International Workshop Declares Importance of Yellow Sea to Migratory Birds

The Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) attended a conference in China to discuss key conservation sites for migratory birds in the Yellow Sea. The workshop agreed on a declaration requesting stronger recognition of the important ecosystem services provided by the intertidal zone of the Yellow Sea. This includes biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The ‚International Workshop on Intertidal Wetland Conservation and Management in the Yellow Sea Provinces of China,‘ hosted by Beijing Forestry University, brought together 150 participants in Beijing, China, from 16-17 September 2014, to discuss threats and conservation possibilities for the region.

A number of CMS-listed species that are globally threatened, such as the Great Knot, Far-eastern Curlew or Spoon-billed Sandpiper, use the Yellow Sea as a key stopover site in their migrations. According to CMS, loss and degradation of the Yellow Sea intertidal wetlands is threatening to end the migration of 50 million waterbirds that has been happening for millennia. The most recent national wetland inventory of China revealed a net loss of 3 million ha of natural wetlands over the past ten years, for which reclamation of coastal wetlands is one of the major causes.

A National Action Plan and Strategy for the protection of the coastal wetland ecosystems of the Yellow Sea will be developed by China to ensure adequate protection and restoration of key sites that provide valuable ecosystems services and support migratory birds.

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