Staff from the consultancy subsidiary of the famous Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) at Slimbridge, are bringing expert wetland advice and knowledge to undertake ecological surveys, preserve and restore habitats, improve water treatment and provide masterplans for nature parks in China, India, South East Asia and the Middle East, thanks to government schemes to promote exports.
Supported by International Trade Adviser, Andrew Fraser, UKTI has carried out a review of WWT Consulting’s export marketing and branding and provided Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) reports on Korea, China and India. The company has also used the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) to attend a renewable energy show in Stockholm with HiDef Surveying Ltd, with whom they have a joint venture. This opportunity was used to showcase their ornithological expertise, particularly video analysis of seabird distribution, to the offshore wind farm industry.
WWT Consulting’s projects include designing natural wetland treatment systems to treat a range of domestic, industrial and agricultural wastewater to maximise treatment, biodiversity, flood protection and improved livelihoods for local people. This was demonstrated in a recent project, with WWF and WWT, in Vientiane City, Laos where wetlands have been designed to treat the wastewater from the entire city. Training of local government staff was also provided to allow effective management of these systems in the future. In addition, WWT Consulting is currently working in the Turks and Caicos Islands advising on natural resource, tourism and protected area management.
Emma Alesworth, Associate Director at WWT Consulting explains: “Through matched funding we have been able to undertake a business development trip in China which has helped to forge stronger links with a number of multinational companies developing wetland projects aboard, and are hoping to continue to expand our business development efforts into other international markets. This undoubtedly brings benefits to our business, particularly as we can no longer rely on winning projects solely in the UK, given the current economic climate.”
WWT Consulting is also part of a team developing a management plan for a nature reserve in China that is home to Pere David deer. At the turn of the 20th century this species of deer, known as ‘Milu’, became extinct in China, but was reintroduced in 1985 from a UK collection at Woburn Abbey. Closer to home, WWT Consulting has been working in Abu Dhabi providing advice on sensitive integration of ecotourism with the region’s incredible coastal wetlands and associated wildlife, and hope to provide similar support on other projects in this region.