The Ramsar Convention's Swiss Grant for Africa

03/05/2001

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Swiss Grant for Africa - Report for 1999

The Swiss Grant for Africa is a generous voluntary contribution offered annually to the Ramsar Convention Bureau by the Federal Government of Switzerland, over and above the annual contribution provided to the Convention’s core budget, in order to support wetland conservation and wise use and the implementation of the Convention in Africa. This annual contribution dates back to 1989 following the establishment of the Convention secretariat in Switzerland in 1988.

The Swiss Grant is extremely useful in financing suitable emergency action or specific activities in needy areas of wetland conservation and wise use. This contribution is also particularly helpful in promoting the Convention in the region.

Report of the activities and funding disbursements from the Swiss Grant for Africa 1999

This grant, with a total allocation of SFR 134,444, supported four major areas of work of the Convention in Africa:

  • formulation of a management plan for a Ramsar site (Okavango Delta System),
  • addressing the issue of invasive species in Africa
  • training of wetland managers
  • promotion of combined implementation of environment-related Conventions.

Progress and achievements

1. Botswana: Development of a management plan for the Okavango Delta System.

Background information

Objectives

The main objective of this operation is to continue assisting Botswana on the preparation of a detailed proposal for the development of a management plan for the Okavango Delta. To that end, a "Design Mission" was organised in order to address the following issues:

  • Define key concepts such as stakeholder, management plan, participatory approach, holistic approach.
  • Establish sets of rules and policies for the management of the Delta that are understood and agreed upon by all concerned parties and which tally as much as possible with such laws and policies already in place. These should also consider traditional rights and practices.
  • Ensure that all relevant Government agencies are involved.
  • Ensure participation and feedback from stakeholders.
  • Propose an effective pro-active system for monitoring of water, natural resources and social economic factors.
  • Propose relevant further studies.
  • Propose mechanisms for change of management plans.
  • Propose how to link the management of the Delta to the required basin-wide management structure (OKACOM).
  • Take cognizance of the Wetlands Policy and Strategy’s "Guiding Principles"

Expected outputs

  • A review and analysis of existing information including the positive and negative factors of resource uses and how they impact on local, national and regional interest. The review and analysis will cover ecological, social and economic aspects in the context of existing legislation.
  • Gaps in existing plans, legislation, policies, strategies and on-going planning processes and practices that have significant impacts on wetland conservation and wise use.
  • Review and analysis of the relationships between interest groups in the Delta and surrounding areas with particular attention to indigenous knowledge and traditional practices.
  • Discussions on aims, objectives and the formulation process with the National Conservation Strategy (Coordinating) Agency, the members of the National Wetlands Coordinating Committee and other key central government officials.
  • Production of a draft proposal for the management plan

Disbursed budget in 1999: SFR 40 000

Progress report

Actions

The first phase of the project started on 11th October 1999 by the signing of the contract between the Okavango Research Centre (HOORC) and NCSA (the Government). For the University signed the Secretary of the Council and for the Government the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Govrnment, Lands and Housing. The technical bodies HOORC and NCSA were mainly involved in the initial phase of the contract negotiations after that it went up on a higher level and was handled by lawyers.

HOORC Executive Committee is the steering committee for the project. It has met six times since the beginning of the project for such matters.

An inception report has been produced by HOORC that was discussed by the NCSA Reference Group for the project on 17th November 1999. Various improvements were suggested that have been incorporated in the report; the 3rd draft is attached to this report.

The Expert Workshop was held at HOORC in Maun 1-2 December 1999. It was generally agreed that the workshop was a great success and added significantly to development of the first phase of the management plan. What became clear was that there was a bigger need than anticipated of specialists analysing various fields and producing plans/proposals for them.

It has however also to be stressed that such a plan has no chance to be accepted by Stakeholders and Government without a final workshop where they are given the opportunity to make an input into the plan.

Due to the international interest in the Delta it is highly desirable that the final version goes through a fairly thorough review first at this workshop then by an external review team.

Finally an attractive product should be produced and printed that can help in fundrising for phase 2.

