Research Articles

Experience and future research trends of wetland protection and restoration in China

  • JIANG Weiguo , 1 ,
  • ZHANG Ze 1 ,
  • LING Ziyan , 1, 2, * ,
  • DENG Yawen 1
  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2. Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Resource Use in Beibu Gulf, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Planning, Nanning Normal University, Nanning 530001, China
*Ling Ziyan (1985‒), Senior Engineer, specialized in wetland remote sensing and sustainable development. E-mail:

Jiang Weiguo (1976‒), Professor, specialized in intelligent and optimal extraction of remote sensing big data, geospatial optimization simulation, urban wetland and ecohydrological monitoring and assessment. E-mail:

Received date: 2023-05-18

  Accepted date: 2023-09-05

  Online published: 2024-02-06

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China(U21A2022)

National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071393)

National Natural Science Foundation of China(U1901219)

National Natural Science Foundation of China(42101369)


Wetlands are important natural resources for humans and play an irreplaceable ecological function in the terrestrial ecosystem. To curb the continued loss of wetlands globally, international organizations and many countries have taken a series of major conservation and restoration measures. This work reviews these wetland conservation and restoration measures, interprets China’s wetland conservation and restoration management policies, and proposes that future research on wetland resources in China should be conducted from the aspects of international frontiers and national strategic plans, socioeconomics, and smart services. The results show that the 27 International Wetlands Days from 1997 to 2023 provided new goals and tasks for the protection and management of wetlands. The important topics and outcomes of the 14 Conferences of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands from 1980 to 2022 provided new directions and new challenges for wetland development. In the future, we should enhance wetland ecological functions, promote sustainable wetland development, and overcome the technical bottleneck of fragile wetland ecosystem restoration. From 1992 to 2022, China embarked on a new phase of wetland protection and restoration. The overall experience of wetland protection and restoration in China has been formed through national strategic deployment, legal policy establishment, and project planning and implementation. The needs to provide for and plan the long-term protection of wetlands at the national level, to innovate restoration and management techniques and application systems, and to effectively address the complex issues of wetland protection and restoration through collaborative division of labor among multiple departments were emphasized. Research on the future trends of wetlands should be directed towards the exploration and practice of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and several international conventions in support of sustainable wetland development. Wetland protection, restoration, and management services should be promoted for national strategic needs and local, high-quality social and economic development. In addition, research on cross-integration and academic innovation should be enhanced for disciplinary development, global supervision, comprehensive assessment, and smart decision making.

Cite this article

JIANG Weiguo , ZHANG Ze , LING Ziyan , DENG Yawen . Experience and future research trends of wetland protection and restoration in China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2024 , 34(2) : 229 -251 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-024-2203-5

1 Introduction

Wetlands are transitional lands between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and are formed by interactions between the two systems (Liu et al., 2009). Wetlands are highly productive ecosystems and play vital roles in water conservation, flood water storage, climate regulation, carbon cycle maintenance, coastline protection, etc. (Na et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2021). The promotion of wetland conservation and restoration has become a priority of global ecological protection. According to the data announced during the 13th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) in Dubai in 2018, the global wetland area is more than 1.21 billion ha, of which 54% is permanently inundated and 46% is temporarily inundated. Approximately 93% of wetlands are inland systems while the remaining 7% are marine and coastal systems (Davidson et al., 2018; Fluet-Chouinard et al., 2015). The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)’s Living Planet Report 2020 pointed out a 35% reduction of wetlands, and an 84% average decline of birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and reptiles since 1970, i.e., a yearly reduction of 4% (WWF, 2020). Global wetland conservation faces severe challenges. Due to climate change, increasing human activities, weak social awareness, etc., wetland losses of varying degrees have occurred in all countries, threatening the ecological security of wetlands. Hence, strengthening wetland conservation and restoration is urgently required.

2 International standards for the conservation and recovery of wetlands

Many international organizations are dedicated to wetland conservation and recovery, such as the Wetlands International Union (WIUN), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC), United Nations Foundation (UNF), Global Environment Fund (GEF), and Global Heritage Fund (GHF). These organizations focus on ecological conservation, world heritage protection, and environmental education, which guides global concrete actions on ecological conservation, monitoring, and management of wetlands. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (hereafter, the Ramsar Convention), was adopted at Ramsar, Iran in 1971 and amended in 1982 and 1987. The contracting parties consider the fundamental ecological functions, such as water conservation and purification, as well as the great ecological value of wetlands. They call for collaborative actions to reduce wetland loss and believe that forward-looking solutions at national and global scales will ensure the effectiveness of wetland conservation and restoration.

2.1 Conservation and restoration measures stated in the Ramsar Convention

The Ramsar Convention was the first intergovernmental convention on the environment (Matthews, 1993) and is headquartered at Gland, Switzerland. Its governance bodies include contracting parties, the Conference of the Contracting Parties (the COP), the Standing Committee, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and the Secretariat. The contracting parties have increased to 172 since the convention was signed, and there are 2455 wetland sites of international importance and 43 accredited wetland cities so far. The Convention has been enhancing and accelerating the conservation and effective use of wetland resources for 40 years by calling for local, national, and international actions; thereby making significant contributions to the global sustainable development of wetlands. Each meeting of the COP includes technical sessions on ongoing and emerging wetland conservation, which guide the relevant parties in their common pursuit of wetland conservation (Figure 1). The 14th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) was held in November 2022 in Wuhan, China and Geneva, Switzerland, with the theme of “Wetlands Action for People and Nature.” Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech via video at the opening ceremony, during which he underscored the significance of the concept of “a community with a shared future for mankind,” and enumerated China’s major initiatives and efforts in achieving high-quality ecological civilization construction and wetland conservation and restoration (Xi, 2022a). China’s experiences and measures provide an empirical paradigm and reference for global wetland conservation and restoration.
Figure 1 Themes and locations for the meetings of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention
World Wetlands Day has been celebrated on 2 February since 1997 through the decision of the Standing Committee of the Convention at its 19th meeting in 1996 (Figure 2). The day’s themes aim to raise global awareness about the vital role and value of wetlands for people and planet, to highlight their status and challenges to reversing their rapid loss, and to encourage conservation and restoration. Various levels of government and relevant authorities, nongovernmental organizations, and other sectors and individuals take actions at different modalities and scales to educate the public about the value and benefits of wetlands, thus raising their awareness of wetland conservation (Zheng et al., 2020). World Wetlands Day 2023, with the theme “Wetland Restoration,” put forward seven best practices of wetland restoration, seven benefits from wetland restoration, and seven key players that have vital roles in wetland restoration, known as the “three sevens.” Different generations of people are asked to take urgent actions to conserve and restore wetlands. Meanwhile, how to restore wetlands in key regions is a focus of current research.
Figure 2 Themes of World Wetlands Day from 1997 to 2023

