ASEAN Wetland Management Training Course
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore, 19 – 27 October 2009
On 19 October 2009, a nine-day Wetland Management Training Course began in Singapore with participants from the 10 member countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The course was organized by the Singapore National Parks Board’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR), with funding from the European Union through the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and the Singaporean government. The 20 participants consist of wetland policy makers, managers and staff from wetland sites, including Ramsar sites.
The course was opened by Dr. Leong Chee Chiew (Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Parks Board) and Mr. Rodrigo Fuentes (Executive Director, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity). In his speech, Dr. Leong said that although Singapore had a small area, the country was still able to have designated some 4.5% of the land area for nature reserves, including the SBWR which is an ASEAN Heritage Park as well as one of the important wetland sites along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site Network.
Mr. Fuentes stressed the importance of the wetlands in the ASEAN region, especially the lower reaches of the Mekong River that provided ecological functions, products and services, as well as supported the livelihoods of many people across a number of countries. He went on to say that despite the value of these wetlands, many areas had been lost due to mismanagement, degradation or conversion to agriculture. He then welcomed the holding of the training course because it can build the capacity of the region’s wetland policy makers and site managers, to implement the effective management and sustainable use of wetlands and their resources,
The course was conducted in the SBWR and site visits were organized to other National Park sites in Singapore. Resource persons for the course were supplied by the ACB, Singapore National Parks Board, Public Utility Board, National University of Singapore, Nature Society of Singapore, and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat. Course contents include the following topics:
The Ramsar Convention, wetlands and water;
Sustainable use of wetlands, wetland habitat and water management, wetland management planning;
Wetland species identification, study and monitoring;
The control of pests and invasive species;,
Wetland education and public awareness.
Photographs (by Mr. Brandon Chia Zheng Da)
Participants at the opening ceremony in the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Dr. Leong Chee Chiew (Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Parks Board)
Mr. Rodrigo Fuentes (Executive Director, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity).
Group photograph of the participants at the training course