Ramsar outreach materials available for local and national adaptation
Ramsar CEPA materials are available for borrowing and subtle alterations
Everyone knows that all of the Ramsar Convention's materials developed as part of its Communications, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA) programme and its contributions to World Wetlands Day are available in the Convention's three working languages, English, French, and Spanish.
Perhaps less well known is the fact that many of these materials are also available in electronic formats that make them suitable for reproduction by the Parties and NGOs in other local and national languages, either in faithful copies or in fanciful adaptations or both.
In fact, this year's materials, for World Wetlands Day 2003, have been expressly produced in easily adapted versions that can be obtained free of charge upon request. The new Ramsar video [see our World Wetlands Day 2003 page] is available in a special version with music and cute sound effects intact but without the audio narration, so that ambitious wetland enthusiasts can provide their own language audio to the video, using their own translations from the English, French, and Spanish scripts that we can provide. A version in the Georgian language is presently being produced, and a number of other Parties have requested this useful addition to the wetland CEPA armamentarium.
[Photo: the old Ramsar video in Latvian, right]
Similarly, the World Wetlands Day 2003 poster is available on CD-ROM in Quark Xpress so that a skillful designer can substitute new text with a click of the mouse and a good translator. Many Parties have requested this product and we've already received a beautiful new version of the poster in the Chinese language, now proudly displayed in the IUCN lobby alongside our three official versions.
Likewise, the new Ramsar sites brochure can be got in Quark format on a CD-ROM, and we've had many requests for this item as well so far this year.
Some of our other materials are eminently suitable for local and national adaptation as well, as the Conferences of the Parties urged in the Convention's Outreach Programme 1999-2002 (Resolution VII.9) and the new CEPA Programme 2003-2008 (Resolution VIII.31). Thus, the Convention's wetland and wise use message can be spread more widely, and more cheaply, to the people who may benefit most from it, those who are actually living in and near wetlands all round the world and depending upon their values and functions for their livelihoods and well-being.
For example, the Values and Functions Info Pack has already appeared in the Thai language [photo left], produced by the Wetlands International Thailand Programme with financial support from the British Embassy in Bangkok. A Latvian version is expected soon [update - now available], and the Georgians have adapted the Values and Functions into a full info pack for World Wetlands Day at the Kolkheti Ramsar site [right], with funding support from the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility.
The Cultural Values of Wetlands Info Pack has also been adapted to several local situations, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has done a superb job of producing its own version with text and photos from the Bureau's Pack supplemented by additional cases with national relevance.
If you value wetlands, and wish to spread the word, and can see a lively use for any of the Convention's CEPA materials in your local or national circumstances, you must not fail to make contact with the Ramsar Bureau immediately or at least soon.
For further examples of the translation and reproduction of Ramsar materials:
The excellent products mentioned above have mostly been developed for annual World Wetlands Days by the Ramsar Bureau's Sandra Hails and Delmar Blasco and all have been financially supported by the Evian Project funded by the Danone Group.