Wetlands : Connectivity, Corridors & Catchments
To raise awareness of the importance of wetlands.
To understand the scientific basis of the management and conservation of wetlands.
To identify new and innovative ways of conserving wetlands.
To highlight the importance of local stakeholders’ involvement/participation in conservation and management of wetlands.
Sharing knowledge and forming active connections with others are vital to the development of our collective understanding towards wetlands conservation. That is the reason behind holding the SWCS International Symposium on Conservation and Management of Wetlands (ISCMW) 2014.
The specific objectives are to form networks with Ramsar managers in Malaysia and to share sustainable financing methods for wetlands through a line-up of presentations and interactive workshops. The symposium co-chaired by SWCS and JICA-SDBEC on the 8th and 9th of September at Le Meridien hotel, Kota Kinabalu. With a total of 84 participants, 4 speakers, 5 Malaysian Ramsar Managers, 2 workshop moderators; it can be said that the symposium is poised to be educational and thought inducing.
The first day of the International Symposium started off with an opening ceremony by Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism Culture and Environment Sabah with Datuk Haji Zainie Abdul Aucasa, President of Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society. This was followed by the keynote address “Innovative Sustainable Financing of Wetlands” by Ms. Midori Paxton, Regional Technical Advisor, Biodiversity & Ecosystem, United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), Thailand. After a short break, the other 3 speakers: Mr. Nyoman Suryadiputra, Mr. Bena Smith, and Mr. Danial Lee gave their respective speeches. Then, the Ramsar managers got a chance to share a presentation titled “Best Practices and Challenges in Managing Ramsar Sites”. Finally the day ended with 2 simultaneous workshops conducted by Ms. Tan Hui Shim and Dr. Rahimatsah Amat titled “Sustainable Financing of Wetlands” and “Forming Networks Among Ramsar Managers in Malaysia” respectively.
The second day of the International Symposium was not as glamorous but no less important. A general wrap up of the two workshops were conducted early in the morning followed by a presentation on the outputs and recommendations of said workshops. Afterwards, the outcomes are discussed among the panels followed by the closing ceremony. Finally, 34 participants visited Kota Kinabalu Wetlands at noon to mark the end of the international symposium.
Overall, the event was a huge success. Everyone benefited from the international symposium one way or another. Without a doubt, each participant would have either: expanded their network or deepened their knowledge. We are definitely looking forward to the next big thing, who knows if we would hold another symposium.