2.2 Conservation and restoration measures by representative countries

Under the guidance of the Convention and relevant conferences, countries around the globe have adopted a series of measures for conservation and restoration according to their circumstances to address wetlands challenges. This work compares the situations of the United States of America (USA), Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, France, and Brazil, from the perspectives of total area of wetlands, type of wetland resources, number of wetlands of international importance, number of accredited wetland cities, etc. The wetland-related authorities in these six countries are all included in their environment ministries, although for Australia, its counterpart department also governs other functions and is known as the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. All six countries released wetland-related laws from the 1970s to the 1990s, and they all have policies on wetland management, such as establishing development permission and a wetland mitigation bank, constructing national parks and conservation areas, implementing conservation based on different wetland categories, and encouraging public participation (Table 1). Thus, conservation and restoration systems with varying modalities have been formed, such as conservation networks, national park systems, or management by local authorities, as well as biodiversity conservation measures (Wu, 2006; Chen, 2007; Wang, 2008; Kuang et al., 2009). In recent years, many countries have implemented projects and programs for future wetland conservation and restoration and sustainable development. The USA has put forward dozens of national and state wetland program plans for 2020-2025, and the goals are beneficial to conducting oriented activities and actions. Canada’s St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011 to 2026 has identified three priority issues for joint actions, i.e., biodiversity conservation, water quality improvement, and sustainable use. France initiated the National Wetland Conservation Program 2022-2026 to enhance conservation and restoration, in which it set specific goals for restoration and the number of newly built national parks. In 2018, Brazil proposed a wetland conservation and sustainable use strategy; established a national wetland committee; promoted conservation, management, and rational use of environmental resources; and identified suitable wetlands for placement on the List of Wetlands of International Importance. Measures, projects, laws, and regulations of the six countries ensure the security of wetlands and effectively reduce their loss and degradation. The main focuses of wetland conservation and restoration are reconversion and reconstruction, recovery of degraded areas, enhancement of ecological functions, and monitoring and governing.
Table 1 Wetland protection and restoration measures in six countries around the world
United States Canada United Kingdom Australia France Brazil
Environmental Protection Agency Natural
Environment Agency Department of Agriculture and Water Resources France Nature Environnement Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA)
Wetlands legal policy Clean Water Act, Wetlands to Agriculture Act, Coastal Wetlands Protection Act, Floodplain and Wetlands Protection Act, etc. Federal Environmental Impact Assessment Act, Water Enterprises Act, Saskatchewan Environmental Assessment Act, etc. Nature Conservation Act, Wildlife and Countryside Act, Water Resources Act, Decree on the Natural Environment and Remote Communities, etc. National Wetlands Policy, Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act, etc. National Parks Act, French Environmental Power Generation, etc. Brazilian Waters Protection Act, Basic Environment Act, National Strategic Plan for Protected Areas, etc.
Wetland management system Wetland development permit system, Wetland compensation banking system Wetland classification and conservation area system, Wetland development permit system Typified wetland nature reserve system, wetland Management agreement system Wetland public participation system Nature reserve system, National parks system Wetland development permit system, Nature reserve system
Protection and restoration system Establishment of a wetland conservation network National park system, wildlife conservation Network of wetland nature reserves Locally led wetland management system Nature reserves, biodiversity conservation networks
Protection and restoration work Wetlands Program Plan (2020-2025) Saint Lawrence Action Plan 2011-2026 National Wetland Conservation Plan (2022-2026) Brazilian Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands (2018)
Protection and restoration priorities Restoration of new and degraded wetlands Degraded wetland restoration, wetland revegetation Control of degradation of wetland ecological functions Nature reserve construction and management Establishment of nature reserves Wetland conservation and sustainable use

3 China’s experiences in wetland conservation and restoration

2022 marks the 30th anniversary of China’s joining the Ramsar Convention. Over the past three decades, China has actively supported the purposes and objectives of the Convention by vigorously promoting the construction of ecological civilization and strengthening wetland conservation and restoration. The ecological condition of wetlands in China has benefited from these relentless efforts and has been continuously improved (Liu et al., 2022). Wetland biodiversity has also been increasing gradually. Wetland conservation schemes and experiences with Chinese characteristics have also formed, i.e., implementation of national strategic plans, establishment of laws and policies, and improvement of engineering systems.” Modernizing the harmony between humanity and nature, promoting conservation and restoration, and facilitating high-quality and sustainable wetland development are the current national strategic plans.

3.1 National strategic plans bring new opportunities to wetland conservation, restoration, and management in China

Wetland conservation is a key component of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Ecological Civilization, as specified in the Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Accelerating the Construction of Ecological Civilization and the Integrated Reform Plan for Promoting Ecological Progress (Jiang, 2019). Since 2013, the No.1 Central Document each year highlights the importance of enhancing wetland conservation. The Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (in 2022) stated that clear waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and that harmony between humanity and nature should be pursued; proposed a 10-year fishing ban on the Yangtze River; suggested improving the system of fallowing and crop rotation; and outlined actions such as promoting the natural regeneration of grasslands, forests, rivers, lakes, and wetlands and boosting the carbon absorption capacity of ecosystems (Xi, 2022b). These strategic plans bring new opportunities to wetland conservation and restoration, while putting forward new requirements. The construction of ecological civilization, harmony between humanity and nature, innovation-driven strategy, and building a beautiful China all present some practical needs and problems to be solved scientifically for wetland conservation and restoration. Future wetland conservation and restoration work should follow Xi Jinping’s Thought on Ecological Civilization, conduct in-depth relevant studies, improve the theoretical framework, develop innovative technologies and applications, integrate conservation and management of wetlands and other environmental resources, and provide a theoretical basis and knowledge for decision making.

