World Wetlands Day 2004 -- Lower Mekong Basin

21/01/2004

World Wetlands Day in the Lower Mekong Basin.

The mighty Mekong flows from the mountains to the sea through 6 Countries - China, Myanmar, Lao, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. For WWD 2004, IUCN - The World Conservation Union in cooperation with the governments of the 4 nations in the Lower Mekong Basin will be organising various educational and awareness activities at the national and at wetland sites within the Mekong Basin. These activities also mark the inception of the 5 year GEF-UNDP Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation Programme.

Cambodia:
The Ministry of Environment in cooperation with IUCN plans to celebrate WWD for the first time in Cambodia at the Stoeng Treng Ramsar site located along mainstream Mekong close to the Lao border. The objective of the WWD celebrations here is to raise awareness of local people, inter-governmental institutions and civil society on the values of wetlands biodiversity and the importance of its conservation and sustainable use in and around the Stoeng Treng Ramsar site. Activities will be conducted on 2-3 February 2004 at 2 sites, Regional Training Teacher School in Stoeng Treng town and the Preah Rumkel commune, Thalaborivat district within the Ramsar site. Activities planned include - lectures and seminars, smart games (involving the police, military, teachers and students), local Press Forum, Television interview and broadcasting at local TV and National TV, Group tours to the Ramsar site, Traditional Dance competition, site visits by Minister, provincial governor, department directors wetlands managers of other Ramsar sites in Cambodia

Lao PDR:
Lao PDR is not yet a Contracting Party of the Ramsar Convention, but through the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme, a number of wetlands educational and awareness activities are planned for WWD 2004. The Science, Technology and Environment Agency (STEA) and Living Aquatic Resources Research Centre (LARReC) in cooperation with IUCN will be conducting numerous activities at the national level in Vientiane and at the site level in the wetlands of Attepeu Province.

Thailand:
The IUCN in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will be organizing wetlands education and awareness activities in the District of Songkhram, Northeast Thailand. The proposed activities include exhibitions and art competitions.

Vietnam:
The Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Program plans to celebrate the World Wetlands Day 2004 at Tram Chim National Park and Lang Sen proposed Provincial Nature Reserve (i.e. the two demonstration sites of the programme). The event will be coordinated by Tram Chim National Park and the Department of Science and Technology of Long An province and the interim management of the proposed Lang Sen Nature Reserve in collarboration with the local schools, the district Cultural Houses, district Youth Unions, Dong Thap Television, Long An Television, local and regional newspaper including Long An newspaper, Dong Thap newspaper, Thanh Nien, and Tuoi Tre, Can Tho University and Institute for Tropical Biology.

Activities include - a theatrical thematic performance, folk songs and drama advocating wetlands, address by local leader highlighting the importance of wetland conservation and sustainable use. A short documentary film about Tram Chim wetlands with an interview of Dr. Duong Van Ni from Can Tho University will be broadcasted on Dong Thap Television on the night of Feb, 02. Banners celebrating World Wetlands Day will be posted at the headquarters of the park and the district Cultural House. A short documentary film about Lang Sen with an interview of Prof. Doan Canh from Institute for Tropical Biology will be broadcasted on Long An television in the evening of February 02, 2004. Banners will be posted at the Communes People's Committees of Vinh Dai and Vinh Loi and at the district PC and Cultural House.

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