Special Forum on
Asian Wetlands Held
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.