3.2 The implementation of laws provides a new guarantee for wetland conservation, restoration, and management

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, China has continually enhanced wetland conservation. There is a thorough system of laws and 97 regulations at national or provincial levels, which mark a new stage of comprehensive wetland conservation. On 24 December 2021, the 32nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress of China passed the Wetland Conservation Law of the People’s Republic of China (WCL). This was another milestone in the construction of China’s legislative system regarding ecological conservation, as the Law fills the gap and puts conservation efforts on a legal footing (Wang et al., 2022) (Figure 3). The Law defines wetlands according to China’s own national conditions and vision on wetland conservation and restoration. It takes the Ramsar Convention as its skeleton but emphasizes that wetlands are places with significant ecological function; meanwhile, it excludes paddy fields, artificial water bodies, and mud flats for cultivation of aquatic organisms. The Law also represents an important achievement in the development of the legal system of China’s ecological civilization, covering wetland resource management, conservation and use, restoration, supervision and inspection, and legal responsibility. It highlights conservation and restoration, scientific definitions, comprehensive design of laws and regulations, and the enhancement of supervision and punishment.
Figure 3 The legislative process of China’s Wetland Protection Law from 1992 to 2022
In the future, the WCL-centered legal and regulatory system will be improved to ensure the security of wetland conservation and development by making laws and regulations at varying levels and gradually establishing a wetland conservation and management network characterized as collaborations among departments with a hierarchical management structure, as well as comprehensive restoration and improvement plans. Specifically, we should make effective use of new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), deep learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) to better monitor wetland destruction; bring new ideas and methods to future research on wetland resources; and technically support digital conservation, restoration, and smart management of wetland resources. Other future directions are as follows: We should establish long-term wetland conservation plans from a perspective of national legislation and absorb and learn good practices, regulations, and experiences from international organizations to inform Chinese laws and policies on conservation while considering national conditions. These initiatives will give full play to the roles of laws and regulations on wetland conservation and ensure the long-term and orderly development of China’s wetland conservation measures. This is also the basis for wetland conservation and restoration.

3.3 Constructing a new pattern of wetland conservation, restoration, and management by project planning

The conservation and restoration projects are important measures and key nodes. Different tools and techniques to improve restoration efficiency should be chosen if previous ones fail to achieve their purposes or perform well. Taking plans such as the National Wetland Protection Project Plan (2002-2030), Master Plan on Major Projects for the Conservation and Restoration of National Key Ecosystems (2021-2035), National Wetland Conservation Plan (2022-2030), and Outline of National Water Network Construction Plan (2021-2035) as blueprints, China has strengthened its top-level design for wetland conservation, and accomplished more than 4100 wetland conservation and restoration projects since 2002 (Figure 4). Based on the requirements of territorial spatial planning departments, national territory restoration, and territorial spatial regulation and the latest planning for wetland conservation, as well as ecological conservation and restoration focused on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau ecological barrier area, key ecological zones along the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, northeastern forest belt, northern sand prevention belt, southern hilly-mountainous belt, and the coastal zone, China piloted wetland conservation and restoration projects in 30 key regions. China has defined the issues and orientations of each region to make detailed plans and carry out conservation and restoration projects on degraded lands or lands that have lost their functions (Zhang et al., 2022).
Figure 4 China’s wetland protection and restoration project plans from 2002 to 2035
Continuous and cohesive wetland conservation and restoration projects are vital to the sustainable development of wetlands in China. It is necessary to continue to innovate with respect to the mechanism and system of wetland conservation in China and to promote the project objectives, main tasks, and policies and measures in an orderly manner. Relevant authorities and scientists should evaluate the conservation and restoration effectiveness from different points of view, especially if there is a risk of rebound, to identify problems and solve them in advance. In future projects, we should apply technologies such as remote sensing, geographic information system, satellite navigation, spatial modeling, scenario-based simulations, big data, and smart decision making. These technologies may ensure the smooth implementation and innovative development of projects, thus effectively solving complicated problems in wetland conservation and restoration.

