Wetland Ambassadors for the Mekong region and Yangtze basin, 2004

02/06/2004

Wetland Ambassador Campaign for 2004 launched in Lijiang, China

The opening ceremony for the 2004 Wetland Ambassador Campaign for the Mekong and Yangtze basins took place on 28 May 2004 in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China. This year's campaign will support 12 teams from four countries in the Mekong region and 10 campaign centers in the Yangtze basin in China. The topics of projects selected for this year's campaign range from species conservation and the cultural value of wetlands to the effects of exotic species, pollution, dams and irrigation projects on river systems.

The Wetland Ambassador Campaign is a conservation, education and awareness-raising initiative that works by engaging with university students to conduct projects on important wetland issues and themes, and it has been working in China since 2001. Through its expansion to the Mekong region, this year is the first time that the Wetland Ambassador Campaign has been organized across international borders.

This year's campaign is focused on approaching and managing river basins as an entire system, and is organized under the title "Living Rivers: From the Mountains to the Sea". It has been organized with joint support from Danone-Evian and WWF Living Waters Programme, in partnership with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, the Mekong River Commission, the State Forest Administration of China, WWF China, WWF Indochina and WWF Thailand.

The launch ceremony included participation from:

  • Vice-mayor of Lijiang City, Mr Jingzhu Zhao
  • Vice director of Yunnan Forestry Department Mr. Huijun Guo
  • Vice Director of the Ramsar Implementing Office of the State Forestry Administration in China, Ms. Hong Xiao
  • Environment Programme Coordinator for the Mekong River Commission, Mr. Hans Guttman
  • WWF Living Mekong Initiative Officer, Mr. Rob Shore
  • Ramsar Senior Advisor for Asia, Dr. Guangchun Lei
  • WWF Living Waters Programme Wetland Conservation Manager, Mr. Denis Landenbergue
  • Representative of the Danone-Evian Fund for Ramsar, Christophe Lefebvre
  • WWF China representatives, including Ms. Haitang Liang and Mr. Yifei Zhang
  • Over 20 representatives of the Wetland Ambassador teams selected for the 2004 campaign

Group photograph of Chinese wetland ambassadors

Hong Xiao from the State Forestry Administration of China

Wetland ambassadors at training course

Wetland ambassadors receiving campaign certificates

-- reported by Denis Landenbergue, WWF; photos by Denis Landenbergue,
Zhang Yifei (WWF China), and Tan Xipeng (Xinhua News Agency)

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