World Wetlands Day 2003: United Kingdom


World Wetlands Day Conference 2003

 The Multiple Roles and Uses of Wetlands

 4th February, 2003
London Wetlands Centre

The aim of the conference is to bring together all the key organisations in the UK involved in wetlands issues to share knowledge, discuss innovative techniques, network, consider good practice case studies and promote business and wetland biodiversity.

 Keynote Speaker: Chris Baines

  Conference sponsors:

Background to the Conference

World Wetlands Day (WWD) marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997.  Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.

The World Wetlands Day Conference 2003 is a partnership conference which has been developed between CIWEM, WWT, DEFRA, EN, EA, RSPB, WWF-UK, Countryside Agency, Severn Trent Water Ltd, Northumbrian Water, ARM Ltd, Atkins Water and Halcrow.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the conference is to bring together all the key organisations in the UK involved in wetlands issues to share knowledge, discuss innovative techniques, network, consider good practice case studies and promote business. 

The objectives of the conference are to:

  • achieve material benefits for wetlands through the sharing of knowledge 
  • scope how the World Wetlands day could develop and in particular how best to serve the people involved to develop an effective network and event for them an annual basis
  • explore the emerging issues surrounding constructed wetlands
  • look at how the catchment flood management process will interact with wetlands

The Ramsar Convention was a major milestone in the recognition of the importance of wetlands to both society and biodiversity.  The challenges we face today are no less real than when the convention was signed in 1971. There is a growing awareness that the partnership approach can be particularly effective at helping to meet the aspirations of multiple users in managing and increasingly creating wetlands to meet the needs of society for flood control, or waste management as well as the demands of nature. This conference will explore how the wetland network can be developed to meet our current challenges.


Conference Programme

09:00   Registration and Coffee on Arrival

09:30   Chairman’s Welcome – Chris Spray, Northumbrian Water

09:35   Keynote Address: Chris Baines, Environmentalist, writer and broadcaster – What are wetlands really worth?

10:00   Kirsty Lewin, Head of Water Policy, RSPB – A better wetter world

Announcement of the First Winner of the RSPB/CIWEM Living Wetlands Award

10:25   Refreshments

10:55   Neil Willoughby, ARM Ltd – Constructed wetlands for effluent and sludge treatment

11:20   Paul Griffin, Severn Trent Water Ltd – The role of treatment wetlands within Severn Trent Water and the development of Biodiversity Action Plans for reed bed sites.

11:45   Andrew Lee, WWF – Global wetland conservation – the wider issues

12:10   Countryside Agency Getting wetlands back into the farmed landscape of England

12:35   Lunch

Afternoon Session Chairman: Geoff Bateman, Environment Agency

13:35   World Wetlands Day discussion – developing a wetlands network - chaired by Chris Spray, Northumbrian Water

13:55   Chris Spray, Northumbrian Water - Integrated water catchment management - where are the costs and benefits for biodiversity?

14:20   Refreshments

14:50   Doug Hulyer, WWT - Wetland communication, education and public awareness through a wetland centre approach 

15:15   David Richardson, DEFRA - flood management, wetlands and washlands against the background of expectations of the Catchment Flood Management Plan initiative

Session: Case Studies

15:40   Brian Smith, Environment Agency/English Nature - Severn and Avon Vales Wetland Partnership

15:55   Katherine Pygott, Atkins Water – Strategic Catchment Flood Management and Opportunities for Habitat Creation

16:10   Richard Ashby-Crane, Halcrow – Partnerships for wetland restoration

16:25   Chairman’s Closing Remarks

16:30   Close

Additional information:

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is the leading professional and qualifying body for those who are responsible for the stewardship of environmental assets.  The Institution provides independent comment, within a multidisciplinary framework, on the wide range of issues related to water and environmental management and sustainable development and has organised The World Wetlands Day Conferences.

The Venue: The London Wetland Centre, Barnes, London. Winner of international awards, this centre is the first urban project of its kind in the UK. The centre is designated as an SSSI and wetland birds and other wildlife are flourishing at this unmissable new visitor attraction.

The Organisers: The conference is being organised by Bob Earll of Coastal Management for Sustainability (CMS) on behalf of CIWEM.

All non-CIWEM member delegates will receive Environmental Partner grade of membership up to the end of December 2003.  They will receive free copies of our magazine and have the opportunity to be involved in local CIWEM events and activities.  Please note with Bob Earll if you are not a CIWEM member.

 Further details from Bob Earll:  Phone / Fax 01531 890415
Joining details – maps, directions and hotels – programme are on the
CMS website:

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