Fourth Wetland Managers RRC-EA Training Programme in South Korea

The Fourth Wetland Managers Training Programme for North East and South East Asia was held from 20 to 24 June in South Korea. The Ramsar Regional Center - East Asia (RRC-EA) organised the Programme, which was hosted by the Korean Ministry of the Environment and sponsored by Gyeongnam Province, Changwon City, and the Gyeongnam Ramsar Environmental Foundation. About 28 individuals from 15 countries throughout East and Southeast Asia attended the meeting.

The Chairman of YOUNGONE Corp. provided his traditional home for the opening ceremony. Opening and congratulatory remarks were given by Mr. Sang Pal Lee of the Nakdong River Basin Environmental Office and Mr. Bong Ho Song, Director of Environmental Policy Division for Gyeongnam Province, and by the Chairman of YOUNGONE Corp. Mr. Gi Hak Sung; while Dr. Gea Jae Joo, the Honorary Director of the Ramsar Regional Center - East Asia, gave the welcoming remarks.

Chairman of YOUNGONE Corp Mr. Sung giving his presentation on wetland conservation at his factory in Bangladesh

The programme was divided into two sections, a workshop and a training programme. During the workshop, the Honorary Director of the RRC-EA gave the opening presentation (Wetland Culture), which was followed by presentations from Mr. Gi Hak Sung (Bangladesh Case Study); Mr. Hong Suk Go (Wetland Policy in Korea); and Mr. Jae Soo Park (Coastal Wetlands Protection Policy: Republic of Korea). This was followed by presentations on current Wetland Management in East and Southeast Asia, which were chaired by Dr. Chan Won Lee of Kyungnam University.

Dr. Joo giving his presentationMr. Suh giving his presentation on the RRC-EA

The second day of the programme continued the theme of Wetland Management in East and Southeast Asia in sessions chaired by Mr. Seung Oh Suh (RRC-EA) and Mr. Bishnu Bhandari (ICIMOD-Nepal). Day 3 of the programme saw the attendees on a field trip to Upo Wetland (A Ramsar Site), Daesan Water Treatment Plant, and Junam Reservoir and the Ramsar Cultural Center at Junam Reservoir.

On the fourth day, the workshop phase of the programme started. Mr. Phil Straw provided the first Workshop component “General Wetland Management” from avifauna research and services. The lecture, which focused on general wetland management principles was well received by the attendees and was followed by group work and discussion. The second component dealt with the generation of information and was presented by Dr. Bishnu Bhandari from ICIMOD in Nepal. As with the previous lecture, group work and discussion followed the presentation.

The fifth and final day saw Ms. Sandra Hails from the Ramsar Secretariat give a presentation on CEPA, which focused on the communication aspect of the CEPA programme. The presentation was followed by group work and a discussion of how communication plays a role in the spread of information. This was followed by a general discussion and summary which closed the programme.

Sandra Hails, CEPA Programme Officer, giving her presentation

Since its inception in 2009, the Wetland Managers Training Programme has played host to 131 people from more than 18 countries. These individuals have created both within their own nations and via the meetings, a network of individuals with whom they can work and communicate issues related to wetland management.

The programme will continue to aim towards the consistent development of this network and facilitate education related to wetland conservation and management. This programme and its continuing success will provide guidance for wetland managers who are looking to solve issues related to the management of their wetlands.

Report by Maurice Lineman, International Communications Officer, Ramsar Regional Center - East Asia

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