Wrap-up on the Millennium Wetland Event -- Report of the Chairpersons

31/10/2000

[reprinted by permission of the Event organizers]

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Millennium Wetland Event

Chairpersons' Report

by Clayton Rubec and Bernard Bélanger

 October 17, 2000

MWE Secretariat
Le Delta II
Suite 600, 2875 boul. Laurier
Ste-Foy, Quebec
G1V 2M2

Chairpersons’ Report

Introduction

Quebec City, Canada, hosted a set of global conferences on wetland science, management and policy from August 6-12, 2000 – The Millennium Wetland Event. Clayton Rubec and Bernard Bélanger as Co-Chairs of the Organizing Committee for the Event were privileged to lead this week-long event. A total of 2,068 participants came from across Canada and 68 other nations. Since the inception of this Event in 1991, it grew into what may be the largest wetland science and management conferences event in history.

The Organizing Committee (see Annex 1) for the Millennium Wetland Event, in place since late 1994, included representatives of the Governments of Quebec, New Brunswick and Canada; and of Canadian resource industries, the academic community; and our major cooperating congresses.

The Event occurred at the middle of the millennial year in one of the most interesting cities in the World. Participants had the chance to learn, share experience and make many new colleagues. They heard from the leaders of four cooperating congresses: the International Peat Society 11th World Congress, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists, the 9th Global Symposium of the International Mire Conservation Group, and the 6th International wetland Conference of the International Association of Ecology. Addresses were presented by the Honourable Alfonso Gagliano, the federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services; Mr. Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, Ms. Diane Jean, the Deputy Minister of Quebec Ministry of the Environment, and Ms. Paddy Torsney, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of the Environment, the Honourable David Anderson. The Opening Plenary also included presentations by Dr. Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and Dr. Eville Gorham, Emeritus Professor of Ecology from the University of Minnesota.

The Chairpersons of this Event extend their congratulations to all the cooperating groups for having the foresight and courage to change their traditional meeting formats and scheduling, allowing all four organizations to meet with each other for the first time. This Event was the result of considerable support by many groups – in particular through the involvement of the private sector including many corporations involved in the peat industry, wetland technology, habitat restoration and natural resource use nationally and worldwide. Major commitment to this Event of staff resource time and funding came from environmental non-government and intergovernmental organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Wetlands International, IUCN - The World Conservation Union, and the Ramsar Convention.

The support of governments was a vital element in developing and implementing this venture. This occurred through assistance and staff support from federal agencies such as the Millennium Partnership Fund, the Canadian International Development Agency, and federal departments such as Public Works and Government Services, Environment, Natural Resources, Heritage and Industry; and provincial agencies in Quebec such as the Ministries of Environment, Natural Resources, Parks and Wildlife, Science and Technology, International Relations, National Capital Commission, the Office of the Premier and Hydro Quebec. Support from the Governments of New Brunswick, Ontario and foreign government agencies in the United States and The Netherlands was also most welcome. To them and a much longer list of sponsors, a very large thank you!

The Event hosted 59 Invited Papers Symposia and 70 Contributed Papers Sessions. Throughout the six days from August 6-11, 2000 over 1,300 papers were presented on key issues concerning wetlands and peatlands. This included water quality protection, sustainable resource use, education, species at risk and wildlife habitat, the role of carbon in climate change, and wetland restoration. The federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services sponsored an extensive Trade Show and Exhibition. The Government of Quebec hosted a Poster Papers Session of over 300 presentations. Some 30 fascinating field excursions on August 9 were offered to participants. The winners of an international juried Photo Contest were recognized in a ceremony at the Museum of Civilization sponsored by the Government of Quebec.

Overall, the Millennium Wetland Event was a most rewarding effort and a once-in-a- lifetime experience for many of the participants. The following report summarizes some elements of the Event.

Mission of Quebec 2000

The Organizing Committee of the Millennium wetland Event developed a Mission Statement to establish a common sense of purpose for the organizing team. The mission of the Quebec 2000 Millennium Wetland Event was:

"to foster the understanding and sustainability of the World's peatlands and wetlands through promotion of positive interactions by the many stakeholders involved, nationally and internationally, in wetland and peatland science, policy, management, wise resource use and regulation."

The members of the Quebec 2000 Organizing Committee invited the global community from many sectors and disciplines interested in wetlands and peatlands to attend. The organizations sponsoring the Event's component conferences included the International Association of Ecology (INTECOL), the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) , the International Peat Society (IPS), and the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG). These groups set out to share for the first time in history a common venue, trade exhibition, field trips, pre- and post-congress excursions, social functions and much more. Delegates to any of the meetings were able to attend any or all of the activities of the other organizations.

Quebec 2000 was the first opportunity of the new millennium to meet, hear about and discuss the latest innovations, challenges and directions in wetland and peatland science. This international event featured a high-profile roster of some of the world's most respected research authorities and industry and environmental leaders. It was a unique opportunity to expand professional and personal networks and offered a venue for many technical and committee side meetings by wetland organizations.

