(Yicai Global) June 15 -- A quadripartite agreement signed between two environmental departments from China’s Hebei province, one international organization and an international think-tank, aimed at protecting Nanpu coastal wetland, one of the most important habitats for migratory waterbirds along Bohai Bay in China will provide added conversation and environmental protection in this unique piece of habitat.
The Paulson Institute, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Hebei Provincial Forestry Department and Hebei Luannan County Government signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today for cooperation among the four parties, said a statement from Paulson Institue, a “think and do” tank that aims to increase economic and environmental cooperation between China and the US.
“The four parties will work closely to conserve and manage the site and establish a provincial nature reserve (PNR) at Nanpu wetland within the next year,” the statement said. Under the MoU, the Paulson Institute and WWF will “support the planning and application of the proposed provincial nature reserve; and continue to work with other partners to support follow-up conservation and management, development, and environmental education efforts.”
The objective of the agreement that brings together different organizations to collaborate is to enhance biodiversity conservation at Nanpu wetland and promote a harmonious relationship between local people and nature, it underlined.
A “blueprint” crafted by involved parties has identified 11 key habitats that need urgent protection, with Luannan Nanpu wetland being one of them. ““Over the past three years, with financial support from the Lao Niu Foundation, the Paulson Institute, the State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, among others, have jointly completed the Blueprint of Coastal Wetland Conservation and Management in China (Blueprint project), which has conducted a systematic assessment of the current status and threats of coastal wetlands and their biodiversity in China,” said Jerry Yu, chief representative of the Paulson Institute Beijing Office.
Located in Luannan County of Hebei Province and north of Bohai Bay, Nanpu wetland consists of natural intertidal mudflats, aquaculture ponds, and salt pans. Its unique geographic location and wetland resources make Nanpu Wetland one of the most important stopover sites for migratory water birds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF), serving as a key stopover site for rare and endangered species such as Red Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, and Spotted Greenshank.
Environmental Threats and Cooperation
However, “Nanpu wetland is facing many threats, such as reclamation, over-fishing and invasion of Spartina alterniflora, a rapidly spreading grass that kills off ecosystems,” the statement warned, saying, “governments at various levels in Hebei Province and relevant organizations are working closely to protect Nanpu wetland.”
The Luannan County government has also decided to establish a nature reserve at Nanpu wetland and take stricter protection measures, which the statement said, “The Paulson Institute and WWF appreciate this action, and will provide best domestic and international nature reserve construction and management practices in the process of planning, approving, building, and managing Nanpu Wetland Nature Reserve.”