4th Asian Wetland Symposium set for June 2008


Asian Wetland Symposium 2008

Wetlands -The Heart of Asia

A symposium to reflect on the importance of wetlands to the daily life of people in Asia
and to look into the progress and challenges in wetlands management and conservation

22nd- 25th June 2008.


The Asian Wetland Symposium provides a single platform for discussions among various sectors including, national and local governments, NGOs, scientific experts, the private sector, and local and indigenous people engaged in wetland management to discuss issues, approaches and priorities in wetland management in the Asian Region.

This will be the 4th Asian Wetland Symposium. Previous AWS meetings were held in Japan, Malaysia and India. These previous AWS brought together thousands of people to focus their efforts identifying priorities in wetland management in the Asian region and the recommendations of the previous Asian Wetland Symposiums have provided valuable guidance to the Conference of Parties to the Ramsar Convention on three occasions.

The importance of the Asian Wetland Symposium has been recognized by the parties to the Ramsar Convention and at the last meeting of contracting parties the passed Resolution IX.19 that states “requests Contracting Parties, in cooperation with the Ramsar Secretariat and international NGOs, to facilitate the support to and participation in the Asian Wetland Symposia by a wide range of stakeholders, including but not limited to local governments, NGOs, the private sector, and local communities…. “


The Asian Wetland Symposium will be held in Hanoi Vietnam. Vietnam houses two of the most populated river deltas in the world, namely the Mekong and Red River deltas. These wetlands are vital for the socio-economic development of the country and are a source of daily survival for many millions of people. Hanoi is a city built upon the wetlands of the Red River Delta. Hanoi is famous for it’s wonderful lakes, the Red River flowing through the city and historic “old quarter” as well as the world famous wetland-related water puppet show.


The Asian Wetland Symposium is organized by the Ramsar Centre Japan together with the Government of Vietnam, with the leadership of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in partnership with the Government of Japan though the Ministry of the Environment, IUCN – The World Conservation Union and Wetlands International. Key agencies and organizations with an interest in the wetland management from throughout Asia are also supporting this Asian Wetland Symposium. These include the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF) and the Hokkaido River Disaster Prevention Research Center.

Features of the Asian Wetland Symposium

The intent is to collect best knowledge on the wise use and management of wetlands. The Asian Wetland Symposium will feature:

· High level presentations on the status of wetlands in the Asian Region
· Discussion panels on key issues in relation to wetland management
· Preparation of “declaration” of key issues in wetland management in the region
· Identification of priority issues to be included in the meeting of parties to the Ramsar Convention to be held in Korea in late 2008.
· Opportunities for regional programs and agencies to lead specific and focused discussions on specialized topics

Themes of Asian Wetland Symposium

The title “Wetlands- The heart of Asia” was selected to reflect the importance of wetlands to the lives of people throughout the Asian region. Wetlands provide food for the majority of people in Asia, with rice being part of the staple diet. In addition wetlands have particular spiritual and religious significance for many people in the Asian region. Wetlands also house a vast array of plants and animal species that are particularly significant and make an important contribution to a global biodiversity. The themes of the Asian wetland- symposium have been chosen to reflect these values.

The themes of the AWS will focus on a number of themes towards the increasing awareness of the need for “wise-use” of wetlands.

· Creating healthy wetlands and effective wetlands management
· Transboundary cooperation in wetlands management
· Wetlands and sustainable agriculture
· Integrating wetland conservation into development
· Wetlands and sustainable livelihoods
· Education for wetlands
· Cultural heritage and wetland management
· Climate change and wetlands; Impacts, adaptation and mitigation
· A special session will also focus on the wetlands of Vietnam featuring the deltas, coasts and the relationship between wetlands and the life and culture of the Vietnamese people.

Submission of papers

Papers are being called for to address the theme of the Asian Wetland Symposium. Please contact the coordinator of the session for the submission of the abstract. Please see the web site for more information. www.aws2008.net

Conference Registration

The registration fee for the Asian Wetland Symposium is US$200 for participants and US$100 for student participants. It is required that all participants register prior to the conference. Assistance will be provided should you require a visa to enter Vietnam. To receive updates on the Asian Wetland Symposium 2008, please register your interest at aws2008@iucn.org.vn

Key dates:

Registration opens for AWS December 2008

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 February 2008

Notification of selected papers: 15 March 2008

Registrations close: 1 May 2007


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