World Wetlands Day 2000: Activities planned and reported for WWD 2000
What is World Wetlands Day?World Wetlands Day, set for 2 February of each year, in recognition of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar, was celebrated for the first time in 1997. The purpose of World Wetlands Day is to provide an opportunity for government and citizens' groups to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular. Since 1997, the Ramsar Web site has been reporting on activities of all sizes and shapes from all over the world, from lectures and seminars, nature walks, children’s art contests, sampan races, and community clean-up days, to radio and television interviews and letters to newspapers, to the launch of new wetland policies, new Ramsar sites, and new programmes at the national level.
The suggested theme of WWD 2000
The suggested theme for World Wetlands Day 2000 is "Celebrating Our Wetlands of International Importance". One of the texts being offered by the Ramsar Bureau in honor of WWD 2000 is an interpretation of this theme in terms of the "Vision for the List" -- the Convention's newly-adopted Strategic Framework for developing a global network of mutually reinforcing important wetlands by assisting nations in the task of planning their designations for the List of Wetlands of International Importance strategically. You can read this text here on this site, download the original brochure itself in PDF form, or ask for any number of hard copies to be sent to you in the post.
This list includes both announcements of pre-WWD planning and later reports of activities that were carried out. So the grammatical tenses may seem a little strange.
Albania.Delmar Blasco, the Ramsar Secretary General, is participating in World Wetlands Day ceremonies at Prespa Lake, with the Prime Ministers of Albania, Greece, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Ministers will declare a transfrontier "Prespa Park" as part of the WWF Living Planet Campaign. Prespa Lake is a Ramsar site in Greece aand in the FYROM, and the Prespa Lake Society was co-winner of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award in 1999. Here's the Prime Ministers' Declaration.
Algeria. A. Ghebalou of the Ministry has informed the Bureau by fax that WWD activities included the showing of films to and guided visits for schoolchildren of several age groups to Ramsar sites in the country and the launching of a manual for children on wetland conservation. The Direction Générale des Forêts hosted a prime-time TV show on WWD and radio emissions on succeeding days, including a roundtable of scientific personnel and wetland specialists. Multisectoral meetings were also held to sensitize staff in numerous other ministries about wetland issues, and scientific conferences were held at the Parc National d'El Kala, stressing the economic importance of wetlands in particular.
Argentina: Here's a message from Jorge Cappato: "Ref: DIA MUNDIAL DE LOS HUMEDALES 2000 - Prensa en Latinoamérica y Argentina. Apreciados Delmar Blasco y Dwight Peck, Potenciando la exitosa experiencia del Día Mundial de los Humedales (DMH) del año anterior, estamos desplegando una 'campaña' de prensa destinada a medios de comunicacion, periodistas y ONGs de Argentina y América Latina. Nuestra nota "Los humedales de Sudamerica necesitan ser protegidos" ("South American wetlands need more protection") sera enviada y distribuida a través de Listas de email como la de la Comision de Comunicación y Educación (CEC) de la UICN-Sur, Coalición RIOS VIVOS (300 ONGs de Latinoamerica, USA y Europa), Lista de periodistas ambientales y prensa de Argentina y America Latina, y miembros de habla hispana del Foro GLOBAL 500 de Laureados por Naciones Unidas, entre otras. Distintos medios de comunicación publicarán la nota para el DMH y tambien se comentará el tema en TV y radios de la región. Cordiales saludos, Jorge Cappato (Fundacion PROTEGER), email@example.com."
Argentina II.Bruce Johnson ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports: "In the Patagonia region of Argentina, Foundation Inalafquen is pleased to announce a four-day show free to the public illustrating the importance of our coastal wetlands. The show will display the various activities and projects we have taken part in for the last year. A wildlife video, computerized slide show of animal rehabilitation, poster boards and pictures of fauna and flora in the area of the Bahia de San Antonio. In addition, there are several projects presented by local schools under the guidance of the Foundation. Each year we try to reinforce the importance of coastal wetlands and the "Protected area of the bay of San Antonio Oeste". (Foundation Inalafquen, Maria Eugenia Picerno, Vice President, 404 San Antonio Las Grutas, Rio Negro. 8521 Argentina).
Armenia. Mr Karen Jenderedjian ( email@example.com ), Ministry of Nature Protection in Yerevan, writes: "Dear Tobias, With this letter on behalf of Armenian wetland team I congratulate you with your first Wetland Day in the Ramsar Bureau. At 2.00 P.M. we open a small but very interesting exhibition in the meeting hall of the Ministry of Nature Protection: photographs of Armenian wetlands and wetlands visited (including Geneva, Zurich and Neuchatel lakes), for the first time photographs of the Bureau staff (I made them during last two visits); then stamps with wetlands and wetland biodiversity (and also 2 made by my own pictures), coins with animals and plants; and exhibition of wetland related literature. In this case I would like to thank you once again for "Wetlands and Law". At 4.00 the Minister of Nature Protection will open the lecture "Future of Wetland Policy in Armenia" (Susanna Hakobyan, Nune Darbinyan, Gagik Kirakossian, Karen Jenderedjian). On this occasion please, send my best regards and wishes to the all staff of the bureau."
Australia:Abbie Spiers reports on planning so far: "In response to Dwight's Ramsar Forum request for WWD activities: In Jabiru, a small township within Kakadu National Park, northern Australia, we are planning another activities program similar to our successful efforts in 1999, to celebrate WWD in Feb 2000. We will create a wetlands display in the town centre, hold wetland rambles around the local town lake and other nearby wetlands, and invite a guest speaker for an evening lecture and supper. The display and activities will place special emphasis upon the spectacular and diverse Ramsar-listed wetlands of Kakadu National Park. For more information, please contact me. Thanks very much, regards, Abbie. (Abbie Spiers, Wetland Ecologist, Wetland Ecology and Conservation, ERISS, Locked Bag 2, Jabiru, NT 0886 Australia firstname.lastname@example.org )". See a reprint of her illustrated article that was placed in the local newspaper for WWD.
