On the afternoon of March 16th, although it was still a period of strict control of the coronavirus epidemic, relevant leaders of the Caofeidian district government of Hebei Province contacted the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) to communicate on issues related to wetland conservation in Caofeidian.
The two leaders in charge of wetland management in Caofeidian District first affirmed the fact that the core area of Caofeidian wetland and bird reserve was rented nearly 8,000 mu of fishpond as reflected by CBCGDF. The incident is an objective fact, and they are very grateful for the supervision of CBCGDF. “Caofeidian district government was also shocked when it learned about this because as early as 2018, Caofeidian district had a clear policy for the management and protection of wetlands in the current nature reserve, which requires that the wetland protection be taken as the core, and the five-year plan of ‘Cancellation of Breeding Pond and Restoration Wetland’ Project. Unexpectedly, there are still some people who rent wetlands on a large scale in violation of regulations this spring”, said a district head in charge of wetlands.
According to reports, on March 13th, after CBCGDF’s relevant articles were published, on March 14th (Saturday), Caofeidian Natural Resources Planning Bureau, Natural Reserve Management Office, Seventh Farm and relevant departments of the government office immediately held a meeting. After discussion, the meeting made three decisions: first, stop the contract awarding immediately; second, deal with the relevant responsible person; third, in the current situation that part of the land of the Seventh Farm has not been returned to the state, for the livelihood part of the farm staff involved, Seventh Farm are responsible for the work of wetland people, and let them come up with specific solutions.
On March 15th, the government of the Caofeidian District of Hebei Province held another higher standard meeting on leasing land for the core area of the provincial nature reserve. The meeting basically agreed to the three decisions of the previous day’s meeting and made it clear that a deputy district chief participated in the work of the District Commission for Discipline Inspection, specifically investigated whether there was any violation of discipline and laws in this incident, and required that the investigation should be carried out to the end and the person responsible should be investigated.
Caofeidian Wetland and Birds Nature Reserve, established in September 2005, covers an area of 110 square kilometers, including 55 square kilometers of the core area, 15 square kilometers of buffer area and 40 square kilometers of the experimental area. As the reserve is located in the west of the Luanhe River Estuary and the northeast coast of Bohai Bay, it is a key bird habitat on the East Asia – Australia route, one of the eight migratory routes in the world. Many global rare and endangered birds, such as Oriental Stork and Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris), pass through it every winter and spring. Therefore, its ecological value and ecological protection have attracted much attention at home and abroad. However, before that, there have been many problems in the reserve, such as decentralized management, cross authority, occupation of land by tourism facilities, and a large number of fish ponds rented by the core area over the years.
As for how to better manage and protect Caofeidian wetland in the next stage, after full communication with relevant staff of CBCGDF, relevant personnel of the Caofeidian district government said: taking this event as an opportunity, Caofeidian district government is willing to make up its mind to manage this precious wetland. The original five-year plan of “Cancellation of Breeding Pond and Restoration Wetland” will be changed to a comprehensive launch this year. In addition, in terms of management power, they are studying and deploying the institutional mechanism of wetland management transformation from multi-management to single department management and will increase wetland police office, police force, wetland ecology, and bird protection. At the same time, the relevant departments will fully listen to the opinions and suggestions of relevant scientific researchers and social organizations. On the basis of the preliminary assumption that the core area and a buffer area of the current reserve will be merged into the core control area, strict closed control will be implemented, and the experimental area will be adjusted into the general management and control area, and formulate strict management and protection plan.
“Our most basic management and protection principle are it can only be greater than or equivalent to the relevant standards of national wetland or nature reserve. We hope that the management and protection situation of Caofeidian wetland can be significantly improved before the arrival of migratory birds again this autumn”, said the relevant person in charge of Caofeidian District government, and they also sincerely welcome social organizations such as CBCGDF and relevant experts to actively contribute their intelligence and experience to the protection of Caofeidian wetland. It is expected that around the middle of April this year, on the basis of fully soliciting opinions from all parties, a preliminary plan for the management and protection of Caofeidian wetland will be issued and implemented. In addition, the director of Caofeidian district said that he would establish a rapid response communication mechanism with environmental protection organizations and social volunteers represented by the green society as soon as possible, and work together to do a better job in the local wetland ecology and migratory bird protection.
In the future, CBCGDF will continue to pay attention to the rectification and implementation of wetland and bird reserve problems in Caofeidian and the measures to strengthen wetland protection.
(Photo credit: CBCGDF volunteers)
Original Chinese article: