World Wetlands Day 2002: Activities planned and reported for WWD 2002

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WWD 2001 on a beach in the Philippines

What is World Wetlands Day?2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular. From 1997 to 2001, the Convention’s Web site has posted reports from more than 60 countries of WWD activities of all sizes and shapes, 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.

Wetlands: Water, Life, and Culture

The suggested theme for World Wetlands Day 2002 is "Wetlands: Water, Life, and Culture". Wetlands are a storehouse of cultural heritage which takes many forms, from human-made physical structures and artefacts, palaeontological records in sediments and peat, and traditional water and land-use management practices, to places of religious and mythological significance and the intangible ‘sense of place’ felt by many for these wild and often mysterious sites and their wildlife. Government agencies, non-governmental organizations, site managers and citizens are invited to explore cultural issues in their national and local contexts and seek to make their publics more aware of the cultural as well as the natural values of their wetlands.

Activities planned for WWD 2002, as reported to the Ramsar Bureau

[Note on bad grammar: This listing combines early reports of planned activities and later reports of what actually happened, so the verb tenses are scrambled.]

Cultural Heritage of Wetlands. Among the numerous WWD activities mentioned below, the Bureau has received, in honor of this year's suggested theme, feature articles on some of the interconnections between wetlands and cultural issues in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme.Katarina Vestin announces that the MAB Programme took the occasion of World Wetlands Day to launch the publication of a new book on the Czech Republic's Trebon Basin Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar site on the MAB/Ramsar joint Web site -- J. Kvet, J. Jeník and L. Soukupová. (Eds.), 2002. Freshwater wetlands and their sustainable future - a case study of Trebon Basin Biosphere Reserve, Czech Republic (495 pages) -- and here is a description of the book taken directly from the MAB Web site.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Lisa Hadeed (, Communications Manager of the Living Waters Programme, reports "During January 28 to February 2 (World Wetlands Day), the Living Waters Programme will be planning the following activities and announcements: January 28: Kick-off press release to the network on January 24 to urge protection of wetlands. A snazzy wallpaper that visitors can download as a background image and slogan. Spotlight on January 29: Story of the day on Today, the focus will be on a large commitment by the Chadian government to protect over 4 million hectares of wetlands over the Logone floodplain and Lake Léré. January 30: Feature stories on an additional half a million hectares of wetlands in Cuba for protection, the leading Caribbean nation in wetlands protection. Also on January 31: Report on the Danube, shipping plans and threats to wetlands. Feb.1 - 2: The week culminates in the announcement by the Chinese government of the protection of 14 Ramsar sites totalling nearly 2 million hectares: north-eastern China (five sites), Yangtze River (three sites), and the coast (6 sites, covering mangrove forests, habitat for migratory birds, sea turtles and seals)."

Albania.Spyros Kouvelis ( and Thymio Papayannis of Ramsar's MetWet Coordination Team based in Athens, Greece, will be attending the Prespa Park Committee's press conference and extraordinary meeting of the Committee in Resen, FYR Macedonia. Representatives of the three Prespa countries (Albania, FYR Macedonia, and Greece) will be participating, and there will be an art contest among schoolchildren from all three nations. [Here is Spyros Kouvelis' later report on the ceremonies.]

Algeria. Mohamed Benaida, President of the Association El Safir pour l'Echange et le développement, based in Wilaya d'Oran (, writes that his organization plans an awareness programme for the benefit of children in the various schools of the area.

Andorra. Olga Adellach Coma, La Ministra d'Agricultura i Medi Ambient of the Govern d'Andorra, writes: "J'ai le plaisir de vous informer que pour la journée du 2 février 2002 nous avons présenté un livre sur l'eau et la nature dont je vous joins 2 exemplaires. Vous pourrez y observer que nous avons développé une partie sur les zones humides et nous allons lancer une étude sur ces zones plus complète qui débutera ce printemps. Ce 2 février, nous avons annoncé l'intention du Gouvernement de l'Andorre d'adhérer à la Convention de Ramsar. Dans ce but nous avons déjà commence à travailler à la traduction de la Convention au cetalan qui est notre langue officielle et à rédiger les documents juridiques nécessaires pour la soumission du texte à notre Parlement." Here are a few illustrations from the new book.

Argentina I.Roberto Molinari of the Programa Manejo de Recursos Culturales (, in the Administración de Parques Nacionales, describes planned WWD activities in national parks in this report (in Spanish), with photos of WWD posters.

Argentina II.Julieta Peteán ( of the Proyecto Pesca Fluvial y Humedales posted a notice to the Foro Electronico Latinoamericano sobre Pesca Continental describing the significance of WWD and announcing the availability of Ramsar WWD2002 materials in Spanish on the Web site of the Fundación Proteger, based in Santa Fe. Here is the announcement. Moreover, Jorge Cappato, Director General of the Fundación Proteger, provides a general look at the organization's WWD activities and writes at length in a press release about one of them: "Aguaí -compañía de Música, Danza y Títeres del Litoral Argentino-, presenta su obra Seguir Siendo, inspirada en la mitología guaraní. Será el sábado 26 de enero, a las 21, en la Casa de la Cultura, 9 de Julio y Carbó, de la ciudad de Paraná, Entre Ríos, Argentina. Aguaí inaugura así una serie de presentaciones en diferentes ciudades de la Argentina, auspiciadas por la Fundación PROTEGER -miembro de la UICN, en adhesión al Día Mundial de los Humedales y a la 8ª conferencia internacional de la Convención Ramsar sobre estos sistemas acuáticos, con el lema: "Humedales: agua, vida y cultura"." Read more about Aguaí here.

Argentina III. Rosita Albariño ( writes: "En el Día de los Humedales, les hacemos llegar un gran abrazo de nuestra Organización Charrúa Ahijuna, que sigue soñando a pesar de todo en un mundo mejor, nutrido por la espiritualidad de los Pueblos Originarios y sustentado por matrices identificatorias donde el agua es - junto y parte de la Pachamama - la líquida y bella madre de largos cabellos sedosos, de la que abrevamos, vinimos y a la que seguramente regresaremos para repetir - eternidad de eternidades - el camino dispuesto por los creadores y ordenadores del cosmos." Here is the text of the organization's statement.

Australia I.Alison Beard ( of the Wetlands Section, Environment Australia in Canberra, is coordinating a WWD2002 events calendar for all of Australia, including input from Australia's CEPA Taskforce members, and the text is available here. The PDF version can be requested from Alison at the address above or from the Ramsar Bureau, and a Web version is available at

Australia II.Maria Grazia Bellio (, Research Support Officer with the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist in Jabiru, writes that the National Centre of Tropical Wetland Research is organizing a seminar on "People in Tropical Wetlands" at Northern Territory University (including topics like ‘ecotourism in tropical wetlands’ and ‘cultural heritage management of tropical wetlands’) and an excursion trip to three sites in the Darwin area, for the week following WWD. Flier available at  and

Australia III.Angela Brady ( of the Australian Wetlands Alliance secretariat, based at the Wetlands Centre Australia in Wallsend NSW, reports: "The Australian Wetlands Alliance (AWA) is holding a series of eight community workshops on and around World Wetlands Day to promote greater understanding of wetlands. Each workshop has a different focus, however a common theme is creating better links between local interest groups and the broader community, whilst increasing the awareness of the management and regulatory frameworks (and how to make change) which impact on wetlands conservation."

Australia IV. Toni Domaschenz (, Urban Stormwater Officer for the North Central Catchment Management Authority in Huntly, recalls that "Last year I was working in Horsham, Victoria, Australia and we had a bus trip to Lake Albacutya. Even though the day was 40oC+, we were completely booked out. We had about 160 people attend on 5 buses (and some cars). The 'irony' of it all was that the wetland has not been full since 1976, and hasn't seen water since 1996. So to have that many people attend a day about basically a dry wetland in a desert was fantastic. The stickers and posters you sent us value added to the event as we had a number of local images and 'souvenirs'. The stickers especially offered a lasting momento of the occasion. This year I am based in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. The students at Cohuna Secondary College are hosting an event, which involves inviting another secondary school from the start of the catchment to their Ramsar wetland."

Australia V.Peter Main (, writes: "Hello Valerie, I am the new Manager of the Boondall Wetlands Visitor Centre, a Ramsar site in South East Queensland, Australia. We are having World Wetlands Day celebrations here starting at 6 am with a Bird Watch walk on our most popular track followed by morning tea and then a musical/dance performance by a local Aboriginal group. Later in the day we will have guest speakers from our State Government Waterways Unit and the Wader Study Group. We would love to have some promotional material to give away and educate our community on the vital importance of all Wetlands. We expect around 200 people on the day."

Australia VI. Shannon Haintz ( of the NRE Information Centre in East Melbourne, Victoria, writes: "The Department of Natural Resources & Environment is a Victorian State Government department. We have a number of Information Centres around the state who provide publications and information to the general public. Most of these Information Centres have room for displays of all sorts, including promotion of upcoming events and books. I will use the material on World Wetlands Day to create a display in one of our windows that faces out onto the street. This way people passing by will be able to look at and learn about World Wetlands Day. I will be using the stickers to give away to customers and staff and to school children for projects etc. The other information centres will be doing the same."

Australia VII. Karyn Bradford ( of Milang, SA, writes: "We are a small community on Lake Alexandrina, South Australia. If possible we would like 200 stickers for our school children who help with revegetation around the wetland and some (whatever you think is a fair thing) of the pocket calendars as well as 4 posters. . . . Last year we were able to direct mail 200 postcards to all of our residents at Milang with info on the back about the importance of our wetland and what was happening there. It really helped to raise awareness. Thanks. Have enclosed a photo of one of our wetland signs."

Australia VIII. Lesley Walker ( of the Southport School in Queensland writes: "The contribution we make is a small one, a presentation is made each year in The Senior Library about the Wetlands. Looking at the WWD materials for this year will be of particular interest to our large community of students. We have over 40 nationalities represented at the school by way of birth country or nationality. To add to this we now display in the Library the national flags representing the countries of most of our students. Students of SOSE also study the Wetlands so these brochures are of particular interest to them."

Australia IX. Kirsty Stratford (, Environmental Services, City of Cockburn, Bibra Lake DC, Western Australia, writes: "There are numerous wetlands within the City of Cockburn with 14 Lakes, one Thomson's Lake, being a Ramsar site. This year for world wetlands day we are hoping to organise a staff planting day and possibly the opening of a dual use path in the reserve around one of our wetlands. There are also a number of Friends groups associated with the wetlands in the district and Council organises planting and clean up days around the wetlands for these groups (usually in the cooler months - May and June). We also do presentations and displays for schools and other community functions and stickers and posters would be a great promotional tool for our wetlands and their importance."

Australia X.Angela Standley, Revive our Wetlands Project Officer for the Byron Bay Conservation Volunteers (, in New South Wales, writes that the Volunteers will be holding wetland rehabilitation projects for the entire week leading up to WWD2002. Anna Grounds (, Project Officer for Revive our Wetlands Illawarra in Wollongong, NSW, writes that, in addition to other activities there, a colouring competition will be held for children.

Australia XI.Kevin Hopkinson (, Wetland Project Coordinator with the Water and Rivers Commission/Green Skills based in Albany, WA, plans a WWD field day including birdwatching, canoeing, and the catching of bugs, with 30 people expected.

Australia XII.Pam Wickham (Pam.Wickham@PLMBAY.PWCNT.NT.GOV.AU), of Window on the Wetlands, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, writes of WWD activities in the Northern Territory, featuring games, competitions, and a puppet show. The programme is here.

Australia XIII.Wendy Haberecht (, Community Education Officer for the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority in Horsham, Victoria, reports that plans for 1 February include a "Wetland Wander: Natimuk-Douglas chain of lakes: a celebration of World Wetlands Day", with guest speakers from Birds Australia and Melbourne University.

