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WLI BULLETIN - a must read (04/02/05)
Good afternoon everyone:
Just before I leave for a week's vacation, let me share with you the WLI newsletter. It's a must read - and please do take note of their offer in this newsletter (scroll down for full details): "WLI has the space, capacity and funding to add training and development materials to the www.wli.org.uk website. We are seeking requests and ideas for the content of such materials. What do you want? What would be useful?" Don't miss this opportunity to give them your feedback!
Best wishes, Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat
WLI BULLETIN Issue 1 January 2005
The enewsletter of Wetland Link International
A belated Happy New Year and welcome to WLI Bulletin - the first enewsletter from Wetland Link International (WLI), the global network of wetland education centres.
WLI Bulletin is a quarterly publication bringing news from and linking the worlds wetland centres. We hope it will enable wetland centres to exchange news and views as well as helping WLI to develop appropriate training and information materials online and elsewhere.
WLI Bulletin is distributed to the WLI membership and other interested parties including nominated wetland CEPA (communications, education and public awareness) focal points in Ramsar Contracting Parties.
We hope that you will enjoy the Bulletin and feel inspired to contribute. Yours views and ideas are sought and welcomed. Please, also, inform friends and colleagues about the WLI network
This newsletter can also be downloaded as a pdf here http://www.wwtlearn.org.uk/wli2/wli-bulletin1_05.pdf
What is WLI?
Wetland Link International (WLI) is a global network of wetland education centres.
It was formed in 1991 and developed from a range of wishes and desires.
The wish to reduce feelings of isolation of those involved with on-the-ground CEPA activities.
The wish to share knowledge and practical expertise.
The wish to raise the profile and status of CEPA activity as part of conservation and sustainability objectives.
WLI aims to:
Exchange expertise and information among members.
Support and assist new and established wetland centre developments and best operating practice.
Lobby for the inclusion of CEPA within wetland initiatives and policies worldwide.
The WLI network is recognised by the Ramsar Convention as a key organisation to help wetland education centres and Ramsar Contracting Parties to deliver CEPA for wetlands. The Ramsar CEPA Programme encourages participation in the Wetland Link International of the WWT (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust), UK as a mechanism for gaining access to global and national expertise in CEPA. (see http://www.ramsar.org/key_res_viii_31_e.htm).
WLI is coordinated by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), the only UK-based conservation charity dedicated to the global conservation of wetlands and their biodiversity. It is supported by HSBC Bank plc. For full details, see www.wli.org.uk
The why and how of joining WLI
The benefits of joining WLI are:
Becoming part of an international community of wetland education centres (currently about 300 members on six continents).
Access to a quarterly enewsletter and an egroup.
Advice, support and expertise from the WLI Office and membership.
Opportunities for training, meetings, staff exchange and support materials as the WLI Professional Development network grows..
Opportunities to join and contribute to WLI Regional Networks (currently in Australia and UK/Eire with others planned for Asia, Europe and Africa during 2005).
WLI membership is site-based and free to organisations, groups and individuals who are planning, developing and/or operating a wetland education centre.
For enquiries, contact email@example.com
To join the WLI egroup (one representative per site), send an email to: Wetlandlinkintlfirstname.lastname@example.org
Making a Splash a new booklet about wetland centres
A new booklet Making a Splash the potential and practice of wetland centres is freely downloadable as a pdf file from the home page of the WLI website, www.wli.org.uk
Regional WLI network news
WLI is keen to develop regional networks that assist with local, national and regional issues in wetland education. For example a local network may be well suited to pool ideas and resources for events like World Wetlands Day. National networks link site-based expertise with policy makers and may be presented to Governments that they (the Government as Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention) and ticking the boxes in terms of fulfilling their obligations to the Ramsar CEPA Programme.
WLI- Australia was the first regional WLI network. It was established at a forum in Brisbane in 2002 when the following questions were considered:
What do we need to be better as wetland educators?
How do we meet the challenges of distance and keep up-to-date on wetland issues?
What are the main challenges in educating people about wetlands?