Bids and Fund Raising

A meeting of this scope was unprecedented. While several global meetings of the Contracting Parties to the intergovernmental Ramsar Convention have had larger participation than the Millennium Wetland Event, never before had there been a meeting of the major wetland and peatland science and management networks of the World.

The Event in July 1991 was initially envisaged only as a meeting of the International Peat Society and a bid for that objective was developed and accepted by the IPS in 1992. However, the Organizing Committee soon appreciated the opportunity to showcase Quebec and Canadian experience in wetland and peatland management. It was a chance to demonstrate scientific expertise and the lessons Canadians have learned about the economic opportunities in wetland sustainable use and conservation.

In 1995 and 1996, the Organizing Committee developed bids for the SWS annual meeting for 2000 and the sixth Global Wetland Conference of INTECOL. These bids required extensive preparation, support from the Governments of both Canada and Quebec at the level of the offices of the Prime Minister of Canada and Premier of Quebec and personal involvement and travel by Organizing Committee members to meetings in Canada, the United States and Australia. The bids were both accepted. Later, the IMCG conference was added as were specialty meetings by groups such as Wetlands International. Training courses for delegates and numerous other program elements evolved.

An initial budget established early in 1998 for the Event projected a budget of about $900,000 with a target of $300,000 as a fund raising objective from government and industry sources. This was based on a discrete set of meetings without social events or fully developed conference facilities. Major expenses such as provision of interpretation services, travel support for delegates from developing nations, and support for symposia organization were not elements in this initial budget as none of the four organizations had attempted to include such elements in most of their previous meetings. As private non-profit organizations, each was generally responsible only to their members and seldom had focused on the extensive requirements traditionally limited to international intergovernmental meetings. While Quebec 2000 remained a professional societies meeting, it grew to incorporate many of the standards and characteristics of an international event subject to international protocol.

In 1998, the Organizing Committee established the Quebec 2000 Corporation to act as the banker and recipient as well as general contractor for all aspects of the Event. A major cost efficiency was seeking status as a non-profit corporation, subjected to rigorous independent auditing. The Event was also legally recognized by Federal and Quebec customs and revenue agencies as a "foreign" conference, thus was exempted from payment of most hotel and sales taxes, customs duties and goods and services taxes.

Each of the boards of the sponsoring organizations agreed to contribute seed funding to this budget ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 each. The Organizing Committee agreed to reimburse this seed funding as part of its core budget. It was agreed that additional funds would be directed to each organization if the budget generated a surplus. A Letter of Agreement setting out a formula for funds distribution was established in advance of the Event to avoid any conflicts. It is expected a small surplus from private sector corporate donors and registration fees will be distributed in the October-December 2000 period to each organization as seed funding for forthcoming conferences.

As planning proceeded, the overall budget was increased and three budget scenarios were generated for worst case to best case projected budget outcomes. The Committee took on a target of: (a) providing travel funding assistance to a minimum of 100 developing nation delegates, (b) ensuring English, French and to a limited extent some Spanish language interpretation facilities, and (c) preparing conference materials in both English and French wherever feasible.

A professional fund raising expert was hired on retainer and over $1,000,000 additional funds to the core budget were generated. This allowed expansion of the scope of the meetings, funding of a commercial exhibition, running of a photography contest and public photo exhibition, provision of higher quality printing, interpretation and guest and Secretariat services, support for many of the symposia in terms of logistics and promotion, organization of field excursions, media training and contacts, seeking of world class plenary presenters, and provision of expanded food and beverage services.

Preliminary major fund raising efforts were targeted on support by the Millennium Partnership Fund and the International Conferences Program of the Canadian International Development Agency. These proved pivotal to subsequent fund raising initiatives. Grants from many additional organizations resulted from within and outside Canada resulted in an overall budget for the Event of about $2.1 million. This included targeted support for specific symposia or themes, for specific organizations, grants from scientific and research programs, and training initiatives. A complete list of sponsoring organizations was published in the Program of the Event, listing over 85 ministries, agencies and companies. Preparation of proposals and guiding these through each process was an extremely complex effort facilitated by many hours of the staff fund raiser’s and volunteer professionals’ time. Major Canadian government contributions were sought and received from both the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. This included many government agencies and programs as sources targeting support for science, travel resources, logistics, training, interpretation services, social and cultural side events and in-kind printing, research, and advice. Support from foreign government agencies such as the United States Geological Survey and Ministry of Environment in The Netherlands was also provided.

Role of the Corporate Sector

The corporate sector in Canada and internationally provide extensive support to this Event. Over 40 private sector companies, particularly in the peat resources and wetland wastewater technology areas, were involved as financial donors to the core program, in provision of specialized papers, as exhibitors, as event sponsors and as travel program supporters. Over $140,000 alone was provided by horticultural peat producer companies in Canada. The Co-Chair of the Event, Mr. Bernard Bélanger, is the President of one of the leading companies in North America in provision of peat and peat moss products for recreational and market gardening. The support of the private sector was highly appreciated by the Organizing Committee.

