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Symposium Wetlands Matter


Wetlands International organised a global symposium, connected to the launch  of the 2011-2020 strategic intent. This international symposium offered a unique opportunity to consider a range of national and regional experiences in the management and restoration of wetlands; and to define global priorities in relation to the science, policies and practices of wetland management.

24 February 2011- The Hilton Grosvenor Hotel, Edinburgh.


Speakers included senior figures from the global research community, government representatives and wetland managers.


The symposium was hosted by the Scottish Government and Wetlands International and  was organised by the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Wetlands International.



Download the announcement: Opening of International Symposium on Wetlands

Download the outcomes of the event: Outcomes of the symposium


09.00 Arrival


09.20 Welcome and Introduction


09.25 Welcome from Wetlands International

Jane Madgwick, CEO, Wetlands International


09.35 Introduction to Session 1

Symposium Convenor: Professor Colin Galbraith


Session 1: Understanding the importance of wetland ecosystem services in a changing climate – overview and practical examples


09.40 Horizon scanning and environmental change - are we getting the priorities right, or is this the holy grail which will never be found?

Professor William Sutherland- Miriam Rothschild Professor of Conservation Biology, University of Cambridge


10.10 UK OverviewWetland ecosystem services and biodiversity in a changing climate

Professor Chris Spray, UNESCO Centre, University of Dundee


10.40 Case example – China: Ruoergai peatlands

Dr Gu Haijun, Deputy Division Chief of Sichuan Forestry Department, supported by Chen Kelin, Director of Wetlands International, China


11.10 Introduction to the work of the Scottish Government

Mike Neilson, Interim Director General, Enterprise and Environment, Scottish Government


11.25 Break - tea/coffee


11.45 Recognising the value of Wetlands for disaster risk reduction. Case example: Netherlands Room for the River programme

Frank Alberts, Rijkswaterstaat Centre for Water Management.


12.15 The economic value of wetland management

Ina Porras, International Institute for Environmental Development


12.45 Panel Discussion


13.15 Lunch


14.30 Introduction to Session 2

Symposium Convenor: Professor Colin Galbraith


Session 2: Effective governance for wetland management


14.40 Case example – Mali, Africa: Inner Niger Delta

Dr Leo Zwarts, Eddy Wymenga, Altenburg and Wymenga Consultants, and Bakary Kone Director of Wetlands International, Mali


15.10 Case example –Wetland protection and governance in Scotland

Johan Schutten, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Andrew McBride, Scottish Natural Heritage


15.40 Break - tea/coffee


16.00 Case example – Chilika Lake/Mahanadi Basin, India: Governance mechanisms for wetland management

Dr Ajit Pattnaik, Government of Orissa, Ritesh Kumar, Wetlands International, South Asia Office


16.30 Panel Discussion and review draft Communiqué

Panel and audience to consider the draft Communiqué and discuss key questions and to summarise the outcomes from the symposium including:

 - Key Issues, Challenges, Recommendations

 - Next Steps


17.30 Close






ymposium communique

Press contact

Communications and Advocacy Department