Taipei hosts 7th Wetland Link International – Asia Conference

More than 80 representatives of wetland centers, national and local government institutions, and non-government organizations in Asia participated in the 7th Wetland Link International (WLI) – Asia Conference held on 5-6 December 2019 at the Guandu Nature Park, Taipei. Held back-to-back with the 20th anniversary event of Guandu Nature Park, the regional conference was organized by the Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA) in coordination and collaboration with WLI Global, Guandu Nature Park, Taipei City Government, and the Wild Bird Society of Taipei. It aimed to share information among wetland center managers and relevant stakeholders, facilitate interaction among members through discussion on specific themes related to wetland center operations and management, and explore opportunities for future cooperation among the members.

The biennial event started with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the RRC-EA and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT). Under this agreement and renewed formal partnership, the RRC-EA was again deputized by WWT/WLI Global to serve as WLI-Asia Secretariat. The conference was structured to include special lectures, information sharing and plenary discussions. Speakers included wetland experts from the State University of New York in the USA, Biodiversum Remerschen in Luxembourg, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Singapore and WWF Hong Kong. Officers of wetland centers from Bangladesh, Japan, Republic of Korea and Malaysia presented about their accomplishments and ongoing programs related to local community and volunteer involvement, CEPA (communication, capacity building, education, participation, and awareness) activities, development of wetland education materials, and wetland center exchange. New WLI-Asia Members from the Republic of Korea, Philippines and Sri Lanka were also given the opportunity to introduce their respective wetland centers. The last session of the conference facilitated interaction and discussions among WLI-Asia Members, in plenary, on approaches to improve WLI-Asia operations. The event concluded with a short field excursion within Guandu Nature Park.