Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wetlands International Symposium: Day 3

The plenary session of the third day of the symposium began with a presentation on wetland management in China by Cui lijuan from the Chinese Academy of Forestry. According to her flooding has caused more than 30% of natural disaster damage in China. Government has been swift in her response: vegetation restoration and the introduction of national guidelines on wetland management.In the same session, two projects in biodiversity in the Okavango were presented, namely BIOKAVANGO and the Okavango Environmental Flows Assessment: the former focusing mostly on mainstreaming biodiversity. The presenter concluded that this exercise is drawn out and difficult, and more planning at national level should be undertaken. According to him, the involvement of local players in contributing to policy formulation at international levels has been unacceptably low and should be looked into seriously. In a study of Flooding tolerance of Brazilian Coastal Plain Forest (Restinga) tree, the speaker maintained that the sea level increase caused by global warming will result in changes in the flooding regime, increasing the period that Restingas will stay waterlogged. The lack of dissemination of research findings to local communities was one of the main challenges identified by Mary Seely from Desert Research Foundation of Namibia in her paper, Challenges for sustained management of flood-pulsed ephemeral rivers.

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