World Wetlands Day 2001: Wetlands International - Asia Pacific

28/02/2001

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WORLD WETLANDS DAY 2001. WETLAND WORLD - A WORLD TO DISCOVER ! CELEBRATE WORLD WETLANDS DAY 2001
WITH WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL

China

Wetlands International's China Programme will publish a series of articles to be written by invited VIPs to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2001. Among the columnists will include Alison Russell-French, Chair of Wetlands International - Asia Pacific Regional Council, Chris Kalden, President of Wetlands International, Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of Ramsar, and James Harkness, representative of WWF-China. The VIPs will each write an article to be published in the first issue of 2001 of Wetlands International's bilingual Chinese/English 'Newsletter for Wetlands'. In addition, the Newsletter for Wetlands also featured an article on World Wetlands Day 2001 in its November 2000 issue. To promote WWD, this issue carries the theme of WWD2001, "Wetland world - A world to discover!", in English and Chinese on all its pages.

Indonesia

Wetlands International in Indonesia plans to plant 20,000 mangrove trees in Singajaya, Brondong, Karangsong and Eretan Kulon in the Indramayu coastal area, west Java. Planting activities will involve university students, schoolchildren, fishermen and the local community. This programme is part of the Global ReLeaf Mangrove Reforestation project funded by American Forest. The planting activity will take place from February to July 2001. In addition to this programme, in February 2001 Wetlands International in collaboration with the National Wetland Committee will organise a National Seminar on Managing Citarum wetlands catchment areas. This seminar will focus on the impact of industrial discharge to the ecology of the river Citarum, as well as to the three large reservoirs (Saguling, Cirata and Jatiluhur) located along this river. Participation is expected from the industrial sectors, conservationists, government agencies, universities, and drinking water companies.

Furthermore, in February 2001 Wetlands International's Indonesia Programme will be announcing the five winners of a Coastal Projects Development competition in Indonesia. Grants will be awarded to 5 coastal wetlands community groups for their winning proposals on programmes related to conservation. This competition is open to local coastal NGOs, coastal community groups, fishermen, fish farmers and schools. Wetlands International has also received funding from WWT-UK to monitor the white-winged wood duck (Cairina scutulata) population in north Sumatra in conjunction with a local NGO partner, Biopalas. The monitoring survey will be conducted in February as part of WWD activities.

Wetlands International will also be displaying and disseminating posters, stickers, brochures and information packs received from the Ramsar Bureau during the WWD celebration events.

Malaysia

Wetlands International - Asia Pacific Malaysia Programme plans to organise WWD2001 celebration on 2 February 2001 at Putrajaya Wetland Nature Interpretation Centre. Putrajaya (Constructed) Wetland is located at Malaysia's new federal administrative capital, near Kuala Lumpur. Activities will include setting up a booth on wetland awareness, organising a Putrajaya Wetland Hunt and dissemination of materials on wetland education and awareness.

Thailand

For World Wetlands Day 2001, Wetlands International's Thailand Programme plans to organise a 2-day celebration at Thale Noi Non Hunting Area, Thailand's first Ramsar site. The activities will be organised in collaboration with the Thale Noi Non Hunting Area Office, Prince of Songkla University, Thale Noi Rehabilitation and Conservation Club and Phanang Tung School. The organisers have received positive response from a major company in Bangkok, Chareon Pokhapand (Public) Co. Limited regarding donation of funds to organise the activities. The Petroleum and Tourism Authorities of Thailand are also being approached to co-fund this event.

Activities will include drawing and colouring competitions, wetland quiz, poetry reading contests, wetland exhibition, shadow puppet show with environmental conservation theme and famous personalities' speech on wetlands. The contests will involve 2,000 schoolchildren from around Thale Noi. This event aims to raise awareness of the local people around Thale Noi on Wetlands and Ramsar.

In Bangkok, the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning (OEPP) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment, Thailand will organise a conference on 1-2 February 2001 in conjunction with World Wetlands Day 2001 and the 30th Anniversary of the Ramsar Convention. Dr. Taej Mundkur, Interim Executive Director and Technical Director of Wetlands International - Asia Pacific will present a paper on "30 years of the Ramsar Convention".

Wetlands International - Oceania

Wetlands International - Oceania will be participating in a series of information and awareness seminars to promote wetland conservation on World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2001 and during World Wetlands Week 5-9 February 2001. The National Seminar Series Celebrating 30 Years of Ramsar 1971-2001, is organised by the Wetlands Section of Environment Australia and will take place in Canberra. The theme is Australia's Wetlands - A World to Discover, drawing on the international theme of World Wetlands Day 2001: Wetland World - A World to Discover.

On 2 February, Alison Russell-French, Chair of Wetlands International - Asia Pacific Regional Council and Doug Watkins, Shorebird Flyway Officer, Wetlands International - Oceania will be presenting a paper on Regional Cooperation to Conserve Migratory Waterbirds: Asia Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005 and the Shorebird Action Plan 2001-2005.

In addition, during the World Wetlands Week (5-9 February 2001), representatives from government agencies and NGOs in Australia will give various presentations on issues related to the Ramsar Convention. For example, Jamie Pittock from WWF will present a paper on Opportunities to use the Ramsar Convention for the conservation of Australia's Wetlands, Dr. Bill Phillips, former Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention will talk about Taking a more Strategic approach to the designation of Wetlands of International Importance in Australia and Aaron Jenkins - Senior Program Officer, Wetlands International Oceania, will give a presentation on Promoting the Ramsar Convention in the Pacific.

For more information on World Wetlands Day, visit the Ramsar web site at: http://ramsar.org/wwd2001_index.htm

-- from the Wetlands International - Asia Pacific Web site, http://ngo.asiapac.net/wetlands

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