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Australia China environment development program: Wetlands Management Policy, Guidelines and Capacity Building (Activity Design Document)

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posted on 2023-03-23, 12:36 authored by Shaun Meredith, Max Finlayson, Alison Curtin, Zhang MingXiang, Cui Lijuan
"April 2008".

Project Number: Australian China Environment Development Program - M/BUS/259.

MDFRC item.

27 pages.

This ADD addresses the need to develop an overarching Chinese National Wetland Policy to provide enforceable guidance for the management of China’s wetlands. Specifically, this ADD focuses on two of China’s wetland types: i) internationally important Ramsar wetlands, and ii) constructed National Wetland Parks (NWPs). The SFA is the State-nominated lead organisation for management of Ramsar wetlands and NWPs in China, and is tasked with co-ordinating the 16 agencies currently involved in wetland management at the National level. Discussion with a range of SFA officials revealed that the most significant barriers to the effective management of these systems is a) the need for greater co-operation between the 16 agencies currently involved in wetland management, and b) the need to develop and implement consistent and enforceable policy guidelines. As a result, this draft ADD describes an Activity that initiates development of a Chinese National Wetland Policy by achieving 3 key objectives: i) Capacity building in the area of institutional co-ordination: inter-institutional co-operation/co-ordination is a key issue in wetland management internationally, and particularly so for Ramsar wetlands. Different countries approach this problem in unique ways and it is thought that by examining a range of international models/frameworks for inter-institutional co-ordination, the SFA will be better placed to determine an appropriate model for the co-ordinated management of Chinese wetlands. This component aims to garner significant benefit by being held in close conjunction with the Ramsar CoP10 workshop scheduled in nearby South Korea in October 2008, where international experts with extensive experience in this area will be gathered. ii) Development of draft policy guidelines (suitable for inclusion in the National Wetland Policy) in five priority areas: it is proposed that Chinese experts and managers work closely with Australian counterparts to develop policy guidelines in five priority areas outlined by the SFA; Monitoring, Construction, Assessment, Restoration and Management Plan Guidelines iii) Implementation of the policy guidelines at key demonstration sites: Chinese and Australian experts will work with individual wetland site officers to implement policy guidelines developed in objective ii). Implementation will have the three-fold impact of a) developing capacity to implement these policies at individual wetland sites, b) fine-tuning policy guidelines prior to their adoption at a national level, and c) building long-term meaningful relationships between Australian and Chinese wetland managers through initiatives such as the ‘sister wetland’ program. Clearly, the development of an all encompassing National Wetland Policy, even for this sub-set of wetland types (Ramsar wetlands and NWPs), is beyond the financial and temporal scope of this relatively small Activity. It is therefore proposed that this ADD describes only Phase 1 of a multi-phase project that will be the subject of future funding bids through the ACEDP in coming years. It is important to stress, however, that this Activity is a stand alone Activity, and its success is independent of the need to secure funding for subsequent Phases.


Funding agency: Australian agency for international development (AusAID): Australia China environmental development program (ACEDP). Client: GHD Pty Ltd.


Publication Date



Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre.

Report Number

ACEDP Technical Report.

Rights Statement

Open Access.

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