Matthew Simpson attends key wetland conferences at home and abroad
In the last couple of weeks, Matt has attended two important conferences: the Wetland Futures 2011 Conference, which was jointly organised by WWT, The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB for all involved in wetland conservation in the UK; and the joint meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists, WETPOL and Wetland Biogeochemistry Symposium, which was held in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Wetland Futures Conference was held at Brockholes Visitor Centre, operated by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, on June 29th and was a great opportunity to celebrate successes, forge new ways of working together and develop a stronger and clearer collective voice for the future of wetland conservation in the UK. Martin Spray, Chairman of our Board and CEO of WWT, gave the Keynote Speech identifying the issues involved with conservation of wetlands and how these can be solved in the future. In challenging times for conservation, it was encouraging to hear of many partnership projects that were adopting landscape approaches to conservation and protecting essential ecosystem services.
The meeting in Prague, held 3rd to 8th July, brought together wetland scientists, wetland professionals and agency staff from 47 countries across the world. Over 350 presentations were given covering the latest approaches and innovations within wetland management, wetland restoration, wetland policy, wetland treatment system design and assessing the future challenges. Matt presented ‘Turks and Caicos Islands Wetlands – how Ramsar designation can help promote wise-use ecotourism’ within the Ramsar Section’s Symposium. We’re currently working with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources from Turks and Caicos Islands, Joint Nature Conservation Committee and UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum to develop an islands wide network of Ramsar sites that are managed to conserve the incredible biodiversity across the islands whilst promoting local community led wise-use, sustainable nature tourism such as kayaking.