Integrated Program

To facilitate all aspects of the Program, it was initially agreed to develop joint social and organizational tasks but to keep budgets and scientific programs for the four conferences separated. From 1995 through 1998 this remained the focus. However, the Committee gradually adopted measures to prevent program duplication and to offer a challenging and diverse program and focus on the participants’ needs. All aspects of symposia planning, while still run by the four scientific committees of SWS, IMCG, IPS and INTECOL, started regular meetings and conference calls to establish a smooth system and data base for receipt of abstracts and program allocation. This resulted in 59 symposia and 70 contributed papers sessions. A series of joint program development meetings and an abstract allocation process involving all groups was initiated and worked quite well.

The Organizing Committee had hoped to avoid overlaps in time scheduling of symposia or other meetings on similar or related themes. However, the Congress Centre is limited to 20 major rooms suitable for parallel meetings and demand for sessions exceeded that. At least 20 additional proposed symposia were ultimately dropped or not accepted due to inadequate organization, planning or commitments by their proponents. This demonstrated the Event was highly successful in reaching potential sources of top quality symposia. Most symposia attracted the very best speakers and papers. Thus, the resulting suite of symposia were exceptional. With 20 parallel sessions, some overlapping schedules were unavoidable and participants were faced with tough choices as to which papers and rooms to attend each day.

The integrated program approach worked well and was efficient in terms of facility usage and budgeting. For the four conferences, it required considerable willingness to work in a non-traditional manner and flexibility.

Travel Agency Support

MKI Travel Inc. of Ottawa, Canada, a firm with many years experience in serving the travel needs of international and intergovernmental environmental fora, was contracted to provide travel assistance for supported delegates. This mainly focused on session chairs and speakers for the invited paper symposia. An initial group of 100, allocated between the four conferences: SWS, INTECOL, IPS (30 each) and IMCG (10), was eventually increased to 138 supported delegates out of the total of 2068 participants. Several additional persons received travel support through external organizations including the Society of Wetland Scientists, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, and others. Support funding for this purpose was provide from many sources including the Canadian International Development Agency, the Government of The Netherlands, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and United States State Department, the Ramsar Convention, the Society of Wetland Scientists, and member companies of national and international peat societies in several nations including Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland.

Most supported delegates were accommodated at the residences of Laval University and daily free shuttle bus service was provided to the Congress Centre. A rate of $35 was considerably lower than downtown hotel rates ranging from $90 to $175 per night. MKI Travel handled all aspects of travel and accommodation bookings, provided daily cash allowances, visa information, and airport transfers for the supported delegates.

Considerable assistance was provided by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in ensuring visas for travelers from many nations. In only one case was a Canadian visa refused to a delegate wishing to attend the Millennium Wetland Event.

A program offering travel assistance to potential participants from developing nations advertised a full year in advance. Participants were required to apply in a standard manner. This generated a huge workload for several of the Committee members. Over 150 more requests than could be accommodated were received. Some of these involved persons who also submitted contributed paper abstracts that ultimately were not presented because travel support funds were exhausted. The Organizers considered this unfortunate but unavoidable. However, a total of 138 people did receive funding in full or in part allowing them to travel to Canada for the Event.

Involvement of Women, Students and Aboriginal Peoples

The Organizing Committee was committed to increasing the role of women and indigenous people in wetland issues through their participation in the Event. Wetlands have a special relationship to the lives and culture of indigenous people, particularly women at the community level. In Canada, First Nation and northern native populations have a history of living in harmony with the Land, using natural resources and natural products. In many cases these are wetlands and peatlands.

During the opening ceremonies for the Event, native dance representatives of the First Nation people in the Quebec City Region participated. Also during the Millennium Wetland Event, several major symposia involving indigenous people from Canada, Panama, Australia, Costa Rica, Brazil, St. Lucia and other nations were held offering a unique opportunity for development of native peoples’ understanding of wetland resources. Proceedings of these meetings and new international networks are products of these meetings.

The Organizing Committee had hoped to see more Canadian native involvement. Proposals to federal and provincial government agencies were not able to generate the support funding for travel, logistics and fees to finance a native symposium or exhibition on wetland themes.

Women it is estimated constituted 34% of the registrants to the conferences. The heads of the scientific committees for SWS, IPS and INTECOL and members of the Organizing Committee include leading wetland scientists who are women. Of the 59 symposia, 38% were chaired or co-chaired by women.

An estimated 120 students registered for the conference with a particularly strong focus through several of the Invited Papers Symposia. Symposium 49 on Neotropical wetlands supported by the Society of Wetland Scientists brought in six students from Brazil and other nations on SWS travel grants for example. Many Canadian, American and other foreign students traveled with their professors and assisted in conference logistics.

Symposia and Round Tables Held During the Event

A total of 59 Invited Papers Symposia and Round Table Workshops were held during the Event. These are listed in Annex 2.