3.4 Conservation effectiveness becomes the new driver of wetland conservation, restoration, and management

Since China joined the Ramsar Convention, its wetland conservation has experienced three stages: fully understanding the national conditions and reinforcing the foundation, salvage and conservation, and comprehensive conservation. China has been continually intensifying its efforts in wetland conservation and restoration, which improves its ecological environment, and has achieved significant outcomes. China also set specific targets for planning key projects for future wetland restoration, making and delivering on its commitments, endeavoring to achieve a leading position in this field, and driving future works (Figure 5).
Figure 5 Spatial distribution of three zones and four belts and important wetlands for ecological protection and restoration in China
China is the first country to have finished three national wetland resource surveys. According to the first, second, and third land resource surveys conducted in 1984-1997, 2007-2009, and 2017-2020, the wetland areas were 56.9989 million ha, 53.6026 million ha, and 56.3493 million ha, respectively, indicating a decrease first, followed by an increase. Wetland surveying and monitoring field stations have been constructed in different regions of China to achieve real-time data monitoring. By 2021, China had 41 wetland ecosystem monitoring stations located in seven regions. The wetland monitoring and evaluation subjects have been clearly defined. Meanwhile, integration of monitoring and management with the assistance of advanced technologies enables the timely release and application of monitoring data. In 2020, the Ministry of Natural Resources of China announced the Overall Plan for the Construction of Natural Resources Survey and Monitoring System to be complete by 2023, which includes systems of laws and regulations on survey and monitoring, standards, techniques, and quality management (SCIO, 2020).
Background surveys on wetland resources have been the basis for wetland monitoring, but advanced science and technology enables more comprehensive monitoring. We should make full use of modern technologies to systematically and comprehensively conduct research on dynamic monitoring of wetland resources and relevant early warning and to enhance accuracy and efficiency in describing the spatiotemporal characteristics of wetland resources. These technologies provide new theoretical perspectives and ideas about the spatiotemporal distribution, evolution process, driving mechanism, efficiency evaluation, and optimal regulation.
Level-based wetlands management was officially established by the WCL. For example, a specialized agency responsible for national wetland management has been established along with local wetland management agencies at various levels, to speed up the construction of natural conservation areas with national parks as the main bodies. With these measures, wetland management will soon move to a new phase of rapid development (Lei, 2022). China now has 82 wetlands of international importance and 29 wetlands of national importance, with total areas of 7.647 million ha and 3.60 million ha, respectively. Meanwhile, there are 1021 wetlands of provincial importance, 901 national wetland parks, and more than 2200 nature reserves in China (NFGA, 2000). China prioritizes national park construction to achieve the optimization and integration of wetland nature reserves and wetland parks and to establish a wetland conservation system. There are five national parks, 602 wetland nature reserves, and 1693 wetland parks (among which 899 are national ones). Level-based management is conducive to wetland conservation and rational use, which gives the most important wetlands the highest conservation level. This is of great significance to global wetland conservation (Figure 6).
Figure 6 Establishment of the wetland classification and protection system in China (WII: wetlands of international importance, WNI: wetlands of national importance, WPI: wetlands of provincial importance)
China’s level-based management and conservation system of wetlands leads the world. The principle of design the regulations first and intensify the guiding role of planning is still necessary. We should insist on a wetland conservation system with national parks, wetland natural reserves, and wetland parks at its core and adopt innovative management techniques. Departments related to forestry, water conservancy, transportation, and environmental protection ought to collaborate to solve problems related to wetland conservation, development, and use. Diversified conservation measures and construction are encouraged to target different levels, regions, and characteristics of wetlands.
China comprehensively conducts wetland conservation and restoration at various levels and with different perspectives. Guided by national and local regulations, many detailed projects and other plans have clarified the high-quality development modality for future wetland conservation and restoration, which informs government authorities and scientists in this field. This creates an inexhaustible internal driving force.
In the last five years, planning and regulations with respect to wetland conservation and restoration for the future 15 years have been formulated to better guide these actions. Examples include the Spatial Layout Plan for National Parks, Special Action Plan for Mangrove Protection and Restoration (2020-2025), National Wetland Conservation Plan (2022-2030), Master Plan on Major Projects for the Conservation and Restoration of National Key Ecosystems (2021-2035), Outline of National Water Network Construction Plan (2021-2035), etc. The target years mentioned above coincide with those set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The targets set for 2025 include the following: establish a national parks management system characterized by unified standards and high efficiency; construct a set of national water network key projects; plant 9050 ha and recover 9750 ha of mangrove forests; reach a wetland conservation rate of 55%; increase wetlands sites of international importance and of national importance by 20 and 50, respectively, and increase wetlands sites of national importance to 104; and organize approximately 30 key projects on wetland conservation and restoration (PRC, 2022; Wang, 2022; Wu et al., 2022). By 2030, a high-quality development pattern of wetland conservation will have been established and wetland ecosystem functions will have improved significantly, while biodiversity conservation will also have been enhanced (Wang, 2022). By 2035, the construction of distributed national parks will be completed, and the biggest national park system in the world will be built; the overall distribution of the national water network will be defined; the wetland conservation rate will increase to 60%, and the natural coastline preservation rate will be no less than 35%; nature reserves with national parks as the core will occupy more that 18% of the national land area, and endangered wild animals and plants and their habitats will be fully conserved (Guan et al., 2021; Wang, 2023) (Figure 7). By implementing key projects, ecosystem conservation and restoration will be comprehensively strengthened, which will also benefit wetlands.
Figure 7 Future plans and objectives for wetland protection and restoration in China
During the implementation of key projects, we should endeavor to reduce the destruction of natural environments and keep the original appearance of the protected regions as large as possible. After the projects, the relevant authorities should conduct long-term dynamic monitoring of wetland resources and systematically evaluate the status of areas in distinct phases. The necessary measures should be swiftly taken if abuses of wetland resources are found. Priorities for the future are construction of national parks, wetlands of international and national importance, water networks, and wetland networks to ensure the stable development of wetlands in China. As for the restoration of endangered mangrove forests, we should plant more new mangroves and restore and conserve the existing ones; focus on the protection of wild animals and native plants and their habitats and enhance the ecosystem functions and biodiversity status of wetlands. These priorities are also future research directions.

4 Future research trends

Wetland conservation and restoration are vital topics in serving the needs of both international innovative research and Chinese national strategic plans. The deepening of international collaborations and the vigorous implementation of national strategic plans has provided more detailed goals and priorities to wetland conservation and restoration as well as to scientific issues requiring further study.

4.1 International frontier agendas promote the sustainable development of wetlands

We should fully consider international frontier agendas in future wetland conservation and restoration as well as its rationale use, enhance the synergistic development of multilateral environmental conventions in global sustainable development, and support the directing role of the Ramsar Convention in future research and management. These are not only the basis for enhancing wetland conservation, restoration, and resource management, but also the foundation to improve implementation of the Convention and increase cooperation.

