Environmental monitoring of tropical and subtropical wetlands. Proceedings of a Conference in Maun, Botswana, December 4-8, 2002

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The idea of an international wetlands conference at the edge of the Okavango Delta took shape about three years ago. It sparked enough interest among potential participants, collaborators, and donors to stay alive through a long period of gestation. Rather than proposing a general conference, the plan was to focus specifically on environmental monitoring of wetlands in the warm latitudes of the planet, a realm of knowledge inadequately synthesized, yet critically important for informed decisions leading to better management and policies for these critical and highly threatened habitats. From there, many questions arose: Was this theme sufficiently cross-cutting to attract wetland scientists from around the world? Would a conference in such a remote locale have an international presence? Could the small and remote "village" of Maun host such a conference? Could it yield tangible outcomes, not only in research results but also in promoting further collaboration between wetland researchers and the places at which they are based? None of these questions could be definitively answered until funding was secured. Once this happened, proposals for sessions, roundtable discussions, and papers and posters began to arrive from all corners of the globe and three very distinguished wetland scientists agreed to give keynote talks. It then was clear that we had given birth to an idea worthy of a good conference.

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Okavango Report Series
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