Australia XIV. Alison Beard ( of Environment Australia writes: "Please find attached some images from Australia's national launch of World Wetlands Day 2002 held at our newest Ramsar site, Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands. The new Minister for the Environment and Heritage the Hon. David Kemp MP announced a significant funding contribution of A$210,000 (approximately US$120,000) towards implementation of the "Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway: 2001-2005". Doug Watkins, Shorebird Flyway Officer from Wetlands International - Oceania, gratefully accepted the cheque to continue his work in the flyway." Here's her report and photos.

Australia XV.Helen Aitchison, Ramsar Officer at The Wetlands Centre in Newcastle, writes: "Dear Ramsar People, I just thought I'd drop you a line and let you know what we did for World Wetlands Day here in the Hunter Valley, Australia. Our WWD activities were a joint exercise between Australian Wetland Alliance and Ramsar (funded by the Natural Heritage Trust). It was held at The Wetlands Centre in Newcastle, NSW, Australia, a community owned and managed.45-hectare site comprising natural and restored wetlands adjacent to the city of Newcastle." Here is the rest of her report, and a photograph.

Austria. "Under the title "WasSerleben" (meaning "water life" as well as "experience something impressive" in German), the Austrian "Lebensministerium" (i.e. the "Life Ministry", the Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water, in charge of Ramsar), the Austrian League for Nature Conservation (Naturschutzbund Oesterreich) and the Austrian Federal Forests Ltd company (Oesterreichische Bundesforste AG) launched a campaign together with the Austrian Federal States, as a major contribution to the implementation of the national CEPA programme." Read a description of the campaign here.

Bahamas.Rochelle Newbold of the Bahamas Environment Science & Technology (BEST) Commission ( reports that the Commission is planning two workshops on wetlands and their importance, as part of a week of WWD activities, with 2 mini-workshops to be hosted on two of the islands whose wetlands are scheduled for restoration.

Belgium I. On the occasion of WWD 2002, a pre-briefing cocktail event was organised on 22 January in the European Parliament building in Brussels by GLOBE and the European Archaeological Council (or Europae Archaeologiae Consilium, EAC). Central to the presentation on 22 January was EAC's paper presenting a strategy for the heritage management of wetlands in Europe, which was delivered by Dr Adrian Olivier, EAC's President (cf. attachment EU wetlands launch). Details are available here.

Belgium II. Dr Eckhart Kuijken (, general director of the Institute of Nature Conservation and new chairman Belgian Ramsar Committee, writes: "As a contribution to World Wetland Day 02.02.02, Belgium has established yesterday its national Ramsar Committee, chaired by myself. This event will be announced in the press tomorrow." The press release, in French and Dutch languages, is available here.

Belize.Stephanie Lipe (, Environmental Educator with the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, sent this report of WWD activities, including a canoe trip for teachers. Photos included.

Bolivia I. Ana Alicia Eid Chatjur (, Coordinadora de Comunicación with WWF Bolivia in Santa Cruz, writes that WWF Bolivia will celebrate World Wetlands Day and International Wetlands Week with activities for the public which include drawing, music composition, story telling and handicrafts contests and the launch of "The Wetlands Train". More detail is available here.

Bolivia II. Omar Rocha O. (, Coordinador de Proyecto, Conservación de Flamencos y Humedales Altoandinos de Bolivia, Wildlife Conservation Society - Programa Bolivia, writes: "Adjunto a la presente, una nota sobre la actividad realizada en La Paz - Bolivia, conmemorando el Día Mundial de los Humedales del 2 de febrero 2002." His one-page report, with photo, begins: "Conmemorando el día mundial de los humedales, 02 febrero de 2002, se presentó en la ciudad de La Paz, Bolivia, la Exhibición Itinerante: A vuelo rosado - Conservación de Flamencos y Humedales Altoandinos en Bolivia, la misma que fue inaugurada en un acto público por el Sr. Ramiro Cavero Uriona, Ministro de Desarrollo Sostenible y Medio Ambiente de Bolivia."

Bulgaria I. Gina George (, US Peace Corps worker in Bulgaria, writes: "The environment and education departments of the municipality of Pomorie are organizing a youth fieldtrip to a biodiversity center "PODA" on Feb.2nd. There will be wetland displays, videos, and presentations as well as the possibility for birdwatching from a viewing platform. Local students and Eco-scouts group will participate." There are other plans for the local schools and the museum, and several more ideas still in the planning stage, and here is her description.

Bulgaria II.Irina Kostadinova ( has sent a list of activities sponsored by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds / BirdLife Bulgaria in the towns of Sofia, Burgas, Varna, Svistov, Plovdiv, Vratza, and Chaskovo, ranging from press conferences, lectures and videos for schools, field excursions, TV and radio reports, and including the launch of BSPB's new Web site at Here is her one-page description of the events.

Cameroon.Dieudonné Xavier Ateba, Directeur Exécutif of the NGO Volontariat pour l'Environnement (VPE) (, writes that VPE's planned activities include a televised roundtable in Sangmelima in the south of the country, on "wetlands and cultural values", on 23 January; video and photographic reportage on 26 January on the condition and future prospects of the lakes in the vicinity of the capital Yaoundé; and on 1 February, presentation of documentary videos to school and university students in Yaoundé. Here is his subsequent report (in French).

Canada I. Wioletta Walancik, Special Events Coordinator with Friends of Second Marsh (,, writes: "We are a small, non-profit environmental organization located in Oshawa, Ontario, that promotes the Second Marsh and its watershed through educational, stewardship and interpretive programs. In celebration of the World Wetlands Day, we are organizing a winter walk at the Second Marsh wildlife area on Saturday, February 2, 2002. I would like to give something away to the participants who come out. If you could send some of your stickers (the ones with the lily pads are nice!) that would be great."

Canada II. Ria Coleman (, Client & Heritage Services at Wood Buffalo National Park, writes: "This year we have placed an ad in the two local papers, inviting the public to come in and learn more about the wetlands in Wood Buffalo National Park. We are also preparing for this year's contest celebration."

Chile I.José Luis Brito Montero ( writes that the Museo de Ciencias Naturales y Arqueología de San Antonio, in conjuction with ANTIPODA, Grupo de Acción Ecologica de San Antonio, will mark WWD2002 with an exhibition in Santo Domingo which will emphasize wetlands and their cultural values; the indigenous cultures of the Humedal El Yali Ramsar site and other wetlands in San Antonio province; the history of salt extraction in El Yali; other aspects of the history and paleontology of El Yali; and ancient and modern fishing in the estuary of the Río Maipo. More details here (español).

Chile II. El Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo (CED) (, está realizando importantes acciones que llevan adelante un programa de trabajo orientado a generar las bases de una efectiva conservación de la biodiversidad en el país. Uno de los logros que marcan este propósito, es la puesta en marcha, en febrero de 2002, del proyecto "Conservación de la Biodiversidad y Manejo Sustentable del Salar del Huasco", financiado con aportes del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial, implementado por el Programa de las Naciones Unidades para el Desarrollo (PNUD) y cuyo organismo ejecutor es el CED. Comunicado de Prensa.

China I. Leikun ( of the State Forestry Administration in Beijing, writes: "As the February 2nd, 2002 is approaching, China, collaborated with WWF, are preparing grand activities at the time of celebrating 6th World Wetland Day. By using celebration activities, we want to promote the development of wetland conservation and wise use and draw broad attention to the business, not only domestically but also internationally. According to the plan, Mr. Zhou Shengxian, Minister of State Forestry Administration, will present the ceremony. Together, some congressmen of environment committee and members of CPPCC, the national top politic advisor body, will also be invited to attend the activities. As part of the global campaign, the Gift to the Earth (GTTE), WWF International will grant Mr. Zhou Shengxian and Mr. Zhang Jianlong, Director of China Ramsar Convention Implementing Office, the certificates to honor their outstanding contribution to China wetlands conservation in recent years. Moreover, we plan to award the new proposed 14 China Ramsar Sites with the framed certificates made by Ramsar Bureau at the news conference. Additionally, representatives from other governmental sectors and agencies related to wetlands, as well as some NGOs, will be invited to the celebrations. Chinese major media such as CCTV, China Daily are expected to report the celebrating activities."

China II. Mr. Lo Wai-an (, Project Manager (Conservation) for the Conservancy Association, writes: "The Conservancy Association, founded in 1968, is the non-government environmental organization with the longest history in Hong Kong. As a champion of sustainable development, we are dedicated to the protection of the environment and the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of both this and future generations, and to ensure that Hong Kong shoulders her regional and global environmental responsibilities. We achieve this by advocating appropriate policies, monitoring government action, promoting environmental education and taking a lead in community participation. As the Maipo and Inner Deep Bay, Hong Kong, had been designated as Ramsar Site since 1995, we have also started our Ramsar Wetland Conservation Programme since 1997. In the coming WWD, we will also organise activities in collaboration with the government and other green groups. We would like to request for some of the items for information and education. Welcome to our Web site, though most of the information is in Chinses, photos are still attractive ("

China III.Sam, Y.S.Lee (Ms.) (, Director-Programme Development, WWF Hong Kong, writes: "Numerous events and activities have been planned in Hong Kong for the WWD celebrations on 2 February 2002 by a number of NGOs and the government. As part of the celebrations, WWF Hong Kong jointly organised a community participation activity with the HKSAR Ramsar Authority on 20 January 2002. A group of volunteers and teachers were enlisted to help clear reedgrass for a reedbed management project in the Mai Po Nature Reserve (part of the Mai Po/Deep Bay Ramsar Site), managed by WWF Hong Kong. The reedbeds (over 46 ha) is probably the largest reedbed in the Guangdong Province, Southern China. On 2 February, to further encourage public participation in wetland conservation, a group of secondary school students will help clear Mikania micrantha in the reserve. In addition, WWF Hong Kong is also co-organising wetland awareness activities with local NGOs in neighbouring Macau, to further raise the awareness importance to local community. Some 5% of the world's population of the endangered Black-faced Spoonbill winters at the Seac Pai Wan lagoon in Macau but the site is now in the process of being reclaimed. For more information on WWF Hong Kong wetland works, please visit our Web site at"

Colombia I.Javier O. Espinosa Beltrán, Biólogo CVC (, writes: "La Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca (CVC), ha programado en conmemoración para el día mundial de los Humedales, una actividad Ambiental, en la Madrevieja Chiquique a orillas del complejo hidrológico del Río Cauca, deseo manifestarles que siempre estamos atentos para difundir y concientizar los beneficios que nos prestan estos ecosistemas y qué los estan afectando. La celebración lo realizaremos con la comunidad de pescadores artesanales, comunidad estudiantil y personas que deseen adherirse al programa, se realizará una repoblación con la especie Bocachico (Prochilodus reticulatus) como símbolo de la vida en los ecosistemas naturales, al igual que una siembra de arboles en sus riberas, iniciando procesos de protección en la franja de los 30 mtrs. La Madrevieja Chiquique posee un área estimada de 8 hectáreas y en su totalidad en espejo de agua. Se encuentra a una altura de 975 mtrs s.n.m. presentando zona de anidación de aves y buena cantidad de peces para el sustento de los pescadores que se encuentran en la zona. Les estaremos enviando información de lo ocurrido en el evento y estamos seguros que ustedes estaran con nosotros en esta celebración." Also reported by Sandra Rincon Cabal (, Adm de Recursos Costeros y Marinos, Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca – CVC, Subdirección de Patrimonio Ambiental - Grupo Hidrobiología, Cali-Colombia.

Colombia II.Henry Gonzalez Gonzalez ( writes: "El Centro de Estudios Socioecológicos Francisco José de Caldas celebrará el día mundial de los Humedales con un evento sencillo en las instalaciones de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Sede Palmira - durante el día 28 de febrero del presente año. Para esta celebración contaremos con la colaboración de expertos que nos dictarasn conferencias acerca de la importancia ecosistemica y cultural de los Humedales, así como e u funcionario del Ministerio del Medio Ambiente de Colombia quien nos hablara sobre la importancia de adherirse a la Convención. Quedamos de ustedes muy agradecidos por la atención prestada a la anterior no sin antes exaltar su importantisima labor en la preservación de estos ecosistemas de importancia internacional."