4.1.1 Future research will stress the importance of constructive collaboration among the main global agendas

Wetland conservation is closely related to global sustainable development, ecosystem restoration, biodiversity, and climate change, etc. The Ramsar Convention encourages connections with other multilateral conventions on the environment such as The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to achieve the SDGs defined in Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Figure 8).
Figure 8 Diagram of the relationships among the Ramsar Convention and other international agendas
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 aims to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems to effectively combat climate change, enhance food security and water resource protection, and prevent mass extinctions of species. Ecosystem restoration is of vital importance in achieving SDGs and in supporting international conventions. The main objectives in the CBD involve long-term planning for wetland conservation, natural wetland conservation systems, stopping invasions of alien species, wetland protection publicity and education. Contracting parties adopted some goals for action by 2030 in the COP15 of the CBD in October 2022, including the following: protect 30% of Earth’s land, oceans, coastal areas, and inland waters; have restoration completed or underway on at least 30% of degraded terrestrial, inland waters and coastal and marine ecosystems; halve the introduction of priority invasive alien species; reduce by half both excess nutrients and the overall risk posed by pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals; cut global food waste in half, etc (Guan et al., 2021). These goals are consistent with those proposed in the COP14. The basic principle is that wetlands provide more and better habitats for living creatures and wetland restoration enriches biodiversity, thus creating more ecological value and balancing the wetland ecosystem. Climate change is an important agenda in both CBD and the Ramsar Convention. The 27th session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) in 2022 called for both mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation (adaptation to extreme weather) actions (Yuan, 2022). Peatlands, mangroves, and other wetland environments play a significant role in global climate change. Thus, their conservation and restoration as well as sustainable management are required to combat climate change. Meanwhile, global climate change hinders wetland spatial variations and ecological environment quality improvements. Hence, the actions in the Ramsar Convention should be involved in other international conventions on the environment, such as UNFCCC. China should focus on the conservation of peatlands and mangroves by building conservation areas, prohibiting occupation and destruction, and enhancing restoration. These measures should be taken into consideration when enacting relevant laws. Other countries should take actions based on their own circumstances. These provide wetland resources and strong legal guarantees to fulfil obligations under the Ramsar Convention. Conserving biodiversity and tackling climate change are connected to wetland ecological conservation and restoration, and they are also important components in achieving the UN SDGs.
Future research should center on the following two scientific issues. 1) The patterns and evolution behaviors of wetlands. We should focus on wetland spatial patterns, evolution, internal mechanisms, driving forces, effectiveness evaluations, quantitative analysis, development models, comprehensive management, supporting laws and regulations, etc., under the guidance of national development strategies while considering international programs. When setting future goals, other conventions and projects should be considered. Then, research wetland conservation and restoration models, suggest optimal technological measures, and conduct effectiveness evaluations. In addition, China should propose and lead relevant international research projects to take a global leadership role as soon as possible. 2) Research on the relationship between wetlands and climate change, such as wetland resources and environmental carrying capacity as well as restoration suitability (known as wetland dual evaluation). Other aspects of research include the effects on biodiversity under wetland spatial changes and its optimization path, ecological function enhancement of mangroves in combating global climate change, coordinated development of wetland resource spatial management, biodiversity improvement under climate change, etc.

4.1.2 The 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) guides future research directions

The COP14 followed the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and deliberated serious issues such as global wetland development strategic plans. COP14 achieved some important outcomes, including the Wuhan Declaration and adaptation of the 2025-2030 Global Strategic Framework for Wetlands Conservation. During the meeting, 21 draft resolutions were approved, three of which were proposed by China, including establishing the International Mangrove Center in the framework of the Ramsar Convention, integrating wetland conservation and restoration into national sustainable development strategies, and enhancing the conservation and management of small wetlands. These resolutions on wetland conservation, restoration, rational use, and sustainable development were proposed to halt and reverse the current wetland loss on Earth. The target ecosystems include peatlands, coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangroves, sustainable wetland cities, small wetlands, etc. Some perspectives may provide current trends and directions for wetland development, such as concentrating on how wetland conservation and restoration promotes sustainable development and combats common global environmental challenges, enhancing scientific and technological cooperation and knowledge sharing, and encouraging inclusion of small wetlands on the List of Wetlands of International Importance. These resolutions, with more specific missions and objectives, will guide wetland conservation, restoration, and comprehensive management in the coming three years, and are effective complements to current wetland studies. Future actions are as follows.
• Coordinate all agenda items and incorporate wetland conservation into sustainable development strategic plans. The extent of the ecosystem services provided by wetlands, and wetlands’ significant role in ensuring food security and regulating hydrological and meteorological conditions should be recognized. Synergies among all agenda items should be enhanced, such as China’s project to conserve and restore biodiversity under the Convention and contributions to tackle climate change under the UNFCCC.
• Strengthen domestic and international multilateral cooperation at various levels. Wetland conservation and restoration will be the focus in future multilateral cooperation. It is important to involve youth and scientists/researchers in the work, which is also the basis for promoting wetland conservation and restoration. Meanwhile, we need to ensure that the young people involved can build partnerships and have more career development channels.
• Enhance scientific research and technological innovation. High-quality and sustainable development of wetlands depends on the application and innovation of science and technology. The combination of various technologies and methodologies is necessary. For instance, statistics; spatial modeling; geographic information system, global positioning system, and remote sensing (3S) technology; and scenario simulation and decision analysis can be applied to study wetland resources. Construction of a multisource heterogeneous big data platform on wetlands and exploration of how wetland resources tackle climate change will also be useful. Additional applications of science and technology include methods for evaluation and monitoring of ecosystems and for understanding the economic costs of wetland loss and degradation. Potential research topics include conservation and management of small wetlands, biodiversity degradation in wetlands, conservation of vulnerable ecosystems such as mangroves and the development of species population, and the role of blue carbon in climate change planning frameworks. Goals include conservation and restoration of wetland ecosystems along the coastlines and rational use of these resources for sustainable development while enhancing planning, decision making, and development (Figure 9).
Figure 9 Schematic diagram of leading research directions at the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention in 2022

4.2 Serve national strategies and high-quality social and economic development in local areas

Future research on wetland resources should follow China’s national strategic plans, under the support of a series of laws and regulations. Project planning will yield better social and economic conditions, thus serving high-quality development (Figure 10). Implementing national strategic plans of all kinds, enacting relevant laws and regulations, and completing key projects will provide directions and objectives for wetland resource research.
Figure 10 A research framework for serving national strategies and high-quality socioeconomic development Nationally important ecological protection and restoration projects construction plan (2021-2035)

4.2.1 Serve national strategies and laws and regulations

Wetland conservation and restoration are not only important components in, but also effective measures for, promoting ecological civilization construction, coordinating development of regions, planning for major function-oriented zones, and driving innovative development strategies. In the future, the importance of wetland resource conservation and sustainable use under the perspective of national strategies should be stressed, such as coupling and coordinated development of ecological civilization construction and wetland resource exploitation, wetland resource surveying and monitoring, network security platform construction for the main function-oriented zones, coupling human-earth systems for sustainability, wetland ecosystem services, and low-carbon development models. Following key national strategic plans could effectively prevent research objectives from deviating from national development goals.
Legislation is urgently needed for wetland conservation and restoration to ensure the healthy development of wetlands. The implementation of relevant laws should be consistent with existing laws and regulations of the country. The three main focuses for the future are as follows. 1) Strengthen publicity and education about wetland conservation laws and regulations. For instance, encourage more training and exchange activities targeting researchers and scientists and conduct a series of lectures and publicity events, introducing new requirements, regulations, and measures especially to local managers and staff. 2) Make effective use of laws and regulations to strengthen wetland conservation and restoration and the rational use of wetlands. Abilities and technologies in wetland conservation and restoration should be enhanced, and monitoring and governance toward illegal activities, such as destruction of wetlands, should be strengthened. In addition, we should support wetland eco-tourism, popularization, and education and avoid further damage to the environment. 3) Laws and regulations should be enforced illegal activities monitored. We should strictly manage wetlands, monitor wetland conservation rates, and conduct necessary evaluations to ensure conservation effectiveness. Meanwhile, we should enforce laws against any groups or individual and crack down on illegal actions.