Australia II.Christine Prietto (email@example.com) reports that The Wetlands Centre in Wallsend, New South Wales ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) plans a whole World Wetlands Week to begin on 2 February, featuring a forum on Wise Use, a visit to the nearby Kooragang Ramsar site, a boat cruise through the Kooragang rehabilitation project, a birthday party for the Centre, competitions and an exhibition of wildlife illustrations by Sonya Naumov. Here's a relevant quotation: "The Wetlands Centre is once again holding a series of exciting events to promote World Wetlands Week, ending with the Brolga Party, a birthday party for The Wetlands Centre, which is celebrating 15 years of Wetlands Education in 2000. The full program and contact details are in theenclosed attachment. A special feature on World Wetlands Day is a forum for Local Government and Agency representatives entitled "Wise Use of Wetlands: Ramsar in the Hunter". Roger Jaensch of Wetlands International, Oceania, will speak on Ramsar and a private landowner who has put forward part of his property for listing will talk about the process. Although The Hunter includes the Ramsar-listed Kooragang Wetlands, many representatives of relevant agencies are poorly informed on Ramsar and its significance. Interested people can contact the Wetlands Centre by email on email@example.com . Regards, Christine Prietto, Chairman".
Australia III. Pam Wickham (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission described promotional activities in the region around Fogg Dam for the whole week surrounding WWD, and we include that report here.
Australia IV. Judy Harrington (email@example.com) writes that as part of celebrations of WWD at Bicentennial Park in New South Wales, "a salvinia clean-up project will take place in Lake Belvedere in Bicentennial Park which will involve many volunteers, staff and members of the community. This activity will be a wonderful opportunity to educate members of the public and about the importance and beauty of wetlands and will hopefully be a success." Web site: http://www.bicentpkhbay.nsw.gov.au .
Australia V. Liz Gould, Wetlands Projects Officer in Geelong, Victoria (firstname.lastname@example.org), sent us a full description of WWD2000 activities there, with pix of the big breakfast hike and bike ride and the fabulous roadside World Wetlands Day billboard.
Austria. Ramsar Centre in Austria. "On World Wetland Day, Feb. 2nd, plans are announced for a Ramsar Centre in the Waldviertel (Lower Austria) as a further step of the implementation of the Ramsar Convention. Only recently, Austria has designated its 10th Ramsar site, the "Waldviertel ponds, peat bogs and floodplains" which forms an ecological unit with the Czech Ramsar sites "Trebon fishponds" and "Trebon peatlands". Based on this and considering that the whole region of the Northern Waldviertel (northernmost part of Lower Austria, bordering the Czech Republic) holds a network of important wetlands of varying sizes, WWF Austria has worked out a concept for a Ramsar Centre in the Waldviertel. The idea behind this centre is to create a body responsible for local wetland agendas and to implement the values of wetlands into regional development. The work of the centre will focus on the monitoring of wetlands, on environmental education and on public relations work. A strong cooperation with the Czech Biosphere Reserve Administration in Trebon is planned and will be an important key to the success of the centre. The building of the centre should start in 2000 to be finished in 2001 for the 30th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention. For further information contact: Michaela Bodner, WWF Waldviertel, Kirchberg am Walde (email@example.com)."
Bangladesh.Mokhlesur Rahman, Executive Director of CNRS ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), reports that the WWD programme will include a rally, meetings/presentations, a photo and poster show, an awareness campaign about wise use and wetland values and functions, and perhaps a drawing competition for schoolchildren.
Belgium. Mr Bruno Flamion ( email@example.com ) reports that a number of activities for WWD are being planned under the Direction de la Nature de la Minstère de la Région wallonne: walks and awareness activites for the public and, especially, the schoolchildren. In addition, the Minister has instructed that the preparation of new Ramsar site designations should be part of this process. Thanks to Veronique Joniaux ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), we're able to bring you this detailed programme of events for the entire country.
Bulgaria.Radostina Tzenova and Lyubo Profirov ( email@example.com ) of the Bourgas Wetlands Project, Bulgarian-Swiss Biodiversity Conservation Program, have sent a one-page description of WWD activities at the Nature Conservation Centre "Poda" and related initiatives.
Cameroon. Estherine Fotabong ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports that a roundtable conference will be held as part of the WWD celebrations, jointly organized by WWF and the Ministry of Environment and Forest, and the Ramsar video will be viewed. Everyone is hoping that Cameroon will become a new Party to the Convention very soon.
Canada:Dave Ingram of the British Columbia Wetlands Society in Delta, B.C. (email@example.com, http://www.bcwetlands.com) "is planning on setting up a public display and looking at invertebrates using microscopes at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, BC, on the weekend before WWD. Last year we also partnered with a community group on the Sunshine Coast (just north of Vancouver) for a full "Wetland Celebration Day" later in the spring."
Chile.Tomas Alarcon, President of CAPAJ, reports on the activities that are being organized by CAPAJ (Programa de Conocimiento Aymara de Preservación de Auquenidos y Justicia) to celebrate the WWD in Chile. This is an aymara organization (indigenous people from Peru, Bolivia and Chile) that fights for their rights to the conservation and wise use of these wetlands: "bofedales" or "oconales" (peatlands at 4,500 m above sea level), on which they depend. Also it is an NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations within the regional limits of Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. On 29 January: a presentación of the report: "Values of the Highland Wetlands" on the CAPAJ Web site: http://www.upt.edu.pe/capaj/index.htm. On 1 February: "Celebration of the Highland Wetlands of the Titicaca Basin"; a presentation of the defensive proposal "Water for the Highland Wetlands" in the meeting of Vision of the Water in Latin America CEPAL (Comisión Economica para Latinoamerica y el Caribe), Santiago de Chile. On 2 February: a presentación of the Network of Indigenous People on wetlands in CONACIN (Coordinadora Nacional Indigena), Santiago de Chile. In the three events informative material of the Ramsar Convention will be distributed.