Costa Rica. Marco A. Solano, Ministerio del Ambiente y Energía, Programa Nacional de Humedales, contributed this press release outlining Ramsar and WWD and the situation with wetlands in Costa Rica (in Spanish).

Croatia.Eugen Draganovic (, writes: «I have sent to you the materials connected with Wetland Day celebrated in Croatia. Two posters were produced - one was result of the open contest for the primary school children, the theme was protection of wetlands and the best work was awarded and printed as a poster. As National focal point for implementation of Ramsar Convention my team and I produced the poster, the motto was: wetlands are also suitable for people to live in, without disturbing the natural situation. The picture was taken in Lonjsko polje. The folder was also printed with a short explanation of main values of the Ramsar sites in Croatia. On this occasion the Minister of Environment held the press conference and I personally gave three lectures on Wetlands Day in three different places. These activities were supported through three radio emissions and a number of newspaper articles on this subject in which I was explaining the importance of the protection of wetlands. Also a very instructive exhibition on Ramsar sites and the role of Ramsar convention was installed in the main hall in the Ministry building and lasted for two weeks. In short we did our best to stress the importance of the wetlands in Croatia."

Denmark.Jan Woollhead (  writes: "On World Wetlands Day we celebrate the day by having a guided tour on Nakskov Fjord in southeastern Denmark, a Ramsar site with many small islands, shallow and highly productive water with many wintering waterbirds. The site include also historical monuments of national importance, for example, remnants of an old medieval herring market. The event is a sailing tour with the old post boat delivering post and goods to the few inhabitants at the fjord. From the boat we will look at the wintering birds and tell about their conditions, the ecology of the fjord, and the settlements. We will also have a walk of the peninsular Albuen. The tour is guided by the local ranger Klaus Beck Nielsen and myself working at the County Council of Storstrøm with nature guiding, etc."

Egypt. Injy Galal, National Information Officer, MedWetCoast - Egypt (, reports: "The World Wetlands Day WWD was celebrated in Egypt, this year, for the first time. Since the project's policy is grass-roots involvement, special emphasis was put on celebrating that day in its protected areas. Coordination with local mosques was rendered to include the issue of environment and wetlands conservation, in their Friday prayers preaching, on Feb. 1st. T-shirts and stickers for that special occasion were produced and distributed, and the Project Assistant obtained sponsorship from Pepsi Foods, in the form of crisp bags and soft drinks, distributed to the attendees on the WWD. Following is a report of activities held at each protectorate - Zaranik, Omayad, and Burullus - in celebration of that day.

Ecuador. Olga Quevedo Pinos ( of the Subsecretaría de Gestión Ambiental Costera in Guayaquil, writes: "El siguiente mensaje es para comunicarte que aquí en Guayaquil estamos organizando un evento el viernes 01 de febrero. El evento se trata de una serie de conferencias sobre los humedales que ya han sido designados en el Ecuador y las politicas ambientales respecto a los mismos. El taller está dirigido a estudiante y profesionales durará todo un día, al final del mismo entregaremos certificados que van ha ser firmados por el Subsecretario de Gestión Ambiental Costera, y en vista de esto queria pedirte, si es posible nos envies tripticos, información, afiches, stickers para obsequiar a los participantes en ese día." Alicia Jaramillo (, Presidente, Comite Ecologico del Litoral in Guayaquil, sends this brief programme of events.

Eritrea.Jugal Tiwari ( of Seawater Farms Eritrea, Massawa, plans a "bird count at the Seawater Farms Eritrea wetlands (120 hectares). So far seen 215 species and photographed 130 species. I wish to bring out poster of some endangered species like Arabian Bustard and White-eyed Gulls", as well as a slide show for the people on 'Birdlife of Massawa Eritrea'.

Ethiopia. WWD was celebrated for the first time in Ethiopia through an awareness raising workshop at Jimma University. This workshop was run by Afework Hailu, Director of the Ethio-Wetlands and Natural Resources Association, the only specialist wetland NGO in Ethiopia and was supported by Dr Alan Dixon, of Wetland Action EEIG, a community focused international wetland NGO. The workshop was held in Jimma, the major centre in the southwest highlands of Ethiopia where wetlands are a recurrent landscape feature. These headwater wetlands in the Nile and Omo river systems are under increasing pressure as a result of population growth, upland degradation and commercialisation. Jimma University, one of the new regional universities, is in the process of developing new teaching and research activities, one of which will focus on sustainable wetland utilisation. For more details see: and

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.Spyros Kouvelis ( and Thymio Papayannis of Ramsar's MetWet Coordination Team based in Athens, Greece, will be attending the Prespa Park Committee's press conference and extraordinary meeting of the Committee in Resen, FYR Macedonia. Representatives of the three Prespa countries (Albania, FYR Macedonia, and Greece) will be participating, and there will be an art contest among schoolchildren from all three nations. [Here is Spyros Kouvelis' later report on the ceremonies.]

France I.Pascale Perret of the Société nationale de protection de la nature (SNPN) plans 2 February educational activities and open house events at a number of sites, including Fontainebleau near Paris, the Réserve nationale de Camargue, and the Lac de Grand-Lieu Ramsar site near Bouaye.

France II. The Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention will be attending the inauguration on 2 February of the "Maison Ramsar de la Baie de Somme" at the Station Scientifique de Blanquetaque near Abbeville at the mouth of the river Somme on the English Channel (La Manche). Part of the ceremonies will include the signing of a partnership convention among the Conseil Général de la Somme, the Conservatoire du littoral, and the Syndicat Mixte pour l'Aménagement de la Côte Picarde, as well the signing of the Protocol d'accord between Ramsar and Eurosite with the Préfet de la Région Picardie and the Préfet de la Somme. Here's a photo of the building and a bit more detail.

France III. La chaine de télévision française TF1 passera un reportage sur la journée mondiale des zones humides et la Convention de Ramsar pendant son émission "30 millions d'amis" qui sera diffusée samedi, le 2 février à 11.15h. / The French TV station, TF1, will be showing a segment on World Wetlands Day and the Ramsar Convention during its programme "30 Millions d'Amis" which will be broadcast at 11:15 am on Saturday, 2nd February.

France IV. The Association pour le Développement des Recherches et de l'Enseignement en Environnement (, in Cessieres in the département de l'Aisne, writes: "Dans le cadre de la journée mondiale pour les zones humides, le Pôle-Relais "Mares et Mouillères de France" organise une rencontre dans l'Aisne (02) sur la thématique des mares comme lieu de mémoire, d'usage et de fonctionnalités environnementales. Cette manifestation se compose d'une matinée de présentations orales sur la politique nationale et départementale autour des micro-zones humides et d'une après-midi de visites de mares."

France V.Cécile Birard (, Chargée de mission "Zones Humides" with the Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France, has sent the programme for World Wetlands Day activities in some 15 regional natural parks throughout the country, available here in our HTML reprint.

France VI.Benoit Poitevin, Directeur of the Ecomusée du marais salant ( in Loix Ile de Ré writes that a visit to the recently restored salt marsh is planned for 2 February, in order to demonstrate to the public that the production of salt can aid in the preservation of wetlands.

France VII.Florence Lecossois ( writes that the Forum des Marais Atlantiques, in Rochefort, plans an open-house day on 2 February on the WWD theme of "l'Eau, la Vie, la Culture" -- the very attractive invitation and programme is available here in small PDF files: cover and inside.

France VIII.Luc Brun ( writes that the Syndicat Intercommunal du Bolmon et du Jaï (S.I.BO.JAÏ) in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues in the south of France has invited the public for "une demi journée de découverte des zones humides, sur les étangs de Bolmon et de Berre" on its boat. Here are some details.

France IX.Laurent Joffrion ( of Altair Productions and the French-language Web magazine for nature Natys ( informs us that Natys has produced an excellent display on Ramsar and World Wetlands Day. View this superb page at

France X. Marie-France Bossenie ( of the Ministère de l'Aménagement du Territoire et de l'Environnement DE - SD/EAP has sent the French Government's communique de presse on WWD2002 in that country.

France XI.Agence France Presse did a story on 1 February on World Wetlands Day and wetlands in France, with an interview with Delmar Blasco, reprinted on the Yahoo France Web site. Here is a reprint.

France XII. The Water Management Agency of the Rhone-Mediterranean-Corsica (RMC) catchment basin in France (Agence de l'eau RMC) hosted a perfectly organised meeting on 29 January, as a contribution to World Wetlands Day, in Lyon's state-of-the-art Conference Palace and brought together 650 people to discuss the National Wetland Plan, representing many different administrations, elected councillors and mayors, river, water and wetland technicians, managers and scientists, industrials, local stakeholders, farmers, fishermen, hunters, NGOs and user-groups, coming essentially from the extensive catchment basin covering about a fourth of France's territory. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé describes the meeting and the issues involved, providing a timely update on wetland policy-making in France.

France XIII. Edith Wenger of WWF ( writes: "Bonjour à tous, ci-après un communiqué de presse de l'Association Aruana à l'occasion de la journée mondiale des zones humides (Convention de Ramsar). Elle concerne les peuples indigènes, le développement du Centre du Brésil (et de l'Amazonie) et... le soja. bien amicalement Edith Wenger."

France XIV. The World Wetlands Day open house at the Biological Station of the Tour du Valat in southern France was marred by obstructive demonstrations by representatives of a hunters' association. Aura Penloup ( writes: "Voici en 4 mails successifs les articles rendant compte du "repas des lagunes" et de la journées portes ouvertes, perturbée par les chasseurs [the articles are not reproduced here]. Voici également notre communiqué de presse suite à ces problèmes. Vous pourrez constater des différents entre une journaliste de Midi Libre et le responsable de la gestion de la Tour du Valat. Malgré ces incidents, je suis très favorable à recommencer l'année prochaine. Bonne réception!" Here is the communiqué de presse by Jean-Paul Taris, head of the Tour-du-Valat.

France XV. "Le 2 février prochain sera la journée mondiale des zones humides en relation avec la convention de Ramsar. Le thème de cette année est la culture, le patrimoine culturel lié à ces milieux écologiques. À cette occasion, les associations Alsace Nature (France), BASNU (Suisse), BUND Bade-Wurtemberg, BUND Rhénanie-Palatinat et le WWF-Auen-Institut de Rastatt (Allemagne) attendent des pouvoirs publics la poursuite des efforts pour la restauration du Rhin." Here is the communiqué de presse in French and German.

France XVI. Florence Lecossois (, Forum des Marais Atlantiques, Rochefort, writes: "Vous trouverez ci-joint le compte-rendu concernant notre journée du 2 février 2002 et ses retombées pour le Forum des marais. Vous en souhaitant bonne réception. Cordialement, Florence."

Gabon.Nicaise Rabenkogo ( reports that the Agence pour la Conservation et le Développement en Afrique Centrale (ACDAC), in cooperation with the Groupe de Recherches sur les Ecosystèmes Humides (GREH), plans to organize a conference in Libreville on 2 February, followed by a slideshow and photograph exhibition on the wetlands in Gabon. This will provide the occasion to inform the public of the first results of the Programme de Valorisation des Ecosystèmes humides en Afrique Centrale at the end of its first year. Later: "Le rapport ou compte rendu de la célébration de la journée mondiale des zones humides au est à consulter sur le site Je vous informe également qu'à la suite de cette journée, le Gabon organisera du 03 au 05 juin 2002 un atelier de mise en oeuvre de la convention Ramsar."