4.2.2 Serve project planning and socioeconomics

Wetland conservation and restoration project planning are important aspects of wetland development, use, and comprehensive management and are vital to achieving their sustainable development. Future research should focus on the following three aspects.
(1) Integration of wetland restoration research and key national restoration projects.
Wetland restoration is a key component in ecological restoration. The Master Plan on Major Projects for the Conservation and Restoration of National Key Ecosystems (2021-2035) and the Special Action Plan for Mangrove Protection and Restoration (2020-2025) provide guidance to wetland restoration research. China’s future research should focus on assessment on the ecological structure and functional stability of wetlands, dynamic monitoring and evaluation of wetland restoration and conservation effectiveness of major ecological projects, identification of important wetland restoration nodes and corridors in typical coastal areas, enhancement of ecosystem services and functions, disaster prevention and reduction capabilities in coastal areas, development of key wetland restoration technologies, and assessment of future sustainability, etc.
(2) Integration of wetland conservation research and planning.
The National Wetland Conservation Plan (2022-2030) is a specialized plan for wetland conservation research, in accordance with China’s territorial spatial planning and the ecological conservation and restoration pattern of three zones and four belts. Future research will be centered on stability and comprehensive conservation of wetland ecosystems, improvement of the connectivity between wetlands and lake and river systems, restoration of coastal wetland habitats for animals, and enhancement of coastal wetland ecosystems, etc.
(3) Integration of the increasing wetland network functions and construction and planning of China’s water network.
Future directions and objectives in the Outline of National Water Network Construction Plan (2021-2035) correspond to China’s wetland conservation and restoration policies. The improvement of wetland network functions is beneficial water infrastructure design, water resources optimal allocation, and flood control system reinforcement. Meanwhile, water network construction may improve the wetland ecosystem conservation and management system and strengthen the ecological environment, water network, and water quality. Future research could concentrate on integrated optimization planning of point, line, and surface wetland networks; assessment of restoration potential and landscape connectivity of small wetlands; evaluation of high-quality wetland network development; evaluation of water network construction effectiveness; enhancement of wetland network functions; and regulation mechanisms for sustainable coordinated development of water network construction.
Wetland ecological functions and socioeconomic performance have theoretical significance and application value to China’s comprehensive development, industrial development, core competitiveness enhancement, and quality of life improvements. The following two aspects require more attention. 1) Coordinated development of wetland spatial conservation and regional socioeconomic construction, especially regarding the influence and mechanism of regional socioeconomics on wetlands, the coupling mechanism and collaborative development model of socioeconomic and ecological functions of wetlands, and optimization of the coupling development between urban and rural socioeconomic construction and ecological function of wetlands in the context of urbanization. 2) Interaction between wetland resource exploitation and socioeconomic development, including the wetland resource-oriented socioeconomic development model and regulation mechanisms, as well as the mechanism and socioeconomic benefits of wetland resource exploitation, etc.

4.3 The intensification of wetland research and the development of academic innovation

By taking the national strategic plans and objectives into consideration, the full chain of “data-information-knowledge-wisdom is established to lead the current research, …, promote effective sharing of wetland data, information, and knowledge, and then form wetland spatial intelligent digital ecology, and finally achieve the high-quality and sustainable development of wetlands” (Chen et al., 2022) (Figure 11).
Figure 11 A wetland research framework based on the full-chain data-information-knowledge-wisdom (DIKW) pattern

4.3.1 Wetland research development and theoretical integration and innovation

Wetland research is characterized by complexity, comprehensiveness, and interdisciplinarity” and involves many aspects including data integration, spatial patterns, evolution, driving mechanisms, simulation and prediction, and regulation decisions, etc.
(1) Promote interdisciplinary integration to encourage breakthroughs. The interdisciplinarity of wetland research is obvious. In the future, we should continue to promote disciplinary integration, such as geography, ecology, environmental science, hydrology, pedology, and biology, to further explore the coupling models and simulations of human-wetland systems in complex environments, wetland ecological processes and environmental effects, etc. At present, wetland science includes ecology, resources, environments, management, and engineering. We should further improve the wetland knowledge system, define wetland concepts and classifications, and clarify the differences and relationships among wetland-related disciplines, such as limnology and fluviology. The cultivation of talents should be encouraged, to foster interest in middle and primary schools, undergraduate students, masters programs, and PhDs, as well as highly qualified faculty members. Meanwhile, we should focus on discipline direction, accelerate the commercialization of research outcomes, and enhance social services. For instance, The Chinese Congress on Remote Sensing of Wetlands initiated by the research teams at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing Normal University has been convened five times. The congress focuses on remote-sensing theories, technologies, and applications for wetlands. By exchanging the latest research progress and discussing future developments, further cooperation is promoted. The congress aims to gradually build an academic community with a shared future around wetlands.
(2) Theoretical integration and innovative development of wetland studies. Wetland science should be based on theories of geography, wetland ecology, and niche. Meanwhile, we should pursue harmonious coexistence between man and nature, integrate theories of ecological civilization construction; human-land systems and regional systems; systems engineering of mountain, water, forest, farmland, lake, grassland, and sand; sustainable development; etc. The studies should also address national needs and key global science and technology requirements, as well as center on theoretical research directions of wetland science. These actions will promote theoretical innovation and integration and improve technology application and transfer. We should also conduct groundbreaking theoretical research, thereby innovating and enriching and improving the theoretical knowledge system, which may provide references for wetland regulation, comprehensive evaluation, and smart services. Additionally, learnings from national and international advanced experience and methods and technologies in the above-mentioned aspects will ensure the flourishing development of this discipline.

