Posted November. 05, 2008 08:28,
The 10th Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in Koreas southeastern city of Changwon ended yesterday, with a call for global efforts to preserve wetlands.
The eight-day international event paved the way for Korea to join the ranks of advanced countries in environmental protection and raising Changwons profile as an ecological city.
At the closing ceremony, 32 agenda items including the Changwon Declaration were adopted. The declaration calls wetlands an essential infrastructure providing food, sequestering carbon dioxide, controlling water levels, and maintaining biodiversity.
The declaration not only signifies Ramsars determination to raise global awareness on the importance of wetlands, but also provides action plans.
Under the grand theme of Wetlands and human beings should unite as one, the declaration mentions specific priorities such as water, climate change, human livelihood and health, and biodiversity and urges a stop to wetland destruction and restoration of damaged wetlands.
At the closing full session, the convention passed a disputed resolution on rice paddy wetlands and decided to set up the Ramsar East Asia Regional Center in South Gyeongsang Province. The resolution to include rice paddies in the Ramsar Classification System was spearheaded by the Korean and Japanese governments.
Korean Environment Minister Lee Man-ee said, With the simultaneous adoption of the Changwon Declaration and the rice paddy wetland resolution, both of which were drawn up by governments and non-governmental organizations, we showed to the world Koreas ability in eco-diplomacy and made Koreas presence felt as an environmentally advanced country.
Anada Tiega, secretary general of the Ramsar Convention, said the 10th general assembly was the best in both quality and quantity.
The next general assembly will be held in Romania in 2012.