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 Ramsar 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 V11.9).

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.

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

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 schools and birds 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 work…

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