From June 22 to 25, 2008 scientists, practitioners, and students will gather in Ha Noi to attend the fourth Asian Wetlands Symposium (AWS). The Ministry of Environment of the Government of Vietnam, IUCN Viet Nam and The Ramsar Centre, Japan are co-hosting the symposium.
AWS 2008 is a forum to reflect on the importance of wetlands for the daily life of Asian people and to examine the successes and challenges in sustainable wetlands management in Asia. AWS serves as a platform for wetlands stakeholders, such as national and local governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), scientists, private sector, local communities, and indigenous people to discuss issues, approaches, and priorities for wetland management in Asia.
By hosting AWS 2008, Viet Nam has the tremendous opportunity to showcase its extraordinary wetland resources and to share the country’s experiences in addressing the challenges of sustainable wetland management. AWS 2008 participants will gain first hand exposure to some of Viet Nam’s wetland resources with a tour of Ha Noi’s wetland areas and a boat cruise along the Red River Delta.
IUCN Viet Nam asserts that the sustainable management of water resources in Viet Nam is a critical environmental policy issue. Viet Nam’s wetlands contain and support part of the country’s rich biodiversity. Additionally, Viet Nam’s extensive coastline, river systems, and associated wetlands represent some of the most disaster prone regions in the world. Typhoons, droughts, landslides, and mudflows have worsened in recent years in the country. Viet Nam is identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as one of the countries that will be the most affected by the deleterious impacts of global climate change. Sustainable wetland management is essential for mitigating these deleterious consequences. To implement effective sustainable wetland management strategies, an improved understanding of how economic development affects wetlands and how local livelihoods are linked to wetland resources is needed.
AWS 2008 will provide an opportunity for Viet Nam to analyze wetland management issues in-depth by sharing research and practices of sustainable wetland management during the technical and poster sessions. Learning from wetland scientists and practitioners throughout Asia will enable Viet Nam’s wetland stakeholders to develop improved strategies to institute sustainable wetland management.
The AWS 2008 activities will also help prepare Asian wetland stakeholders for the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971).
For more information about AWS 2008, please visit http://www.aws2008.net/index.htm. The deadline for AWS 2008 registration is May 1, 2008.