China. Li Lukang ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) of the Wetlands International China Programme writes that WI-China's plans for WWD include 1) reprinting the "Benefits of Wetlands" book in Chinese, with the support of the State Forestry Administration, WWF-China, and WI-China; 2) producing a one-volume edition of issues 1-13 of the "Newsletter for Wetlands; 3) distributing the year 2000's first issue of "Newsletter for Wetlands", with pictures of Ramsar's WWD stickers on the back cover; and 4) distributing stickers and bookmarks to key people in the days preceding WWD.
China: Hong Kong:Idy Wong ( email@example.com) reports that WWF Hong Kong is organizing a programme entitled "Help rescue the critically endangered Black-faced Spoonbills by conserving wetlands" for World Wetlands Day 2000. Here is a brief resumé of the planning so far and a report sent in afterwards.
Costa Rica.Viviana Gutierrez Cascante of the Association Raices ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports that her organization is hosting a WWD meeting with local people, NGOs, and regional and national government personnel.
Costa Rica II.M.Sc. Rocío Córdoba, Coordinadora, Area de Humedales y Zonas Costeras para Mesoamérica, UICN-Mesoamérica, in Moravia, Costa Rica ( email@example.com , http://www.uicnhumedales.org ), reports that the Wetlands and Coastal Zones Programme of IUCN Mesoamerica is hosting an important event: a traveling exhibition, in every Mesoamerican Country, entitled: Wetlands and People of the Tropics: Water gives Life to Mesoamerica, with the support of the Wetlands for the Future (WFF) programme. The exhibition will be inaugurated in El Salvador and will take place on The National Museum of Anthropology Doctor David J. Guzmán with the participation of the Ministers of Environment of El Salvador (Mrs Ana Maria Majano), Honduras (Mrs. Xiomara Gomez), and Nicaragua (Mr. Roberto Stadthagen). This exhibition is part of an integrated outreach program about the characteristics and the importance of wetland ecosystems in the Mesoamerican Region. The goals are to raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands and the mechanisms to avoid their destruction, and promote their conservation, in all the sectors in the Mesoamerican countries. Here is the Spanish text of the announcement.And a subsequent report from Enrique Lahmann, ORMA.
Costa Rica III.Christina Spilsbury ( OLIVOS@sol.racsa.co.cr ) reports from the Tamarindo Ramsar site: "Attached please find a copy of the poster for the World Wetlands Day celebrated in Tamarindo. 27 students from the Escuela Bilingüe Tamarindo, as well as 9 high school students joined Rotney Piedra, the Director of the National Park Las Baulas de Guanacaste in a reforestation project that will continue throughout the year. Rotney spoke about the significance of the estuaries that are included in the National Park and are Ramsar sites." Here's more detail.
Czech Republic. Josef Chytil, secretary of the Czech Ramsar Committee ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), reports that a recent exhibition entitled "Wetlands and the health of the landscape", designed by STRP member Jan Pokorný and his colleague Martina Eiseltova, will be opened in early February in coordination with the Mikulov regional museum; it has already been successfully aired in Prague, Ostrava, and Ceske Budejovice. The Ministry of Environment is releasing a WWD briefing via the Czech Press Agency and there is hope that Czech TV will carry a report on WWD 2000. Here is Josef's subsequent report: "Allow me to inform you shortly about our WWD activities in the Czech Republic. The official information about WWD has been sent in time to Czech Press Agency - they accepted it quite warmly, including some more explanations dealing with Ramsar and wetlands. I do not know how many newspaper used it: surely there was a short article asking directly me, what is WWD and what are actual problems in our Ramsar sites in the most widely distributed newspaper in our country, Mlada Fronta Dnes. I was informed about short information in local newspaper in Olomouc (RS Litovelske Pomoravi), Trebon (RSs Trebonske rybniky and Trebonska raseliniste), other information were presented on wall posters in Mikulov (RS Lednicke fishponds, Floodplain of Lower Dyje River), Trebon, Olomouc, Prague - Agency for Nature/Landscape conservation), Melnik (RS Libechovka and Psovka) and Ostrava (RS Poodri). The Administration of PLA (and RS) Litov. Pomoravi has produced their own self-sealing sticker with WWD theme. Finally, a short information has been telecasted in South-Moravian Regional TV News in the main casting time (18.00), informing about actual problems on SM-Ramsar sites and why WWD exist. Last information deals with moving of very nice exhibition Wetlands and the Health of Landscape from Ceske Budejovice to Mikulov - ceremonial opening will be on February 24."
Ecuador. Lider Gongora Farias, Director Ejecutivo of FUNDECOL based in Quito ( email@example.com ), a leading NGO in defense of mangrove ecosystems in that country, notes that FUNDECOL will be mounting several activities in celebration of WWD on 2 February and urges everyone to celebrate the World Day of Mangrove Ecosystems, 26 July, as well.
Ecuador II.Freddy Fuenmayor, President of FRAPZOO (Fundación Rescate Animal y Parque Hogar Zoológico) interviewed Sergio Lasso from the Ministry of Tourism and Environment on the "S.O.S." programme on Radio Vigía, during which he described the Convention and its work in Ecuador, as well as the significance of World Wetlands Day. Following the programme, he distributed Ramsar promotional materials to the young persons present. firstname.lastname@example.org
El Salvador.M.Sc. Rocío Córdoba, Coordinadora, Area de Humedales y Zonas Costeras para Mesoamérica, UICN-Mesoamérica, in Moravia, Costa Rica ( email@example.com , http://www.uicnhumedales.org ), reports that the Wetlands and Coastal Zones Programme of IUCN Mesoamerica is hosting an important event: a traveling exhibition, in every Mesoamerican Country, entitled: Wetlands and People of the Tropics: Water gives Life to Mesoamerica, with the support of the Wetlands for the Future (WFF) programme. The exhibition will be inaugurated in El Salvador and will take place on The National Museum of Anthropology Doctor David J. Guzmán with the participation of the Ministers of Environment of El Salvador (Mrs Ana Maria Majano), Honduras (Mrs. Xiomara Gomez), and Nicaragua (Mr. Roberto Stadthagen). This exhibition is part of an integrated outreach program about the characteristics and the importance of wetland ecosystems in the Mesoamerican Region. The goals are to raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands and the mechanisms to avoid their destruction, and promote their conservation, in all the sectors in the Mesoamerican countries. Here is the Spanish text of the announcement.And a subsequent report from Enrique Lahmann, ORMA.
