This is the Mahidol University Logo


Vol 9 No 2

Special Forum on
Asian Wetlands Held

Forum participants on a field trip.

     On 29-30 June, MU's Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies (FERS), along with Ramsar Center Japan (RCJ), an NGO on wetlands conservation established in Tokyo, Japan, co-organized the "Ramsar Center Japan Special Forum on Asian Wetlands" held near MU's Salaya Campus. Attended by 45 participants from 12 different countries in Asia, including representatives from international organizations, NGOs and government agencies, and academics and students, the objective of the Forum was to discuss and plan follow-up activities to the Asian Wetland Symposium 2001, which was successfully held by RCJ in cooperation with the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia in August last year. Future activities planned and to be discussed by RCJ and RCJ members and their networks include publication and dissemination of the achievements of the Asian Wetland Symposium 2001 and the Penang Statement; establishment of the 'RCJ Committee on Asian Wetland Initiatives' to discuss and promote mid-term and long-term actions in Asia regarding conservation and wise use of wetlands; RCJ's contribution to COP 8 of the Ramsar Convention; joint efforts during Asian Wetlands Week (2-8 February 2003); a regional workshop on Asian wetlands; and the 3rd Asian Wetland Symposium before COP 9 of the Ramsar Convention.

     At the Special Forum, an opening address was given by Dr. Anuchat Poungsomlee, Dean of FERS. Dr. Sansanee Choowaew of FERS gave a keynote presentation on 'Wetlands and Conservation Status' in Thailand and presented a case study of environmental education at Sam Roi Yot wetlands. All participants made field visits, guided by Mr. Uthai Treesucon and Mr. Rungroj Jukmongkol of the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, and Mr. Philip Round of MU's Faculty of Science, to Khok Kham Village in Samut Sakhon and to Don Hoi Lot, a Ramsar Site of Thailand in Samut Songkram.

    FERS also held pre-forum and post-forum sessions on 28 June and 1 July. Six special talks were given by international RCJ members as follows: (1) 'Environmental Concerns and Sustainable Development' by Dr. Desh Bandhu, Secretary-General, Indian Environmental Society, India; (2) 'Conservation of Riverine Wetlands in the Lower Nakdong River, South Korea' by Prof. Dr. Gea-Jae Joo, Pusan National University, South Korea; (3) 'Migratory Waterbirds and Wetland Conservation' by Dr. Taej Mundkur, Regional Program Director (Asia), Wetlands International - Asia Pacific, Malaysia; (4) 'Environmental Education : From Idea to Action in the Asia-Pacific' by Dr. Bishnu Bhandari, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan; (5) 'Successful Restoration Model of Chilika Lake, India' by Mr. Ajit Pattnaik, Director, Chilika Development Authority, India; and (6) 'Perspectives, Networking and Efforts of International NGOs in Asian Wetland Conservation' by Ms. Reiko Nakamura, Secretary-General, RCJ. Attendees were students and staff of MU as well as colleagues from government offices, other universities, NGOs, and international organizations.