Through the support of Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program (SWSPCP) and the 2022 Chapter Development Award (International Chapter, SWSLAC, Latin America and the Caribbean), the International Chapter organized the “Society of Wetland Scientists Colombia 2023” 4-day event and the first-ever SWS meeting in Latin American countries.
The event occurred November 7-10, 2023 in Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia. It was hosted by the International Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists in collaboration with local partners: Investigación de Recursos Biológicos, Alexander von Humboldt, Universidad de Antioquia, Red de Investigadores en Ecohidrología y Ecohidráulica, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Instituto Javeriano del Agua, Universidad del Norte, Área Metropolitana del Valle de Aburrá, Universidad Católica de Oriente, and Cátedra UNESCO.
This initiative had three primary objectives: (1) To establish a dialogue on wetlands, their importance, and the role of the wetland scientist; (2) To exchange knowledge about wetland ecosystems and their conservation and to promote opportunities for collaboration between individuals/countries/institutions; and (3) To promote the SWS in Latin America, to encourage publication in Wetlands as well as Wetland Science and Practice, and to discuss the many SWS activities, such as Professional Wetland Scientist certification, Wetlands of Distinction, Wetland Interviews, Webinar Series, and mentorship program HumMentor.
In total, 160 people registered to participate. The event invited over 48 speakers, panelists, moderators, and instructors from eight countries - Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States. It encompassed 18 talks on wetland subject matters, three panels of experts about wetland publication, wetland education, and wetland classification, six workshops about ‘interaction with sectors’ and ‘living on wetlands’ subject matters, and one session about international collaboration. Also, participants had the opportunity to join a field day in the Guadalcai (La Amalita) wetland and attended five wetland courses certified by SWSPCP. It was a tremendous academic and professional development opportunity for individuals and institutions.
The International Chapter also offered SWS 1-year free memberships, hats, buttons, and t-shirts to remarkable participants and recognized the 2022 SWS HumMentor students Judith Lacava and Azul Denaro with a $500 travel award each, sponsored by the 2021 Section Development Award (HumMentor program, joint application of Education Section and International Chapter).
Congratulations to the International Chapter on this successful event!