BEIJING, June 1 (Xinhua) -- China's new law on wetlands protection took effect on Wednesday, adding evidence of more conservation and improving administrative systems for the country's vast wetland areas.
The law's implementation marked a new stage of law-based wetlands protection in China, said Guan Zhiou, head of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
According to the law, the country will exercise the administration of wetlands at different levels, and significant wetland areas should fall under the ecological conservation red lines.
Wetlands protection in China used to face multiple challenges due to the lack of specific regulations, excessive utilization, and even destruction.
The new law will help to encourage reasonable utilization of wetlands and ensure sound wetland ecosystems, contributing to the unification of economic, social, and ecological benefits, said Yang Zhaoxia, head of the ecological law research center at the Beijing Forestry University.
China has designated 64 wetlands as wetlands of international importance and 29 of national importance. It set up over 600 wetland nature reserves and 1,600 wetland parks.
Following the implementation of the law, China will step up wetlands protection, aiming to increase its wetlands protection rate to 55 percent by 2025 and restore 1 million mu (over 66,000 hectares) of wetlands, said the administration. ■