Germany I. Dr Michael Trepel ( of the Ecology-Centre at the University of Kiel writes that, as in 2001, the institute will host a conference on 1 February on the historical and cultural impact of the development of landscapes and wetlands in the region, with an opening address by a representative of the environment ministry of Schleswig-Holstein. The programme is available at

Germany II. "Im Rahmen der Ramsarkonvention wurde der 2. Februar zum Welttag für den Schutz der Feuchtgebiete erklärt. Das Thema diesen Jahres ist die Kultur, das kulturelle Erbe, das mit diesen ökologischen Milieus einhergeht. Zu diesem Anlass erwarten die Vereine Alsace Nature (Frankreich), BASNU (Schweiz), BUND Baden-Württemberg, BUND Rheinland-Pfalz, NABU und WWF-Aueninstitut Rastatt (Deutschland) von den Behörden die Fortführung der Bemühungen zur Wiederherstellung des Rheins." Here is the press release in German and French.

Ghana.Charles Amankwah (, wetlands coordinator for the Wildlife Division of the Forest Commission in Accra, writes that WWD will be celebrated at the visitors' centres of three Ramsar sites with emphases on the local traditions of cultural heritage related to lagoons.

Greece I.Spyros Kouvelis ( and Thymio Papayannis of Ramsar's MetWet Coordination Team based in Athens, Greece, will be attending the Prespa Park Committee's press conference and extraordinary meeting of the Committee in Resen, FYR Macedonia. Representatives of the three Prespa countries (Albania, FYR Macedonia, and Greece) will be participating, and there will be an art contest among schoolchildren from all three nations. [Here is Spyros Kouvelis' later report on the ceremonies.]

Greece II. Dr Nia Zissi of the Environment and Land Use Planning Direction of the Region of Western Greece (, based in Patras, indicates that announcements are planned for the local newspapers, stressing the value of wetlands and, in particular, the three Ramsar sites located within that region.

Greece III. Kyriakos Skordas, Communication Officer of the Hunting Federation of Macedonia and Thrace ( in Thessaloniki, writes "The Hunting Federation of Macedonia and Thrace will participate in World Wetland Day with the following actions: Deposition of proper food to the waterbirds in many frozen wetlands; Protection of wetlands from any illegal activity, mainly illegal hunting, by the Body of Wildlife Protection of our Federation; Participation in the National Agricultural Exhibition in Thessaloniki, where on the 2nd of February we will inform, using leaflets, video and slide shows, the thousands of visitors about the importance of wetlands in the conservation of biodiversity and in fulfilling human needs; Completion of the midwinter waterfowl census, that were made by the Game-biologists of the Federation; Press releases, interviews".

Greece IV. Hans Jerrentrup (, Director of the Society for Protection of Nature and Ecodevelopment (EPO), writes: "EPO is an NGO working since 14 years in the area of Northeastern Greece on wetland conservation and management, maybe you have even heard of our activities. Recently we have been involved in a EU LIFE Environment Project in collaboration with the Global Nature Fund and its Living Lakes Network, where we are also partner with the Nestos Delta (Lakes and Lagoons). In the course of our projects and especially the public awareness work, we are planning a large event for the celebration of the WWD and later in March again we will organize several meetings with stakeholders of the area. It would be therefore very useful if you could still mail us a series of the beautiful Ramsar Poster Exhibit, as well as some more stickers and the Functions and Values package. By the way Tobias Salathé is an external adviser to our project." Here is a look at the attractive poster and sticker that Mr Jerrentrup has sent.

Greece V. Dr. Urania Giannakou (, Director of the Wetland Information Center of Axios, Loudias & Aliakmon Delta, writes: "For the celebration of WWD 2002 the Wetland Information Center is planning the following activities: 1. Presentation of the traditional musselculture's techniques, within the Ramsar area, by local fishermen, for students. 2. Birdwatching for locals, with competions and awards the WWD 2002 Ramsar posters, stickers and calendaries. 3. A wetland organized walk along the coastal zone, for all the participants. After the closure of the events and if the halcyon days are still with us, a picnic for the students will be held in the delta area."

Guyana. Ramesh Lilwah (, Biodiversity Project Development Specialist, Environmental Protection Agency in Greater Georgetown, writes: "This is just to say thank you for your interest in us and in Guyana and for sending the poster, stickers and other documentation on the Ramsar Convention. Guyana is not yet a signatory to the Convention on Wetlands but we are certainly a part of the wetlands family and wetland ecosystems are part of our natural wealth. We acknowledged World Wetlands Day 2002 this year at the Environmental Protection Agency of Guyana by mounting a book display on wetlands. All our Ramsar publications were viewed by the staff of the Agency and others who use the library."

Hungary. Dr Janos Tardy of the Ministry for Environment writes: "An exhibition opening ceremony was held in the town of Vac, where results of recent ecological studies at regional scale were presented. Some 250 participants had been given an overview on the current scientific and nature conservation activities of Northern Hungary. High-level decision makers from central and local governments, representatives from research institutes and educational organisations were presented as well as the media. In many other parts of Hungary wildlife/bird watching tours were organised and carried out with an estimated number 800 participants. It is our belief that WWD events can help to convey the Ramsar message and ultimately achieve the wise use and conservation of wetlands."

India I. Dr Francy K Kakkassery of St Thomas College, University of Calicut in Kerala ( reports that the Limnological Association of Kerala plans a national seminar on wetlands for 31 January-2 February, in conjunction with a week-long campaign among school and college students in the region. The Web site has further detail, and a follow-up report, 3 February, is available here.

India II. Dr R K Shyamananda, Executive Director of MASTEC ( reports that the newly established research institute, The Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) of the Indian Government's Department of Biotechnology, plans to observe WWD2002 with a number of activities in the vicinity of Loktak Lake, a Montreux Record site, in collaboration with the Loktak Development Authority and about 20 knowledgeable local NGOs. A report will follow.

India III.Arunayan Sharma ( reports that the Malda district of West Bengal, in the Ganges floodplain, supports astonishing numbers of waterfowl during the winter season, most notably in the vicinity of the Farakka Barrage. A birdwatching programme is planned for WWD2002 in order to sensitize the local people to the values of wetlands.

India IV. Rakesh Fauzdar of the Keoladev Research Foundation ( writes that WWD events will be held at the Ecosystem Study Centres at the Keoladeo National Park and Sambhar Lake Ramsar sites in Bharatpur and Jaipur districts, Rajasthan. Following the events, Dr Suraj Ziddi of the Keoladev Research Foundation sent to the Bureau a thorough hardcopy report of the events with photographs and press clippings.

India V. Dr A. Misra, secretary of the NGO Paribesh Unnayan Parisad (, which works mainly with schoolchildren in and around Kolkata, West Bengal, will be observing WWD2002 with nearly 2000 students from more than 20 schools.

India VI.Uttamjeet Singh Chohan ( of Khalsa College in Amritsar reports that the college plans to organize a WWD function at Kanjli wetland in Punjab State, featuring a quiz programme and spot painting competition for college students and lectures by wetland scientists.

India VII.Chander Parkash ( of Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Punjab, writes: "We have working on the ecology of Harike wetland, a Ramsar site in India, and we have been observing WWD for the past 5 years where we always organise a function in which many school, college and university students as well as local people participate. This function is always organised in Harike wetland, where local people are also invited to share their views about benefits to them from Harike Wetland and students are apprised of the rich flora, fauna and functioning of wetland. Last year we had received material from the Bureau. This year also we are planning to organise the function but this time we are expecting a huge gathering of around 700 students & local people. I shall be extremely thankful to you if you send me the material [for WWD2002] -- Your help will go in a long way to organising and educating the students and local people." Here is a subsequent report on the activities.

India VIII.A. K. Pattnaik (, Chief Executive, Chilika Development Authority, writes: "The World Wetland Day 2002 would be celebrated in a befitting manner in Chilika lagoon, a Ramsar site of India located along the east coast of Orissa. The WWD 2002 would be celebrated jointly by Chilika Development Authority, Pallishree a leading NGO working in Chilika area, State Tourism Department and the local community to commemorate the vibrant cultural heritage of the Chilika lagoon which used to serve as a natural port for the maritime trade in the past, a boat rally along with the boat sailing festival would be observed during the WWD-2002. More than 300 number of traditional boats decorated with ethnic touch and the local fisher-folk dressed in their traditional attire will participate in the boat rally as well as boat sailing festival." More details on the planned activities are available here.

India IX. Rucha Chitnis ( reports: "Dear Ramsar Friends, So inspired were we students of Ecological Society, Pune, after visiting your Web site that we decided to join the global World Wetland Day celebrations by organising one in our city too! The response was great! Here is a brief summary of what we did. If you could put it up on your Web site we would be thrilled. We hope this acts like a mulitplier effect and students the world over can get proactive and start a chain to save these precious ecosystems!!" Here is a report of the activities.

India X. Shantilal N. Varu ( reports that the Pelican Nature Club celebrated WWD 2002 at the Devisar Tank, about 15km from the city of Bhuj in Gujarat state, and amongst about 40 species of birds "we saw one marsh crocodile basking".

India XI. Dr Sukanta Banik ( writes: "I have great pleasure to inform you that the Fisheries & Limnology Research Unit, Tripura University, Agartala 799004, India has observed International Wetland Day 2002 on 2nd of February 2002. For this purpose we have conducted a seminar on Conservation and Sustainable use of Wetland on this day. The seminar was followed by 50 scientists to observe Int.Wetland Day 2002. "

India XII. Dr Paresh Pandya reports by letter that Gujarat Vigyan Parishad, Centre for Environment Education, and Kotak Science College (Saurashtra University), Rajkot, celebrated 2 February in the Kutch region of Gujarat with a week's programme of an exhibition, poster display, video showings, drawing and essay competitions, and has launched a state and district public awareness campaign on wetlands and their cultural values.

Iran, Islamic Republic of. Ramsar's Nick Davidson reports that during the West and Central Asian Subregional Meeting, 3-4 February, the Department of the Environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran hosted, on 3 February, a WWD celebration of the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Convention, which included a reading of the "Tehran Communiqué" which had been agreed by the meeting's participants. The communiqué outlines key issues for West and Central Asia about the delivery of wetland conservation and wise use in the region, and it can be seen here.

Ireland.Karin Dubsky ( of Coastwatch Europe, Trinity College Dublin, reports that there will be a museum exhibition, a field trip to the nearby Bull Island Ramsar site, and the launch of the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department's wetland in Trinity College. The Ramsar Bureau's Tobias Salathé will be participating. Afterwards, Tobias Salathé reported: "World Wetlands Day was celebrated in Ireland under dramatic circumstances: spring tides coupled with extremely strong winds flooded many settlements in downtown Dublin and along the East coast on 1 and 2 February - to an extent not remembered since the 1920s." Here is his report, with photographs and a look at the state of wetlands in Ireland. Subsequently, Brendan Logue of Coastwatch Europe -- Ireland contributed another report as well.

Jamaica.Marsha Mason ( Environmental Officer, Protected Areas Branch, National Environment and Planning Agency in Kingston, reports that the Agency will be organizing a number of events for WWD 2002, and copies of Ramsar educational materials will be distributed to schools and libraries. "The activities planned for this year include a poster competition on the year's theme, for children between ages 6-12 year. Additionally, there will be a tour of the Black River Lower Morass Ramsar Site, and as well, a talk that includes a presentation and exhibition."

Japan.Steve Sawa, the mayor's environmental aide in Narashino city ( reports that the Ramsar WWD2202 poster has become a particular favorite in the Yatsu Higata Nature Observation Centre.

Kenya I.Gathuru Mburu (, Project Officer with the Green Belt Movement in Nairobi, reports that "The Green Belt Movement will hold a public education session on a site with three man-made dams, which are threatened with privatization by individuals. They serve thousands of people around them. The public education will be geared towards empowering the community around the dams to take charge of protecting them."

Kenya II.Sarah Higgins, of theLake Naivasha Riparian Association(, has contributed a brief and entertaining report of World Wetlands Day at Lake Naivasha: "We had involved as many of the local schools as we could and had competitions in poetry, songs and essays. It was an excellent day. The children were brilliant and had been amazingly creative around this year's theme of 'Water, Life and Culture'." The rest of the report is available here. And here are some photos of the schoolchildren, Masai dancers, and decorative banners.

