About WLI

What is WLI?

Wetland Link International is a global network of wetland education centres. We define a wetland education centre as ‘any wetland where there is interaction between people and wildlife and CEPA (communications, education and public awareness) activity occurs in support of wetland conservation aims’.

WLI objectives include:

  • To advocate for, and assist in, the development of new wetland education centres and their associated programmes throughout the world.
  • To improve the effectiveness of operations at wetland education centres through sharing, training and expertise exchange.
  • To lobby for the greater inclusion of CEPA programmes within wetlands and related conservation initiatives and instruments, and to support the development of frameworks for subsequent implementation at national, regional and global levels.

Who is it for?

WLI is open to any organisation, group or individual who is planning, designing or operating a place or places where there is interaction between people and wetlands, especially wetland life, with an educational and/or interpretative objective.

Members may be government or non-government, professional or amateur, paid or voluntary. Anyone who needs, or can share, practical advice on activities related to the core activities of WLI is welcome to join the network.

The WLI network is endorsed by the Convention on Wetlands (through a memorandum of understanding) and coordinated by WWT.

You can share or read this introductory presentation.

Our history

In 1991, WLI was created by WWT with a core group of founder organisations – wetland centres from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Trinidad, USA, Singapore, France and Italy, many of whom are still active members today.

We did this to meet a need for wetland centres to share best practice, provide moral support to each other, and to develop the approach of using on-site wetland education and awareness-raising activities. We believe the best way to learn about wetlands is to experience them!

WLI has been recognised as an important delivery mechanism for the Ramsar Convention’s Outreach Programme (Resolution VII.9).

How does it work?

WLI is supported by two staff, based at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) at Slimbridge, UK; and a strong regional presence in Asia lead by the Ramsar Regional Centre – East Asia. These staff, plus occasional volunteers, share news, opportunities, and requests on behalf of the network, by email, Facebook, and Twitter. The emails include two newsletters per year, prepared as PDFs to facilitate printing. We also produce three members' webinars each year.

The operating language is English, with team capacity for French, Spanish, and Mandarin, with Korean also available in WLI Asia; plus other languages ad-hoc within the network.

Annual reports

What WLI did in 2023

24th January 2024

A summary of WLI staff and volunteers’ activities in 2023 Download PDF of Annual Review 2023 Small Grants launch and awards In 2023, WLI launched its first global grant scheme for members of the network. International law firm Eversheds Sutherland funded the scheme. The WLI core team assessed seventeen applications, and six WLI members were…

What WLI did in 2022

1st January 2023

A summary of WLI staff and volunteers’ activities in 2022. Download PDF of Annual Review 2022 Star Wetland Centre Awards Early in 2022, 50 wetland visitor centres applied for the WLI Star Wetland Centre Awards, and in November we awarded 23 Stars. A panel of judges who had designed the awards also discussed the applications,…


What WLI did in 2021

21st January 2022

Download PDF of Annual Review 2021 A summary of WLI staff and interns’ activities in 2021. 30th Anniversary In 2021 we marked 30 years since WLI was founded. It is a great achievement, and we are very grateful for all the support and project activities across our member centres and partners. Most of our celebration…

People with banners

What WLI did in 2020

5th January 2021

Download PDF of Annual Review 2020 The pandemic disrupted almost all work at WWT Slimbridge, where the Head of WLI Chris Rostron, Connor Walsh, and the International Engagement intern Adil Boulahia are based. After a short time working from home, Chris and Connor were placed in a government furlough scheme, meaning they were not able…

video conference

What WLI did in 2019

16th January 2020

Here’s a summary of the WLI staff and interns’ activities in 2019. Chris Rostron was invited by national NGO, Ramsar France, to participate in their flagship World Wetlands Day event. The WLI colleagues at the Lac du Grand Lieu hosted the event, with 125 guests taking part, including Ramsar Association France, the CEPA focal point…

individuals standing by the arc building

What WLI did in 2017

7th February 2017

  Migratory Birds Day, May 2017 Connecting Birds and Schools project. We facilitated 6 schools and wetland centres to take part, with a final skype conference call between three of the schools.   WLI internship: Our intern, Patricio Guerrero from Chile, started in June, replacing our previous intern Abdallah Khazene. Chilean exchange partners came to…

Search the WLI website

Join WLI free and create your own member profile showcasing the work you are doing.