From 26th to 29th July, 2022, The Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA) and the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands (SCPW), in collaboration with the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT), Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park (LPPWP), and with the support of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, and NVH Global Limited, successfully hosted the second part of the 8th Wetland Link International (WLI) – Asia Conference from in the City of Las Piñas, Metro Manila, the Philippines in a hybrid format. The event brought together over 130 representatives from 30 wetland centers in Asia, Oceania and North America who joined the meeting in person. The conference concluded with an expansion of the WLI Asia-Oceania network.
Under the theme of “Healing with Nature – Wetlands and Wetland Centers in Focus”, the conference kicked off with a Special Session in which representatives of WLI America, Mandy Kern from Kansas Wetland Education Center, and Nathalie Bays from Oak Hammock Marsh gave presentations virtually, and John De Fillipo from John Bunker Sands Wetland Center delivered presentations on wetland educational programs, outreach activities, and sustainable use of wetlands for improved water quality and supply.
The event went on for four days, and participants had the opportunity to network, listen to other keynote presentations, and share their best practices on a wide range of themes, such as wetland management and monitoring, community-based CEPA activities, and environmental school programs, and wetland centers design. Ms. Hyeseon Do, Programme Officer and Ms. Vivian Fu, Communication Officer of EAAFP Secretariat participated and engaged in the meeting.
The program for the third day included a one-day field trip to Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park and to the National Museum of Natural History, as well as a welcome dinner for all guests kindly hosted by the Honorable Senator of the Philippines Cynthia A. Villar.
On the last day of the conference, WWT and the RRC-EA signed a Memorandum of Understanding through which they renewed their long-serving partnership, and through which the latter officially took on the role of WLI Asia-Oceania Secretariat, in collaboration with Hunter Wetlands Centre and the National Wetland Trust New Zealand.
The conference ended with a networking meeting that provided room for discussion on the way forward for future activities, including but not limited to the institution of a Steering Committee mandated to coordinate on strategy, communication, joint programs and expansion of the WLI Asia-Oceania network. During the closing ceremony, representatives from the Diyasaru Park reaffirmed their commitment to host the next conference, the 1st WLI Asia – Oceania Conference, in Sri Lanka in 2024.
The EAAFP Secretariat encourages wetland centres of Flyway Network Sites to join WLI -Asia -Oceania.
To join WLI Asia-Oceania: http://rrcea.org/new-wli-asia-membership/
Original article by Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia: http://rrcea.org/8th-wetland-link-international-asia-conference-part-2/