The inception report provides the first opportunity for dialogue between the reference group and the HOORC. The major findings of the inception report are:

Components of the Conceptual Framework

The Framework first of all lists the Components of Analysis. Major components are the Land and water use sectors that exploit Natural resources. It is essential that the major strategies for the present and future of the Delta are identified. Therefore particularly attention needs to be paid to the Timescale of the analysis. For instance trends in ecological processes need to be analyzed both in the present as well as in the past and future. For instance, to what extent are tectonic movements presently responsible for past and recent changes in flooding pattern and to what extent could future changes influence management planning; are there risks of increased mining activities in Northern Botswana that may affect the Delta’s management?

A critical central component is the list of Issues of analysis. This list ranges from issues that deal with the description and quantification of the natural resources with specific emphasis on the ecological processes characterizing the resource. They also identify the economic, social, legal and political aspects of resource exploitation. Various issues listed here may seem to overlap, but in each case they address the issue from a different angle.

The framework recognizes both the spatial and hierarchical aspect of analysis in the form of Decision making levels and spatial analysis. Understanding of decision making at the individual level (e.g. the decision by a tourist guide to set fire to reed beds to improve game viewing) may be as important for the successful implementation of future management plans as decision making at government level (e.g. to block essential migration routes of dry land ungulates in and out of the Delta as part of a veterinary policy). Particularly in the analysis of ecological processes the spatial dimension forms an essential component of the analysis. As said before fences break migration routes and change the competitiveness between grazing and browsing ungulates, but may also provide protection against encroaching land use.

Finally specific attention has to be given to the identification of major linkages between Land and Water Use Sectors. This is important as our analysis takes in the first instance a sectoral approach rather than a problem oriented approach and may therefore be weak on this aspect.

Preliminary analysis of substantive issues

As there is considerable scope for a broad range of management issues in the conceptual framework, it has been necessary to focus on some key management problems informed by the broader processes outlined in the conceptual framework. The key threats or problems faced in the Delta have been selected as appropriate subject matter for focusing the design mission and for fine-tuning the TOR outlined in the contract (see for example TOR number 5). It was felt that these key threats would elicit strong participation by stakeholders and experts alike. Given the limited time and resources for the design mission early decisions about the focus are required and it is suggested that these include:

  • Water use. Particularly the threat posed by water off-take and damming up stream, and the impact of regional droughts.
  • Agriculture. (including cattle and livestock utilization)
  • Wildlife utilization. Particularly issues concerning fences, migration routes, and conservation versus livelihood issues.
  • Tourism. Particularly the risk for a boom and bust cycle, and generally the negative versus positive impacts of tourism.
  • Community Based Natural Resource Management in wildlife management areas and controlled hunting areas. Particularly conflicts over land use and access to resources.
  • Urbanization. Particularly the effect of the increased infrastructure that has developed around the Delta and the growth of urban populations which are semi dependent on the resources of the Delta through tourism, natural resource utilization or other activities.

These factors and issues overlap with each other and with the underlying environmental and social-political processes outlined in the conceptual framework. As the work proceeds it is expected that other issues and problems will be added through a process of consultations with experts and stakeholders.

Expert Consultation

An expert consultation meeting will take place at HOORC in which the TOR for the design mission and the conceptual framework is presented. All relevant comments will be incorporated in the conceptual framework and based on that the key threats and problems will be updated.

Stakeholder consultation

The conceptual framework and the substantive issues will be presented to key stakeholders for their evaluation and prioritization of the issues as per TOR number 7. This will include Government, Private sector, NGOs and Community representatives. The results of this exercise will be incorporated into the final report.

2. Wetlands and invasive species in Africa - Awareness and information.

Background information

Objectives

This is a co-operative project involving IUCN-The World Conservation Union, the Commonwealth Secretariat in the United Kingdom, MacArthur Foundation in the United States of America and the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971). The partners in this co-operative project work together in response to Resolution VII.14 on Invasive Species adopted by the 7th Conference of Parties to the Ramsar Convention (May 1999, San José).

The project is aimed at implementing Resolution VII.14 in Africa. It is also a response to the Joint Work Plan between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention.

In addition, it contributes to the implementation of various recommendations including the ones from the Pan-African Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands, held in Kampala in July 1998. This meeting expressed many concerns about invasive species in wetlands after seeing some examples in Uganda.

Expected outputs

Production and dissemination of a number of awareness material about invasive species, their nature, their impacts and possible control measures, to a wide range of concerned managers and institutions throughout Africa. The content of these documents will be based on the outcome of two workshops organised for anglophone and francophone experts in East and West Africa.

