Onwards to Saga and the Wetland Link International Meeting

Onward rush to Saga (6 November)

Of course we woke up late… who wouldn’t with what happened last night – and we all rushed to shower and leave the hotel so we wouldn’t be left by the bus. Sadly, I left some things at the hotel (my bad!).  We arrived at Fukuoka International Airport at around 8:20am and with time to spare to buy a ticket to Saga Station (1230Y) and rest a little since we were all panting!  We got to try buying drink from those machines and later we found out they were about three times the cost of whatever you bought if you bought it from a supermarket (or something like Seiyu, which btw is owned by Walmart); such as water for 120Y when it is just 48Y (500ML bottled mineral water).

Saga from Fukuoka

The bus was not on time, surprisingly. But it did arrive and we were off for our 90 minute trip to Saga.  The weather was very good and sunny. Nobody was talking on the bus, it was very different but a very pleasing experience. There was about only one incidence of traffic and that was because of the traffic light, otherwise 95% of the ride was like the picture below.

Traffic is almost non-existent here, I wonder how Kyoto and Tokyo is.

View of Fukuoka Airport from Highway

 

 
I slept most of the 90 minutes along the way to Saga (I think I need more sleep!). When we arrived at Saga Station, there were AWS staff waiting to welcome delegates since we were already late for the Wetland Link International Meeting.  We planned to leave our luggage at the hotel before heading to the venue but we were shuffled away to a taxi (oh dear, the cost! Cost for a taxi from Saga Station to Hagakure ranges from 580-780Y; while the cost of a taxi from Saga Station to Suncity Hotel Nigokan is 640Y)) so we could go straight to the venue (Grand Hagakure Hotel). 

Wetland Links International Meeting

Wetland Links International Meeting

Wetland Links International Meeting

I attended the Wetland Link International Meeting with my mother, Amy.  We both were representing the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. Wetlands Link International or WLI is  a support network for wetland education centres that deliver engagement activities on site, WLI is led by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, UK, and has 350 members over 6 continents.  My mother has been attending this meeting for quite a while now while (she presented a paper where I was a co-author for the WLI Meeting last 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand), but for me it was my first time to attend and I was representing the Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park as Team Leader of the SCPW Design Team for the LPPCHEA Wetland Centre Complex.  If you want to know more about the LPPCHEA Wetland Centre Complex you can check out my site visit with Senator Villar, celebrating World Wetlands Day with an exhibit at the Senate led by Senator Villar, the ground breaking ceremony of the LPPCHEA Wetland Centre Complex, the Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park Wetland Centre Wave during the Conference of Parties of the Convention on Migratory Species, and also some general information on the LPPCHEA Wetland Centre Complex (I will update the link once the project page at the SCPW is completed).

The WLI Meeting

Chris Rostron my mom and another delegate at the WLI Meeting

 

During the meeting there were plenty of presentations on Wetlands and they were all very informative and interesting.  Among them, I particularly liked the one on Shenzhen.  One thing that struck me was that she said Shenzhen is a city with no history because before 1979 there was no city of Shenzhen, and that in just 38 years they made a bustling modern city of about 12 million with a GDP 5/8ths (PPP) that of my own country (101 million population).  But anyway, she presented on the challenge of conserving this strip of land they designated a nature reserve which is almost the size of LPPCHEA!

The snake gets bigger at Shenzhen

The Shenzhen NNR

There were also very entertaining and equally informative presentations, like this guy who wore a bird hat and got a beer brand to fund wetland conservation.  There was also a presentation from the National Geographic for grants for researchers and scientists.  All presentations were about CEPA or Communication, Education, Participation, and Awareness of the wise use and conservation of wetlands as seen through the work and eyes of Wetland Center and Park Managers.

For lunch we had the most wonderful and yummy bento box, I just wish there was Miso soup!!  

Bento box super yummy lunch

Bento box super yummy lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then for dinner, we had lots of yummy food again!

I will end my day with me drinking my first Japanese beer, Asahi! 🙂

Asahi!

Kanpai!

P.S.  I actually went to a nearby Mini Stop, but I will make a separate post about that!

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