The Kennedy Foundation visits WWT Slimbridge
On the 22nd and 23rd of July, Peter Kennedy, Director of Fundación Kennedy- a Chilean NGO working on wetland conservation- visited WWT Slimbridge in order to discuss some options for joint work and mutual cooperation.
The most relevant issues discussed were:
– The possibility of organising and delivering a WLI Conference for the Neotropics Region, with special focus on engaging people through local action at wetlands. The Foundation has already got permission to raise up to US$50,000 from business companies based in Chile. Companies donating for this cause will be subject to important tax reductions.
– Mr Kennedy also met Dr Matt Simpson from WWT Consulting, in order to explore the possibilities to restore a threaten wetland in central Chile called ‘Laguna El Peral’, which is suffering from increased urban development, and drying out during the summer months.
They also discussed the idea of installing a ‘natural’ water treatment system at ‘El Membrillo’ wetland where the Foundation is planning to install a sustainable visitor centre. The centre would take water from the wetland for toilets and hand-washing, then treat the used water through specially constructed wetlands and returning it to the wetland in a clean state
We are optimistic that these ideas will provide an opportunity for wetland professionals in the Region to meet to discuss how to implement Ramsar’s CEPA objectives through local action on site. Furthermore, the plans discussed both for ‘Laguna El Peral’ and ‘El Membrillo’ wetland will set important examples of ways to strengthen cooperation among NGOs.
Peter Kennedy and Catherine McIlwraith
(Wetlands for Water Unit, WWT)