More than 200 experts and scholars at home and abroad attended the 2019 Yellow and Bohai Sea Wetland International Conference in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province on September 28, sharing ideas about wetland conservation and sustainable development of the newly recognized heritage. On September 30, the 1st Yancheng International Bird Watching Race was held in Tiaozini Wetland Park, Dongtai City. The contest attracted altogether 13 teams from 17 countries and regions.
Assad Serhal, the Director General of Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon – SPNL (Birdlife Lebanon), participated in the conference. Serhal has been awarded the prestigious MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity for 2018, alongside Dr Kathy MacKinnon from the UK, Chair of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas; and Dr Abdul Hamid Zakri from Malaysia, Former Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The MIDORI is a biennial international prize organised by the AEON Environmental Foundation and the General Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, honouring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity at global or local levels.
On July 5, China’s Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the coast of the Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf (Phase I) were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a natural site at a session of the World Heritage Committee in Azerbaijan’s capital. This was the first such UNESCO recognition for an area in China.
The Yancheng conference aimed to promote the preparation for applying the recognition for the project’s phase II and also improve the protection, management and sustainable development of the wetland.
The conference also included a roundtable meeting of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF), a seminar on ecological economic belt around Yellow Sea, a consultation about an initiative to establish international wetland cities as well as plans to deepen exchange and cooperation among cities in 22 countries along the bird migration route.