The Convention's Culture Working Group

Traditional fishing boats, Ghar el Melah Ramsar site, Tunisia
Traditional fishing boats at Ghar el Melah Ramsar site, Tunisia

The Convention’s Culture Working Group was established in accordance with Resolution IX.21 (2005), para. 17: The Conference of the Parties “REQUESTS the Ramsar Secretariat to establish a multi-disciplinary working group on the cultural values of wetlands, with a balanced geographic representation, under the supervision of Standing Committee, with appropriate input from the STRP, to coordinate the activities described above”.


The specific mandate of the CWG for the period 2009-2012 has been established through Decision SC36.3 of the Standing Committee (Gland, Switzerland, 25-29 February 2008):

“The Committee confirmed that the work of the Culture Working Group should continue in future, after COP10, in order to help inform the operations of the Parties in implementing the Convention and in helping the STRP to focus on issues that require a cultural perspective and understanding.”

Past activities

The main activities of the CWG during 2006-2008 have been:

-  Preparing advice for the Ramsar Contracting Parties on the basis of Resolutions VIII.19 and IX.21 and producing and publishing Culture and wetlands: a Ramsar guidance document in English, French and Spanish.

- Organising a side event on culture and wetlands during Ramsar COP10 in Changwon, November 2009.

- Drafting a Ramsar position paper on the future of the World Heritage Convention.

- Representing the Ramsar Convention at culture oriented events, such as the side event at COP10 on ‘Culture in Asian wetlands’ and the Symposium on the future of the World Heritage Convention (Paris, France, February 2009).

Membership 2009-2012

The regional members of the CWG have been proposed by the corresponding regions; all other members have been appointed by the Ramsar Secretary General or the head of relevant International Organisation Partners.

Coordinator: Thymio Papayannis (Ramsar Convention)
[ ]

Africa: Dr Cecilia Gichuki (Kenya)
Head, Wetlands and Marine Programme and CEPA Coordinator, Kenya Wetlands Working Group at the National Museums of Kenya
[ ]

Asia: Sansanee Choowaew (Thailand)
Director of Natural Resource Management International Programme, Mahidol University
[ ]

Europe: Jean-Pierre Thibault (France)
[ ]

Neotropics: Corina Lehman (Argentina)
Consejero de Embajada, Dirección General de Asuntos Ambientales, Cancillería argentina
[ ]

North America: Flavio Chazaro (Mexico)
Director General de Desarrollo Institucional y Promoción
CONANP (National Commission of Protected Areas)
[ ]

Oceania: Epeli Nasome (Fiji)
Director of Environment, Ministry of Lands, Mineral Resources and Environment
[E: ]

UNESCO: Kerstin Manz
Europe and North America Unit, World Heritage Centre
[E:, W : ]

UNESCO: Alexander Otte and Lisa Hiwasaki
International Hydrological Programme, UNESCO
[ / ]

Invited expert: Dave Pritchard
Link with Ramsar STRP
[ ]

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