Grande Hagakure, Saga City, Japan – The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW) participated in the Asian Wetlands Symposium (AWS) 2017 on November 7-11, 2017, with the theme “Wetlands for Sustainable Life”. Leading the SCPW Team for AWS 2017 was Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, Executive Director, who also exhibited one of the Communication, Participation, Education, and Awareness (CEPA) projects of the organization entitled “Increasing Capacity of Local Communities to Implement Wetland Conservation, Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) and Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Activities in the Laguna de Bay Region and Marikina-Pasig River Watershed”, for the poster session in the Symposium. This garnered the “Best Poster Award” during the Closing Program of the AWS 2017.
Ms. Darry Shel M. Estorba, Project Associate at SCPW, made an oral presentation entitled “Youth-in-Action for Eco-DRR and EbA” highlighting the CEPA strategies and initiatives of SCPW for the Youth Sector since 2003, for conserving Wetlands in the Philippines, particularly in Laguna de Bay, under the Wetlands and Youth Session. Arch. Aaron Lecciones who is a co-author of both presentations was also at the AWS 2017 to lend full support to the SCPW Team.
The Symposium was attended by 450 Wetland Stakeholders from the Private Sectors, Academe, Government Institutions, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), from 26 countries around the world who are working for the wise use of wetlands in Asia. The main organizers of the event were Ministry of Environment of Japan, Wetlands International Japan, Ramsar Center Japan, and Japan Wetlands Society. The Ramsar Regional Center-East Asia was also a major partner in the event.
The AWS 2017 consisted of Keynote Presentations, Ariake Sessions, Mayor’s Roundtable: Conservation and Wise Use of the Ramsar Sites, Welcoming Reception, Poster Presentations, Field Visits, and Side Events. Further, there were also Parallel Sessions of various topics including Wetlands, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Reduction; Wetlands and Policy – Change and International Cooperation; Wetlands and Use of Natural Resources – Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, Urban Wetlands – Wetland City and Natural Infrastructure; Wetlands and Youth; Wetlands and Culture; Wetlands and CEPA; and Wetlands and Biodiversity – Restoration and Reintroduction. The last day of the Symposium included a synthesis of the sessions, discussion of the Saga Statement or Resolution, awarding of Best Posters, closing ceremony, and the public symposium in Saga aimed at sharing the outputs of Saga 2017 with local citizens including children and youth involved in wetlands conservation in the Ariake Sea Coast. The wealth of knowledge, strategies, good practices, and experiences shared by various organizations and individuals working for wetlands conservation and wise use contributed to the success of the Symposium. The AWS 2017 definitely inspired everyone at the event to do more for their wetlands.