Wetlands Ecosystems in Asia: Function and Management

Wetlands are among the most important and productive ecosystems on earth. Wetlands are valuable as sources, sinks and transformers of a multitude of chemical, biological and genetic materials. They stabilize water supplies, clean polluted waters, protect shorelines, and recharge groundwater aquifers. In recent years, the importance of wetland conservation has been recognized by different sectors of the community.

Wetland management requires an understanding of the scientific aspects of wetland balanced with legal institutional and economic realities. It is important for many scientists, engineers, decision makers and lawyers to become more familiar with wetland ecology and wetland management in order to understand, preserve and even reconstruct these fragile ecosystems. In this volume there is comprehensive information of wetland's importance, functions, conservation and management strategies beneficial to environmental professionals for formulating wetland conservation policy and conducting environmental research.

This book is the product of the Croucher Advanced Study Institute (ASI) on Wetland Ecosystems in Asia: Function and Management held in March 2003 at Hong Kong Baptist University, attended by a selected number of specialists and practitioners, to review the major problems involved in wetland management, and how they can be solved, against a background of situations in Asian countries.

The volume contains 4 sessions: I. Natural Wetland Systems and their Functions; II. Wetland Biogeochemisty; III. Wetland Management Strategies in Asia and IV. Constructed Wetland. The basic information of natural wetland systems is introduced in Session I. More scientific discussion about the biogeochemistry of wetland can be found in Session II. In Session III, wetland management strategies of different Asian countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong and China are discussed. Although only the Asian experience has been shared, past experience shows that there is a body of general rules applicable to different wetland systems of different countries.

In recent years, the idea of using constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment has been encouraging because of their environmental friendliness and enhancement on landscape quality of the environment. The latest and advanced information and management techniques of constructed wetlands are included in Session IV which will be useful for environmental managers and engineers working on constructed wetland projects.
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