Estonia.Juhan Telgmaa ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), President of the Estonian Society for Nature Conservation, reports that, in cooperation with the Endla Nature Reserve, a conference and walkabout in the Endla wetland will be held on 4 February, with participants from the Ministry, the Academy of Sciences, and all the Estonian Ramsar areas and regional conservation offices, and the media. Emphases will be placed on the history of Ramsar, the current situation and scientific research carried out on Estonian wetlands, the role of Estonian wetlands in Europe's rising awareness of people about the importance of wetlands.
Estonia II.Alex Lotman ( email@example.com ) reports: "In Matsalu wetland, Western Estonia, Wetlands day was celebrated by joint volunteer work to restore a species-rich wooded meadow in the wetland. The event was jointly organised by Matsalu Nature Reserve administration and several nature conservation NGOs. Nature reserve employees, universty students and gymnasium pupils participated, total of about 30 people. About one hectare of wooded meadow was restored. An agreement of cooperation for future management of meadow communities in coastal wetlands was signed between the nature reserve administration and the NGOs. There was lot of media attention and importance of various wetland ecosystems and their biodiversity, as well as info on WWD and Ramsar was presented to the media."
Fiji. Elisabeth Mealey ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) of the WWF South Pacific Program, based in Suva, reports that this World Wetlands Day press release on the importance of wetlands in the Pacific area was distributed throughout the region.
France. Renaud Dupuy de la Grandrive, Director of the Réserve Naturelle du Bagnas, which is managed by the Société de Protection de la Nature d'Agde on the Mediterranean coast, reports that two activities are planned for 2 February: free birdwatching demonstrations and an open house at the Maison de la Réserve to inform the public about Mediterranean wetlands and particularly the natural assets of the region roundabout Agde. Mr Dupuy de la Grandrive describes the Bagnas promisingly as "pas encore labellisée Ramsar".
France II.Laurent Demongin ( email@example.com ) writes from Normandy: "A l'occasion de la journée mondiale des zones humides, le Groupe Ornithologique Normand organise deux visites de découverte de la réserve de la Grande Noé au sein de la ZICO de la boucle de Poses dans l'Eure (France). Veuillez trouver ci-dessous le communiqué envoyé à la presse locale pour annoncer ces animations."
Germany.Cornelia Zügge, press spokesperson for the Regional Government of Hannover, Germany, reports that, since few people in the area are aware of World Wetlands Day, the Regional Government of Hannover decided to promote the day by inviting the local press to visit wetlands under their jurisdiction. The aim was to demonstrate, on the spot, the values of wetlands as well as successful cooperation between the authorities and local nature protection organizations. The Hannover area has two Ramsar sites – the Steinhuder Meer and the Dümmer -- but theWWD visits were to lesser-known wetlands to show that these too are important, even though they are not under international protection. District President Gertraude Kruse led the visit to "Gronauer Masch" and the "Leineaue unter dem Rammelsberg", protected areas which the local authorities plan to enlarge and restore. There are also plans to build nature trails around the edges of these wetland meadows so that the public can visit and enjoy the wetlands and the flora and fauna which thrive there. After the guided visit and press conference, regional newspapers ran full-page or half-page stories with accompanying pictures about these wetlands and World Wetlands Day.
Greece.Panagiota Maragou of WWF Greece is planning to set the "Panda Club", the kids' wing, to drawing contests and a visit to a threatened wetland near Athens, and she's thinking about organizing something for the grown-ups as well, pending suggestions from our colleagues elsewhere. Well, we had some dynamite WWD sampan races in Malaysia in 1998; how would that go down in the Greater Athens Area?
Greece II.Kyriakos Skordas ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), Communication Officer of the Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY), reports that "the Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre has organised a short communication effort for World Wetland Day with press releases, interviews in national newspapers and magazines as well as with live interviews in national and regional radio stations. Also there will be a web appearance in the official web page of the Ministry of Press, and in young e-magazines."
Greece III.Urania Giannakou ( email@example.com ) reports: "The Wetland Information Centre of Axios-Aliakmon Delta, Loudias Estuary & Aliki Kitrous Lagoon, with the collaboration of the 11o elementary school of Eyosmos, Thessaloniki, are organizing the following outdoor activities for schoolchildren and grown-ups at three places in the wetland: Cleaning up project of the Axios-Loudias Delta; Tree planting near the guardhouse; Birdwatching demonstration and practice; Environmental games and activities for the younger schoolchildren; in addition, local fishermen will introduce the participants to traditional ways of fishing and mussel culture practiced in the wetland. All activities will take place on Wednesday morning 2 February 2000. Posters and stickers will be distributed to the participants. The activities will be carried out with the participation and support of Municipality of Halastra, Municipality of Axios, Hunting Confederation of Macedonia-Thrace, Forest Inspection of Thessaloniki, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Fishing-Musselculture Cooperative of Halastra, Hellenic Association of Musselculture."
Greece IV.Delmar Blasco, the Ramsar Secretary General, is participating in World Wetlands Day ceremonies at Prespa Lake, with the Prime Ministers of Albania, Greece, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Ministers will declare a transfrontier "Prespa Park" as part of the WWF Living Planet Campaign. Prespa Lake is a Ramsar site in Greece aand in the FYROM, and the Prespa Lake Society was co-winner of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award in 1999. Here's the Prime Ministers' Declaration.
