Wings Over Wetlands Training and Awareness Workshop
Wings Over Wetlands elaborates its Training and Awareness Raising Framework
From the 25-27 September 2007, 35 people predominantly from Africa, the Middle East and the European Caucasus met in Almen in the Netherlands to consider the training and awareness raising component of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project. The broad aims of the WOW project are to improve the conservation status of migratory birds and the wetlands they use along the African-Eurasian Flyway.
The workshop set off with four main aims: reviewing and endorsing the WOW project's Training and Awareness Raising Framework; reviewing training needs and priorities in the sub-regions; identifying and prioritising specific modules by sub-region, as well as fostering partnerships and collaboration. Bringing together participants broadly representing the four WOW sub regions of West Africa, East and Southern Africa, the Middle East and the Caucasus, the workshop was able to incorporate the views and needs at a sub-regional level, ensuring that the broad spectrum of conservation issues throughout the flyway were considered. The participants included people directly involved with the WOW project both as implementers (BirdLife International and Wetlands International) and from the Project Coordination Unit based in Wageningen, representatives from some of the key training institutions along the flyway, people from other NGOs and organisations/institutions involved in flyways work, and representatives from the two partners Ramsar and AEWA.
The participants were put to work by the workshop organisers and spent a considerable amount of time in their sub-regional groups discussing training needs and priorities in their sub-region in a flyway context, identifying the priority training and awareness modules that would respond to the perceived needs, then coming together in plenary sessions to review and discuss the deliberations of each group. A final report reflecting the main outcomes of the workshop will be prepared by Tunde Ojei, who takes responsibility for the training and awareness raising component of the WOW project.
Workshop participants taking a well-earned break for a group photo
The WOW project was launched in November 2006. Key components of the project include fostering international collaboration along the entire flyways, building capacity for monitoring and conservation, and demonstrating best practice in the conservation and wise use of wetlands in 12 selected countries. Sponsored by the Global Environment Facility, the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Secretariat of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA Secretariat) and several other donors, the project is being implemented by Wetlands International and BirdLife International, and includes AEWA and Ramsar as key partners.
Full details of the project and its development are available here. A dedicated WOW website is currently in its final development phase and will hopefully be launched by the end of this month. The Project Coordination Unit, based in the Wetlands International offices in the Netherlands, is the primary vehicle for coordination of the WOW project. You will find the latest report and broad overview of the WOW project, including contact details of the PCU staff should you need further information here.
Report by Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat
Photo by Bouke Ottow