The project also includes the establishment of a network of expertise (a "rapid response service" type of network) that can be accessed quickly by wetland managers in need of further information, and possibilities for prevention and control of invasions. A training programme will complement the publications.

Disbursed budget in 1999: SFR 20 000

Progress report

The Bureau of the Convention has signed a contract with IUCN East Africa Regional Office which is the project manager. 80% of the allocated amount has been transferred to UICN Nairobi.

Compilation of core information on invasive species and their impacts on wetlands is underway. This includes basic information on ecology and human dimensions related to invasive species.. There will be a focus on ways to prevent introduction of, control or eradicate alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species.

Other issues such as early warning, economic assessment, legal and institutional arrangements, education and communication schemes will be considered. The Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) is the major provider of information. GISP is coordinated by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), in conjunction with IUCN, the World Conservation Union, CAB Bioscience and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

A number of international meetings have been instrumental in facilitating the collection of information such the following: Legal and institutional dimensions of invasive alien species introduction and control convened by the IUCN Environmental Law Center in Bonn, Germany from 10-11 December 1999. One delegate from our Bureau attended this meeting in order to collect information to be used through this project.; Symposium on Best Management Practices for preventing and controlling alien invasive species, organized by the South Africa/USA Bi-national Commission . Dr Geoffrey Howard, from IUCN Nairobi participated in this symposium in his quality as Coordinator of our joint initiative on invasive species.

The IUCN-East Africa Regional Office is currently planning the first workshop to be held in East Africa for English speaking countries. A second workshop will be organized by the IUCN –West Africa Regional Office for French speaking countries.

3. Training: formulation of a programme of wetland inventory training

Background information

Considering the fact that the subject of wetland inventory is large and complex and needs careful planning so that it fits with national needs, a workshop will be held in Uganda, to begin a programme of wetland inventory training.

The Uganda National Wetlands Conservation and Management Programme has offered technical support to such a workshop which could be held in Kampala and have inputs from the Makerere University Institute for Environment and Natural Resources – which has been involved in such training in the past. Logistics and organisation would be managed by the IUCN Eastern Africa Regional Programme through its wetlands component and the IUCN Uganda Country Office in Kampala as well as the East Africa Regional Office in Kenya. Financial support is provided by Swiss Grant Fund through the Ramsar Convention Bureau which would also assist in promoting the concept of regional training in this important aspect of wise wetland use.

Objectives

  • Define the needs for wetland inventory in relation to wise wetland use – at national and local levels,
  • Examine the choices of wetland inventory types to provide the most cost-effective information that is required,
  • Discuss the various methods and approaches to wetland inventory and the basic minimum information to be gathered,
  • Learn from the practical experiences of Uganda and other countries involved in wetland inventory,
  • Begin to develop training needs – at local and national levels,
  • Begin to draft a training process with a suitable institution or group of institutions in the region,
  • Report on findings for the next steps and for wider discussion.

Expected outputs

This workshop will begin the process of wetland inventory training in English speaking countries as a responsive to the developing needs of national wetlands programmes and the general requirements for Ramsar Convention members to "know their wetlands" for inclusion in national planning. The workshop would include representatives from East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) as well as from West Africa (Nigeria, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana) and Southern Africa (South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia). A three-day meeting is proposed which would deliberate on the points above and produce a set of findings to define a training scheme – in general principle - which would then be developed into a proposal for further funding with more detail.

Budget: SFR 30,500

Progress report

A contract has been issued and has been sent to the UICN East Africa Regional Office in Nairobi. The Bureau of the Convention expect to have a signed contract by the end of March.

The workshop is will be held from 3 to 6 July 2000. This meeting will be held in Uganda so that the participants can share Uganda’s experience on wetland inventories. Current status of wetland inventories in Africa and future priorities will be discussed. Wetland inventories approaches will be examined. This will help develop flexible framework for wetland inventories that can guide African countries to prepare national inventories in a format compatible with their objectives and with the inventories of neighbouring countries.

The results of this meeting will be used to draw an African perspective to wetland inventories so as to contribute to the global debate on this issue.

