Advancing sustainable growth in the United States and China

A History of Wetlands Policy in China

Since China joined the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in July 1992, the government has taken several steps to protect China’s vital wetlands. Scroll down to learn more…

July 1992

July 1992

China officially joins the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty that promotes the conservation of wetlands and their resources, which established the country’s recognition of increasing wetland importance.

October 2000

October 2000

The State Forestry Administration (SFA), in partnership with 16 other government institutions and ministries, releases the National Wetland Conservation Action Plan for China, a set of guidelines for the conservation and responsible use of wetlands.

October 2004

October 2004

China’s State Council approves the National Wetland Conservation Program (2004-2030), which aims to establish 713 wetland reserves, including 80 wetland sites of international importance.

August 2005

August 2005

The SFA establishes the Convention on Wetlands Management Office, responsible for ensuring fulfillment of the Ramsar Convention and its wetland projects.

September 2010

September 2010

China’s State Council approves the China National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2030), devised by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, in an effort to establish monitoring systems to help prioritize wetland conservation and restoration.

August 2011

August 2011

The SFA issues the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Forestry Development (2011-2015) , setting targets for wetland conservation at regional and national levels.

March 2012

March 2012

The Ministry of Land and Resources issues the National Land Consolidation Plan (2011-2015), which emphasizes the importance of environmental integrity and wetland conservation in land consolidation and prevents the exploitation of wetlands for agricultural purposes.

August 2012

August 2012

The State Council approves the 12th Five-Year Implementation Plan of the NWCP (2011-2015), aiming to expand the scope of wetland protection at both the provincial and national levels. Prepared in conjunction with the SFA and nine other central sectors, this plan would allow for the Central Government and sub-national governments at different levels to invest as much as 12.987 billion RMB for wetland restoration and conservation.

March 2013

March 2013

The SFA adopts national policies on wetland protection, titled the Management Rules on Wetland Protection, as a first step towards developing national wetland legislation that would supersede local legislation.

May 2013

May 2013

Management Rules on Wetland Protection enters into force.

December 2013

December 2013

China’s State Council promulgates the Master Plan for Protecting the Environment and Ecosystems of Lakes with Good Water Quality (2013-2020), aiming to manage water pollution in key watersheds and across China’s five lake districts.

February 2014

February 2014

In partnership with The Office of Wetlands Conservation and Management under the State Forestry Administration and the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Paulson Institute announces the launch of its Coastal Wetland Blueprint Project. The Blueprint Project aims to produce a comprehensive set of policy recommendations in order to lay a solid foundation for developing a well-informed national strategy for coastal wetland conservation.

March 2014

March 2014

China’s State Council approves the National Ecological Protection and Development Plan (2011-2020), a joint agreement formulated by twelve state sectors, including the National Reform and Development Commission. The Plan aims to serve as a framework for mainstreaming wetland conservation through conservation solutions that tackle exploitation issues.

October 2015

October 2015

The Paulson Institute’s Coastal Wetland Blueprint Project is completed after 18 months.