The Japan Wetlands Action Network is a network of Japanese citizen's groups work ing for the conservation of wetlands. Most member groups are community-based or ganizations engaged directly in campaigns to protect a specific wetland.
JAWAN members presently include 75 organizations and 100 individuals. There is no secretariat and no paid staff; rather, administrative matters are guided by a volunteer Management Committee. There are two coordinating offices (in Isahaya and Tokyo) while Comittee members in 5 regional blocks handle local communicati ons, and Friends of the Earth Japan Wetlands Project serves as International Lia ison. Funding is from contributions, though specific activities such as symposi a have been funded partly by foundation grants.
JAWAN was created in May 1991, two years before the Fifth Conference of the Part ies of Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfow l Habitat (Ramsar Convention), in Kushiro, Japan. It was to promote Ramsar Conv ention for enforcement of conservation movement of wide range of wetlands such a s tidal flats. It's objectives are: to enforce local movements to conserve and restore wetlands; to mobilize national conservation movements for conservation of wetlands; and to support international wetlands conservation movement workin g together with organizations inside Japan and overseas, and with relating gover nment offices of national and local level.
JAWAN is not an organization posing as a network: it's a true network and nearl y all its activities are undertaken cooperatively with local groups and national non-governmental organizations. For example, Friends of the Earth Japan, JAWAN and World Wide Fund for Nature Japan jointly sponsored the 'Northeast Asia Wetl and Symposium' in October 1994 in Isahaya. Even wider sponsorship including doz ens of local organizations, together with FoE-J, WWF-J and JAWAN, brought togeth er the 'East Asia Migratory Bird Route Tour - Linking Russia, Japan and Australi a,' which took visiting shorebird specialists from Australia and Russia to 6 imp ortant shorebird habitat location throughout Japan in May 1995.
JAWAN supported the Fifth Ramsar Conference of Parties in Kushiro with activitie s of many people of groups linked with JAWAN in 1992. A number of JAWAN member organizations also organized events in the weeks leading up to the Sixth Confere nce of Parties in Brisbane in 1996. A number of representatives of JAWAN and of specific groups which are members of the JAWAN network, attended the Brisbane C onference as observers.
JAWAN member groups are the front line in the fight to protect wetlands, and the y are most often pitted against government projects which threaten to obliterate or cause significant ecological change to wetlands of international importance in Japan.