World wetlands day was celebrated in the Netherlands in two distinct ways - firstly, a meeting of the Advisory board on international training, hosted by the Netherlands Government through the Wetland Advisory and training centre of the Ministry of transport, Public works and water management. This Board Chaired by the secretary general and with representation and/or input from a number of Netherlands, Netherlands-based and regional orgainsations was taking steps to implement COP9 resolution 18 on CEPA, including capacity building.
Capacity Building is a key way to help resolve the poverty link, especially where wetland management is concerned. Building capacity, especially for local participatory management is vital to ensures local people can wisely use their wetlands to improve their living conditions. But in a way it was coincidence that this Board was meeting on WWD, but a very nice coincidence! Linking the Board meeting, the report of which will be available as part of SC34 documents eventually, and the specific WWD event was Hans Nieuwenhuis of the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, who has represented the Netherlands on standing Committee.
The WWD event was a presentation to a home-based gathering of all the agricultural attachés from Netherlands embassies around the world, Hans Nieuwenhuis, the Secretary General and Petra Spliethoff of IAC- Wageningen International made presentations on the Convention and its needs in capacity Building, and the wider links to agricultural enterprise. Especially in the context of using wetlands more effectively to alleviate poverty
Although we were not in an actual wetland the event was useful in sensitising some key and important individuals in apposition to help build capacity within the Convention where it is most need, at the local level.
-- Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General