The Symposium was convened by Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and organized in cooperation with the government of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, with the support of the International Association of Scientific Hydrology. Technical sessions were held in the Intourist Conference Hall of the Hotel Jubileinaya in Minsk, the Capital of Byelorussia (White Russia).
The Symposium was organized within the framework of the International Hydrological Decade. It was intended to bring together specialists working in the field of hydrological problems in marsh-ridden areas of the temperate zone to exchange experience at an international level and take account of present knowledge in the field. It should be pointed out that the Symposium was not limited to marshes as Americans think of them but dealt with all types of wetland situations including peatlands. In Soviet literature the term ‘marshes’ is somewhat synonymous with ‘wetlands,’ whereas American scientists generally consider marshes to be a specific type of wetland, i.e., grassy wet places, usually with little peat and much standing or slowly moving water.