Two workshops held in Russia in early May offered a great opportunity to build the network of wetland centres, provide training, and support partners (particularly Wetlands International) in developing a Russian regional CEPA action plan.
The first workshop of 13 participants from wetland centres, protected areas and existing education programmes took place in Olonets, north of St Petersburg and near the largest European freshwater lake, lake Ladoga. The workshop was run by the Baltic Fund for Nature, and the Head of WLI was on hand to give some presentations on wetland centre experience from across the network. The participants received training in the form of theory, best practice and practical exercises. All of them are planning a new or updated wetland centre, so this will be put into practice at sites across North West Russia.
The second workshop, 14th and 15th May, had 45 participants, as part of the Wetlands International Russia (WIR) MATRA project, and was held at the Kaluga Region Bird Park, outside Moscow. The workshop followed a number of WLI Russia skype meetings, and presentations from wetland centres across Russia were delivered, as well as from WLI and Ramsar (from Sandra Hails, CEPA manager at Ramsar). This was followed by presentation of a draft CEPA action plan for European Russia, and debate amongst the group. Outputs included the creation of a working group to do some further work on this, a series of presentations, which can be found here, and an excellent opportunity for networking amongst wetland centre staff.
This has greatly strengthened the network of wetland centres, and we hope will lead to an ongoing collaborative and coordinated approach to work across the country. You can see the resolution of the workshop here, also see the Wetlands International report page here.