During the International Forum on Wetlands and a “training of trainers” course in Panama in December 2013, participants discussed the state of the art in wetlands management, planning and environmental impact assessment in the Americas.
Fourteen participants from nine countries in the Americas and one from Europe, all with different backgrounds, participated in a “training of trainers” course from 2 to 6 December 2013 organised by the Ramsar Secretariat and the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands (CREHO). The training focused on issues including wetlands inventory and management, environmental impact assessment (EIA) and climate change. Participants discussed opportunities and challenges in implementing the Convention as well as case studies from ANAM, Mar Viva and Audubon Society Panama. They also had the opportunity to visit the Panama Bay Ramsar Site and its mangroves, where they learned about urban wetlands management, and they interacted with representatives of the Patronato of Panama Viejo and of the Audubon Society, member of the National Wetlands Committee.
On 6 December they joined over 80 representatives of government, NGOs, academia and other institutions for the International Forum on Wetlands, organized by CREHO, ANAM, the Ramsar Secretariat and the Panama City of Knowledge.
During the Forum speakers highlighted the importance of planning and assessing environmental impact to achieve wise use of wetlands in the region. Participants discussed case studies from Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States. Participants agreed on the need to tailor projects to the ecological character of each site, and to communicate strategically their impact, targeting messages to the various stakeholders involved.
Report by the Ramsar Secretariat Americas team, Maria Rivera and Sara Casallas, and Laura Máiz-Tomé from the Europe team.