Korea, Republic of, I.Nial Moores (, International Liaison for Wetlands and Birds Korea, sent this report on planned birdwatching excursions at key wetlands on 2 and 3 February, with financial support from the Ministry of Environment. View his message here.

Korea, Republic of, II. Ms Hyejung Yang, of the UNDP/GEF Project/Global Environment Office in the Ministry of Environment ( wrotes: "On WWD 2002, we celebrate the day by having a guided tour of Keumkang estuary in southwestern Korea, shallow and highly productive water with many wintering waterbirds, to promote greater understanding of wetlands. We expect around 50 people on the day, including GO, NGOs, media, and UNDP Korea people. During the excursion trip of the wetlands, we will record all the procedure of the site visit and produce the CD-ROM to upload on the Ministry of Environment Web site ("

Latvia. Ilze Strausa ( of the Latvian Nature Museum in Riga has informed the Bureau of activities planned for Kemeri National Park and Gauja National Park, as well activities and a press conference (including the Minister of Nature Protection, Vladimirs Makarovs, and the head of the Ramsar authority in Latvia, Ilona Jepsena) at the Museum in Riga. She also mentions that the Teici Nature Reserve will combine WWD2002 with Natura 2000 Green Days in April. Here is her brief message with further details.And here is her subsequent report, with photographs, and the prospectus for the "Cultural heritage of our wetlands" essay competition. And here, too, is her illustrated report of activities at Gauja National Park.

Madagascar I. Fanantenana R. Andrianaivotiana ( writes from Moramanga: "Since last year, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (British association) and LDI program (USAID) work together to realize sensitization and conduct the long process to designate the Alaotra Lake (22.000ha) with its surrounding marsh (77.000ha). So Alaotra region is the biggest wetland zone in Madagascar, and should be the third Ramsar site of our isle. We did several villages sensitizations and workshops. A local committee called "Alaotra Rano Soa" (that means Alaotra is a good water) is raised after the regional workshop and is in charge of updating regional data of Alaotra water and marsh, and fill in the form of that Ramsar requires. Now, Alaotra dossier is among the agenda of the Autonomy Province of Tamatave before sending it to the National Ramsar Committee (CONARAMS), which will have its annual meeting in February. We hope that Alaotra will be designated as a Ramsar site at the issue of this meeting in February. To celebrate the WWD2002, our two organizations will distribute prizes for 7 villages which participated in 2001 auto-sensitization session that we called locally "Fetin'ny Zetra". During those Fetin'ny zetra, all the members of one village do sensitization for their pairs about environmental, water and marsh conservation. It is organized like a feast (so that messages should be well transmitted and well received) and teams within the village do competition among local/malagasy customs. Winner teams for each village receive prizes. But all villages participating on the fetin'ny zetra are classed according to their participation, and will receive a prize too. But those village prizes are given on budget which should be used for common infrastructure rehabilitation or development." Here is Fanantenana Andrianaivotiana's later report on the activities and photographs of the festive atmosphere and address by Senator Suzette Rakotoarivo.

Madagascar II. Mme Sahondra Rabesihanaka, Le Chef de la division Gestion de faune et glore au DGEF, and Dr. Aristide Andrianarimisa (, National Director of The Peregrine Fund Project in Madagascar (, in Antananarivo, sent us the plans for a World Wetlands Day workshop on the National Strategy of Management of Wetlands, set for 30 January to 1 February, while noting that because of recent political events it has had to be deferred to a later date. Here is the announcement.

Mexico I. Mauricio Cervantes Abrego ( of the WWF Programa Golfo de California in Hermosillo, Sonora, writes: "Estamos preparando para este próximo 02.02.02 una celebración en Marismas Nacionales para Inaugurar la Estrategia para la Conservación y Desarrollo Sustentable de este Humedal integrando a los principales actores que viven y usan la región. Dicha Celebración la realizaremos en la Isla de Mexcaltitan, origen de la Mexicaneidad. En ella existe un Pequeño Museo Costumbrista. Es propósito del WWF es apoyar a este museo para integrar una colección sobre los humedales y su importancia."

Mexico II. Dr. Carlos Reyes Sosa (, Jefe de Departamento, writes: "Se le envia información sobre actividades realizadas por la Dirección de Educación Ambiental de la Secretaría de Ecología del Gobierno del Estado de Yucatán y fotografías relacionadas con los humedales del Estado; esperando que sea de utilidad para incrementar el contenido de la página RAMSAR." These descriptions and striking photos, as well as the announcement for the World Wetlands Day Tour of the Dzilam wetland, are available here.

Moldova, Republic of.Ilya Trombitsky (, Vice-President, BIOTICA Ecological Society and Ramsar CEPA/NGO Focal Point, writes: "On February 1, 2002, the Ministry of Ecology, Constructions and Territories Development of Moldova organized a press-conference dedicated to World Wetlands Day. During the press-conference journalists were informed about the current situation with wetlands conservation and restoration in Moldova and plans of the Ministry on implementation of the Ramsar Convention. The national NGO, BIOTICA Ecological Society, published the article in the national newspaper "Independent Moldova", related to this date, about wetlands conservation in the Lower Dniester area, the site, included to the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (2001) for creation of the national park."

Morocco I. Bouchafra Abdeslam (, Directeur of the Centre National d'Education Environnemental(CNEE), situated within the Merja Sidi Boughaba, writes that an important event on the theme Wetlands: Water, Life, and Culture is planned in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Forests. Mohammed Aziz El Agbani ( of the Centre d'Etude des Migrations d'Oiseaux (CEMO) provides more detail here, with photos.

Morocco II. Mme Hayat Mesbah (Sbay) (, Chef de Service de la préservation de la flore et de la faune sauvages (SPANA) in Rabat, writes that an event is planned at the Afenourir wetland near the city of Ifrane.

New Zealand I.Graham Ford (, Public Awareness Manager for Fish and Game New Zealand, has informed the Bureau of plans for WWD activities throughout the country, hosted by Fish and Game New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, and many local groups, some 25 activities confirmed as of 17 January, including the bestowing of annual national wetland conservation prizes, the launch of a wetland centre, the signing of conservation agreements, overflights of distressed wetlands, and much more. Here is his brief list, which is also available on the Web site under "wetlands".

New Zealand II. Dr Philippe Gerbeaux of the West Coast Conservancy, Department of Conservation ( notes that Ramsar WWD materials are being widely distributed for activities in the area, particularly amongst Maori groups, and that a special exhibition by local artists on wetlands themes is in the planning stage. Afterward, Philippe sent this report with photos of many of the worthy paintings.

New Zealand III.Rochelle Hardy (, Environment Officer with the North Canterbury Fish and Game Council, based in Christchurch, writes: "Our plan is to have a bus trip to Creamery Stream in Canterbury where a wetland enhancement project is planned. There will be a talk from the project coordinator about the project. We will then move on to Halls Bush where there is a spectacular peat wetland. After a tour participants will have the opportunity to explore the area during lunch. There will also be a weaving demonstration by local iwi (local Maori). I will send more information once we have confirmed events, and photos after the event. Regards, Rochelle."

New Zealand IV.Sarah Gibbs ( writes: "Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, South Kaipara Head Landcare and other organisations are planning a low-key community day at South Kaipara Head. The theme will be the importance of the area and what benefits Ramsar status could have for the area. The day will be based around a field trip with speakers / guides talking about various aspects of the area's ecology and a communal BBQ lunch."

New Zealand V.Ross and Kim Coulson, Duckgrove Wilderness Wetland Park, Central Hawke’s Bay (, write "Coulson Partnerships have over the last eight years been developing a wetland (12hectares) as an educational wilderness area in our community. This World Wetlands Day we are having our official opening and have invited government and regional agencies along with Forest and Birds, Fish and Game and other community groups to be involved. The wilderness wetland park will be opened by a leading educationalist from our area, because of the importance we place on education, especially with our younger children. . . . We anticipate that all Ramsar materials used on the opening day will be reused on our display boards within the education centre for school parties and other interested groups. The education centre is still under construction and we are hoping to be operating in October of this year as we are still developing programs/story boards with our local school."

New Zealand VI.Des Williams ( of the Waikato Conservancy sends a report of the World Wetlands Day celebration of the purchase of a site by the National Wetland Trust for the National Wetland Centre at Rangiriri. Here it is.

New Zealand VII. "A hot sunny cloudless day greeted Makaawhio Runanga, Jacobs River school pupils, local residents, and Department of Conservation staff who had gathered to celebrate World Wetlands Day on Saturday 2nd February at the Mahitahi River mouth." Here is the rest of the report, including the inaugural "Harakeke Olympics", "with everyone trying their luck at how far they could throw their tekateka", as well as the launch of a traditional Maori "mokihi" raft.

Nicaragua I.Martín Lezama-López (, Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad Centroa, has provided the programme, with photos, of a symposium on Nicaraguan wetlands on 1 February and celebration of WWD the next day in the city of San Miguelito on the Río San Juan. Here it is.

Nicaragua II.Milton G. Camacho Bonilla, Punto Focal Ramsar, Areas Protegidas MARENA ( writes: "Por este medio te informo que la Parte Contratante de Nicaragua de la Convención Ramsar, está organizando en coordinación con el Corredor Biológico Mesoamericano (CBM), Fundación para la Conservación y Desarrollo del Sureste de Nicaragua (FUNDACIÓN DEL RIO), El Grupo de Trabajo de Humedales GTH-NI, la comunidad y Gobierno local de el Municipio de San Miguelito en el Departamento de Río San Juan, la celebración del día mundial de los humedales, 02 de febrero, en el sitio Ramsar Sistema de Humedales de San Miguelito. El tema central de mi presentación como Punto Focal Ramsar será destacar "La designación oficial de los siete nuevos sitios Ramsar con los que cuenta Nicaragua". Adjunto te remito el programa que se llevará a cabo, con el interés de que lo divulgues si está dentro de tus posibilidades. Sin más a que referirme aprovecho la ocasión para desearte una feliz celebración del día mundial de los humedales."

Nigeria I. Ojei Tunde ( writes: "The Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Nigeria's foremost environmental NGO, in collaboration with the National Committee on Wetlands, will be organising a 'Wetlands day' exhibition, lecture and field trip for students from tertiary institutions and the general public at NCF's Lekki Conservation Centre, Lekki, Lagos. The exhibition will feature corporate bodies, NGOs, and the Ministry of Environment, while the lecture will be given by experts in the field of wetlands ecology and management. The field trip will be to a mangrove area where high exploitation is on-going, as a way of showing the negative human impact on one of the numerous resources of wetlands." Here is a subsequent report, with photos.

Nigeria II. Patrick Chiekwe, President of Save Earth Nigeria (SEN) (, encloses a press release in which Save Earth Nigeria launched an essay competition for secondary school students in Rivers State on the topic "The role of wetlands in the Niger Delta and their impacts on climate change". Here is the announcement.

Nigeria III. Edem Okon Edem (, Programme Coordinator for the Akpabuyo Bakassi Green Movement (ABGREMO), which works to "promote the protection of the last remaining mangrove forest of Niger-Delta (Nigeria) through education, information sharing and action programmes", reported two days of "public/school enlightenment programme" to raise awareness of wetland values generally and the threatened wetlands of Cross River State in particular. Here is the press release.

Nigeria IV. Kofo Adeleke, Programme Officer with Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI) (, reports on ceremonies and a photography exhibition sponsored by the German Cultural Centre (the Goethe Institute) and underwritten in part by the Diamond Bank Nigeria. Here is his report.

Norway. Roy Erling Wranes (, manager of the Slettnes Bird Station in Gamvik, reports: "I'm writing from the northernmost bird station on the European mainland. We are stationed on the top of Norway, 71 degrees N. Here we are placed inside the borders of one of the most important arctic wetlands in Norway and Scandinavia, Slettnes Nature Reserve. Although the nature reserve itself is covered with snow and ice at the moment, we will arrange the WWD 2002 by showing people slides and give them small lectures about the importance of wetlands. The wetland is close to the sea, so we will arrange a guided tour to see some of the arctic species who are wintering in the Barents Sea region as well. To get the most out of it, I'm sure the people up here would love to have some stickers as a memory of the event."

