The EAAFP Secretariat visit to 2019 SWS-Asia Chapter and KWS Joint Meeting in Suncheon, ROK

Organizers: Society of Wetland Scientists – Asia Chapter, Suncheon City, Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA), and Korean Wetlands Society. 

The EAAFP Secretariat communication team has attended the 2019 Society of Wetland Scientists-Asia Chapter and Korean Wetlands Society Joint Meeting, which took place from August 19th to August 22nd in Suncheon, Republic of Korea. More than 170 participants from 10 countries attended the meeting and a total of 105 oral presentations and 56 poster presentations from 20 sessions were carried out.  

Group photo of the participants enjoying the field trip to Suncheon Bay Ecological Park   © Haejin Park/EAAFP Secretariat

Group photo of the participants enjoying the field trip to Suncheon Bay Ecological Park © Haejin Park/EAAFP Secretariat

The 2019 SWS-Asia Chapter and KWS Joint Meeting was organized to:  

-showcase new developments in wetland science, education and management;   

-provide a forum for wetland scientists and managers to discuss latest wetland research;   

-create and strengthen linkages and cooperation among new and current chapter members; 

All participants gather for a group photo © Haejin Park/EAAFP Secretariat

On August 19th, all the participants attended an opening ceremony. The opening ceremony consisted of a welcome performance about a hooded crane. Opening remarks were made by the President of Society of Wetland Scientists and President of Korean Wetlands Society. The President of Sunchon National University and Executive Director of Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia, made Congratulatory remarks. Prof. William Mitsch from Florida Gulf Coast University and Dr. Patrick Megonigal from Smithsonian Environmental Research Center delivered keynote speeches. The highlight of the afternoon was the MOU ceremony among Suncheon City, KWS, and SWS-Asia Chapter.  

After the ceremony, all participants attended oral sessions coordinated by wetland scientists and researchers from all over Asia. There was also an introduction of the Society of Wetland Scientists: Professional Certification Programme, which has newly opened the Asia Chapter and is now promoting and recruiting professional ecologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, educators, agency professionals, consultants, and others who practice wetland science, to strengthen professional standards in all activities related to wetland science. 

On August 20th, participants proceeded with attending the oral sessions provided by KWS and SWS-Asia Chapter. Prof. Marinus Otte from North Dakota State University, Prof. Wei-ta Fang from National Taiwan Normal University, and Mr. Jay Lee from National Geographic Society – Asia delivered keynote speeches. Throughout the day participants could also watch a film called “Troubled Waters: A Turtle’s Tale”  produced by WLRN. This was the first public screening of the film, kindly coordinated by Prof. William Mitsch. During the closing ceremony, awards were given for outstanding presentation to scientists, researchers, and the students. 

Speaker giving a presentation during one of the oral sessions © Haejin Park/EAAFP Secretariat

On August 21st, all the international participants went on an exciting field trip to Suncheon Bay Ecological Park, Suncheon Bay National Garden, and Nakan Village. Participants were impressed with the overall organization of the recreation facilities that prevent disturbance of nature at Suncheon Bay. Suncheon Bay became an EAAFP Flyway Network Site [EAAF 079] in 2004. In 2018, Ramsar Convention accredited Suncheon City as a ‘Wetland City’ and Suncheon Bay is one of the important sites on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Suncheon Bay has diverse habitats of wetland that supports 237 bird species, including the Black-faced Spoonbill (EN), Oriental Stork (EN). Hooded Crane (VU), visits Suncheon Bay every winter, due to that Suncheon City implemented socio-economic conservation approaches with citizens, making it a worldclass model for conservation. 

Suncheon Bay © Alexandra Myakonkova/EAAFP Secretariat

More photos of the meetinghttps://www.flickr.com/photos/eaafp/albums/72157710482964531 

Suncheon Bay [EAAF079] site photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eaafp/sets/72157627283092659/ 

About Society of Wetland Scientists: Professional Certification Programmehttps://www.wetlandcert.org/ 

Event link: http://sws-asia2019.org

Relevant Articles: 

https://www.wikitree.co.kr/main/news_view.php?id=457568 

http://www.m-i.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=630112 

http://ikbc.co.kr/kor/news?mode=view&nwCd=main_news_05&menuId=56_65_76&nwid=349014 

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