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Postponement: The coastal wetlands conference


Postponement: The coastal wetlands conference How Do We Achieve Successful Management and Restoration of Mangrove Forests, Tidal Marshes, Seagrass Meadows and Coral Reefs? planned from 24-28 July 2005 in Thammarin Thana, Trang province, Thailand will be postponed.

The conference, organised by Wetlands International Thailand, Mangrove Action Project, Lewis Environmental Services and UNESCO IOC/WESTPAC will now be held from 1-5 October 2005. To read more about the conference or to register, click here. news&/NewsItems/CoastalWetlands.htm How Do We Achieve Successful Management and Restoration of Mangrove Forests, Tidal Marshes, Seagrass Meadows and Coral Reefs? Lessons Learned from Community Participation and Activism, Smart Partnerships, and Co-Management in Asia Pacific Thammarin Thana, Trang, Thailand 1-5 October 2005 Background Throughout the developing world, large-scale developments aimed at rapid national economic growth have resulted in degradation of coastal habitats that support local fisheries and important wildlife, hence, socio-economic marginalisation of rural communities has occurred. Along the coastlines of many Southeast Asian countries, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, coral reefs and other coastal ecosystems have been damaged or destroyed, and this has seriously affected the livelihoods of many rural coastal fishing communities. In the process, many of these communities have lost their traditional ownership and user-rights to the (open-access) coastal resources on which their livelihood depends. In view of the recent terrible disaster that has befallen the Bay of Bengal region due to the tsunamis of Dec. 26th 2004, the conference organizers Call For Unity In devising an effective, long-term restoration plan of action. There is need to commence a wide-scale, effective mangrove restoration campaign to promote local NGO and coastal community involvement in mangrove restoration along these same vulnerable coastlines to offer longer-term solutions to these problems. Such developments as shrimp farming, tourism and urban expansion have opened up the coastlines, making these regions more vulnerable to such forces of nature that would have been prior mitigated by healthy mangroves, coastal beach forests, sand dunes, and coral reefs. Now more than ever the necessity and urgency to restore these coastal ecosystems, in a coordinated fashion, utilizing best practices is very apparent. Successful restoration will not only be a good investment in a buffer against future such natural disasters, it will help restore biodiversity and also insure improved livelihoods for coastal fishing communities, eco-tourism operators and other stakeholders. The organizers invite presentations that provide the methods, tools and strategies to service these timely needs. At the same time, various promising initiatives have sprung up in the region, that take an alternative approach to the rehabilitation and wise use of coastal resources. These include various levels of community involvement and community participation in coastal development and management, community mangrove forestry, co-management arrangements, successful policy incentives and instruments, smart partnerships and other innovative win-win solutions to coastal habitat restoration and management. This conference seeks to provide guidance to replicate such successful efforts elsewhere. There are also a number of examples that have addressed the empowerment of local communities (through strengthening of community organisation) to resist destructive and unsustainable developments by community patrols in coastal waters for law enforcement of government regulations, protest demonstrations and law suits. Objectives The workshop aims to bring together people who have worked on these various alternative approaches, to report on and exchange their experiences, and to discuss the lessons learned from both successes and failures. Specific objectives a. Find, and highlight the best practices of coastal resource restoration so that these can be utilized by the many post-tsunami restoration projects in the region. b. Raising awareness among a broad spectrum of stakeholders concerning long-term mangrove and related ecosystem conservation and restoration measures c. Alert and train restoration ecologists in the methodologies involved in successful restoration d. Document the successful models e. Involve local community leaders and grassroots NGOs in this process. Conference Discussion themes: 1. Community participation in successful coastal habitat rehabilitation and wise use incorporating successful principles of Community-based management and co-management in coastal habitats 2. Smart partnerships and win-win solutions to coastal resource use conflicts 3. Community empowerment and resistance against unsustainable coastal developments 4. Policy incentives and financial instruments towards wise use of Coastal resources 5. Restorations of coastal ecosystems damaged by the Tsunami in the Bay of Bengal on December 26, 2004 Participation Participation shall be opened to experts, researchers, academicians, environmentalists, policy makers, planners, administrators, representatives from the NGOs and community leaders. Contribution/Call for Papers The seminar will be structured into the 7 themes. A paper abstract must reach the organizers by August 30 2005. Accepted abstracts (for both oral and poster presentations) will be announced by September 20 2005. Guidelines for paper and poster submission Oral presentation The paper must be prepared in A4 size paper, typed single-spacing using 11 arial font with 2.5 cm margins. Poster presentation Posters are requested that address one of the above themes. Posters will be displayed on a 4’ x 4’ board. Registration The registration form below may be filled up and sent to the organisers by September 15, 2005. There will be a nominal fee of USD 100.00 for participants. Conference language The official language of the conference will be English. You are most welcome to participate in the conference. Logistics and registration For further information on logistics and for the registration form, click here. Contact address Wetlands International–Thailand Office PO Box 95, Kor Hong Post Office Hat Yai, Songkhla Province 90112 Thailand Tel: +66 74-429307 Fax: +66 74-429307 E-mail:

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