Wings Over Wetlands workshop in Jordan, June 2008
Wings Over Wetlands – building capacity at the regional level
Report of a workshop on the training and awareness component of the WOW project
Amman, Jordan, 9-16th June 2008
The Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project set out in 2006 with the broad aim to improve and conserve healthy and viable populations of African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds through identifying and conserving critical wetland areas and building local professional capacity. Funded largely by UNDP-GEF, the project lead implementers include Wetlands International and BirdLife International and it operates in close coordination with the Secretariats of Ramsar and UNEP/AEWA as well as UNEP-WCMC. It will be completed in 2010.
The workshop, held in Amman, Jordan, from 9-16 June 2008, was the near-final step in the development of the Training and Awareness component of the WOW project, and Sandra Hails, the Secretariat’s CEPA Programme Officer, was in attendance from 13-16th. Previous training and awareness meetings have identified the key target groups (decision-makers, wetland site managers, and local communities) and the key areas of capacity building required. Following this, consultants developed three key training modules - Understanding the Flyway Approach; Applying the Flyway Scale Approach to Conservation; and Communicating the Flyway Approach- which formed the basic material for this workshop with the overall aim of developing subregional adaptations of the modules for use throughout the flyway.
Participants at the Amman workshop included the key people charged with delivering this component of the project in each of the four subregional units of East and Southern Africa, West Africa; Middle East, and Central Asia and the Caucasus. The Capacity Development Officers (CDO) from each region, responsible for implementing the training and awareness programme in their regions, were present as well as several members from each of the subregional training boards that oversee the work of the CDOs. The CDOs will be using the modules in Training of Trainers programmes aimed at building capacity at both national and site level.
This was a hands-on workshop with three key purposes:
i) Module developers to present their modules including the use of hands-on exercises that will be included in the modules and used during training sessions.
ii) Each subregional team to review and suggest refinements to the three training modules that have been presented at the workshop.
iii) Each subregional team to prepare its own regional adaptation of the modules.
iv) The module developers, the WOW team, and partners to review the final drafting process and the roll-out of the completed modules.
The module developers presented the modules that have already gone through a review process (including input from the Ramsar Secretariat) using PPT presentations as well as involving the subregional teams in using many practical tools included in the modular material. The subregional teams worked together following the delivery of the materials, providing comments upon the modules, suggesting refinements, and presenting their regional adaptations to all participants for discussion. They also worked on the many practical exercises in mixed groups to improve the interactions between subregional teams.
Further details on the WOW project are available here http://www.wingsoverwetlands.org/. A brief report on one of the early workshops on the training and awareness component is available here http://www.ramsar.org/wn/caxref:5134.
-- Sandra Hails, Ramsar;
photos by Tunde Ojei, Sandra Hails, Majdi Saleh