A two-day Symposium on Intertidal Conservation in Southeast Asia was held at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) in Singapore on 12-13 June 2014, co-hosted by BirdLife International, the National Parks Board, the National University of Singapore’s Asia Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL/NUS), and the Nature Society of Singapore. The Symposium aimed to raise awareness amongst policy- and decision-makers on the need for conservation of intertidal areas along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, particularly in a changing climate. The Symposium gathered 87 academics, site managers, and mid-level policy-/decision-makers working in the field of coastal management from across Southeast Asia.
Speakers from seven countries presented to participants from 11 countries and territories across the region and beyond: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Spike Millington, EAAFP Chief Executive, participated in the Symposium and gave an opening presentation on the State of the Flyway and the role of the EAAFP. He also facilitated two breakout sessions on ‘Land Use’ and on ‘Regional Policy and Cooperation.’
Intertidal areas, such as mudflats are important ecosystems. They usually support a large population of wildlife, and are key habitats that allow tens of millions of migratory shorebirds to migrate between breeding and non-breeding sites. The SBWR, for instance, serves as a stop-over for migratory birds to feed and refuel. To emphasize the importance of the flyway and urgent need to conserve intertidal areas, following IUCN Resolution 28, it was agreed to hold a series of regional workshops on conservation of the intertidal zone in the EAAF. This event was designed to cover South-East Asia, notably the ASEAN countries and including Bangladesh. It was the first international event to be hosted by Sungei Buloh (a Flyway Network Site) following recent expansion of facilities.