From the Forums deliberations, a WLI-Australia Communications Strategy was developed.
This can be seen at www.ramsar.org/outreach_wliaustralia_commstrategy.htm
WLI Australia is coordinated by The Wetland Centre at Shortlands, New South Wales. Contact Christine Prietto (Christine.email@example.com) for more details.
A WLI-Asia regional network is in the planning stage. Dr Lew Young, Manager of the WWF Mai Po wetland centre in Hong Kong writes:
With generous support from Cathay Pacific, WWF Hong Kong will be working with WLI and other wetland education partners to organise a small wetland education planning workshop at Mai Po Nature Reserve in the summer of 2005. The aim of the workshop will be to develop the framework for a WLI-Asia network, find a way forward on increasing cooperation between the different wetland centres in Asia; allow wetland educators to exchange skills and material from across the East Asia- Australasian flyway, and to set the agenda for a larger meeting of Asian wetland educators around the opening period of the Hong Kongs new International Wetland Park in 2006.
As we develop the aims and agenda for the initial workshop in 2005, we will be grateful to hear from any wetland centres in Asia about what you think the issues are in promoting greater cooperation between us and our work. We look forward to hearing from you.
And if you do have input, contact Lew at firstname.lastname@example.org
WLI-UK and Eire
The first meeting of the WLI-UK and Eire regional network was held at the WWT London Wetland Centre on the 2nd December, 2004. Participants agreed that such a network was valuable for linking sites-based initiatives with Government policy makers. There are now direct and tangible links. If anyone is interested in receiving the minutes of this meeting, email email@example.com.
WLI Europe and Africa
Watch this space for more news. We are planning to launch a Europe/Africa WLI network at the November 2005 Ramsar COPS meeting in Kampala, Uganda.
WLI needs your help
to grow the network
We know that there are several hundred wetland centres worldwide. WLI is only reaching a minority of them (say one third) at the present time. As capacity and funding grow, we will produce materials in languages other than English alone (like French and Spanish, the other working languages of the Ramsar Convention). That will remove one barrier. But we need your help to do more.
If you know of any wetland centres, please tell them about WLI and urge them to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, send us their details and well do the rest.
A special plea to Ramsar CEPA focal points We know you are compiling or have just compiled the triennial report to the Ramsar Convention. We would be very grateful if you could email us lists and contact details of wetland centres in your countries if applicable.
and to grow wetland CEPA and its proponents/practitioners
WLI has the space, capacity and funding to add training and development materials to the www.wli.org.uk website. These will be freely downloadable when developed.
We are seeking requests and ideas for the content of such materials. What do you want? What would be useful? Do you want to know about designing visitor centres? Interpretation? Boardwalks? Organising public events? World Wetlands Day? Planning from national and regional CEPA policies, strategies and action plans to centre-specific learning policies? How to raise funds? How to operate a Centre? Income generation? Managing the balance between conservation and commerce? Perhaps youd like to share case studies across the world? Is there the demand for a residential course in wetland CEPA or other centre-related aspects of wetland management?
Please tell us so we can help you.
Raise your profile online
The WLI website, www.wli.org.uk, includes a global directory of wetland centres. At present, the directory only reflects a small number of the overall WLI membership. We will be adding Centre names and contact details to the directory, but we strongly encourage centres to submit a full site profile. This should conform to a standard format and a guidance template is available from email@example.com. Ephotos are especially welcome.
From issue 2, we will feature a particular centre each time.
It could be you We also aim to have a news section so send us yours.
THANK YOU FOR READING WLI BULLETIN. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR IDEAS.
Malcolm Whitehead , WLI Coordinator,
WWT London Wetland Centre, London SW13 9WT, UK.
Amanda Bradbury, Senior Designer/WLI-UK
WWT National HQ, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire GL2 7BT, UK.
Sandra Hails, CEPA Programme Officer
Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 999 0176; Fax: +41 22 999 0169
Web Site: http://ramsar.org
CEPA mini-Web site: http://ramsar.org/outreach_index.htm