World Wetlands Day 2005 -- UK -- Northern Ireland


Wetlands, Wealth & Wellbeing - Conference Summary

The Lough Neagh and Lower Bann Advisory Committees held a conference on 2nd February 2005 to celebrate World Wetlands Day.

The conference title of 'Wetlands, Wealth & Wellbeing' was chosen to link with the Ramsar 2005 theme of 'There's wealth in wetland diversity - don't lose it'. Presentations included: were presentations from:

  • 'The National Environment - The Value for Wealth & Wellbeing'
  • 'Local People and local Wetland Management' and
  • 'Zebra Mussels 0 Impacts on local biodiversity and local economies.'

A full list of presenters and presentations can be obtained on

Professor Brian Wood, chairman of the Lough Neagh Advisory Committee, chaired the conference. The keynote address was presented by Mr Aidan Lonergan, Director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Northern Ireland. The 115 delegates agreed that the conference was very useful in raising awareness of the need for an integrated and 'Wise Use of Wetlands' approach to management and for raising the profile of the internationally important Ramsar site.

It is anticipated that there will be a follow up conference in 2006 that will concentrate on particular management issues relevant to the Lower Bann River and Lough Neagh.

The River Bann & Lough Neagh Association, the Lough Neagh Partnership and the Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Advisory Committees worked in partnership to draft and print a local version of the World Wetlands Day 2005 Poster. Copies and literature were distributed to local schools and special interest groups. The Department of Environment in Northern Ireland also printed a series of leaflets on wetland and water conservation and ran special events at wetland sites. Further details can been found on

For further information on the 'Wetlands, Wealth & Wellbeing' conference, the Lough Neagh and Lower Bann Advisory Committees and the River and Lough, visit

Wetlands, Wealth & Wellbeing - Speakers and Presentations

A conference focusing on Lough Neagh and the Lower Bann River to celebrate World Wetlands Day

Wednesday, 2nd February 2005
Opening Remarks
Prof. Brian Wood, Chairman, Lough Neagh Advisory Committee

'The Natural Environment - The Value for Wealth & Wellbeing'
Mr Aidan Lonergan, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

'Countryside Recreation - Impact on Wellbeing and Wealth. Case studies'
Dr Caro-lynne Ferris and Mr Matt Peach, Countryside Access & Activities Network

'Rams Island - Sharing our Natural & Built Heritage'
Mr Michael Savage, River Bann & Lough Neagh Association

'The Lough Neagh Sand Traders Contribution to the sustainability of communities around the Lough'
Mr Gordon Best, Quarry Producers Association of NI & Mr Conor Jordan, Norman Emerson & Sons Ltd

'The changing face of agriculture within the catchment'
Dr Harry Gracey, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

'Local people and Local Wetland Management - A case study'
Mr Donnell Black, The South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association

'Can the Nitrates Directive Action Plan improve water quality in Lough Neagh?'
Dr Bob Foy, DARD

'Sewerage Upgrade and Water Treatment & Supply within the Catchment - Looking to the future'
Mr Tom Adamson, Water Service

'The Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Healthy River Plan'
Mr Edward Montgomery and Mr Gordon Sim, Bann System Limited

'Zebra Mussels - Impacts on Local Biodiversity and Local Economics'
Dr Cathy Maguire, The Queen's University of Belfast

'Managing the Bann Estuary & Portstewart Sand Dunes for conservation, access and education'
Mrs Phil Davidson, The National Trust

'Towards a Navigation Authority for Lough Neagh?' - Results of the study carried out for DCAL by Waterways Ireland
Mr Alec Foye, DCAL / Mr Nigel Russell, Waterways Ireland

'The Water Framework Directive and the Neagh Bann Basin'
Mr Clifford Henry, Water Management Unit

"There's wealth in wetland diversity
- don't lose it!"

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