Examples of Legacy Products

It is expected that many of the symposia and meetings will publish some or all of their papers presented. However, no overall Event Proceedings was ever envisaged. Compilation of the Abstracts in itself in one volume was a major project. The IPS has a history of pre-publishing the papers for their meetings and did so in this Event. The IPS Proceedings of this 11th International Peat Congress were printed in advance and distributed to IPS delegates at registration. Additional copies of these proceedings are for sale from the IPS Secretariat in Finland. The other three meetings decided not to pre-publish proceedings but urged their symposia organizers to each consider specialty publications. Below are some 25 examples of publications anticipated. However, this list is incomplete and will continue to be tracked and expanded as details emerge.

Symposium or Round Table Legacy Product
Millennium Wetland Event Quebec 2000 Program With Abstracts. 527 p. Edited by A.S. Crowe and L. Rochefort with S. Campeau and L. Rubec. Pre-published and distributed at Registration to all participants. Abstracts posted on the Web: www.cqvb.qc.ca/wetlands/
International Peat Society 11th Congress, includes papers from Symposia and Round Tables 41,42,43,45,47,73,75,76 plus all IPS Contributed and Poster Papers Sustaining Our Peatlands, Proceedings of the 11th International Peat Congress. 2 volumes. Edited by L. Rochefort and J.-Y. Daigle. 1121 p. Pre-published and distributed at Registration to all IPS participants.
Symposium 1: INTECOL - Global Wetlands and Greenhouse Gases, Dr. Donald Adams, State University of New York, USA and Dr. Bernhard Wehril, Switzerland

Symposium 27: SWS - Wetlands and Climate Change: Scientific Knowledge and Management Options, Dr. Jon Kusler, Institute for Wetland Policy and Research, USA and Dr. James Pattterson, Wetlands International - The Americas

Symposium 43: IPS - Carbon Balance of Peatlands, Dr. Nigel Roulet, McGill University, Canada

Symposium 73: INTECOL - Effects of Elevated CO2 and N Deposition on Vegetation Dynamics and CH4 Emissions of European Bogs: Results of the Bog Ecosystem Research Initiative, Dr. Macel Hoosbeek, Wageningen University, Netherlands and Dr. Harry Vasander, University of Helsinki, Finland

With the sponsorship of the United States Geological Survey these four groups are developing several joint publications and a book project is underway. All the abstracts on climate change issues from the Event are available on a web site sponsored by the Association of State Wetland Managers and Environment Canada. Abstracts for these climate papers are posted on the Web: www.aswm.org
Symposium 2: INTECOL - Biogeochemistry and Microbial Ecology of Wetlands, Dr. Richard Robarts and Dr. Marley Weiser, Environment Canada A special scientific journal edition is in progress.
Symposium 3: INTECOL - Politics and Legal Experience for Development of Wetlands, Dr. A. Shukla, and Dr. A. Vandana, Kanpur University, India The organizers of this symposium plan to publish a book in India on its contents.
Symposium 4: INTECOL - The World’s Largest Wetlands: Integrating Wetlands, Biodiversity and Water Resources Management for the 21st Century, Wetlands International A special scientific journal edition with most of these papers is in preparation.
Symposium 10: INTECOL - Key Biological Processes in Tropical and Subtropical Wetlands, Dr. Eliska Rejmankova, University of California, USA and Dr. Sue Newman, South Florida Water Management District,USA A special scientific journal edition with most of these papers is in preparation.
Symposium 12: INTECOL - Floodplain Forests, Dr. Wolfgang Junk, Max-Planck Institute for Limnology, Germany A peer reviewed book is planned.
Symposium 13: INTECOL - Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater and Stormwater Applications, Mr. John Pries, CH2 Gore and Storrie, Canada and Dr. Barry Warner, University of Waterloo, Canada A special edition of a journal or a book are planned.
Symposium 15: INTECOL - Botanical Diversity, Biogeochemistry and Hydrology of Fens, Dr. Barbara Bedford, Cornell University, USA and Dr. Jos Verhoeven, Utrecht University, Netherlands A special scientific journal edition with most of these papers is in preparation.
Symposium 20: SWS - Wetland-Dependent Fisheries: Conservation Challenges and Socio-Economic Opportunities for the Next Millennium, Dr. Robert Bailey, Recreational Fisheries Institute, Canada and Dr. Dail Brown, National Marine Fisheries Service, USA Special issue of the National Wetland Newsletter, USA, 6 selected papers and editorial.
Symposium 21: INTECOL - Wetland Ecosystem Functioning and Management, Prof. Edward Maltby, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, United Kingdom A book publication in cooperation with IUCN and other partners is under consideration.
Symposium 28: INTECOL - Wetlands and International Migratory Bird Programs at the Millennium, Mr. Ken Cox, North American wetlands Conservation Council (Canada A special publication by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada) is in preparation.
Symposium 31: INTECOL - Ecosystem Services provided by Tropical Forested Wetlands, Dr. Katherine Ewel, US Forest Service A special edition of the journal Ecological Applications of Wetlands or Wetlands Ecology and Management is planned.
Symposium 32: INTECOL - Beyond Policy: Achieving Wetland Objectives on the Ground, Pauline Lynch-Stewart, North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada) and Clayton Rubec, Environment Canada A summary report and data base to allow interactive networking on wetland policy are being developed.
Symposium 33: INTECOL - Plants and Organisms in Stressed Wetland Environments, Dr. Abad Chabbi, Brandenburg University, Germany and Dr. S. Pezeshki, University of Memphis, USA A special edition of Environmental and Experimental Biology, Elsevier Science publishers will be produced.
Symposium 34: INTECOL - Flood Pulsing and Restoration of Wetlands, Dr. Beth Middleton, Southern Illinois University, USA and Dr. Eugene Turner, Louisiana State University USA A publication of these papers is planned.
Symposium 38: INTECOL - Environmental Flows and Floodplain Restoration, Dr. Gerry Quinn, Monash University, Australia and Dr. Terry Hillman, Freshwater Research Centre, Australia A special edition of the journal Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems or Regulated Rivers: Research and Management is under consideration.
Symposium 39: INTECOL - Sustainability of Rice Agro-ecosystem for the Conservation and Maintenance of Wetland Biodiversity, Dr. Ahyaudin Ali, University Sains, Malaysia and Ms. Reiko Nakamura, Ramsar Center, Japan A proceedings of this symposium is in preparation and an Agro-Ecosystem Network is being developed.
Symposium 40: IMCG - Implementing the Ramsar Global Action Plan for Peatlands (GAPP): TELMA 2000 the IMCG Action Program, Dr. Richard Lindsay, East London University, United Kingdom The proceedings of this meeting are being developed for publication as well as parallel reports on Guidelines for Wise Use of Peatlands and a Global Action Plan for Peatlands with partner agencies.
Symposium 49: SWS - Neotropical Wetlands: Building Links Among Wetland Scientists, Dr. Eduardo da Silva, Instituto de Biologia, Brazil A book project in cooperation with the Society of Wetland Scientists is under consideration.
Symposium 55: SWS - Conservation and Protection of Species at Risk in Wetlands, Mr. Simon Nadeau and Ms. Laurie Maynard, Environment Canada A report incorporating these papers is under consideration by Environment Canada.
Symposium 68: SWS - Science and Local Communities: Strengthening Partnerships for Effective Wetland Management, Ms. Nadra Nathai-Gyan, Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Montserrat Carbonell, Ducks Unlimited Inc., and Mr. Larry Mason, USA A Workshop Proceedings for publication is in preparation.