Pakistan.Nasir Ali Panhwar ( writes: "We are planning to celebrate the day at Manchar Lake in Sindh Province. The lake once used to be largest freshwater lake of South Asia. The fishermen community also lives in the floating boats. However, due to drainage effluent the conditions of the lake have deteriorated alarmingly. The lake is not getting fresh water from its two major sources, i.e. River Indus and hill torrents. The fishermen community has migrated from its native habitat. The lake is the interesting case with reference the WWD theme of this year. In addition the material will also be translated into local languages and disseminated through media."

Papua New Guinea.Miriam Philip, Ramsar Support Officer in the Department of Environment and Conservation (, has sent newspaper articles describing World Wetlands Day and PNG's efforts in the direction of wetland conservation and wise use and the nomination of new Ramsar sites, in the context of a Small Grants Fund project, with assistance from WWF, Wetlands International, and SPREP.

Paraguay. Ing. Sergio Burgos ( nos informa sobre la reunión llevada a cabo el Día Mundial de los Humedales 2002, en la Ciudad de Pilar, Paraguay. Durante la misma, se conformó oficialmente el Comité de Humedales del Ñe'embucu. La firma del Acta Fundacional se llevó a cabo con la presencia de 18 representantes de organismos públicos y privados. El Comité es el primero a nivel departamental en el Paraguay, y sus primeros mandatos consisten en: elaborar un reglamento interno, y coordinar actividades con el Comité Nacional de Humedales del Paraguay, con la Secretaría del Ambiente de Paraguay, y con la Convención Ramsar. Here is the report.

Peru I.Isabel Horna ( writes: "El Instituto Ambientalista Natura de la ciudad de Chimbote en Perú, viene realizando Un Proyecto llamado “Uso sostenible de los Humedales de Villa María” financiado por El Fondo de las Americas, este proyecto comprende una serie de actividades entre las cuales debemos difundir y educar la mayor cantidad de pobladores posibles, por lo cual El Sexto día Mundial de los humedales esta considerado como una excelente oportunidad para difundir la importancia funciones y usos de los humedales en el Perú y el Mundo. Para lo cual hemos creído conveniente el realizar una serie de actividades: Entre las cuales tendremos: Campaña “Acción de cumplimiento por Internet”. - Pintado de Murales y banderolas. - Exposición Fotográfica Humedales en el Perú y el Mundo - Pagina Informativa en el diario local “la Industria”, y notas de prensa. - Repartición de Volantes con información sobre los humedales de Villa María - Boulevard Gastronómico."

Peru II. Luis Flores ( has sent the programme for celebrations to be held in Puno, on Lake Titicaca, involving among local officials the leaders of each of the famous floating islands. Here is the programme.

Peru III.Carlos Franco, Coordinador de Foro Ecologico del Perú (, has sent the programme for a WWD seminar-workshop "Dia Mundial de los Humedales" organized in Lima, 1 February, by the Universidad Cientifica del Sur, el INRENA, and the Foro Ecologico. Here's the programme (in Spanish) and a press release by Victor Pulido of the Universidad Cientifica del Sur and the Programa de Humedales Peru (, who was a Ramsar Award winner in 1999.

Peru IV. Manuel Ñique Alvarez ( of the Facultad de Recursos Naturales Renovables, Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva in Tingo María, writes: La facultad de recursos naturales renovables de la Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva a travez de una comision que presidida por manuel ñique alvarez ha organizado una serie de actividades por el DMH-2002. Este incluye las siguientes actividades: 1.- sensibilizacion de las autoridades locales sobre el valor de los humedales de la region: se envio el material de difusion que envio la convesion d ramsar (carpeta, pegatinas, calendarios) 2.- difusion del sus beneficos de los humedales de la region a traves de la radio y television local. 3.- concurso sobre el benefico de los humedales, se esta ofreciendo como premios las pegatinas (stickers) a los niños que acierten con las preguntas. 4.- paseo a la Laguna los Milagros el dia sabado 2 con niños, estudiantes y autoridades de la localidad.)

Peru V.José S. Purisaca Puicón, Gerente of the Inka Terra Asociación (, writes: "Inka Terra Asociación (ITA para los amigos) se aúna a esta celebración, porque parte de sus actividades que realiza en la Reserva Ecológica de Cusco Amazónico tiene relación directa con áreas húmedas, dado que dentro de ese ámbito se encuentra una considerable cantidad de aguajales, que son terrenos muy bajos y húmedos, inundables permanentemente o que permanecen con agua la mayor parte del año." Here is ITA's press release.

Peru VI. Antonio Tovar Narváez (, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, sent this list of planned activities prepared by Pilar Padilla, INRENA: Aqui envio la relacion de actividades que los sitios Ramsar van a realizar por el dia de los humedales, para tu conocimiento y difusion. - RNParacas: 31/01al 02/02 nota de prensa en diarios y radios locales. Charlas informativas. 02/02 Funcion de titeres en Playa la Mina. - RNPacaya-Samiria: 03 y 04/02 Nota de prensa en radio y periodico local. 05/02 Entrevista radial y nota de prensa en periodicos locales. - SNLagunas de Mejia : 02/02 Difusion de Material Escrito y Censo de Aves. Visitas Guiadas. 03/02 Concurso de siluetas de aves. 04/02 Funcion de Títeres en la Playa la Motobomba. - RNJunin: 02/02 Bicicletada alrededor del Lago Junin. - RNTiticaca: 02/02 Conversatorio: Estrategia de conservacion de humedales y la RNTiticaca (asistira un representante de Lima para exponer sobre la Convencion RAMSAR en el Peru). Difusion radial, televisiva y distribucion de volantes. - ZRLos Pantanos de Villa: Censo de aves - Lima: Taller sobre humedales, en coordinacion con Direccion de Biodiversidad-INRENA y Universidad Cientifica del Sur.

Peru VII.Beatriz Torres, Information and Capacity Building Officer -UNEP/CMS Secretariat ( nos informa sobre el taller para el Dia Mundial de Humedales, en Peru. Durante la actividad, el Dr. Fenando Cabieses anunció la creación de la primera Facultad de Biología y Ecología de Humedales a nivel mundial, en la Universidad Científica del Sur. El Campus Universitario se hospedará en el humedal limeño Pantanos de Villa (Sitio Ramsar) desde donde se espera hacer una gran contribución a la protección de este y otros humedales mediante estudio e investigación. El subjefe del Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales, INRENA (Autoridad Administrativa Ramsar en el Perú) Ing. José Perea Cáceres hizo un recuento de los beneficios al ambiente que se han desarollado en el Perú en relación a la Convención de Ramsar. También subrayó la importancia de los humedales para aliviar el serio problema mundial de escasez de agua fresca. Finalmente, el Dr. Víctor Pulido Capurro aprovechó la ocasión para comunicar el mensaje del Secretario General de la Convención, Delmar Blasco, sobre el estrecho vínculo entre las culturas humanas y los humedales, y la necesidad de fomentar su uso racional." Nota de prensa.

Philippines I.Eduardo Bisquera, Chief, Protected Areas and Wildlife Division, Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 9, writes "We commenced our WWD 2002 with migratory bird count in three sites in Zamboanga City. A mangrove propagules shall follow as part of our rehabilitation efforts. There shall be press releases and a radio program with the Protected Areas and Wildlife Division staff as anchor. The members of the Protected Areas Management Board (PAMB) of Sta.Cruz Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape shall have a ecological tour in the island."

Philippines II.Edgardo B. Cañete (, Ecosystems Management Specialist II, DENR 10-Regional Coordinator World Wetland Day Celebration 2002, informs us that "the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region 10 in Northern Mindanao, will be spearheading field activities to commemorate February 2 World Wetland Day Celebration to generate awareness and people involvement near/within our wetland areas". Here is a list of planned activities.

Philippines III.Amy M. Lecciones, President of the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands (, in Pasig City, reports that "The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, the interim NGO Focal Point for the Philippines for the Ramsar Convention's CEPA (communication, education, and public awareness), celebrated the World Wetlands Day by holding a Literary and Musical Night which was well- attended by a diversed audience." A description and photos of the events can be seen here.

Philippines IV. Wilfrido S. Pollisco, Director of Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (, reports: "World Wetlands Day in the Philippines is celebrated nationwide. Our 2002 WWD celebration in Quezon City was an evening of poetry readings, short plays, live music, and truths (sharing of experiences) about wetlands. People from the academe, government and non-government organizations, and the local community attended this special event organized by PAWB and the Society for the Conservation of Philippines Wetlands."

Poland.Artur Wiatr ( reports that students from the primary school in Sztabin joined in educational World Wetlands Day activities at Biebrza National Park, including the play "The Princess Biebrza" in full costume, a T-shirt design contest, and other competitions. Here is his brief report, with photographs (including one of the princess Biebrza herself).

Russian Federation.Jennie Sutton ( of Baikalskaya Ekologicheskaya Volna / Baikal Environmental Wave ( in Irkutsk, writes: "Dear Valerie, You'll be pleased to know that the Ramsar stickers that you kindly sent us came through fine. I just wanted to let you know what we did in our organisation to spread the message and celebrate such an important occasion. 1) We now have a translation (into Russian) of some of your site information on our Web site, together with links to the Ramsar site and to another Russian site, Caspinfo, where the Convention is posted both in English and Russian. I'm afraid you won't be able to read our Russian text, but you could see the links! 2) One of our American volunteers together with some of our Russian volunteers held lessons here at our offices, on Saturday the 2nd, for local children on the subject. I'm attaching a description of the lesson that Jennifer, our volunteer, has written up for you. The same description is being made up in Russian, and I hope we'll get that on our site too so that others could use it. The lesson SOUNDED good - there were squeals of delight and much laughter ringing throughout the office on that day! Thanks for the inspiration! Good luck! Jennie."

Senegal I. Birame Diouf (, Project Manager with the Direction des Parcs Nationaux, announces that the national parks administration and local partners in the Saloum River Delta Ramsar site and Biosphere Reserve will be holding a suite of workshops and WWD celebrations, including the participation of local cultural groups, on 1-3 February in the Fagaru Centre. The programme for this impressive event is available here.

Senegal II.Ababakar Sadikh Thiam, Programme Associatif D'Education et de Culture (, in Dakar, writes: "Le Programme Associatif D'Education et de Culture est une association à but non lucratif basée à Dakar, Sénégal. Elle est a été créée en Mai 1988 et à pour vocation de promouvoir l'éducation des jeunes pour leur assurer de meilleurs lendemains. En effet, depuis deux ans notre association a initié un programme d'éducation à l'environnement des populations. C'est ainsi que nous avons pu monter un club des sciences de la nature avec les élèves des classes de quatrième et troisième âgés de 14 à 16 ans. Ces derniers ont montré un regain d'intérêt quant à la préservation de leur environnement en général et zones humides en particulier (voir site Web: Par ailleurs, depuis 1999, en collaboration avec Wetlands International, nous avons pu célébrer la journée mondiale des Zones Humides (voir fichier attaché - article publié dans le journal Fadama de Wetlands International) et cette année nous voulons mieux sensibiliser les écoles, les populations, la presse, les autorités pour une meilleure approche participative à la gestion des zones humides. Dans cette perspective, pour la journée mondiale des zones humides célébrée le samedi 02 février 2002, nous venons solliciter auprès de vous un soutien matériel: ·Nous vous enverrons un compte rendu du déroulement de cette activité."

Sierra Leone. Emmanuel Alieu [] reports here on activities sponsored by the Forestry, Agriculture, Marine Resources and Land & Water Development Divisions in collaboration with the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone.

