Wetland centres are an effective way of raising awareness, creating a learning environment and inspiring action. Yet in many countries, although there is a need for wetland centres, they are often developed and run with little support.
People want to build and run educational wetland centres, but sometimes require support and guidance to get the best out of them. WLI aims to improve wetland centres globally and to build the skills of those running them. It provides resources and activities to maximise their ability to change attitudes, deliver good conservation outcomes, and positively influence the behaviour of local stakeholders and visitors.
WLI forms part of the Ramsar convention’s CEPA programme (Communication, Participation, Participation and Awareness), aiming to bridge the gap between influencing high-level international policy and delivering tangible benefits for wetland conservation on the ground.
What we are doing
WLI works through its website, which houses details of the 300 plus members of the network, gives background information and offers open source resources such as photos, guides, manuals and resources for delivery of CEPA activities. The website provides materials and information in six languages.
We also work through regional initiatives, to engage wetland centres, wetland networks and Ramsar representatives around the world. These groups know their regions (generally continental) better than we do, and can help advise and develop good communication and resources. These include WLI Asia, MBP (Migratory Birds for People, East Atlantic Flyway network), WLI Russia and WLI Americas.
There are now over 300 WLI members across the globe
Exchange programme between wetland centres in the US and Russia. Annual WLI internship programme (ongoing)
Active celebration of World Wetlands Day and World Migratory Birds Day
WLI plays an active role as part of the CEPA oversight panel to shape the CEPA programme of the Ramsar Convention
Better public awareness of the importance of wetlands and their wildlife
Range of reports, manuals and guidance on delivering better CEPA at wetland centres
Distance learning course with London Southbank University (not currently active).Ongoing regional WLI initiatives delivering projects with partners
Ramsar Convention (as part of CEPA programme). Staatsbosbeheer, NL. Wetlands International. Association of State Wetland Managers (US). Fundación Kennedy (Chile). 300 local wetland centres. Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN, Americas). Birdlife. US F&WS.