CBPF-MSL: Strengthening the Management Effectiveness of the Sub-System of Wetland Protected Areas for Conservation of Globally Significant Biodiversity

Lead country


Participating countries


Project status


Implementing period

From September 25, 2013 to August 27, 2020

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 15.1 Conserve, restore, sustainably use terrestrial, freshwater ecosystems
  2. 15.a Mobilize resources for biodiversity conservation, sustainable use
  3. 15.9 Integrate ecosystem values into national planning

Project ID: 4391

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Technical team

  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Mainstreaming biodiversity
  • Strengthening conservation areas


  • Ecosystem-based adaptation
  • Agrobiodiversity
  • Ecosystem-based mitigation


  • Wetlands
  • FreshWaters


  • Key biodiversity areas (KBAs)
  • Marine and coastal protected areas
  • General

Transformed sector(s)

  • Aquaculture
  • Forestry and other land use

UNDP role(s)

  • Convening / Partnerships / Knowledge Sharing


  • Law regulation
  • Management operation
  • Governance


  • Laws enforcement/ Regulation
  • Ecosystem and ecosystem services conservation/restoration
  • Ecosystem-based management
  • Inter-sectoral coordination

Social inclusion

  • Local community/CSOs

Gender equality


Gender result effectiveness scale



  • Systems pathway
  • Sci-tech pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Reduce exposure
  • Hazard control/mitigation

SDG target(s)

  • 15.1 Conserve, restore, sustainably use terrestrial, freshwater ecosystems
  • 15.a Mobilize resources for biodiversity conservation, sustainable use
  • 15.9 Integrate ecosystem values into national planning

Conventions and protocols

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • Nature-based solution

About this project


The project is aligned with the GEF BD-1 objective: Improve Sustainability of Protected Area (PA) Systems. More specifically, the project contributes to:Improved management effectiveness of existing and new PAs Increased revenue for PA systems to meet total expenditures required for management. The project focuses on strengthening the wetland PA sub-system, recognising the special nature of the wetland PAs. Compared with other terrestrial PAs, wetland PAs are much more directly affected by externalities from development activities outside their borders, which can undermine ecosystem functions vital to the protection of biodiversity. The project will contribute to the objective and outcomes by creating a strong national system for managing wetland PAs, improving the spatial design of the wetland PA system and bringing an additional 1.7 million ha under protection, ensuring better terrestrial wetland ecosystem representation and filling ecosystem coverage gaps. This will increase the resilience of the sub-system in the face of a fast changing climate by maintaining connectivity between core areas allowing the gradual redistribution of component species of different wetland ecosystems and ensuring adequate protection of upstream non-wetland habitats such as forests and grasslands that serve as vital catchments for the wetlands themselves. The project will also consolidate and strengthen the enabling legal, planning and institutional framework for the effective management of PAs with globally significant wetlands; and strengthening the capacity (strategies, tools, mechanisms, knowledge, skills and resources) to support the operational management and financing of wetland PAs system. The stronger wetland PA system would indirectly improve management of over 36.2 million ha of natural wetlands in the country. It will further catalyse the improved management of the entire national PA system covering 143 million ha. Given the vulnerability of wetland PAs to external threats, systemic capacity not only to manage the PA sites but also to manage activities in the immediate landscapes will be required. Furthermore, the project will support mainstreaming of wetland PAs within sector practices so as to reduce pressures on wetland PAs and making them more sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change. In addition, the Project directly contributes to the goals of Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) in particular: Goal 1.2: To integrate PAs into broader land- and seascapes and sectors so as to maintain ecological structure and function; Goal 3.1: To provide an enabling policy, institutional and socio-economic environment for PAs; Goal 3.2: To build capacity for the planning, establishment and management of PAs; Goal 3.4: To ensure financial sustainability of PAs and national and regional systems of PAs; Goal 4.1: To develop and adopt minimum standards and best practices for national and regional PA systems; and Goal 4.2: To evaluate and improve the effectiveness of PA management.The proposed Project is well aligned with several national and provincial policies and programmes. The 12th National Five-year Plan (2011-2015) urges environmental protection and sustainable growth, enhancing ÔÇ£ecological conservation and restoration.ÔÇØ The plan urges the reinforcement of biodiversity conservation, strengthening monitoring in Nature Reserves (NR) ÔÇô the main protected area category - and improving their management and protection. Details of sectoral plans under the 12th Plan and activities are still being formulated, presenting an opportunity to mainstream wetlands concerns in the plans. Meanwhile, the newly approved National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (NBCSAP 2011-2030) also attaches high priority to wetlands conservation and PA protection. It identifies 35 biodiversity priority protection regions in China (see Annex II in the PFD) which covers the most of important wetland areas. The project will enable the State Forestry Administration (SFA) to achieve its target of adequately protecting 55% of the natural wetlands in China by the end of 2015, mitigating further loss of natural wetland areas and degradation of their functions. The Project addresses key priorities under the NBCSAP,through implementing its priority strategy of strengthening the effectiveness of the PA system in China and contributing directly to the achievements of the following action programmes under the Plan Action lines 12,13 and 14 respectively including: coordinating action to implement and improve the national nature reserve plan; enhancement of biodiversity conservation in priority areas of protection; and standardisation of nature reserves to carry out actions to improve the quality of nature reserve management. The project is also in line with the China Biodiversity Partnership and Framework for Action (CBPF), which is ChinaÔÇÖs primary investment strategy for biodiversity conservation through the GEF and other partners. This project has been designed to address urgent, priority and catalytic issues identified under the CBPF, in particular under Theme 3: Investing and Managing Effectively in Reducing Biodiversity loss in Protected Areas. It will contribute directly and substantially to the Results 4, 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the agreed CBPF Framework which are respectively: financial flows to biodiversity conservation increase over current baseline; effective governance and legal framework for the national protected area system; harmonised and effective national system for selecting, designing, managing and monitoring protected areas; NRs and PNRs are effectively managed; National NRs and PNRs have stable and sufficient finance. The project is part of the GEF/UNDP Programme Main Streams of Life - Wetland PA System Strengthening for Biodiversity Conservation, which is a sub-programme of the CBPF. The project will be the umbrella project of the programme, and will contribute to the national level programme outcomes under the three programmatic components: Mainstreaming wetland PAs in development and sectoral planning; Enhancing management effectiveness of the wetland PA sub-system; Knowledge management and lessons sharing.


To strengthen the sub-system of wetland protected areas to respond to existing and emerging threats to their globally significant biodiversity.

USD $2,724,771

Grant amount

USD $17,220,000

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Global Environment Facility – Trust Fund ($2,724,771)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Government of China

Project metrics

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation