World Wetlands Day's 2013 Celebration Activities (at Beung Kiat Ngong RAMSAR Site)
Lao PDR joined the RAMSAR Convention on 28/9/2010 as the 160th in the world and the 8th from the ASEAN Group. 2 RAMSAR sites in Laos were given RAMSAR designation, Beung Kiat Ngong (BKN) Wetlands, Phathoumphone District, Champasack Province and Xe Champhone Wetlands, Champhone District, Savannakhet Province.
“Wetlands Take Care of Water” is the title of the 2013 campaign for wetlands celebration and conservation worldwide, according to the agreement of the RAMSA National Secretariat for RAMSA wetlands management No 033/ຄຊຣຊ.ກລຂ on the 23rd Jan 2013; and the agreement from the Deputy Governor of Champasack Province No 142/ຈຂ.ຈສ date 31/1/2013 to approve the World Wetlands Days’s (2 Feb 2013) celebration chaired by the RAMSAR’s Committee and Secretariat at BKN wetlands management site. The Mekong Water Dialogue Programme (MWD) which was created by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has collaborated and cooperated with 4 other government counterparts: the Provincial Natural Resources and Environmental Department as a core, Phathoumphone Governance Office, Agriculture and Forestry College and Champasack University. events were celebrated on 31 Jan and 1 Feb 2013 the Stadium of Agriculture and Forestry College and the Meeting Hall of the Phathoumphone District.
1. Year’s Celebration: Overall objectives are to disseminate and raise awareness in society to understand the importance and the values of wetlands, and to inform the public on the specific objectives and values of the RAMSAR convention and Lao PDR’s obligation under the RAMSAR’s convention. The awareness rising and disseminated activities have been focusing on the participants on the information of the waters such as: the conservation of wetlands is to provide the freshwater and the sources for the freshwater and ask all the participations from all stakeholders to involve in the wetlands conservation.
2. Activities and the Venues: the activities have been implemented in two places,targeting the different audiences as following:
- Date 31/1/2013, at the Stadium of Agriculture and Forestry College, Pakse District, Champasack province:
- distinguished guests have been invited such as the Head and the Deputy of the various Departments as the RAMSA Steering Committee and BKN RAMSA Secretariat at the provincial level, including the Head, Deputy and representatives from other departments. Also included are students from 2 education faculties, Champasack Agriculture and Forestry College and Champasack University. The total number of the participants were 185 people (68 women), within this number 27 people (2 women) were teachers and staff from related departments and institutions, 42 students were from Champasack University (7 women) and 116 students were from Champasack Agriculture and Forestry College. This celebration event is chaired by Mr. Norkham Ounsavanh (Provincial Deputy Director of Natural Resources and Environmental Department), Mr. Boualy Chanhthavong (Deputy Director of Champasack Agriculture and Forestry College) and Dr. Phonesavanh Thepphasoulithone (Deputy Director of Champasack University).
- Date 1/2/2013, at the Meeting Hall of Phathoumphone District, Champasack province:
distinguished guests have been invited including the Steering Committee and the BKN RAMSAR Secretariat at the provincial level, including the surrounding representatives offices from the districts. Besides that the guests also include teachers and students from Phathoumphone Secondary School, therewere 80 participants (18 women) in total, which consist of 27 people (11 women) are from the district, teachers and 3 village clusters and the rest 53 people (7 women) are students. This celebration event was chaired by Mr. Norkham Ounsavanh (Provincial Deputy Director of Natural Resources and Environmental Department) and Mr Chanhthavy Syphounsouk (Deputy Governor of Phathoumphone District).
2.2 Activities Implementation:
Even though the two events celebrated were at two different places and times, the overall meeting contexts and agendas were very similar
- Awareness Rising and Disseminated Activities:
This meeting started started with the warm welcomeof guests and participants by the Chairman, Mr. Norkham Ounsavanh (Provincial Deputy Director of Natural Resources and Environmental Department)He then spoke about how the importanceof wetlands, the obligations under the registration for Lao PDR on the RAMSAR Convention. He also requested all people work to protect and conserve the wetlands based on the topic of the RAMSAR’s massage for this year. After that, the added information on the values of wetlands and RAMSAR Convention were also presented by Mr. Vilavong Vannalath (Water and Wetlands Field Coordinator for MWD Project, IUCN Laos), which covered almost 2 hours
After finishing the lecture, the activities were more focused on the students from institutions inPakse District and a secondary school in Phathoumphone District, to select the representatives from each school to write the messages over the drawing in each frame, this way, the students will be more aware of the issues.