A greener Beijing, where nature and humans coexist

To better protect the wetland resources in China's capital city, Beijing Wetland Day is set to be observed on the third Sunday in September. This year, it falls on September 18.

Over the past five years, the city has restored 12,000 hectares of wetland, the equivalent to the area of 18 Olympic Forest Parks. The total wetland coverage has reached 62,100 hectares, according to the International Convention on Wetlands.

Beijing is one of the most biologically diverse metropolises, thanks to the great contribution of the city's rich wetlands. Research shows that wetlands provide habitats for nearly 50 percent of the city's plant species and 76 percent of wild animal species. As of 2020, a total of 202 species of wild animals have been found in Beijing's wetlands.

Wetlands play different roles depending on the various natural conditions, and this will be the top rule to guide the wetland restoration and construction in the city for the upcoming five years, according to the Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau.

For example, large forest-based wetlands will be built in the city's sub-center area, such as the Yongding River basin so that forests can grow in a sustainable and healthy environment with enough water. As for the ecological conservation area and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, wetland parks like Yeya Lake in Yanqing Distrct and Mujiayu in Miyun Distrct will be better maintained to further strengthen their conservation capacity.

The city also plans to build 50 small and micro wetlands with areas less than one hectare in the next five years in the city center and mountainous outskirts to ensure wild animals will have access to drinking water.

To celebrate the day, the results of "the citizens' favorite bird in Beijing" were announced. Thirty out of the over 500 species of birds frequently seen in Beijing won the most votes in an online poll with over 100,000 participants this April.

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