4. Combined implementation of environment-related conventions:

Background information

Objectives

This action is intended to encourage Contracting Parties in the implementation of the joint work plan between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) and the Memorandum of Co-operation between the Convention to Combat Desertification and the Convention on wetlands. In this regard, part of the Swiss Grant Fund is used to encourage collaborative work between national institutions responsible for the formulation and implementation of National strategies/Policies/Actions Plans relating to biodiversity, desertification control and wetland conservation and wise use.

In response to the Operational Objective 7.2 of the Ramsar Strategic Plan, this action will enable to undertake some coordination of cross-sectoral approaches for the development of national policy instruments which integrate biodiversity, desertification control and wetland conservation considerations into broader frameworks. In view of the inter-relationships and impacts between land use, desertification process, and the status of inland water and and coastal ecosystems, collaboration will be developed between the work programs of the various national institutions responsible for the implementation of the above conventions. It is envisaged to select two or three countries which are undertaking the formulation of Policies/Strategies/Action Plans relating to Biodiversity or Desertification control so as to provide the opportunity for inclusion of wetland concerns into these Strategies and Actions Plans.

Disbursed budget: SFR 39,000

Progress report

The following countries have been identified as recipients of a financial assistance so as to help them in their efforts to build synergy between national institutions in order to promote wetland conservation and wise use: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Tanzania. These countries were engaged in the process of accession to the Convention. The purpose of the financial assistance was to use the process for establishing institutional mechanisms which will facilitate the implementation of the Convention by relevant national institutions. This co-ordinating mechanism are established jointly with the focal points of the other environment-related conventions. To that end the following allocations were made:

  • Benin:  Sfr 8,000
  • Cameroon:  Sfr 8,000
  • Central African Republic Sfr 15,000
  • Tanzania Sfr 8,000

Below are the activities relating to these allocations:

A. Benin:

Benin has started the process of accession to the Convention since 1998. To foster the process and initiate a framework for the implementation of the Convention, a workshop was held from 7 to 11 February with all relevant national institutions.

The regional Coordinator for Africa attended this meeting and made 4 presentations on the Convention dealing with various issues including the major challenges and the priorities for the next three years. Other participants made presentations on the following issues:

  • The National Wetland Programme in Benin
  • Status of conservation of the wetland ecosystems in Benin
  • \Major issues for plant communities conservation on Benin wetlands
  • Noteworthy fauna on wetlands in Benin
  • Status of conservation of fisheries and priority actions for management
  • Eco-tourism development in wetland areas
  • The importance of wetland in water management

The above issues were discussed after each presentation and the workshop drew the following conclusions:

  • There is a lack of knowledge about the functions and values of wetlands in Benin
  • Participants recognized that economic development and social promotion through healthy water supply, fishery improvement and tourism expansion are dependant on wetland conservation and wise
  • There is an urgent need for public support to generate appropriate political orientations and legislative review and action
  • Wetland ecosystems are under increasing pressure with many threats
  • Current land use patterns are not in favor of wetland conservation particularly around urban areas
  • Institutional capacity for the promotion of wetland conservation and wise use is weak

A two-days field trip was organized to visit and discuss the major issues relating to the proposed Ramsar sites. After the field visit the following conclusions were made:

  • Public information is essential in order to raise awareness on the functions and values of wetlands particularly among the urban populations
  • Pollution through urban sewage disposal is an increasing threat to the proposed Ramsar sites
  • Water quality should have high priority in any management scheme relating to the Ramsar sites
  • Conflict resolution concerning the various user groups is a major concern

Coastal erosion is another threat to be tackled.

In the light of the above findings the participants made the following recommendations to be addressed to the government:

  1. Wetland conservation and wise use should have high priority in any planning process at national and local levels
  2. The expansion of urban areas should not be made at the expense of wetlands: any planning on wetland areas should be made with careful consideration of the impacts on wetlands functions and values, in particular any impacts relating to the quality of water supply and the ability of wetland to regulate flooding
  3. A better public information on the following issues is a must: wetland functions and values; objectives and activities of the Ramsar Convention.
  4. The support of decision makers to the National wetland programme is a prerequisite for the development of a National Wetland Policy along with the review of legislation
  5. Wetland inventories have to be undertaken in order to assess and recognize all wetlands functions and values
  6. Participatory approach, river basin management and international cooperation are to be promoted

Follow-up actions:

We are now delighted to have Benin as a Contracting Party and regular contacts are underway in order to initiate and maintain an enabling environment for the implementation of the Convention.

