SAGA, Japan, November 7-11— The AMWS PASu-COSERAM Team’s poster presentation about the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS) has been chosen as the winner in the Best Poster Award during the 8th Asian Wetland Symposium in Saga, Japan.
The win garnered the commitments of five city mayors — four from Japan and one from Korea — to help restore and protect coastal wetlands in their respective country and abroad.
The Agusan Marsh, one of the most important inland freshwater wetlands in Southeast Asia, was declared the 1009th Ramsar site in 1999. The AMWS-COSERAM Team was invited to submit a case study for the symposium. The submission entitled “Handicraft and Souvenir-Making Using Water Hyacinth” that was later adjudged winner in the “Wetlands and Wise Use of Natural Resources” category, was based on the COSERAM-IP4Biodiv Module-supported indigenous peoples organizations’ (IPOs) projects of making slippers using indigenous natural resources like water hyacinth (eichhornia crassipes) and tikog (cyperus melaccensis). The team also presented examples of other indigenous plant-based products like cookies and jam made from Libas or the Common Hog Plum (spodias pinnata) and Katmon (dillenia philippinensis) trees that are abundant in the marsh.
AMWS-COSERAM Team’s presentation was part of the best practices and case studies of stakeholders’ engagements at all levels to improve the wise use of wetlands’ natural resources and ecosystem services.
The 5-day 8th Asian Wetland Symposium last November 7 to 11 in Saga, Japan had the theme “Wetlands for Sustainable Life.” It was organized by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, Wetlands International Japan, Ramsar Center Japan and Japan Wetlands Society, and was supported and co-organized by Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia, Saga Prefecture, Saga City, Kashima City, Arao City, International Lake Environment Committee Foundation, and Wetland Link International Asia.
Representatives and managers of various organizations, institutions, government agencies from at least 27 countries participated in the symposium and presented their programs and projects on research, restoration and renaturation, and ecotourism to CEPA.
Participants were also able to visit several historical and cultural sites, and most importantly some Ramsar sites within the Saga Prefecture.
Before closing the event, participants issued the Joint Saga Statement that will be conveyed by the Japanese Environment Ministry to the forthcoming Asian Regional Meeting on the Convention of Wetlands on the next COP 13 meeting in Dubai this October 2018.
The year 2017 is the 25th anniversary of the first Asian Wetland Symposium that was held in Otsu, Japan, thus this year’s Asian Wetland Symposium became the venue to review the record of conservation and wise use of wetlands in Asia for the past quarter century which then became the basis for the discussion on how to achieve the sustainable management of the indispensable wetland ecosystems in the coming quarter century and beyond. (With Ana Michelle J. Talitod, Environmental Management Specialist, DENR-Caraga)
*Ferit Temur is the Technical Advisor of GIZ-COSERAM IP4Biodiv Module to DENR-Region 13