Slovak Republic.Tomas Kusik (, journalist with the Slovak magazine and member of the NGO BROZ-Regional Association for Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Slovak Republic, notes that his organization is planning to use the Ramsar poster exhibit to promote World Wetlands Day and the importance of wetlands throughout the year.

Slovenia I. Dr Gordana Beltram ( of Slovenia writes: "I would like to inform you that the Ecological Forum of the LDS proposed to celebrate the WWD by using the Ramsar logo as a postmark at the post office in Secovlje, where the first Slovenian Ramsar Site is situated. It will be used between the 2nd and 22nd of February." Gordana's listing of events all over the country, and a picture of the new postmark, are available here.

Slovenia II.Robert Turk ( ) writes: "Following some e-mails from Sandra Hails and Hjalmar Dahm please find here some basic information about a workshop that we organise in the framework of the ALAS project on the occasion of the WWD. The town is Piran, in the Northern Adriatic, the site we will talk about are the Secovlje salt-works. The subject of the workshop will be: "Natural heritage protection in the Secovlje salt-works: problems and solutions". Myself, as project leader, and the president of the local ornithological society will introduce the subject, that is which are the main problems in Secovlje salt-works as natural heritage protection is concerned. Following that representatives of the municipality, the Ministry of environment and physical planning and the Ministry of culture will give their views on the matter. An open debate on the possible solutions will follow. The workshop will end with press conference. [Note: The ALAS project (All About Salt) is an interregional cooperation between four European sites that produce salt from the sea. The main goal is related to the preservation and the development of these often traditionally run salinas, their natural and cultural heritage, their economy and social structure. See]

South Africa I.Lulama Macanda ( writes that WWD2002 activities in Eastern Cape Province will focus on the biodiversity of wetlands, soil hydrology, wetland functions, values and benefits, aimed at farmers' associations, cultural groups, women's and youth groups, rural development fora, etc. -- events are planned to include birdwatching, plant and animal species identification, wetland product exhibitions, and public addresses.

South Africa II.Vanessa Bolters ( writes that the MTN ScienCentre of the city of Cape Town will be hosting a programme on catchment, stormwater and river management to 400 students from eight schools, at Canal Walk, Century City, Cape Town, 31 January to 1 February 2002, with Ramsar materials prominently displayed. Here is her subsequent report on the event, with photographs.

South Africa III.Kevin Moore (, Regional Manager: Social Ecology with South African National Parks, reports: "Each year we celebrate World Wetlands day with neighbouring communities and schools around the Ramsar Wetlands which are found in South Africa. I, as a Social Ecologist with South African National Parks, have been involved with environmental education promoting wetlands at two of these sites, namely Langebaan Lagoon (within West Coast National Park) and Wilderness Lakes (within the Wilderness National Park)."

South Africa IV. Phindile Makwakwa (, Media Liaison Director, has forwarded the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism's press release of 29 January, which begins "The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, will join the world on February 2 in celebrating the World Wetlands Day at Makuleke Village in Northern Province", and indicates that the Deputy Minister is expected "to announce the intention to submit Limpopo-Levuvhu for the designation to the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance. She will further announce a rehabilitation project around the lake Fundudzi area." Here is the rest of the press release.

South Africa V.Randall Adriaans (, Catchment Management, writes: "Please be advised of the events in Cape Town. See".

South Africa VI. David Lindley (, Mondi Wetlands Project Manager, Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa (, writes: "The Mondi Wetlands Project is a Project of the Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa, World Wide Fund For Nature South Africa, Mazda Wildlife Fund & Mondi Ltd." Four press releases have been issued on the occasion of World Wetlands Day: on Mondi's new wise use project, South Africa's conservation record, and Mondi's work with communities.

Spain I. The NGO Roncadell (Grupo de Estudio y Defensa del Entorno) plans a week of conferences on the wetlands of Valencia (site of the forthcoming Ramsar COP) to conclude on 2 February with a trip to the marsh of El Moro (Sagunto, Valencia), a candidate Ramsar site.

Spain II. The Asociación de Guías de la Laguna de Gallocanta in Zaragoza, Aragón, plans celebrations near the Laguna de Gallocante Ramsar site. On 2 February 2001 it held its activities in the village of Las Cuerlas near the lake. More information is available from

Spain III.Theo Oberhuber, Coordinador of Ecologistas en Acción (, writes that his group intends to organize press conferences and wetland excursions in several regions of Spain on 2 February and preceding days, especially in Valencia, site of the forthcoming Ramsar COP in November. Moreover, his group along with SEO/BirdLife and Amigos de la Tierra are planning a press conference on 1 February to formally announce the Conferencia Mundial de ONGs sobre Humedales (World NGO Conference on Wetlands: "Ramsar, 30 Years Later") which will be held in Valencia on the three days preceding Ramsar COP8. A full listing is available here.

Spain IV. Gaby Susanna ( of the Fundació Territori i Paisatge, Barcelona, writes that a number of collaborators and the groups environmental education centre in the Pyrenees are planning a number of activities to promote WWD in the region. At a press conference on 2 February the new edition of the CD-ROM containing management plans for and photographs of six parts of the Bosques de Ribera and nearby wetlands, three of which are owned by the Foundation.

Spain V. Eduardo González of the Grupo Erva-Ecologistas en Acción ( in Vigo has given us a description of plans for World Wetlands Day activities in the northwest of Spain, and here, in Spanish, it is.

Spain VI.Mayte Ramirez ( writes: "Con motivo de la celebración del día de Andalucía, la Delegación Provincial de la Consejería de Medio Ambiente (Junta de Andalucía) en Huelva, va a poner en marcha una Exposición Fotográfica en los municipios en los que está englobado el Paraje Natural "MARISMAS DEL ODIEL", perteneciente al Convenio Ramsar. Esta exposición consta de fotografías de aves acuáticas habituales en el Paraje, y querríamos incluir paneles ó carteles informativos sobre las zonas húmedas. Esta exposición está prevista realizarla durante el mes de febrero próximo."

Spain VII.Juan Ignacio Dean ( of the Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales Gorosti in Pamplona writes: "Dear colleagues, Yes, this year our Society is going to organize a number of activities to celebrate WWD. We already arranged some activities in the past on the occasion of WWD (at least in '98), some of them we reported to you, some of them we did not i.e. last year. So far we are planning three different activities although they are not yet confirmed. These are 1) Wetlands Marathon. We will try to visit as many wetlands in the region as possible (Navarre, Spain) including our two Ramsar sites, Las Cañas and Pitillas. 2) Wetlands exhibition. We already produced 4 big panels on wetlands that we will complement with some additional information on Ramsar, waterbird census results and about the lagoon of Loza which we have been trying to get protected for many years. 3) Report and declaration on the lagoon of Loza. The decree to receive public comments prior to protecting this lagoon was already issued in '99 but the file has been stopped since then. 4) Press communiqué about the activities. We will keep you informed."

Spain VIII.Antonio Prieto Cerdan ( of Cota Ambiental S.L. reports:Estimados/as amigos/as: Con motivo de la celebración del Día Mundial de los Humedales el próximo 2 de febrero de 2002, desde esta consultora se han planificado actos en los tres humedales en los que desarrollamos los respectivos Servicios de Información y Educación Ambiental para diferentes Administraciones Públicas: A) Región de Murcia, Consejería de Agricultura, Agua y Medio Ambiente, 1) Parque Regional de las Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar; 2) Paisaje Protegido del Humedal de Ajauque y Rambla Salada; B) Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Elche (Alicante), 3) Paraje Natural del Clot de Galvany. Adjunto a este correo electrónico les envío tres archivos con las actividades programadas en dichos humedales, a celebrar los días 1, 2 y 3 de febrero."

Spain IX.Raúl Urquiaga, Responsable de Biodiversidad ( with Amigos de la Tierra España, writes: "For 2 February, activities of Amigos de la Tierra España (FOE Spain): - Presentación pública de la Conferencia internacional joven sobre humedales Ramsar a celebrar en la segunda semana de noviembre en Crevillente (Alicante - Comunidad de Valencia); - Presentación de la lista de Amigos de la Tierra de humedales españoles de importancia internacional y que cumplen criterios ecológicos para ser incluidos en la lista de Ramsar. Esta lista, aunque no exhaustiva, ni cerrada ni única, recoje una treintena de humedales que deben ser sumados a la lista del Convenio de Ramsar. - Reforestaciones en diversos humedales y riberas de ríos de varias localidades españolas."

Spain X.Juan Criado, Director de Conservación de SEO/BirdLife, writes: "El próximo viernes, 1 de febrero, y con motivo de la celebración del Día Mundial de los Humedales, la Plataforma 'Ojos del Guadiana Vivos', que agrupa a cuatro colectivos conservacionistas, junto con numerosos investigadores y técnicos, presentará en el Centro del Agua de Daimiel, (a las 11 horas, Parque del Carmen s/n, Daimiel, Ciudad Real) un Manifiesto para la pronta y definitiva elaboración del Plan Especial del Alto Guadiana." More detail is available here.

Spain XI.José Javier Fernández Aransay (, Director Tecnico de la Reserva Natural, notes "El próximo sábado, la Reserva Natural de las Marismas de Santoña y Noja (sitio Ramsar, Cantabria) organizará una jornada de puertas abiertas en el observatorio de La Arenilla, en colaboración con la Sociedad Española de Ornitología, SEO/BirdLife. Se realizará observación de aves con apoyo de personal y materiales de la Reserva."

Spain XII. Jesús Velasco Nevado ( writes: "Con motivo del DÍA MUNDIAL DE LOS HUMEDALES, CEPSA Refinería "La Rábida" organiza una semana de actividades (de los días 4 al 8 de febrero) donde más de 400 alumnos, correspondientes a 6º de Primaria, de distintos colegios de la provincia de Huelva conocerán la Laguna Primera de Palos, espacio natural que esta empresa onubense hace escasos meses inauguró al público tras un proceso de restauración y rehabilitación. Con el presente correo, remitimos nota de prensa enviadas a los Medios de Comunicación de Andalucía, actividades programadas con los alumnos y fotografía. A lo largo de la semana próxima, remitiremos más información al respecto." Fotos.

Spain XIII.Enric Amer (, en nombre de Acció Ecologista-Agró: "Siguiendo con la información sobre el Dia Mundial de las Zonas Humedas, enviamos articulo de prensa referente al dia 2 en Almenara, en la que las visitas a la zona humeda se centraron en un colectivo sindical (CCOO) y una coordinadora de organizaciones amantes de la bicicleta de Comunidad Valenciana, Aragon y Cataluña. En ella se hizo una suelta de Phalemonetes zariquieii, una gamba de agua dulce típica de los humedales mediterraneos y en proceso de recuperación. El dia 3 mas de cien personas participaron en otra jornada de conmemoración del Dia Mundial Zonas Humedas con una plantación de macrófitos y plantas de ribera en colaboración con el LIFE de Microreservas de la Conselleria de Medi Ambient de la Comunidad Valenciana. El sabado 9 de febrero las visitas son con vecinos del pueblo de Almasora. El 24 de febrero, domingo, la visita tendrá el aliciente de la suelta de rapaces recuperadas en la zona humeda (aguilucho ratonero y cernícalos)."

Spain XIV.Roberto Gónzález Argote, Técnico de Educación Ambiental, writes from the País Vasco: "Coincidiendo con el Día Mundial de los Humedales, el Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Ayuntamiento de Vitoria-Gasteiz inaugurará en la Sala de Exposiciones de la casa de la Dehesa de Olárizu una exposición en torno a los humedales de Salburua." Much more detail is available here.

Spain XV.Posidonia de Ciencias Ambientales and Ecologistas en Acción-Almería ( issued a press release on 31 January describing the significance of the Día Mundial de los Humedales, and the Convention's COP8 in Valencia in November, for wetlands in Spain, and in particular in the province of Almería. Here is the Spanish text.

