1st International Wetlands Forum - "Wise Use, Smart Plans"
Wetlands support diverse livelihoods, rich biodiversity and provide ecosystem services that support sustainable water supply, flood alleviation and mitigation to climate change. Despite their recognised importance, illustrated by 168 signatories to the Ramsar Convention, including 50 from Africa, wetland loss and degradation is an ongoing problem.
The economic drivers and complexities of policy implementation that lead to human impact on wetlands are well known, but finding solutions to better integration of knowledge, policy and action for sustainable and wise use of wetlands remains a major challenge.
To meet those challenges the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority, in partnership with the Ramsar Secretariat, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and Wageningen University, convene this international forum on Wetlands: Wise Use, Smart Plans, in Kigali, Rwanda, 8-12th July 2013.
The Forum will explore new perspectives for better wetland management in the face of human needs for development, food and water security. It aims to provide solutions to ongoing pressures to wetlands, through identifying the means for more comprehensive implementation of existing polices for safeguarding the services that wetlands provide, and improved understanding of the links with multi-sectoral interests and local livelihoods.
The forum sets out to provide better understanding of wetland services, and links with policies and communication for wetland management. We aim to:
- Identify major issues for successfully linking policies with sustainable use of wetlands.
- Draft policy briefs for African wetlands and their management in support of livelihoods
- Develop new initiatives for the Capacity Building in support of knowledge exchange on wetlands
- Connect partners for future initiatives on wetland policy, research and capacity building
- Provide a synthesis of lessons learnt and novel approaches in a publication that integrates ecological, social science, economic and political experiences for better wetland management.
Outputs of the Forum will include new communication strategies, policy briefs, research plans and capacity building for wetlands.