International Forum on Wetlands Focuses on Impact Assessment

Ramsar30 December 2013: The 'International Forum on Wetlands: Relevance of planning and environmental impact assessment on the conservation and wise use of wetlands' highlighted the importance of planning and assessing environmental impact to achieve wise use of wetlands in the Americas.

The Forum, which took place on 6 December 2013, in Panama City, Panama, was organized by the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands (CREHO), the National Environmental Authority of Panama (ANAM), the Ramsar Secretariat and the Panama City of Knowledge. The Forum brought together over 80 representatives of government, NGOs, academia and other institutions. Participants discussed case studies from Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and the US on planning and environmental impact assessment (EIA). They also exchanged experiences on planning rules and participation of stakeholders in decision making at various sites in North, Central and South America.

Prior to the Forum, a 'training of trainers' course gathered 14 participants from nine countries in the Americas and one from Europe. The course, which took place from 2-6 December 2013, was organized by the Ramsar Secretariat and CREHO. It focused on issues including wetlands inventory and management, EIA and climate change. The course included: discussion of opportunities and challenges in implementing the Ramsar Convention; presentation of case studies from ANAM, Mar Viva and Audubon Society Panama; and visit of the Panama Bay Ramsar Site and its mangroves. [Ramsar Press Release] [City of Knowledge Press Release]