Summary of Known Legacy Products from the Millennium Wetland Event (October 6, 2000)

Legacy Product Type Total Number of SymposiaRound Tables Involved Symposia Producing This Product
Book or Special Report/Proceedings 11 1,3,4,12,13,27,34,39,49,68, 78
IPS Proceedings 8 41,42,43,45,47,73,75,76 plus IPS Contributed and Poster Papers
Journal Edition 6 2,15,20, 31,33,38
Guidelines Report or Statement 5 20,32,39,68,80
Internet Product 3 4,27,32
Network Development or Data Base 6 20, 32, 49,68,80,82
Total Number of Symposia and Round Tables at Quebec 2000 59 ---

Side Meetings

One objective of the Event was to provide opportunities for business meetings of the professional societies and organizations. Some of the meetings that occurred during the Millennium Wetland Event included:

  • IPS Executive Board Meeting
  • IPS Energy Peat Working Group Meeting
  • IPS Horticultural Peat Working Group Meeting
  • IPS Commissions I to VII Meetings
  • IPS Annual Assembly, Quadrennial General Assembly and Business Luncheon
  • IPS New Executive Board Meeting
  • SWS Executive Board Meeting
  • SWS Certification Program - Certification Committee and Panel Meetings
  • SWS Professional Certification Program Board Meeting
  • SWS Open Business Meeting and Luncheon
  • SWS New Board Meeting
  • SWS/INTECOL Joint Awards Luncheon
  • SWS/INTECOL/IPS/IMCG Boards Luncheon
  • SWS Chapter Meetings:
  • Canada; International; USA: Alaska, Central, Mid-Atlantic, New England, North-Central, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, South-Atlantic, South-Central, Western
  • IMCG Board Meeting
  • IMCG Congress and Annual Business Meeting
  • Wetlands International Americas Regional Council Meeting
  • Council of Aquatic Sciences Meeting
  • Canadian Society of Peat and Peatlands Meeting
  • Duke University Science Alumni Reception
  • Wetlands Journal Editors’ Luncheon
  • Sponsors Luncheon
  • SWS-IPS-IMCG-INTECOL Boards Luncheon

Achievement of Goals

The following ten indicators are measures of relative success of the Millennium Wetland Event. Each examines a desired result with a target if possible and a summary of the realization in that area. In each case, we can say the Event was quite successful.

