On Thursday 24th October 2019, the EAAFP Secretariat organized its first Brown Bag Talk with Dr. Nick Davidson, Chair of EAAFP Technical Sub-Committee on the topic of “The value, importance, and state of the world’s wetlands and waterbirds”. About 30 people with diverse backgrounds including professionals, researchers, and students attended the event, coming from the Green Climate Fund, UN agencies and research institutes located in Incheon.
Dr. Nick Davidson is an adjunct professor in the Institute of Land, Water and Society of Charles Sturt University, and the Chair of the EAAFP Technical Sub-Committee. As the Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from 2000 to 2014, he played a senior advisor role in the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention with overall responsibility for the Convention’s global development and delivery of scientific, technical and policy guidance and advice and communications. He has long-standing experience in, and a strong commitment to, environmental sustainability supported through the transfer of environmental science into policy-relevance and decision-making at national and international scales.
During the talk, Dr. Davidson shared insights supported by useful data to show that wetlands are of highest values among different ecosystems even though wetlands occupied only less than 4 % of global biome areas. However, he highlighted that
“Despite their major range of benefits and big values to people and nature, we have not been maintaining our wetlands enough”
Dr. Davidson used studies to compare wetland loss among Asia, Europe and North America, to show that wetland loss is high and continuous, especially in recent 40 years. He also showed that the East Asian-Australasian Flyway is among the most threatened flyway for migratory waterbrids. Dr. Davidson said,
“Wetland-dependent species are increasingly threatened with extinction… Long-distance migrant waterbirds are particularly in trouble”
Thus, conservation of wetland habitats at the flyway-scale and collaborative manner is of vital importance for the survival of those waterbirds. Emphasizing the need of concerted and cooperative actions, he briefed the audiences on the important role of East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership for conserving the wetlands and migratory waterbirds in the region at all levels from government to site level.
The Secretariat much appreciates Dr. Davidson for his time and giving informative presentation. We look forward to organizing more knowledge sharing events in the near future with wide groups of people.