To that end, the National wetland Programme has initiated the process for the development of a National Wetland Policy/Strategy.

B. Cameroon:

From 6-7 December, the Regional Coordinator for Africa attended the Regional Workshop on accession and implementation of the Ramsar Convention. This workshop was jointly organized by the Cameroon government, the WWF office in Cameroon, WWF-International (through the Living Waters Campaign) and our Bureau.

Initially, the workshop was exclusively planned for Cameroon but our Bureau suggested that we seize this opportunity so as to consolidate sub-regional cooperation in the implementation of the Convention. In this regard, it was useful to invite all member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission namely, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Niger and Nigeria so that we can identify sub-regional needs for managing shared wetlands in the Lake Chad Basin. This explains why, in addition to the representatives of member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission attended this workshop.

Hence, the first objective of the workshop was to encourage and facilitate the process of accession in Cameroon, Nigeria and the Central African Republic.

The second objective was to explore the possibilities for enhancing the implementation of the Convention in existing Contracting Parties (Niger and Chad).

The third objective was to explore ways for putting in place institutional mechanism which will create an enabling environment for the future implementation of the Convention in those countries which are in the process of accession (Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Nigeria).

The fourth objective of the workshop was to initiate the development of a common approach on various aspects of the convention: training, wetland inventories, need for national wetland policies, management plans for Ramsar sites…

In this regard, the workshop was a good opportunity to encourage each member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to designate its national portion of the Lake as a Ramsar site and to identify and describe other wetlands to be included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

The regional Coordinator for Africa made a presentation on the Convention using the same materials as for the Evian encounter. These materials proved to be efficient in terms of communicating COP7 messages.

Several other statements and presentations were made including the following:

  • Statement from the Minister of the environment and Forests
  • Statement from Dr. Steve Gartlan, Country Representative WWF-Cameroon
  • A presentation on "The and socio- economic and ecological importance of wetlands" by Mr. Denis Landenbergue. WWF- Living Waters Campaign
  • "Wetland types in Cameroon: ecological, biological and socio-economic functions" by Dr. Tobias Mbenkkum, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Cameroon
  • "Institutional and regulatory framework for wetland conservation in Cameroon" by Mrs. Estherine Lisinge Fotabong, Head of policy WWF-Cameroon
  • "Prospects for transboundary wetland management in the Lake Chad Basin " by Mr. Lambert Tam, Deputy Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission.

During the workshop, discussions were made in plenary sessions and two working groups focusing on the major steps to be taken in order to complete the accession process for Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Nigeria. The groups also discussed the major aspects of the implementation of the Convention in the sub-region.

Overall, the following recommendations have been addressed to Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Nigeria:

  • Each member state of the Lake Chad Basin Commission designates it’s national portion of the Lake Chad Basin as a Ramsar site;
  • Programs of sensitization focused on the different target groups are developed;
  • Each country proceeds to the identification and description of potential Ramsar sites;
  • That Cameroon accelerates the process of accession to the Ramsar Convention;
  • That national Administrative Authority for the Ramsar Convention and a Focal Point within it are designated as a matter of urgency by all States of the Region;
  • That National Ramsar Committees comprising representatives of all concerned parties, Government, the private sector and civil society are created as a matter of urgency by all countries of the region;
  • That the countries of the region develop and implement policies and national legislation for wise use of wetlands;
  • That Cameroon plays a significant role in continuing and promoting the process of regional consultation that has already begun;
  • That an urgent appeal is made to the international community for financial and technical assistance for wetlands management.

We hope these recommendations will be implemented in each member State of the Lake Chad Basin. To that end, we will follow up and create more opportunities so that the Ramsar tools will be used to strengthen and formalize linkages between Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Nigeria for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

C. Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) is currently taking steps for accession to our Convention. In this process the technical aspects of the requirements have been fulfilled: the first Ramsar site has been identified with a completed Ramsar Information Sheet and an appropriate map. A project sponsored by the European Union is underway for the management of the area.

To accelerate the process of accession the Bureau of the Convention has reached an agreement with the Central African Government concerning a workshop to be organized under the auspices of the Parliament. This workshop is intended to promote the accession process and raise awareness on wetland issues. It will involve 180 participants, especially 109 parliament members as well as relevant institutions, including focal points of other environment-related conventions.