Greece V.Mrs E. Basoukea, Head of the Environmental Planning Division, Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning, and Public Works, writes: "We would like to inform you that the World Wetlands Day 2000 has been celebrated in Greece with various events all over the country. Centrally, the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works gave a press release for the value of wetland resources and for the actions taken for the conservation of Greek wetlands. Moreover, all Information Centres in wetland areas as well as the Regional and Prefectural authorities were informed about the celebration day and were urged to prepare celebration events at a local level. The response was very positive. Information Centres and local authorities organized activities like bird watching, guided tours, planting of trees, collection of garbage, information of school children for fishing and mussel culture activities, press releases and press conferences at local level" (5/4/00).
Honduras.M.Sc. Rocío Córdoba, Coordinadora, Area de Humedales y Zonas Costeras para Mesoamérica, UICN-Mesoamérica, in Moravia, Costa Rica ( firstname.lastname@example.org , http://www.uicnhumedales.org ), reports that the Wetlands and Coastal Zones Programme of IUCN Mesoamerica is hosting an important event: a traveling exhibition, in every Mesoamerican Country, entitled: Wetlands and People of the Tropics: Water gives Life to Mesoamerica, with the support of the Wetlands for the Future (WFF) programme. The exhibition will be inaugurated in El Salvador and will take place on The National Museum of Anthropology Doctor David J. Guzmán with the participation of the Ministers of Environment of El Salvador (Mrs Ana Maria Majano), Honduras (Mrs. Xiomara Gomez), and Nicaragua (Mr. Roberto Stadthagen). This exhibition is part of an integrated outreach program about the characteristics and the importance of wetland ecosystems in the Mesoamerican Region. The goals are to raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands and the mechanisms to avoid their destruction, and promote their conservation, in all the sectors in the Mesoamerican countries. Here is the Spanish text of the announcement.And a subsequent report from Enrique Lahmann, ORMA.
Hungary. Our colleague András Böhm ( email@example.com ) of the Ministry reports that at World Wetlands Day festivities a Hungarian version of the Ramsar Convention Manual was launched. More details to follow, we hope.
India.C. Shekhar Nambiar, Director of Communications, WWF-India, has sent us a press release on the occasion of WWD ceremonies in New Delhi at which Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Mrs Malati Sinha, announced commencement of the process of designating 10 new Ramsar sites. WWF-India has committed to providing technical support in the scientific process of preparing the new designations.
India II. Dr Brij Gopal ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports that an 8-page brochure is being prepared for World Wetlands Day by the National Institute of Ecology jointly with WWF-India, in cooperation with the Science and Environment Education Society. The brochure will be launched by the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, at a small function in the WWF-India premises. Brij also points out that the Ramsar Convention was actually signed on the 3rd of February in Ramsar, Iran, not the 2nd, but it is generally felt that since the Founding Fathers AGREED to sign the Convention on the 2nd and then went off to a early dinner, which got more fun by the hour and seemed to go on forever, and didn't slow down till the morning of the 3rd for the actual signing, the 2nd of February should be the date enshrined in history, since the solemn intention was there.
India III.A. K. Pattnaik, Chief Executive of the Chilika Development Authority ( email@example.com ), writes: "Chilika Development Authority, a Government of Orissa agency created for the preservation and eco-restoration of Chilika Lagoon, one of the six Ramsar sites of Indias is planning to celebrate the WWD-2000 in a grand way. A boat rally with more than 500 traditional boatmen living in and around Chilika Lagoon will participate in the rally. The boat rally will be flagged off from Satapadas which is located strategically at the meeting point of the outer channel of the Lagoon. The boatmen will hold the placard with slogans to preserve the ecosystem of Chilika Lagoon and its wise-use. All of them will wear Bannian with Chilika Development Authority Logo along with the Ramsar Logo and slogans. The rally will culminate on an island located inside the Lagoon and the traditional fishermen and local people will deliberate on the various issues of the Lagoon and the mitigation of the various problems in a participatory way. All the media and news agencies will cover the celebration and will give the publicity throughout the country. Details will be provided on 2nd February, 2000, after the celebration."
India IV. Dr T.V. Ramachandra, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), reports that "As a part of World Wetlands day, we carried out the following here at Bangalore, Karnataka State, India: 1. Launch of our homepage detailing wetlands research endeavour: http://126.96.36.199/energy/wetlands/Welcome.html 2. Announcement of a Symposium "Restoration of Lakes and Wetlands" Nov 27-29, 2000; Details as http://188.8.131.52/energy/water/lake2000conference.html 3. Visit to lakes - Nagavara, Amrithalli and Rachenalli - Analyses of present status, dependence on lake of local population, locals response to our proposed restoration programmes. This study was carried out with a group of scientists and students."
Islamic Republic of Iran. World Wetlands Day celebrations were held on 7 February in Ramsar, Iran, the birthplace of the Ramsar Convention, in the presence of Vice President and Head of the Department of the Environment Dr M. Ebtekar, and here is the address by Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of the Convention. A more detailed report and pictures will follow.
Israel. Ramsar focal point Dr Reuven Ortal reports that this year World Wetlands Day was combined with the country’s 38th National Nature Conservation Week, and here's his report on the activities.
Japan.Yoshihiko Miyabayashi ( email@example.com ) reports that the Japan Association for Wild Geese Protection, JAWGP, has translated the Convention's WWD 2000 brochure into Japanese and posted it on a Web site devoted to "World Wetlands Day in Miyagi, Japan" ( http://www2m.biglobe.ne.jp/~wwd/ ), which, as in past years, records JAWGP's plans and activities for WWD. Yoshi has also posted a request on the Ramsar Forum for messages from around the world:
Dear Ramsar Forum, from Yoshihiko MIYABAYASHI, JAWGP. We, some Japanese colleagues, have been inspired to invite messages celebrating wetlands of international importance in Japan and to disseminate them on the Internet around the World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2000. It is expected to be one of the awareness tools in schools, wetland observation centres, and other educational facilities in the country. We also wish links to the world beyond the gap of languages. We would like to show the messages from wetlands in Japan to the world with translation into English, and the messages from the world to Japanese society in Japanese language. We just opened the website for the messages and are now INVITING the messages celebrating the wetlands around the world. Please find more details on the website. ******** World Wetlands Day 2000 - Messages around the World. "Celebrating our Wetlands of International Importance", < http://www.jawgp.org/wwd2000 >, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Japan II. We learn that the Shiga Prefecture Government and the local governments of 21 cities and towns surrounding the Lake Biwa-ko Ramsar site have set up a committee to host a symposium and field trips round the lake on 5 February in celebration of WWD.
