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Article

Wetlands of International Importance: Status, Threats, and Future Protection

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State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
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College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
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Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Institute of Water Resources and Hydrology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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China Highway Engineering Consultants Corporation Data Co., Ltd., Beijing 100089, China
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School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101818
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 19 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
The 2303 Wetlands of International Importance distribute unevenly in different continents. Europe owns the largest number of sites, while Africa has the largest area of sites. More than half of the sites are affected by three or four impact factors (55%). The most significant impact factors are pollution (54%), biological resources use (53%), natural system modification (53%), and agriculture and aquaculture (42%). The main affected objects are land area and environment of the wetlands, occurred in 75% and 69% of the sites, respectively. The types most affected by land area occupation are river wetlands and lake wetlands, the types with the greatest impact on environment are marine/coastal wetlands and river wetlands, the type with the greatest impact on biodiversity is river wetlands, the types most affected by water resources regulation are marsh wetlands and river wetlands, and the types most affected by climate change are lake wetlands and marine/coastal wetlands. About one-third of the wetland sites have been artificially reconstructed. However, it is found that the proportions of natural wetland sites not affected or affected by only one factor are generally higher than that of wetland sites both containing natural wetlands and human-made wetlands, while the proportions of wetland sites both containing natural wetlands and human-made wetlands affected by three or four factors are generally higher than that of natural wetland sites. Wetland sites in the UK and Ireland are least affected among all countries. Wetland management plans in different regions still have large space for improvement, especially in Africa and Asia. The protection and restoration of global wetlands can be carried out in five aspects, including management and policy, monitoring, restoration, knowledge, and funding. View Full-Text
Keywords: Wetlands of International Importance; Ramsar Sites; wetland degradation; wetland threat; wetland management; wetland protection Wetlands of International Importance; Ramsar Sites; wetland degradation; wetland threat; wetland management; wetland protection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, T.; Weng, B.; Yan, D.; Wang, K.; Li, X.; Bi, W.; Li, M.; Cheng, X.; Liu, Y. Wetlands of International Importance: Status, Threats, and Future Protection. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101818

AMA Style

Xu T, Weng B, Yan D, Wang K, Li X, Bi W, Li M, Cheng X, Liu Y. Wetlands of International Importance: Status, Threats, and Future Protection. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(10):1818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101818

Chicago/Turabian Style

Xu, Ting, Baisha Weng, Denghua Yan, Kun Wang, Xiangnan Li, Wuxia Bi, Meng Li, Xiangjun Cheng, and Yinxue Liu. 2019. "Wetlands of International Importance: Status, Threats, and Future Protection" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 10: 1818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101818

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