Changwon Declaration Network Meeting 2011

Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia: 3rd Steering Committee Meeting, Changwon Declaration Network Meeting and Rice Paddy Symposium, 22-27 August, 2011, South Korea.

A group photo of the Steering Committee members 

From 22-27 August, 2011, the Ramsar Regional Center– East Asia (RRC-EA), hosted their 3rd Steering Committee Meeting, the 3rd Changwon Declaration Network (CDN) Meeting and participants also attended the Sangju Rice Paddy Symposium. The RRC – EA Steering Committee heard reports on the activities of the RRC-EA in 2010, and discussed the work plan for 2012, including the upcoming 2012 Wetland Fund projects. During the CDN Meeting the group discussed the development of an implementation plan for the Changwon Declaration and its implementation at the local, national and international levels.

A group photo of the Changwon Declaration Network

Dr. Yeon Chul Yoo, (Director General, Ministry of the Environment), opened the RRC-EA Steering Committee meeting and Dr Gea Jae Joo (Honorary Director, Ramsar Regional Centre – East Asia), gave welcoming remarks. Mr. Geun Sun Lee (Gyeongnam Provincial Government) and Lew Young (Senior Regional Advisor for Asia-Oceania, Ramsar Convention Secretariat), also spoke and gave congratulatory remarks. Representatives from South Korea, the Seychelles, the United Arab Emirates, the Marshall Islands, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and representatives from the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) gave presentations which focused on the implementation of the Changwon Declaration at the national and regional level.

Group photo of the attendees at the
SangJu Rice Paddy Symposium

Mayor Sung giving opening comments at the Rice Paddy Symposium

Group photo of SangJu attendees visiting GongKumJi wetland

Following the CDN Meeting, the group visited Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk Province, to take part in the Sangju Rice Paddy Symposium which was hosted by Sangju City, Gyeongsangbuk Province and the RRC-EA, and supported by the Limnology Laboratory in Pusan National University. The purpose of the Sangju Rice Paddy Symposium was to draft the text of a Draft Resolution for Ramsar COP11 concerning the sustainable use of pesticides in rice paddies. Dr Gea Jae Joo opened the Sangju meeting, and Dr. Sung Baek Young (Mayor, Sangju City), and Ms Makiko Yanagiya (Ministry of Environment, Japan), gave congratulatory remarks. Presentations and discussions focused on the increasing trend in the use of agricultural chemicals in rice paddies, and the impact that this had on rice production, pest outbreaks and health of the rice farmers. Participants also shared information on the conservation and management of the rice paddies and lotus fields at GongKumJi, and discussed the goal of designating GongKumJi as a Ramsar Site. A field trip was to the GongKumJi wetland followed and this showed that GongKumJi may provide a good case study of wetland management in South Korea.

The Symposium followed up on a workshop held in Singapore in March 2011, where participants were invited to share their knowledge and experience of pesticide use, impacts and management needs in relation to rice production and wetlands in Asia. George Lukacs, Lead STRP Advisor on agriculture, reports that the workshop was held to investigate the current understanding of pesticide usage associated with rice cultivation (e.g. registration of chemicals, application methods, education and training, available guidance for regulators and farmers) and possible impacts to wetland biodiversity but also to identify future research needs and the priorities for capacity building. This applied equally to the biophysical, social and economic aspects of pesticide usage. The workshop brought together leading international experts in wetland ecology, ecotoxicology, regional pesticide usage, and chemical governance from key rice growing countries and regional research institutions. The full report of the workshop is available here (PDF).

For more information, please see the Ramsar Regional Center - East Asia Website:
For photos of wetlands across the Ramsar East Asia Region, please see this page

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