The workshop will be held from 14 to 16 March 2000. The expected outputs of this workshop are:

  • A common understanding of the Convention and the major issues concerning wetlands conservation and wise use
  • Political and public support to the process of accession to the Convention
  • Formal accession to the Convention
  • Launch of political and legislative action for the future implementation of the Convention

D. Tanzania

Background information

In early 1990s there were initiatives for the country to accede to the Ramsar convention and draw up Wetland Management programmes. The initiatives under the National Environmental management Council (NEMC) with technical support from IUCN established the National Wetlands Technical Committee (NAWETCO) and National Wetland Steering committees (NAWESCO). NAWESCO was formed in1992 and had over 20 members from government sectors, institutions and NGOs whose activities directly impacted on the wetlands. The committee was made of technical experts. NAWESCO had members directly or indirectly on wetland areas. This was the highest decision making body. However, neither of the committee functioned effectively since its establishment.

In order to create an enabling environment for the implementation of the Convention a consultative process is under way. The Swiss Grant is contributing to this process through a financial support to the following proposal:

"Request for funds to sentitize decision makers on Ramsar Convention and to establish the national wetlands steering committee"

Objectives of the Proposal

  • To undertake wetlands stakeholders analysis at the national level
  • To convene a national stakeholders meeting/workshop to
  • Sensitize on the Ramsar Convention
  • To set modalities for establishment of NAWESCO, including any other structures that may be suggested by stakeholders

Justification of the proposal

Tanzania has been undergoing tremendous political, economic and social changes since 1995. These changes have a bearing on environmental management issues, particularly natural resources conservation. Of importance is the decentralisation policy and its bill, and the study about to be finalised on "Institutional and Legal and Framework for Environmental Management in Tanzania".

Under the decentralization policy, a new ministry responsible for Local government has been formed. While the central government will remain with regulatory role, policy formulation and monitoring; the local government is responsible for policy implementation. There is also a thrust in natural resources policies to empower local communities to manage and benefit from natural resources. Based on these policy changes it evident that, wetland management in Tanzania will follow similar approaches.

This is because wetlands are basically natural resources and are important in local people’s subsistence economy. For this reason, there is need for the Wildlife Division (the custodian of the Ramsar Convention) to convene a stakeholders meeting/workshop aimed at addressing the new outlook of wetland issues in Tanzania.

Expected outputs

  • National level wetlands conservation stakeholders known, and informed of the Ramsar Convention and how it works
  • National Wetlands steering Committee established or modalities for its establishment set.

The project is expected to be conducted between January and June, 2000.

Achievements

Tanzania Government signed its instruments of accession to the Ramsar convention in April, 1999. The Malagarasi – Muyovosi wetland area was selected as the first Ramsar site. The Malagarasi river basin which forms the Malagarasi-Muyovozi Ramsar Site is a drainage basin for Lake Tanaganyika, providing one third of the waters going into the lake. The wetland area is 3.25 ha, comprised of forests reserves, game reserves, Lakes and rivers. In the dry season the Ramsar site covers 250,000 ha

The instruments of accession along with the Ramsar Information Sheet and the map of the Malagarasi-Moyovosi as the first Ramsar site have been sent to UNESCO. The formal accession of Tanzania to the Convention will soon be notified.

At the moment Tanzania is undertaking some activities for the proposed Lake Natron Ramsar Site and participatory ways of prioritising wetland areas to be included in the Ramsar list. A third wetland area will be selected for inclusion in the Ramsar list. On the 15th March thre will be a stakeholders meeting to delibarate on the establishment of the National Wetlands Committee. The results of this workshop will be tabled to the meeting for Permanent Secretaries who will make the final decision on how to forge ahead.

5. Nigeria: Preparatory assistance for designation of Nguru Lake as first Ramsar site.

Background information

Nigeria is taking steps towards accession to the Ramsar Convention. The financial assistance to this process is intended to help produce a completed Information Sheet and a map showing the boundaries of the proposed site first Ramsar site.

A consultative process is also planned so as to have the endorsement of stakeholders before the designation of the first Ramsar site.

Proposed budget: SFR 5 004

Achievements

Nigeria has almost completed the procedure for accession to the Convention: the President of the Republic has signed the instrument of ratification; the Ramsar Information Sheet has been completed for the first Ramsar site; the map of the site has been produced.

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