Monday, April 13, 2015

Summary of the Symposium by Christiaan Winterbach

Botswana Symposium on Wetlands and Wildlife 2015
17 to 19 March 2015
 Summary of the Symposium by Christiaan Winterbach
 The Wetlands and Wildlife Symposium 2015 in numbers:
      3 Days
      4 Themes
      6 Discussion Groups
      9 Keynote Speakers
      13 Sessions
      37 Posters
      71 Presentations
      1420 minutes of presentations
 The remarks by the dignitaries, the presentations of the keynote speakers,  the presenters and posters shared the Universal Constant - Things Change!
      Climate has changed and will continue to change. With this change in climate our challenges will change. We will need to adapt how we manage resources and conserve biodiversity not only in our World Heritage wetland but also the surrounding semi-arid Kalahari.
      Evolution of thought regarding conservation will continue.
      Our understanding of our ecosystems will improve.
 The Dignitaries elaborated on the importance of collaboration and action:
      Collaboration between
     Different Government Departments
     Government Departments and Communities
     Private sector and other stakeholders
     Dissemination of results: we need to make the results, findings and recommendations of our work available and accessible to other stakeholders.
     Cross pollination of ideas between disciplines.
     Reduce the gap between knowledge and decision making.
 The Keynote Speakers delivered:
      Overviews sketching the bigger picture on a variety of topics and provided a framework for us to see where our individual work fit in.
      Lessons learned
     Neighbouring countries
     How to/ How not to
      Priorities for research and action
      Potential for collaboration
 Symposium Stakeholders contributed by:
       Provide pieces of the puzzle to fill in and expand the bigger picture
      Identify missing pieces of the puzzle
      Networking opportunities for stakeholders
      Progress on collaborations
      Debate and recommendations
 In the words of the Honorable Minister of Wildlife, Environment and Tourism, “Throw away the box and make a difference”.

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