Kenya. Jane M. Macaharia ( email@example.com ) has sent a summary of WWD activities in Kenya, organized by the Kenya Wetlands Working Group and the National Museums of Kenya. Her report also includes an excellent brief survey of the state of Ramsar implementation in that country.
Luxembourg.Corinne Muller ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) has kindly sent us a Ministry of the Environment press release on the Secretary of State Mr Eugène Berger's visit to the Haff Réimech Ramsar site to celebrate World Wetlands Day. Here it is.
Malaysia. Rebecca Poong of WWF Malaysia's Sabah office ( email@example.com ) writes that World Wetlands Day is being incorporated in their visitors' information and educational programme for the Likas Project on mangrove forest and lagoons, and that a coloring competition will be one of the activities.
Mexico.Felipe Ramírez Ruiz de Velasco of the Instituto Nacional de Ecología, Dirección General de Vida Silvestre, Autoridad Ramsar-México, writes that for Día Mundial de los Humedales 2000 plans are under way with the Directores de la Areas Naturales Protegidas to include further sites in the Ramsar List and to distribute brochures and posters asserting the value of Ramsar sites.
Mexico II. Francisco A. Comin ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes: "Dear friends, For World Wetlands Day 2000 (February 2nd), we wish to announce the inmediate publication of the book: "Limnology and Aquatic Birds: Monitoring, Modelling and Management". We hope this book will be useful to improve our knowledge about wetlands and that it will contribute to their conservation. You can get more information about the book from: email@example.com." The publication contains the proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Limnology and Aquatic Birds in Mérida, Yucatán, México, and here is a description of the contents.
Morocco. Mohamed Ankouz of the Ministry reports that, in addition to a number of press releases, the Kingdom of Morocco hosted a wetlands information day with the Centre National de l'Education Environnementale (CNEE), held at the Sidi Boughaba Ramsar site, with participation of the Minister and the Ambassador of the UK as well as representatives of several other ministries and NGOs. An attractive brochure was produced for the occasion.
New Zealand.New Zealand has developed a strategy for WWD, involving Fish and Game New Zealand and the New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust Board and other groups, and will test it out in 2000. In addition, Anna Mahoney (firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports that Fish and Game will be holding a national event at Boggy Creek, Lake Ellesmere, North Canterbury, with a number of celebrities as well as national and local government politicians; a kit, including a poster and pamphlets on wetland ecology and management, is being prepared.
New Zealand II.Brian Sheppard ( email@example.com ), Department of Conservation, sent a report of New Zealand's first Wetland Conservation Awards, based on the model of the Ramsar Awards, with a brief description of the achievements of each of the seven winning individuals and groups. He notes that "this exercise really seems to have caught the community's interest, and so I am sure it will result in a flood of nominations next year". Here is an account of the Awards. And here is Brian's report on Department of Conservation activities that took place for WWD all round the country.
Nicaragua. Martín Lezama ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes that "En Managua, Nicaragua, entre una serie de actividades conexas, estaremos celebrando junto a la autoridad Ramsar-Nicaragua a cargo de Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARENA), Grupo de Trabajo de Humedales-Nicaragua, Fundación del Río y Proyecto Corredor Biológico Centroamericano el día mundial de los humedales en el Auditorio Naturaleza, el día 2 de ferbrero a las 2:00 PM. Además de contar con la presencia de los miembros del Grupo de Trabajo de Humedales, estaran jefes de las direcciones de Ministerio del Ambiente, personalidades del país que trabajan en recursos naturales y miembros de la sociedad civil interesados en la protección de la naturaleza."
Nicaragua.M.Sc. Rocío Córdoba, Coordinadora, Area de Humedales y Zonas Costeras para Mesoamérica, UICN-Mesoamérica, in Moravia, Costa Rica ( email@example.com , http://www.uicnhumedales.org ), reports that the Wetlands and Coastal Zones Programme of IUCN Mesoamerica is hosting an important event: a traveling exhibition, in every Mesoamerican Country, entitled: Wetlands and People of the Tropics: Water gives Life to Mesoamerica, with the support of the Wetlands for the Future (WFF) programme. The exhibition will be inaugurated in El Salvador and will take place on The National Museum of Anthropology Doctor David J. Guzmán with the participation of the Ministers of Environment of El Salvador (Mrs Ana Maria Majano), Honduras (Mrs. Xiomara Gomez), and Nicaragua (Mr. Roberto Stadthagen). This exhibition is part of an integrated outreach program about the characteristics and the importance of wetland ecosystems in the Mesoamerican Region. The goals are to raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands and the mechanisms to avoid their destruction, and promote their conservation, in all the sectors in the Mesoamerican countries. Here is the Spanish text of the announcement.And a subsequent report from Enrique Lahmann, ORMA.
Peru.Manuel Ñique of the Sociedad Peruana de Gestion Ambiental, in Trujillo, notes that WWD will be celebrated by an exposition in the Auditorio del Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano de Trujillo. ( firstname.lastname@example.org , Web: http://www.geocities.com/sociedadpga/SPGA.html ). Valentin Bartra ( email@example.com ) described similar celebrations.
