Saga, Japan. The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW) participated in the 6th Wetland Link International – Asia (WLI-Asia) Conference in Saga City, Japan on 6 and 9 November 2017 which was held within the auspices of the AWS2017 or the Asian Wetland Symposium. The SCPW is a member of the WLI-Asia through its Executive Director, Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, who is also the Ramsar NGO CEPA Focal Person in the Philippines and a member of the WLI-Asia Steering Committee. WLI-Asia is committed to promoting wetland centers as the primary vehicle for communicating wetland conservation and wise use. It is currently expanding its network of wetland centers in Asia. Aside from its regular CEPA activities, the SCPW Design Team lead by Arch. Aaron Lecciones designed the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA).
This event was organized by the Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA) and WLI Global. The Conference focused on CEPA activities in wetland centres in the network through sharing and learning sessions. Possible funding sources such as the National Geographic Foundation for Science and Exploration – Asia and the Nagao Grant Program presented their funding windows that the members can avail of. The last session of the Conference was a field visit to a Wetland Visitor Center in Kashima City and to the Saga Water Management Historical Center. The meeting closed after a brainstorming workshop aimed at planning strategies and efforts for the WLI-Asia network of wetland education centers, and developing a cooperative funding mechanism for WLI-Asia members. One of the workshop groups was facilitated by Ms. Lecciones.
The WLI – Asia Conference underscored the importance of strengthening the WLI – Asia network by defining its vision, mission, and goals based on the feedback from the workshop, as well as widening the scope or engaging more stakeholders to get involved in the network for more successful wetlands conservation initiatives, particularly in the establishment of wetlands education centers.