China was officially accepted as the host for the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) to take place in the city of Wuhan in 2021. The announcement was made on 26th June 2019 during a plenary session of the 57th Meeting of the Standing Committee (SC57) attended by over 150 delegates from 63 countries.
China has been a party to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands since 1992 and has designated 57 wetland sites onto the List of Wetlands of International Importance (‘Ramsar Sites’), considered to be of high value to the country and the world because of the ecosystem services they provide.
The government of China is taking mulitiple actions to conserve the country’s wetlands, which they have recognized as crucial to ensuring the development of the country will be sustainable into the future. China has adopted a series of measures at the provincial and national levels, all aimed at the protection of wetlands. These include wetland protection regulations, establishment of 602 wetland nature reserves and the creation of 898 pilot national wetland parks.
The City of Wuhan, which will host COP14, sits at the confluence of the Yangtze River and its longest tributary Han River, boasts about 1,624 square km of wetlands, accounting for 18.9 percent of the city's total area. Wuhan is the capital and largest city of the Chinese province of Hubei and is considered the political, economic, financial, commercial, cultural and educational centre of Central China.
On behalf of all the Contracting Parties, Chair of the Standing Committee, Mohamad Saif Al Afkham, expressed thanks to China and Chinese delegation present at SC57 for the invitation extended to host COP14.