RRC-EA co-organizes regional event for wetland scientists

More than 170 wetland scientists, and wetland conservation practitioners and managers from 10 countries in Asia convened on 19-22 August 2019 at the Suncheon National University, Suncheon City, Republic of Korea for a regional event “2019 Society of Wetland Scientists-Asia Chapter and Korean Wetlands Society Joint Meeting”. The meeting was organized by the Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA) and the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS)-Asia Chapter, in collaboration with the Suncheon City Government and Korean Wetlands Society (KWS). The event aimed to showcase new developments in wetland science, education and management; provide a forum for wetland scientists and managers to discuss about latest wetland research; and create and strengthen linkages and cooperation among new and current chapter members.

The presidents of SWS-Asia Chapter, KWS and Suncheon National University; Executive Director of the RRC-EA; and Mayor of Suncheon City delivered short messages during the opening ceremony. Parallel sessions were organized based on a range of priority topics and themes, which include mangrove ecosystems, wetland sound science and education, effective management of wetland sites, collaboration and data sharing in wetland science, ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, wetlands for water quality management, among others. The parallel sessions accommodated a total of 105 oral presentations while 56 poster presentations were also organized for the event. Keynote presentations were delivered by esteemed wetland scientists and advocates from the Florida Gulf Coast University, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, North Dakota State University, National Taiwan Normal University, and National Geographic Society – Asia.

The joint meeting concluded with an award ceremony that recognized the achievements and contributions of outstanding wetland scientists, and the best papers submitted by speakers for oral and poster presentations. The following day, SWS-Asia participants were toured around the Suncheon Bay Ecological Park, Suncheon Bay National Garden and Nagan Traditional Folk Village. In a parallel event, KWS successfully carried out its wetland education program for elementary, middle school and high school students. A side event was also organized at the Suncheon Culture and Arts Center, where eminent wetland scientists shared their wisdom and experience in wetland science and research with citizens of Suncheon City.