda 21 and co-organized by the Hubei Academy of Forestry. At the Forum, representatives shared and exchanged scientific and technological achievements and practical experience of global wetlands, and explored effective ways for science and technology to support wetland ecological protection and management decisions.

Although global awareness of the importance of wetlands has been continuously raised, it is still among the most threatened ecosystems. According to the Global Wetland Outlook: Special Edition 2021 from the Convention on Wetlands, it shows that 35% of global wetland area lost since 1970, and more than a quarter of wetland species were threatened with extinction. Therefore, taking advantage of science and technology to safeguard wetland ecosystems' health and optimize wetland management decisions is of great significance for promoting global sustainable development.

During the Forum, the wetland scientists from the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF), Wetland scientists from domestic and foreign research institutions, including the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Charles Sturt University, etc., jointly released the "Global Initiative for Reinforcing Science and Technology Support for Wetland Conservation and Management". Prof. Colin Maxwell Finlayson introduced the background, original intention, and the process of revision and improvement of the Initiative, then Prof. Cui Lijuan presented the Initiative and announced the official release of the Initiative.

The Initiative proposes:

Advocate close-to-nature solutions for wetland conservation and restoration. Maximize the self-organization, self-restoration and self-regulation capabilities of wetland ecosystem, comprehensively enhance the resilience of wetland ecosystem, and improve wetland conservation and restoration in science-based ways.

Strengthen the scientific research on the response of wetland ecosystems to global change. Conduct research on the impact of climate change and human disturbance on key ecological processes, biodiversity and services of wetland ecosystem, and propose scientific strategies and adaptive approaches for wetland conservation and restoration in the context of global change.

Promote a Cross-regional Joint Big Science Program on wetland. Propel large-scale joint research on key issues in wetland with global consensus, including typical vulnerable wetlands restoration, migration of birds, invasive species control and prevention, etc., and working together to facilitate the global scientific research on wetlands.

Establish global wetland ecosystem observation and research network. Integrate wetland ecosystem observation and research network resources in different regions, and facilitate the sharing of platforms, data, technology, talents and other resources to promote the global coordinated development of science and technology on wetlands.

Accelerate the application of high and innovative technologies in wetlands. Integrate application of modern scientific and technological tools such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, Digital Twin, satellite remote sensing and artificial intelligence into innovative research and intelligent management of wetlands.

Enhance the influence of wetland science and technology in social development. Strengthen the adaptive management and other scientific management practices for wetland ecosystem, accelerate the promotion of successful models of wetland conservation and restoration led by science and technology, facilitate citizen science and scientific communication, and continuously provide scientific support for government decision-making.

With the initiative, an increasing number of high-level and high-quality scientific and technological achievements will serve global wetland ecosystems conservation and management, and contribute to global sustainable development.