Dear friends and colleagues,
At the Wetlands Forum workshop in Kigali in 2013, we developed ideas for the Wise-Use, Smart Plans for African wetlands. The energy of the Kigali workshop demonstrated the appetite for a pan-African Community of Practice for the protection and management of wetlands; from that meeting, wetlandsforum.net was conceived. Since then we have had follow-up regional workshops in Kampala and Benin, enabled by the funding and support from local and international donors. Along the way, we have been thinking how to make the community a viable proposition and as a south-south African network. How to complement, not duplicate, the good work of Ramsar and others? The network can be a virtual space where ideas can be shared and discussed, and information provided. It can result in partnerships that also provide support for real-life workshops and meetings. A number of you have agreed to be part of the steering groups to provide vision and energy. Now on the eve of World Wetlands Day 2015, we breathe life into the web-platform, to support, facilitate and share wetland experiences.
Wetlandsforum.net is now “open for business” and with a positive message from Josué Aruna from DRC a good place to start. Josué outlines some local activities to celebrate World Wetlands day on 2nd February. Check out reports from World Wetlands Day 2014 and the Ramsar Wetlands Day webpage, and share your photos and stories from this year’s World Wetlands Day on our community platform. Wetlandsforum.net is a sort of infant that needs to learn and grow. It will do this from the nourishment from the community, so that it becomes part of the community, and we invite you all to get involved as the site develops in 2015.
Chair, Steering Committee Wetlandsforum.net