Yancheng, September 9 (Reporter Zhong Sheng) As an important part of the 25 Global Coastal Forum meeting, the theme forum of "Coastal Ecosystem Protection and Restoration" was held in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province on the 2023th. Experts and scholars from many countries and international organizations around the world jointly said that the coastal area has important ecological value, and all mankind should work together to strengthen the coastal ecological protection and restoration work.

The China Yellow (Bohai) Sea Migratory Bird Habitat (Phase I) in Yancheng is China's first coastal wetland World Natural Heritage Site. Photo courtesy of the Publicity Department of the Yancheng City Party Committee

Wang Lei, Director of the Department of Land and Space Ecological Restoration of the Ministry of Natural Resources, pointed out that the coastal area connecting the landing and the sea has a unique ecosystem, rich biodiversity and distinct natural resource endowments, and is one of the most dynamic areas for economic and social development. Since the Industrial Revolution, due to the limitations of human cognition of nature. The earth is facing increasingly severe ecological and environmental challenges, especially in coastal areas, where various environmental problems directly threaten the sustainable development of coastal areas. "We must act together with a high sense of historical responsibility to strengthen coastal ecological protection and restoration."

Su Jilan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and researcher at the Second Institute of Oceanography of the Ministry of Natural Resources, repeatedly stressed in the report: "The tidal flats are not deserts, they have rich biological communities. Su Jilan said that as a transition zone between land and sea, coastal wetlands have high productivity and rich biodiversity, are important shallow marine ecosystems, and are the main blue carbon carbon reservoir in offshore waters. Purification of water quality and fish habitats, especially juvenile fish, are essential for the health of offshore ecosystems.

The tidal flats on the Yancheng coast are home to countless bird species. Photo courtesy of the Publicity Department of the Yancheng City Party Committee

"Tidal flats have an important place in China's coastal wetlands, but they have long been neglected by the public." Su Jilan said that according to remote sensing estimates in 2018, the total area of mangroves, salt marshes and tidal flats in China is nearly 7500,5800 square kilometers, and tidal flats alone occupy nearly <>,<> square kilometers, accounting for three-quarters of the country's coastal wetlands. He particularly reminded that the service function of coastal wetlands is closely related to the health of the offshore ecological environment. The governance of coastal wetlands must be based on ecosystems and maintain coordination between governance and ecosystems. Without sufficient scientific support, tidal flats should not be easily altered or "restored".

While affirming the achievements of global environmental protection, Tu Ruihe, representative of UN Environment in China, said that the sustainable development of mankind is still facing the triple crisis of climate change, ecosystem degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution and waste increase. The earth is the only home of mankind, and progress in global environmental governance must be based on one international cooperation after another.

Herds of elk, once extinct in China, roam the wetlands. Photo courtesy of the Publicity Department of the Yancheng City Party Committee

In recent years, Jiangsu Province has systematically carried out wetland restoration and wildlife habitat restoration in coastal areas. According to Zhang Guoliang, director of the Department of Natural Resources of Jiangsu Province, Jiangsu Province has restored a total of 14,300 mu of coastal wetlands and more than <> kilometers of coastline, which has effectively improved the diversity, stability and sustainability of the ecosystem. Jiangsu is willing to exchange experience and in-depth discussions with all parties on topics such as coastal wetland governance and protection, coastal spatial planning and control, and jointly promote the protection of coastal ecology.

"The road is far away, but the journey is coming. Although it is difficult, it will be done. Wang Lei said that the coastal ecological protection and restoration work still faces a series of challenges, and hopes that the holding of this forum can expand the consensus of all countries on the concept and practice of coastal ecological protection and restoration, seek the construction of global ecological civilization, work together to open a new chapter in the green development of coastal areas, and jointly draw a beautiful coastal picture of harmonious coexistence between man and nature. (End)