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
AND WE HAD FUN DOING IT!
In the words of the Honorable Minister of Wildlife, Environment and Tourism, “Throw away the box and make a difference”.