World Wetlands Day in Japan
Report on World Wetland Day 2006 in Japan
A wide range of WWD events were held especially to commemorate the 20 wetlands designated as Ramsar sites during COP9 in November 2005 and launched a big step forward towards more effective conservation and wise use of the wetlands, with the result that public awareness of Ramsar philosophy has been raised.
Below mentioned are some of the events held on and around WWD in Japan, which are reported to Japan Administrative Authority.
1. As an event commemorating WWD, Exbition on "Tidal flats and Wetlands of Korea" was held by Inae Visitor Centre of Fujimae-higata from February 2 through 26, 2006. Mr. Umemura, a management staff of Fujimae-higata National Wildlife Protection Area, who has been observing the wildlife of Fujimae-higata for about 20 years and also been participating in the research on tidal flats in Korea, appealed for the importance of wetlands and their wise use, to the visitors of the Exhibition by giving examples of the wetlands in Korea such as "Saemangeum" and "Nakdong River Estuary" tidal flats whose ecosystems have been threatened, "Suncheon Bay", "Shihwa Lake" and a reservoir located in Changwon-City in Gyeongsangnam-do where COP10 will be held (see photos attached hereto).
2. At Waterfowl and Wetland Centre of Sakata, on 4 February, 2006, a program to watch swans and geese wintering in Sakata was organized and both grown-ups and children gathered and enjoyed the program.
3. At Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary in Nakaumi Ramsar site, in commemoration of Asia Wetland Week, an event titled "Thanks to the Wetland with GURUGURU Art!" was held. Children wrote in massages of thanks to the wetland for gift and benefit therefrom on a sheet of cloth, and completed a "GURUGURU" art (a kind of tapestry). "GURUGURU" is a Japanese word standing for "the state of rotating" or "being rotated", and "GURUGURU Art" is a method of painting along circumference of the concentric circle (rotating in concentric circle) and separating by color, and when painting is completed, a picture/s painted appears on the cloth sheet. With the writing-in of "Thank-you" message, a Tundra swan appeared as shown in the attached photo (below).
4. In Tottori Prefecture with Nakaumi within its jurisdiction, a training on the designation of Nakaumi to Ramsar site of international importance was organized for the officials of the prefectural government. The contents of Ramsar Convention were briefed by a representative from Ministry of the Environment, and a proposal on wise use of Nakaumi was made by Park Nature Division of Tottori prefectural government, followed by, constructive discussions among the trainees. Further, environment conservation activities currently undertaken in Nakaumi were explained by local environmentalist groups, during the training.
5. In Tajiri-town with Kubukuri-numa and the surrounding rice paddies within its jurisdiction, in commemoration of the designation of "Kaburi-numa and the Surrounding rice paddies" to Ramsar Site, Tajiri-town Ramsar Festival "Learn from Nature (Kaburi-numa) and Improve our Livelihood (Rice paddies)" was held.
The theme and agenda under the Festival was " Wise use of Wetland through Agriculture in harmony with the wetland conservation". Various kinds of events were planned and successfully held, such as photo contest, key-note speech, opinion statement of school children, lecture from specialist overseas, working groups and many more.