World Wetlands Day 2001: Latvia
The WWD events in Latvia were organised by the Latvian Nature Museum. Prior to event, WWD posters were displayed in Latvian University, Environmental Protection Club, Ministry of Environment and even at Riga Dome (Council) building and information was distributed also to schools.
On January 31st, the exposition of Ramsar posters, translated into Latvian, was opened at the Latvian Nature Museum. February 2nd began with Radio Latvia and Christian Radio telling about Wetland Day in Latvia and interviewing leading specialists in wetland protection in Latvia and representatives of Ramsar sites.
In the afternoon, the press conference was organised, with presentations by (from left to right in the photo) Ms Skaidrite Ruskule (Nature Museum), Mr Ugis Bergmanis (Teici Nature Reserve and Ramsar site), Mr Rolands Bebris (Ministry of Environment), Ms Mara Janaus (Institute of Biology), Ms Antra Stipniece (Latvian Ornithological Society), and Mr Janis Kuze (Kemeri National Park and Ramsar site). 14 journalists were present, and information was published in leading Latvian newspapers.
The second part of the event was chaired by Ms Digna Pilate, with a presentation from Mr Rolands Bebris (right) giving the introduction on wetland protection and achievements of Latvia in this field, followed by presentations by experts from all three Ramsar sites in Latvia, telling about values and functions of their wetlands, biological diversity and management measures. Ms Antra Stipniece presented Important Bird Areas in Latvia, with emphasis on fact that there are many more wetlands in Latvia to be designated as Ramsar sites. The Ramsar video was demonstrated after the presentations, Ramsar booklets and stickers were distributed during the event, along with booklets and stickers from Ramsar sites in Latvia. More than 50 students, teachers and school children took part in the event.
After the event, plans on how to organise the World Wetlands Day in future were discussed -- among good ideas raised was one to make a movie about Latvian Ramsar sites for the general public, thus helping to promote the valuable wetlands and the Ramsar Convention in Latvia.
-- reported by Ms Ilze Strausa (Latvian Nature Museum),
summary by Inga Racinska (Ramsar Bureau)