4.3.2 Multisource monitoring and smart supervision of wetlands

Multisource data is the basis for wetland research. Different data standards and decentralized data may have negative effects on data sharing and data use rates.
(1) Space-earth integrated wetland monitoring. Monitoring by spatial remote-sensing technologies, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and field stations can provide abundant data support. Remote-sensing data monitoring enables understanding of the large-scale study area conditions that affect human and wetland ecosystems. UAV is a better choice for monitoring small-scale wetland changes, as it is characterized by high precision and time continuity, which may supplement the information gaps of spatial remote-sensing technologies. Field stations, however, are a very efficient way to explore large-scale scientific issues and are regarded as a future trend in geographical and ecological sciences.
(2) Multisource remote-sensing data full spectrum wetland monitoring. The development of remote-sensing technology supports large-scale, accurate, rapid synchronous monitoring as well as analysis of time-series changes. It is not practical to conduct wetland fine classification extraction, process analysis, and simulation with medium- and low-resolution remote-sensing data, such as MODIS and Landsat. We may fail to comprehensively understand dynamic changes for wetland conservation and management purposes. With the rapid development of high-resolution satellite data, we could combine magnetic signals and full-spectrum (visible, near-infrared, short wave, medium wave, long wave, etc.) data such as those from SPOT5, ALOS1, and resource satellites with similar spatial resolutions for wetland remote-sensing monitoring.
(3) Multifactor, multiscale, whole-process wetland monitoring. Wetland factor extractions based on remote-sensing data are highly effective for monitoring wetland resources. We may take various scales (regional landscapes, local patches, biocenosis, canopy leaves, etc.), factors (macro- or microscopic and specialized parameters, vegetation coverage, water index, silty and shoaly land index, etc.), and processes (natural process, conservation and restoration, human intervention, space-time continuum evolution, etc.) into consideration to carry out monitoring at different levels.
(4) Smart supervision of wetlands. The integrated supervision of space and earth can be applied to wetland inspections, such as for illegal construction and occupation or illegal discharge of pollutants on a quarterly basis or annual detailed investigations of wetland ecological environment changes by remote sensing, online monitoring, or ground checks. Full-area and three-dimensional digital supervision are encouraged in fragile wetland ecosystems, such as peatlands, coral reefs, sea grasses, and mangroves, or in special ecosystems, such as urban wetlands and small wetlands.

4.3.3 Hydrological and ecological conditions of wetlands and evaluations of integrated applications

Comprehensive assessments of wetland hydrological and ecological conditions by extracting images, surface features, energies, and parameters are key in serving China’s national development planning. These comprehensive assessments are a hot trend in wetland science, hydrology, and geography. Systematic and integrated evaluation results also provide references for smart decision making by relevant departments.
(1) Strengthen fundamental research in wetland hydrology and ecology. Basic research on wetlands should be conducted in terms of patterns and processes, quality and function, problems and stresses, restoration and management, etc., targeting the water, soil, organisms, and vegetation. Quantitative studies on the interactions and constraints among the four directions. Further studies should center on the ecological functions of diverse wetland types, and evaluations of how much water is required to ensure wetland ecological stability. The buffering function that wetlands have in the ecological environment should be acknowledged and respected.
(2) Comprehensive assessments of the ecological and hydrological conditions of wetlands. Basic research should be aligned with the requirements of the departments concerned. Meanwhile, application services could also be implemented for natural capital accounting, evaluating hydrological functions, determining the balance of supply and demand for hydrological and ecological conditions, measuring the health of water ecology, and evaluating and preventing water ecology risks in wetlands, etc. Future studies should combine fundamental and applied research, including but not limited to ecological planning and engineering management, as well as assessments of technology development and coupling. These may provide a sufficient research basis of data and methods, technology standards, and best practices for achieving carbon neutrality and carbon peak, conserving biodiversity, combating climate change, and ensuring high-quality sustainable development of wetlands.

4.3.4 Spatial management and regulation and smart decision making for wetland services

The practical significance of wetland research lies in its connection with national policies and social services. The research data may provide theoretical references, technological support, and policy guidance to decision makers.
(1) Smart extraction by remote sensing and supervision of wetland spatial patterns. Smart extraction by remote sensing is the basis for wetland research. In the future, remote sensing data resources should be further promoted for research, and new methods should be established to conduct accurate, realistic information extraction over a long time series. Remote sensing data have been used in related research on wetland spatial patterns, change processes, effectiveness evaluation, etc., which may support monitoring of destruction and conservation activities.
(2) Geographical information systems (GIS) simulations and wetland spatial regulation and optimization. Detailed planning of the target areas for conservation and restoration, red line division, and ownership control of wetland ecological space, etc., will be required for future wetland conservation. Wetland conservation and restoration as well as rational use are at the center of future wetland management globally. We should strictly follow the guidance of The Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development and Long-range Objectives Through the Year 2035 of the People’s Republic of China, and we should value its synergy with the UN SDGs and other global agendas. Governments of different levels have put forward wetland conservation and restoration optimization and regulation technologies, management modalities and solutions for adapting to a shared community in various ecosystems, and green development processes for establishing harmonious wetland spatial patterns between humanity and nature.
(3) Comprehensive assessment of the whole space-time chain and smart decision-making services for conservation and restoration. The assessment should be based on the four stages of geographical revolution, i.e., quantitative revolution, new quantitative revolution, GIS, and artificial intelligence (AI) (Fu, 2020). Pattern, process, prediction, and regulation of space is the principal Chines government policy. It is important to benchmark knowledge against the up-to-date guidance of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China, such as the Division of Land Resources and Space Planning, Division of Department of Land and Space Ecological Restoration, and Division of Land and Space Usage Regulation, as well as the Wetland Management Department of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, to predict the spatial patterns of wetlands and potential risks for the future 15 years. The comprehensive evaluation of wetland spaces, including planning, ecological restoration, usage, high-quality and sustainable development, etc., is important to solve conservation and management issues. This may also support the development of wetland conservation and restoration, national spatial planning, and relevant applied studies (Figure 12). Meanwhile, such assessments are a significant scientific reference for high-quality and sustainable development, as well as cooperative governance, in continuously building China’s expertise within this field.
Figure 12 Research concepts for spatial control and smart services in wetlands