Philippines.Eduardo Bisquera ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), Protected Areas and Wildlife Division, Department of Environment & Natural Resources, informs the Bureau that "In my capacity as the coordinator in my region of the 'World Wetlands Celebration 2000', here is my report: January 31--Opening Program, This was held at the Kalikasan Open Stage of our Office - Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region 9. Guest speakers were invited from the Local Government of Zamboanga City and the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology. It was a well attended occasion. Everyone was given awareness of the values and benefits from our wetlands. Stickers sent to me by Ramsar were distributed, some were posted in the government and private vehicles. February 2 -- Mangrove propagules were planted at Mampang Wetlands. This is one of our priority wetlands in the region. It is the site regularly being monitored - waterfowl census every January of each year since 1991. Participants came from the government institutions, academes and the local government units, and school children. In the afternoon of the same day, we had a information, education campaign in schools. It was held at Ayala Elementary School and San Ramon Elementary School. The schoolchildren and teachers were the participants. I am going to send you some pictures later."
Portugal.Nuno Gomes Oliveira ( email@example.com ), Director of the Parc Biologique Municipal de Gaia, reports that WWD will be celebrated on 5 February with a guided birdwatching visit to the estuary of the River Douro, near Porto, with the collaboration of QUERCUS, National Association for the Conservation of Nature, and FAPAS, the Fund for the Protection of Wild Animals.
Portugal II.Thymio Papayannis ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), MedWet Coordinator, represented Ramsar and MedWet at festivities in Lisbon: "The WWD celebration in Portugal consisted of a one-day conference, held at the auditorium of the Centre for Environmental Information in Lisbon. The participants (about 100) included staff of ICN and the Ministry of Environment and Planning, academics, NGO representatives, local government and the press. The meeting was very well organised by our colleagues at ICN, in a friendly atmosphere. The main speaker was Pedro Silva Pereira, the State Secretary of Environment, who spoke quite brilliantly about wetlands, their values and the need of their conservation and wise use. I followed with a reference to Ramsar sites in the Mediterranean, and of the plan to increase considerably their numbers, but also to ensure their integrated management and the sustainable use of their resources. Hence the need of the MedWet Initiative, which I presented in detail. I also stressed the very positive and active role of Portugal in MedWet from its very beginning. The rest of the day was devoted to very interesting technical presentations, starting with the MedWet Database 2000, which was analysed by Luis Costa."
Republic of Korea.Jung Youn-Koung ( email@example.com ) of Green Korea United informed us of plans to link World Wetlands Day to activities intended to prevent the reclamation of Saemangum tidal flats; here is the report.
Russian Federation.Irina Kamennova, Wetlands International – Russia Programme ( IKamennova@wwfnet.org ), reports that her organization is producing a calendar called "Amazing Wetlands 2000" illustrated with drawings by the winners of a children’s art contest. An exhibition is planned for World Wetlands Day which will display all of the pictures, and here is an advance exhibition of five of them.
Slovak Republic.Zuzana Jurickova of the Department of Nature and Landscape Protection, Ministry of Environment in Bratislava ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), reports that the Ministry is planning a number of 2 February ceremonies in coordination with other organizations, and promises a report to follow. Here, later, is that report, from Director Peter Straka.
Slovenia.Gordana Beltram ( email@example.com ) reports that a poster and leaflet are being prepared for WWD, the latter dedicated to Slovenia's two Ramsar sites. On 2 February a "travelling press conference" will begin in Ljublyana and continue to the Ramsar sites; possible participants include local radio stations, the Minister of the Environment if scheduling permits, Slovenia's Ramsar focal points for education and public awareness, and a number of NGOs.
South Africa. John Dini ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) of the government's Wetlands Conservation Programme reports that his department is presently negotiating with the national television network to broadcast the new Ramsar video in coordination with a discussion session on South Africa's Ramsar sites and the role of the Convention in South Africa. In addition, Ms L. A. Rushby of the Jagger Library of the University of Cape Town ( email@example.com ) notes that prominent displays of WWD are foreseen for both the library and their Web site.
South Africa II.Mmakoma Moloto, Wetlands Conservation Programme, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, has sent a summary report of activities throughout South Africa, 23 March 2000.
Spain. Alberto Valle Alvarez ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes that at the Reserva Natural de la Marismas de Santoña y Noja Ramsar site, the plans are to distribute a press note to local radio, TV, and print media, host an open house to explain Ramsar wetlands to administrators and the public, and several outdoor activities for primary and secondary schoolchildren in the area. It's also planned to inaugurate a magazine over the Internet, including a special competition associated with the celebration of WWD.
Spain II. Pere-Miquel Parés i Casanova ( email@example.com ), of La Seu d'Urgell in the Catalunya region, writes: "To celebrate the World Wetlands Day, our acts are as follows: Two interviews on the radio to tell about the Ramsar Convention (one of them is the local radio; the other one is national) (Thursday and Friday). Two conferences about wetlands of the Segre River and their birds; the conferences will be introduced by a fisherman representing the local club of fishermen and hunters (on Saturday). One of our objectives is to demonstrate the compatibility between the delight and the conservative use of marshes. The lecturers are experts ornithologists of the region. We will distribute the material we had sent to us, and identificative plates of some birds. A communal birdwatching trip to the artifical lake of Oliana, about 40 km S of Catalan Pyrennes (on Sunday). So far, the public response is, for the moment, absolutely OK."
Spain III.Fernando Jubete ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) of the Fundaciòn Global Nature, Centro de Estudios Ambientales de Tierra de Campos, in Fuentes de Nava near Palencia, reports that a press conference is being organized to stress the importance of wetlands and of the Nava in the Ramsar context.
Spain IV. Theo Oberhuber, of the secretariat of Ecologistas en Acción, described the plans his organization pursues in celebration of WWD, right here.
Spain V.Pere Tomas-Vives ( email@example.com ), Director General of Biodiversitat in the Balearic Islands, writes: "Pueden consultar informacion sobre diversos humedales de Baleares y el dia mundial de los humedales en la pagina Web del parque natural de s'Albufera de Mallorca, preparada por Gabriel Perelló, en http://www.oninet.es/usuarios/salbufera/. Asi mismo, hoy se ha difundido a los medios de comunicacion locales un comunicado de prensa destacando la importancia y escasez de estos ecosistemas en nuestra region, asi como mapas de localoizacion y datos cuantitativos sobre su estado actual, resultado de la delimitacion realizada por la Consejeria de Medio Ambiente."
