News & Events

09/10/18 – WRM hosts delegation of government officials responsible for wetland conservation in China

On Friday the 28th September, 2018, WRM hosted a delegation of over 20 government officials from the Chinese National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA).

The visit to the WRM office was part of their final leg of a week-long tour of Australia, during which they also visited the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney Olympic Park Wetland, and the University of Sydney in New South Wales, and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) here in Western Australia. Their goal was to learn about best-practice wetland management in Australia, with the hope of applying this new knowledge to wetland conservation and management policies and practices in China.

As the leading department for environmental conservation in China, the NFGA has recently made strides to take charge of wetland conservation and management in the world’s most populous country. And they have a huge job ahead of them! Given its large size and diverse landscapes, China is home to a wide variety of wetland types, including marine/coastal wetlands, rivers, lakes, marshes and constructed wetlands. China’s wetlands cover a total area of over 53 million hectares, distributed from cold to tropical climates, coastal to inland regions, and floodplain to high-mountain altitudes.

A wide-variety of occupations and departments within the NFGA were represented in the delegation, including deputy directors from the national Wetland Conservation Management Centre, directors of the Chongqing and Qinghai Wetland Conservation Management Centres, directors and inspectors from the Department of Policy and Regulation, various engineers and members from the Forest Planning and Design Institute, among many others.

Adam pres

The delegation spent the morning with WRM. Their visit started with a presentation by Principal Environmental Consultants Adam Harman and Jess Delaney, providing a detailed overview of wetland management practices in Western Australia, including water quality monitoring (with a discussion of comparisons against ANZECC/ARMCANZ default guideline values (DGVs) and the development of site-specific guideline values), and the use of aquatic flora and fauna as biotic indicators in wetland management, plus how it all ties in to Western Australia’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.

The visit then moved on to WRM’s in-house laboratory, where our specialist taxonomists discussed macroinvertebrate processing and identification, and the importance of high-resolution, species-level invertebrate data for best-practice environmental monitoring and impact assessment.

Finally, the delegation was given a run-down of WRM’s specialist wetland sampling equipment and its use, including the custom-built Smith-Root (VVP-15B) electrofishing vessel, traditional fyke, seine and gill nets, various box traps, macro- and microinvertebrate sweep and dip nets, water quality meters and much more.

Fyke demo 2

The visit from the NFGA was an undeniable success, with a high level of interest shown by the delegates in WRM’s expertise and knowledge, and an engaging question and answer session held at the end of the presentation. Special thanks go out to the delegation’s interpreter, Chelsea, without whom the presentations and engaging discussion would not have been possible. We hope that the visit provided NFGA delegates with new-found skills and knowledge about best-practice wetland conservation and management in Western Australia, which they can apply to the protection of their vast and varied wetland areas in China.

Grp shot