Indicator Target Result
1. Quality and number of papers is high and opportunities for paper presentations in each conference is increased Number. of papers increased 1416 abstracts received, with over 1300 presenters in oral or poster format; the highest number of papers ever presented in an SWS or IPS meeting
2. Governments, private sector and academia all become engaged in this Event   Support from the federal and three provincial as well as three foreign governments was involved. Over 35 corporations made contributions.
3. Delegate participation in individual meetings of IPS, IMCG, SWS and INTECOL increases All four Conferences show increase All four did so in terms of number of papers and registrations
4. Participation exceeds previous wetland conferences Break even 1100; Best scenario 1700 2068 registered
5. Fund raising successfully supports implementation $300,000 $1,100,000 in corporate and government support
6. Participants come from all areas of the World and make this a truly international Event At least 70% non-Canadian 79% of delegates came from outside of Canada from 65 nations
7. Support for delegates from developing nations is assured 10% of delegates should be from developing nations with travel support 223 delegates (11% of total) were from developing nations and 138 (7%) were given assistance for travel costs
8. A special effort should be made to involve indigenous peoples and women   Indigenous people from 11 nations registered and 34% of participants were women
9. Field trips should be accessible to as many delegates as possible and be low cost and valued experiences At least 50% of participants should have access to a field excursion offered at a reasonable price. Two pre-congress and two post- congress tours and 28 one day wetland field trips mixed with cultural elements were offered and were well subscribed at rates participants felt were fair. 30 Field guides were published. Over 1100 persons went on these trips.
10. Production of legacy publications of high quality and an enduring nature is essential All 59 symposia and as many of the contributed papers and posters as possible should be published. At least 25 major publications are known to be in production. All abstracts will be on the Internet for at least one year.

Final Observations

An event of this size is generally thought to be beyond the scope of individual professional societies. The unique circumstances of celebrating the Millennium and the interest of key organizers in attempting this project were needed to facilitate all aspects.

Extensive fund raising was required and could not only involve effort by people inexperienced in this way of funding programs. It is essential to involve professional fund raiser assistance and to look at non-traditional sources that scientists and researchers might never consider as possible sources.

Corporate support was extensive and essential to the success of the project.

Everything can not be expected to work. This project was nearly overwhelmed by major issues such as information requirements, registration software design, and the complexity demanded by 2000 people all wanting to ask questions.

A large effort to attract and involve volunteers (over 75 students and other adults volunteered their time) to assist with programming, registration, symposium logistics, field excursions, office management and other areas was essential.

Providing funding assistance and running an equitable system for allocation of travel support to delegates from developing nations, who might otherwise have no way to participate, was a large and complex task.

Despite over 2000 delegates, more than 1300 papers, 20 simultaneous sessions each day, and organization of multiple luncheons, etc., the Event was a successful and unique but complex undertaking. Smaller integrated meetings are often no more successful but with less stress for their organizers.


Annex 1:

Addresses, telephone, fax and e-mail addresses of members of the organizing committee

[omitted from this reprint of the report]


Annex 2:

Symposia and Round Tables Presented at the Event

Themes Symposia and Round Tables Accepted for Québec 2000
Biogeo-chemistry and Nutrient Cycling 2: INTECOL - Biogeochemistry and Microbial Ecology of Wetlands, Dr. Richard Robarts and Dr. Marley Weiser, Environment Canada

14: INTECOL - Decomposition in Wetlands, the Role of Litter Quality in Relation to Environmental Change, Dr. Jos Verhoeven, Utrecht University Netherlands and Dr. D. Whigham, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

16: SWS - Innovative Uses of Stable Isotope Ratio Technology in Understanding, Wetland Ecosystems and Landscapes, Dr. Janet Keough, US Geological Survey

Biological Diversity 33: INTECOL - Plants and Organisms in Stressed Wetland Environments, Dr. Abad Chabbi, Brandenburg University, Germany and Dr. S. Pezeshki, University of Memphis, USA

39: INTECOL - Sustainability of Rice Agro-ecosystem for the Conservation and Maintenance of Wetland Biodiversity, Dr. Ahyaudin Ali, University Sains, Malaysia and Ms. Reiko Nakamura, Ramsar Center, Japan

50: SWS - Wetland Plants of the United States: Challenges and Solutions for the 21st Century, Dr. Porter Reed, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Climate Change and Wetlands 1: INTECOL - Global Wetlands and Greenhouse Gases, Dr. Donald Adams, State University of New York USA and Dr. Bernhard Wehril, Switzerland

27: SWS - Wetlands and Climate Change: Scientific Knowledge and Management Options, Dr. Jon Kusler, Institute for Wetland Policy and Research, USA and Dr. James Patterson, Wetlands International - The Americas

43: IPS - Carbon Balance of Peatlands, Dr. Nigel Roulet, McGill University, Canada

