The first such workshop was held in Kenya in January 2007, the third is planned for Mali in October 2008. These workshops enable people working on the balance between wetland conservation and livelihood development all over the world to build partnerships and share experiences.
One of the hosts for the fieldtrip that accompanied the workshop was Abel Nyirongo, 27, who has been running a sustainable agriculture project. He belongs to a group of 35 communities in the Kasungu District of Malawi, and other communities in the Mpika District of Zambia, who have benefited from training and technical support under the Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project (WPRP). About the project he is running Abel says: "This is what I have been looking for, something which can put money into my pockets." He had been looking forward to the visit by other WPRP demonstration project participants from Mali, Kenya and Indonesia who have been working on sustainable wetland agriculture projects in their own countries.
In addition to building partnerships between the demonstration project participants in all five countries, the project is also helping farmers like Abel to link-up with international organisations and wetland experts from around the world. Together, they hope to be able to strike a balance between wetland conservation and the utilization of wetland resources so that they can continue to benefit from the wetlands they depend on. “At the national level the project is building a learning network amongst government agencies and NGOs. Practical lessons from the field experience will feed into developing policies and programmes,” says Robert White of Harvest Help/Find Your Feet, one of the partners of the project.
The Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project is a 4-year initiative that aims to influence policy and practice at all levels to enhance the recognition of the interconnection between the wise-use of wetlands and poverty reduction, among others through local demonstration projects. The Malawi demonstration project, which Abel is a key part of, is implemented by the Malawi Enterprise Zone Association (MALEZA) in partnership with Harvest Help/Find Your Feet.
For more information about the recent workshop you can download the files on the right side of this page. A workshop report will be available soon.
For more information about the Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project you can contact Trevor Wickham or visit our WPRP web pages. For contact info or a link please also see the right side of this page.
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