The 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) will be held from November 5 to 13 with the main venue being in central China's Wuhan City. This marks the first time that a Chinese city will host such a meeting. So why was Wuhan chosen?
Known as the "city of rivers" and the "city of a hundred lakes," Wuhan is home to 165 rivers and 166 lakes. It also boasts about 162,000 hectares of wetlands, accounting for almost 19 percent of its total area. Included in the city's wetland network are 63,500 hectares of small and micro wetlands and six national wetland parks.
With such natural advantages, the local government along with 30 NGOs and around 200,000 volunteers have continually made concerted efforts to protect local wetlands in recent years.
This year, Wuhan has been awarded the title of "International Wetland City" in recognition of its achievement of urban wetland ecological protection. There are 43 "International Wetland Cities" worldwide, of which 13 are in China. For a city with over 10 million people, it's not easy to conserve wetlands, because wetlands are usually reclaimed and polluted during urban development.
Wuhan has what it takes to be the host city. It not only reveals the major progress that China has achieved in wetlands conservation, it also shows how city dwellers can live in harmony with nature.