5 Conclusion

This work summarizes wetland conservation and restoration measures by international organizations, China’s experiences and best practices, and trends for future research, providing vital scientific guidance. Representatives of international organizations and various countries have shared their wisdom on wetland conservation and restoration, which may enlighten future activities and actions in China. China’s experiences are examined from the perspectives of national policies, laws, project planning, and effectiveness. The importance of long-term planning through national laws and regulations, in-depth research in this field, and a combination of technology innovation and applied studies is particularly emphasized, which may help to address problems in wetland conservation and restoration. These are very complicated issues that drive the transformation and development of wetland research. This work suggests that future research should focus on international frontiers and national policies, integration of disciplines and theories, technology innovation and comprehensive evaluation, overall management and smart services, etc. Special attention should be given to the key directions and issues to promote the innovative development of wetland conservation and restoration, thus achieving sustainable and high-quality development.
Chen J, Wu H, Liu W Z et al., 2022. Technical connotation and research agenda of natural resources spatiotemporal information. Acta Geodaetica et Cartographica Sinica, 51(7): 1130-1140. (in Chinese)

Chen R, 2007. International legislation of wetland protection and improvement of relevant legal system in China[D]. Shanghai: East China University of Political Science and Law. (in Chinese)

Davidson N C, Fluet-Chouinard E, Finlayson C M, 2018. Global extent and distribution of wetlands: Trends and issues. Marine and Freshwater Research, 69(4): 620-627.


Fluet-Chouinard E, Lehner B, Rebelo L et al., 2015. Development of a global inundation map at high spatial resolution from topographic downscaling of coarse-scale remote sensing data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 158: 348-361.


Fu B J, 2020. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the historical task of geoscience. Science and Technology Review, 38(13): 19-24. (in Chinese)

Guan F J, Liu L H, Liu J W et al., 2021. Systematic promotion of natural ecological protection and governance capacity: Expert discussion on the Master Plan for the Protection and Restoration of Important National Ecosystems (2021-2035). Journal of Natural Resources, 36(2): 290-299. (in Chinese)


Jiang X J, 2019. Research on the optimization of national land space based on the construction of ecological civilization[D]. Lanzhou: Lanzhou University. (in Chinese)

Kuang X M, Tan X H, 2009. A comparative study of wetland protection legislation in the United States and China. China Environmental Protection Industry, (2): 56-61. (in Chinese)

Lei G C, 2022. Achievements and prospects of China’s implementation of the Convention on Wetlands. Natural Protected Areas, 2(3): 1-8. (in Chinese)

Liu H Y, Li Y F, Cao X et al., 2009. The current problems and perspectives of landscape research of wetlands in China. Acta Geographica Sinica, 64(11): 1394-1401. (in Chinese)


Liu R Q, Li J L, Sun C et al., 2021. Classification of Yancheng coastal wetland vegetation based on vegetation phenological characteristics derived from Sentinel-2 time-series. Acta Geographica Sinica, 76(7): 1680-1692. (in Chinese)


Liu Y, Kou J Z, Liu W X et al., 2022. Working together to write a new chapter in global wetland conservation. People’s Daily,11- 07(001). (in Chinese)

Matthews G V T, 1993. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands: Its history and development. Ramsar Convention Bureau Gland.

Na X D, Zang S Y, Zhang N N et al., 2015. Impact of land use and land cover dynamics on Zhalong wetland reserve ecosystem, Heilongjiang province, China. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 12(2): 445-454.


National Forestry and Grassland Administration, 2000. Action Plan for Wetland Conservation in China. Beijing: China Forestry Publishing House. (in Chinese)

Reply of the State Council on the Spatial Layout Plan of National Parks, 2022. Bulletin of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 32: 12-13. (in Chinese)

The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, 2020. The Ministry of Natural Resources held a press conference on promoting the establishment of a unified natural resources survey and monitoring system. (in Chinese)

Wang Q, 2022. China’s wetland protection rate to reach 55% by 2025: National Wetland Protection Plan (2022-2030) issued. National Land Greening, 10: 4-5. (in Chinese)

Wang R Q, Zhang M X, Wu H T et al., 2022. Definition and classification of wetlands from the Wetland Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China. Wetland Science, 20(3): 404-412. (in Chinese)

Wang X Y, 2023. Protecting biodiversity and building a beautiful home: Recreating the process of the second phase of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).Environment and Life, (Suppl.1): 18-29.

Wang Y J, 2008. Comparative study on legislation of wetland protection[D]. Beijing: China University of Geosciences. (in Chinese)

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Zoological Society of London, 2020. 2020 Living planet report.

Wu H J, Liu S H, Cao H et al., 2022. Evaluation criteria for the effectiveness of mangrove ecological restoration in China. Wetland Science, 20(5): 628-635. (in Chinese)

Wu Z G, 2006. Review of foreign wetland protection legislation. Journal of Shanghai Academy of Political Science and Law, (5): 98-102. (in Chinese)

Xi J P, 2022a. Cherishing wetlands and safeguarding the future, advancing global action for wetland conservation:Speech at the opening ceremony of the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetlands. Bulletin of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, (32): 5. (in Chinese)

Xi J P, 2022b. Holding high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics and uniting struggles for the comprehensive construction of a modern socialist country: Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Beijing: People’s Publishing House. (in Chinese)

Yuan J, 2022. Outcome of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. International Social Science Journal: Chinese Edition, 39(2): 159-172. (in Chinese)

Zhang N S, Zou S, Niu R F, 2022. Global action to promote wetland conservation. People’s Daily, 12- 02(016). (in Chinese)

Zheng H, Liu R T, Li Y H, 2020. From local to central governments: Present and future of systems of wetland conservation in China. Wetland Science, 18(2): 150-157. (in Chinese)