Steering Committee Members of the Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia meet at Suncheon City, Republic of Korea

Steering Committee Members of the Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA) convened for its eighth meeting on 23 January 2017 at the Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center in Suncheon City, Republic of Korea to deliberate on priority wetland issues in the South, East, and Southeast Asian sub-regions for consideration in the 2017 RRC-EA Work Plan. Participants included government officers from Suncheon City and Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, Mongolia, Cambodia, and Indonesia. The Ramsar Convention Secretariat also joined the meeting via teleconference facility.

The Steering Committee discussed about planned activities of the RRC-EA that include provision of regional and national level capacity building, establishment of a regional network of wetland education centers in Asia in partnership with Wetland Link International, publishing web magazines, continuing implementation of the RRC-EA Wetland Fund, promotion of rapid assessment tool for wetland ecosystem services, supporting activities for the 2017 Asian Wetland Symposium and Ramsar COP13 on urban wetlands, among others. The meeting concluded with the approval of the partial 2017 RRC-EA Work Plan.

The Steering Committee is the governing body of the RRC-EA that provides guidance in the development of policies and programs for the Center. It is comprised of selected Ramsar National Focal Points from RRC-EA countries, representatives from the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Ministry of Environment, and Suncheon City Government, and the RRC-EA Executive Director.

Mr. Suh Seung Oh, RRC-EA Executive Director, said “Although recorded as the eighth time, this Steering Committee Meeting can actually be referred to as the inaugural meeting since the Center has just received its status last year as an independent international organization hosted by Suncheon City, Republic of Korea”. “With renewed vigor and teamwork, I am confident that the Center will perform better in delivering high quality services to countries in the region on wetland conservation in support of the Ramsar Convention.”

The RRC-EA is one of the regional initiatives formally recognized by the Ramsar Convention. As a Ramsar Regional Initiative (RRI), the RRC-EA is one of four Regional Centers established through the initiative of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea. It serves as a regional platform for capacity building, information exchange, and cooperation among governments, international and national non-government organizations, local communities, technical experts and business organizations.