Switzerland. Lorenz Heer ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Roland Graf ( email@example.com ) of Schweizer Vogelschutz SVS - BirdLife Switzerland, report that Switzerland is working on the implementation of the Ramsar wetland sites and on waterbird sites of international and national importance by political pressure. For World Wetlands Day, a media campaign for declaring new ramsar sites is being undertaken. Web site: http://www.birdlife.ch .
Thailand. Asae Sayaka ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), of the Wetlands International - Thailand Programme in Hat Yai, notes that a workshop on "Wetland Management in Thailand" will be held on 2-3 February, with a seminar on the 4th on "Fifteen years of cooperation between Wetlands International and Prince of Songkla University in wetland research and conservation in Thailand".
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.Delmar Blasco, the Ramsar Secretary General, is participating in World Wetlands Day ceremonies at Prespa Lake, with the Prime Ministers of Albania, Greece, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Ministers will declare a transfrontier "Prespa Park" as part of the WWF Living Planet Campaign. Prespa Lake is a Ramsar site in Greece aand in the FYROM, and the Prespa Lake Society was co-winner of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award in 1999. Here's the Prime Ministers' Declaration.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia II. The Deputy Minister of Environment, Mr Marjan Dodovski, and the president of the National Ramsar Committee, Dr Branko Micevski, hosted a WWD seminar and cocktail on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, well-attended (for the cocktails) and with interviews on national television and radio.
Trinidad and Tobago.Nicole Leotaud, Education Coordinator for Environment Tobago ( email@example.com ), writes that her organization plans a feature in the national Tobago News, with several articles on Ramsar and what's been happening with implementation of the Convention in Trinidad and Tobago, general info on the ecology, values, and importance of wetlands, and a review of current threats. Similar materials are to be provided to Radio Tambrin. A field trip to a local wetland is also being organized for a youth group called Generation YES (Youth Encouraging Sustainability). Web site: http://www.scsoft.de/et. Late: here's the report from Generation YES and a report on threats to Tobago's wetlands.
Turkey. Hekad Sulak ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Sunay Demircan ( email@example.com ) note that in the town of Mersin on the southern Mediterranean coast, near the Göksu Delta Ramsar site, the DHKD nature conservation NGO's third annual wetland conservation award will be bestowed upon the Tour du Valat Biological Station for its involvement in setting up an integrated management plan for the Göksu Delta, in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of the Environment, the Dutch government, and the European Commission. The Göksu Delta was selected by DHKD and Tour du Valat as a pilot wetland site on the Mediterranean in 1991, and both organizations have been providing close support since that time. Here is a subsequent report, with photographs, from the Ramsar Bureau's Tobias Salathé, who was there.The Ministry of the Environment also published for WWD 2000 a Turkish-language version of the Ramsar Manual.
Ukraine. "Dear friends, Crimean Republican Association 'Ekologia i Mir' (Ecology and Peace) is an environmental NGO working in Crimea (Ukraine) and the Black Sea region. Biodiversity conservation is one of our main fields of activity. Now we are supporting action to save birds wintering in Crimean wetlands, rivers and lakes. As the 2nd of February is Wetlands Day, we plan inform Crimean public about this event and focus mass media attention on bird saving and protection of Crimean wetlands. With best wishes, Andrey Artov, Deputy Head, Non-governmental environmental organization Crimean Republican Association "Ekologia i Mir" P.O.Box 3, Simferopol 95006 Crimea, Ukraine. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ."
United Kingdom.Cindy Peters, Department of Environment, Transport, and the Regions in the UK, has sent along the DETR'spress release on the occasion of the World Wetlands Day announcement by Minister Chris Mullin that the UK is designating a new Ramsar site, called Northumbria Coast, and extending the Breydon Water Ramsar site over a significant area.
United Kingdom II. Caroline Byrt reports that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Minsmere Nature Reserve Visitor Centre (and Ramsar site) in Suffolk plans "Wake up on the Wash" for 2 February, a celebratory dawn spectacle featuring a cast of "thousands of wild geese and waders". The Wash (62,000-hectare Ramsar site) is one of the most impressive wetlands in the UK's East Anglia.
United Kingdom III.Alex Morley ( A.Morley@btcv.org.uk ), South Worcestershire Community Projects Officer for BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers), sent this press release, to the effect that volunteers from BTCV will be helping remove excess waste timber from the newly created Upton Warren wetland, which creates a demand on the water’s oxygen, on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd of February. Later: "Hi. This is just a quick message to let you know that a group of Millennium volunteers with BTCV took part in World Wetlands Day. we went to Chartley Moss in Staffordshire, a floating peat bog, and had a day of practical habitat management. It was enjoyed by all and we have some great photos if anyone is interested. Please feel free to contact me for more details. Jennie Mallela, J.Mallela@btcv.org.uk , BTCV Millennium volunteers Coordinator, Staffordshire."
Venezuela. In the framework of WWD, the Venezuela Committee of IUCN-The World Conservation Union is launching a new book, Conservación de Humedales en Venezuela: Inventario, diagnóstico ambiental y estrategiaby Rafael Rodríguez Altamiranda, published with the support of the Junta de Andalucía (Spain) and IUCN's Programa Regional de Humedales. Here is the announcement (Spanish only so far).
Venezuela II. Jorge Hinestroza, email@example.com , writes: "Nos es muy grato enviarles el inicio de la programación aniversaria de nuestro Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas de La Universidad del Zulia, con sede en Maracaibo, Venezuela. Como Uds.verán, arrancamos nuestro programa con la celebración del Día Mundial de Los Humedales bajo el lema de 'Celebración de nuestros Humedales de Importancia Internacional'. Nuestro centro de investigaciones ha estado ligado históricamente a la creación del Refugio de Fauna Silvestre Ciénaga de Los Olivitos desde 1986, posteriormente declarado Sitio Ramsar en 1992." Here is a copy of the programme.