73: INTECOL - Effects of Elevated CO2 and N Deposition on Vegetation Dynamics and CH4 Emissions of European Bogs: Results of the Bog Ecosystem Research Initiative, Dr. Macel Hoosbeek, Wageningen University, Netherlands and Dr. Harry Vasander, University of Helsinki, Finland

Constructed Wetlands and Restoration 13: INTECOL - Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater and Stormwater Applications, Mr. John Pries, CH2 Gore and Storrie, Canada and Dr. Barry Warner, University of Waterloo, Canada

17: INTECOL - Importance of Constructed Wetlands in the Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems, Dr. Wolfgang Grosse, University of Cologne, Germany and Dr. Zhenbin Wu, Institute of Hydrobiology, PR China

18: INTECOL - Wetland Restoration Concepts for the New Millennium, Dr. Kevin Erwin, K. Erwin Consulting Ecologists, USA and Dr. Max Finlayson, Environmental Research Institute, Australia

52: SWS - Wetland and Riparian Restoration and Enhancement Lessons Learned, Ms. Francesca Demgen, URS Greiner Woodward Clyde, USA

Ecosystem Management 21: INTECOL - Wetland Ecosystem Functioning and Management, Prof. Edward Maltby, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, United Kingdom

23: SWS - Conservation of North American Wetlands and Other Special Ecosystems, Mr. Ed Wiken, Canadian Council on Ecological Areas

37: SWS - Watershed-Based Wetland and Riparian Planning and Evaluation, Dr. Ralph Tiner, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Fen Ecology and Management 60: INTECOL - Ecohydrological Systems Analysis for Fen Conservation in Integrated Water Management, Dr. Geert van Wirdum, Institute of Applied Geoscience, Netherlands

15: INTECOL - Botanical Diversity, Biogeochemistry and Hydrology of Fens, Dr. Barbara Bedford, Cornell University, USA and Dr. Jos Verhoeven, Utrecht University, TheNetherlands

Hydrology and Floodplain Ecology 12: INTECOL - Floodplain Forests, Dr. Wolfgang Junk, Max-Planck Institute for Limnology, Germany

34: INTECOL - Flood Pulsing and Restoration of Wetlands, Dr. Beth Middleton, Southern Illinois University, USA and Dr. Eugene Turner, Louisiana State University USA

38: INTECOL - Environmental Flows and Floodplain Restoration, Dr. Gerry Quinn, Monash University, Australia and Dr. Terry Hillman, Freshwater Research Centre, Australia

Local Community and Indigenous Peoples Initiatives 62: SWS - Citizens and Science: Creating a Watershed Legacy, Dr. Arthur Spingarn and Dr. Mary Kentula, US Environmental Protection Agency

68: SWS - Science and Local Communities: Strengthening Partnerships for Effective Wetland Management, Ms. Nadra Nathai-Gyan, Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Montserrat Carbonell, Ducks Unlimited Inc., and Mr. Larry Mason, USA

70: IPS-IMCG: The Nakakemi Marsh, Japan: Development and Conservation Issues

Major Wetland Ecosystem Programs 29: SWS - Conserving Coastal Wetlands in the Great Lakes Basin, North America, Ms. Nancy Patterson, Environment Canada and Dr. Douglas Wilcox, US Geological Survey

35: SWS - Saint-Lawrence Action Plan Vision 2000 - Phase III Wetland Conservation Initiatives (Plan d’action Saint-Laurent Vision 2000 - Phase III : initiatives pour la conservation des milieux humides), Mr. Jacques Prescott, Ministère de l’Environnement du Québec

63: SWS - The Everglades Experiments: An Integrated Approach to Wetland Ecosystem Science, Dr. Curtis Richardson and Dr. Panchabi Vaithiyanathan, Duke University, USA

Monitoring and Assessment 69: SWS - Wetland Monitoring and Assessment, Ms. Laurie Maynard and Mr. Luc Bélanger, Environment Canada

74: SWS - The Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) Approach to Wetland Functional Assessment: Introduction, Current Status, and Application, Dr. Ellis Clairain and Dr. Daniel Smith, US Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center

30: INTECOL - Disease and Wetlands, Dr. Pat Dale and Dr. Margaret Greenway, Griffith University, Australia

58: SWS - Wetland Biological Assessments, Mr. Tom Danielson, US Environmental Protection Agency

Peat Soil Evaluation 44: IPS - Organic Soil Quality Assessment, Dr. Léon-Étienne Parent, Université Laval, Canada

47: IPS - Characterizing the Physical, Chemical and Hydro-logical Properties of Peat and Peat-based Substrates for Horticultural Use, Dr. Ron Walden, Aquatrols Inc., USA

59: SWS - Soil Hydrology, Hydric Soil Indicators and Delineation, Dr. J. Richardson, North Dakota State University, Ms. Lenore Matula Vasilas, US Department of Agriculture and Dr. Wayne Hudnall, Louisiana State University, USA

Peatland Ecology 26: INTECOL - Succession and Wetland Development, Prof. Yanyong Xing, Changchun National Institute of Geography, P.R. China

41: IPS - Scientific Tools for Peatland Conservation, Dr. Claude Lavoie and Dr. André Desrochers, Université Laval, Canada

77: IPS - Round Table Discussion on Peatland Survey, Stratigraphy, Classification and Conservation of Peatlands, International Peat Society Commission I Session

78: IPS - Peat and Peatland Terminology Round Table, Dr. Joachim Blankenburg, Geological Survey of Lower Saxony, Germany and Mr. Raimo Sopo, International Peat Society Commission 5 Session

42: IPS - Northern Peatlands (Pre-Congress Field Symposium), Dr. Najat Bhiry and Dr. Serge Payette, Université Laval, Canada

Peatland Restoration and Management 75: IPS - High But Not Dry: Regeneration of Peat, Mr. Alan Shaw, The Peat Producers Association and Mr. Nick Temple-Heald, Levington Horticulture Ltd., United Kingdom

45: IPS - Restoration of Sphagnum Dominated Peatlands, Dr. Line Rochefort, Université Laval and Dr. Jonathan Price, University of Waterloo, Canada

Policy and Programs 32: INTECOL - Beyond Policy: Achieving Wetland Objectives on the Ground, Pauline Lynch-Stewart, North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada) and Clayton Rubec, Environment Canada

40: IMCG - Implementing the Ramsar Global Action Plan for Peatlands (GAPP): TELMA 2000 the IMCG Action Program, Dr. Richard Lindsay, East London University, United Kingdom

54: SWS - Practical Tools for Wetlands Protection in the Watershed Context, Ms. Denise Dickenson, US Environmental Protection Agency

3: INTECOL - Politics and Legal Experience for Development of Wetlands, Dr. A. Shukla, and Dr. A. Vandana, Kanpur University, India

Training Courses Wetland Identification and Classification for International Scientists, Natural Resource Planners and Wetland Managers, Dr. Ralph Tiner, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Course on Wetland Management for Developing Country Delegates, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Peatland Inventory by Remote Sensing, Ms. Diane Thibault, Géomat International Inc. and Ms. Chantal Seuthé, Ministère des Ressources naturelles du Québec

Wetland Biological Assessment Methods, Mr. Tom Danielson, US Environmental Protection Agency

Tropical Wetlands Management 10: INTECOL - Key Biological Processes in Tropical and Subtropical Wetlands, Dr. Eliska Rejmankova, University of California, USA and Dr. Sue Newman, South Florida Water Management District, USA

31: INTECOL - Ecosystem Services Provided by Tropical Forested Wetlands, Dr. Katherine Ewel, US Forest Service

49: SWS - Neotropical Wetlands: Building Links Among Wetland Scientists, Dr. Eduardo da Silva, Instituto de Biologia, Brazil

71: SWS - Characterizing Ecology and Hydrology of Tropical Wetlands with Remotely Sensed Data, Dr. John Melack and Dr. Laura Hess, University of California, USA

76: IPS - Round Table on Tropical Peatlands - Pressing Issues, Dr. Jack Rieley, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Water and Wetlands Management 4: INTECOL - The World’s Largest Wetlands: Integrating Wetlands, Biodiversity and Water Resources Management for the 21st Century, Wetlands International

19: SWS - Effects of Public Water Supply Wellfields on Wetlands and Groundwater Supply, Mr. John Emery, Southwest Florida Water Management District, USA

48: INTECOL - Predicting Wetland Response to Changing Water Quantity and Quality, Dr. Carolyn Oldham, University of Western Australia, Australia

53: INTECOL - Computation of Regional Water Budgets in Wetlands: The Contribution of Surface and Ground Waters, Dr. François Giraud, Wetlands Programme, France and Dr. Mike Acreman, IUCN Freshwater Management Programme, United Kingdom

81: SWS - The Range of Significance of Groundwater to Wetland Water and Chemical Budgets, Dr. Donald Rosenberry, US Geological Survey and Dr. Donald Siegel, Syracuse University, USA

Wildlife and Fish Habitat Issues 6: SWS - Waterfowl and Wetlands in Distress: Challenges for the 21st Century, Dr. Henry Murkin, Institute of Waterfowl and Wetlands Research, Ducks Unlimited Canada

20: SWS - Wetland-Dependent Fisheries: Conservation Challenges and Socio-Economic Opportunities for the Next Millennium, Dr. Robert Bailey, Recreational Fisheries Institute, Canada and Dr. Dail Brown, National Marine Fisheries Service, USA

28: INTECOL - Wetlands and International Migratory Bird Programs at the Millennium, Mr. Ken Cox, North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada)

55: SWS - Conservation and Protection of Species at Risk in Wetlands, Mr. Simon Nadeau and Ms. Laurie Maynard, Environment Canada

56: SWS - The Impact of Goose Herbivory: Wetlands At Risk? Prof. Jean-François Giroux, Université de Québec à Montréal and Mr. Luc Bélanger, Environment Canada

 

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,181 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,545,658

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