Spain XVI. "Hola Montse; soy Yolanda, de Alcázar de San Juan (Ciudad Real). Ante todo, dar las gracias por el material (dossieres, pegatinas, calendarios, etc.) que nos enviasteis con motivo del Día Mundial de los Humedales. OS envío un pequeño informe de las actividades que habíamos programado, así como algunas fotos de la exposición y del puesto de información que montamos en la plaza del ayuntamiento. Los pósters fueron prestados por cortesía de Antonio Aguilera. Saludos."

Sri Lanka I. Dr Channa Bambaradeniya (, Head of the Biodiversity Unit of IUCN's Sri Lanka Country Office, writes that IUCN Sri Lanka has organised a media briefing for 25 January 2002 at the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS), in collaboration with the Integrated Resources Management Project (IRMP) of the Central Environmental Authority. "On the 2nd February, The visitor centre at the Bundala National Park will be innaugurated by the Divisional Secretariat of the Hambanthota District (where this wetland is located). This centre was developed with awareness material and exhibits by IUCN SL, under a Ramsar small grant. It would be followed with an awareness workshop on the Bundala Wetland and the WWD for Government officials in the Hambanthota District." The announcement and an informative paper for the public on Sri Lanka's wetlands and Ramsar sites has been repreinted here.

Sri Lanka II.E.P.S. Chandana (, Department of Zoology, University of Ruhuna Matara, writes: "Our department zoological society in collaboration with our environmental research team organized a work shop to mark the wetland day. The main issues that were brought up are socio-ecological aspects pertaining to wetlands, especially internationally important ones. Especially I myself have been carrying out a research pertaining to a Ramsar wetland in Sri Lanka (Bundala National Park)."

Sweden I.Dirk Harmsen, project secretary of WISP ( writes: "The Association of birdsites in Southern Sweden (Fågelporten/Birdportal) will arrange their third planning meeting in connection to the Ramsar World Wetland Day. This meeting will be held at the Ramsar site Åsnen, south of Växjö - Sweden. As WWday is on a Saturday the association will gather the day before. On the agenda will be the marketing of interesting birding sites in the Southern part of Sweden, focused on the Dutch and German market. Of course the Ramsar day will be discussed too, as well as a press conference will be arranged for the occasion. A free special brochure 'Birding in Southern Sweden' is already available in English and can be ordered through"

Sweden II. Arne Ohlsson (, The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), reports that in a cooperation between Ekoteket and the SSNC in Strängnäs "we had our exhibition in a shopping centre in Strängnäs. Besides presentation of the Convention on Wetlands we showed our Ramsar wetland, Sörfjärden, and other local wetland projects." Here is a brief report and several photographs.

Switzerland I.Christina Meissner Denham ( of Geneva's Département de l'Intérieur, de l'Agriculture, de l'Environnement et de l'Energie, sent descriptions of the city's planned WWD activities -- The canton of Geneva, in collaboration with Genève Tourisme, plans a day of birdwatching in the Rade de Genève Ramsar site, preceded by a press conference. The announcement is available here in French. Ramsar's Sergey Dereliev will be participating in the events. See also: Here is Ms Meissner Denham's later report on the event, extracted from an internal debriefing for the organizers.

Switzerland II.Aniket Ghai ( of the Geneva Environment Network reports that Geneva Environment House, home of UNEP's Geneva offices and many other UN-related organizations, will host a panel display on WWD2002 in the "cybercafé", to be created by José Delgado.

Switzerland III. The Grangettes Foundation, in charge of communication, education, public awareness and management of the Grangettes Ramsar Site and Nature Reserve at the mouth of the Rhone river on lake Geneva in Switzerland, is organising this year an exhibition for the public in the commercial centre "Forum" at Montreux from 28 January to 9 February 2002. Montreux is the lakeside resort on the Swiss Riviera where Ramsar's COP4 took place in summer 1990, the date when "Les Grangettes" was designated as a Wetland of International Importance by the Swiss Federation and Vaud regional government. The exhibit on the biodiversity and other values of the Ramsar Site also includes projections of an animal movie "Wild Areas" (Terre sauvage) filmed last year inside the Ramsar Site by A. Schultze, guided birdwatching events along the lake shore, a free showing of the 35mm movie "Le peuple migrateur" (The mystery of migratory birds) at the Cinérive cinema in downtown Montreux, a panel discussion on the local radio, and a quiz and competition for young and old. [adapted from the invitation sent to the Ramsar Bureau by the Fondation des Grangettes]

Switzerland IV. The Swiss Cantons of St-Gall and Appenzell are celebrating their 200 years of participation in the Swiss Confederation. On this occasion, the conservation NGOs Pro Natura and WWF launched a competition for projects "Tell me where have all the waters gone?". Reto Zingg, a well-known conservationist and teacher in Ebnat-Kappel is participating in the competition with his class 2sb of Wier College. He writes that the promotion materials sent by the Ramsar Bureau came in handy for the press release and exhibit on WWD and the Ramsar Convention they put up at this occasion. Furthermore, the school kids will document the changes in the countryside in their region throughout the last 200 years, notably the loss of wetlands. As a next step, they will make concrete proposals on how to restore a lost wetland site. This will form part of their project "Mires, marshes and ponds in the Toggenburg region" for wetland restoration and rehabilitation, to be submitted to the competition. A lot of work lies ahead of the young project executors. However, they have already secured the support of the local Forestry Department and the Swiss Foundation for Bird Reserves.

Thailand.Nirawan Pipitsombat ( writes: "I would like to inform you that the Pattalung Province, the Royal Forest Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative and Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment celebrated the World Wetland Day on Febuary 2, 2002 at Kuan Ki Sian in Thale Noi people's way of life, Ramsar Convention and Wetland. We also organized 3 days youth camp on wise use for students from primary and secondary school. Attached herewith are the pictures of World Wetland Day."

Trinidad & Tobago II. Gillian John ( writes: "I am writing from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Tobago House of Assemby. Activities for the day were organized around the theme for WWD 2002: "Wetlands - Water, life, Culture", and depicted the Cultural Heritage and Values of wetlands in Tobago. At the opening of the session, The Secretary for Agriculture, Marine Resources and Environment, Mr. Hughford McKenna brought welcome on behalf of the Tobago House of Assembly and the Ramsar Convention, stressing the importance of wetlands in the maintenance of our livelihood. He then launched the Trinidad and Tobago's National Wetlands Policy 2001, and presented to the Administrator of Education Division a Wondorous Wetlands Resource Book donated to the Assembly by the West Indian Whistling Duck Working Group of the Society of Caribbean Ornithology." Here is the rest of her brief report with small photos.

Trinidad & Tobago II.Marianne S. Hosein (, Environmental Specialist at Petrotrin, Pointe-a-Pierre in Trinidad, writes that "the environmental NGO, the UWI Biological Society, here in Trinidad, is a generalist group catering to the overall sensitization of our population on environmental issues. This year, our theme is 'Wetlands - Our Heritage'. We have decided to focus on the Nariva Swamp, which is listed as a Ramsar site. As part of our educational drive, we will be hosting a week of educational lectures and an exhibition in February. Our target audience is mainly secondary school students."

Ukraine.Joseph Chernichko of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station ( have sent us a thorough listing of impressive WWD-related activities in the region of Melitopol as part of a "Save Wetlands and Biological Diversity" marathon, including on WWD itself, "pictures competition, erudite tournaments, business games, puzzles doing". Read this listing here.

United Kingdom I.Nicola Strazzullo ( of the Water Policy Team of The Wildlife Trusts in the UK writes that the Team plans to use the occasion of World Wetlands Day to launch its Web site as part of its Wetland Information Service, which will provide easy access to information on the conservation and habitats of UK wetland habitats and species. The service is presently funded by Severn Trent Water Ltd, Biffaward, and The Waterways Trust. A full report on the new Web site will be presented here when the time comes.

United Kingdom II.Irena Arambasic of the Education Department of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s London Wetland Centre ( writes: "After our successful cooperation last year, I am writing to request as much material as possible for this year’s World Wetlands Day (new poster, hardcopy of Cultural Heritage of Wetlands and if possible hardcopy of last year's Values and Functions, press release, stickers and calendars). As we did last year, we are organising crafts workshop, children's corner, walks and talks as well as a Ramsar exhibition. As we do draw attention to the importance of wetlands and their wildlife daily, we want the 2nd of February to be special. Since our last correspondence, London Wetland Centre has won international recognition and reaches thousands on a regular basis. Could you therefore, when you send us the WWD material, also add a box of your general Ramsar leaflets so we can continue to promote your work after the WWD."

United Kingdom III. Erica Hammond ( of Terence Dalton Ltd has sent the programme for the forthcoming conference "Wetlands and the Community" in celebration of World Wetlands Day", 31 January 2002 in Westminster, London, supported by the Environment Agency, RSPB, Thames Water, and others, featuring a keynote address by Michael Meacher, Minister for the Environment. (We can pass that programme on to you in PDF format if you wish.) [Ed: Delivering one of the papers at this meeting was Dr Bryony Coles (with Dr Robert Van de Noort). Dr Coles, with her extensive knowledge of wetland archaeology, was of great assistance to the Bureau in the preparation of the Cultural Heritage fact sheets.]

United Kingdom IV.Dafni Athini-Barter ( of the Broads Authority writes: "We are a governmental organisation with responsibility for managing the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, an area which shares equivalent status to that of a national park. The Broads Authority is looking to produce a strategy for the cultural landscape of the Broads and in order to start thinking about this, and as our contribution to World Wetlands Day 2002, we are holding a workshop on Friday 1st February 2002 to which organisations, landowners, parish councils and many other key interested parties are invited." More detail is available here.

United Kingdom V. Brian Smith (, Wetlands Project Officer with the Severn and Avon Vales Wetlands Partnership, says that the Partnership "will be promoting World Wetlands Day through a series of press releases to draw attention to the plight of floodplain habitats in the region and the opportunities for their restoration, especially in the context of integrated farming and environmental enhancement."

United Kingdom VI.John Fullard ( of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, observes that World Wetlands Day coincides with WWT's annual Bird Fair, to which this year some 4,000 participants are expected over the weekend.

United Kingdom VII.Clare Rawcliffe, Manager of West Boldon Environmental Education Centre (, writes: "I manage an Environmental Education Centre which welcomes some 4000 visitors each year. We also provide support to schools on all aspects of environmental education through our Environmental Information Service (EIS). By pure coincidence we had organised a trip out to Washington Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust for our 'Wild Things' (nature /eco club for children aged 7-14) on 2nd February. Having since discovered that it is also World Wetlands Day, I am keen to spread the message. I intend to send a press release to the regional media telling them about World Wetlands Day and our visit to the Trust."

United Kingdom VIII.Pete Horne (, of Malton, North Yorkshire, writes: "Thank you for the material you sent through. Sue Holmes and Valerie Gilbert, the organisers of Norton Wildlife Watch, made good use of it in working with the children. The attached photos show some of the less camera-shy members learning about the truly international nature of wetlands. Our local Norton wildlife watch group in North Yorkshire, England, are holding meetings to discuss wetlands in a worldwide context -- the group is usually up to twenty children aged between 7 and 15 and a few adults in support - and therefore we are very grateful for the WWD material. We have a special interest in wetlands in that our small local wetland Norton Ings, which has been used for many years as a teaching resource, is shortly to be dramatically changed due to the construction of flood defences."

United Kingdom, Northern Ireland I.Tracy McCoey ( writes: "I am the Environmental Educator at the Quoile Countryside Centre in Downpatrick, N. Ireland. I am planning a Wetlands Walk along the Quoile River in celebration of World Wetlands Day. I saw your lovely posters, badge designs and calendars on the Web site and would love to be able to use them to advertise the event and as gifts for all those taking an interest and attending the Wetlands Walk." Here is a brief report from after the event.

United Kingdom, Northern Ireland II.Selene Fee ( writes that Friends of the Earth in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, plans a day of highlighting the world's wetlands and their culture and heritage, with the aid of the Ramsar video and materials. "This is hopefully the first of many years of celebrating in this neck of the woods." Here is her subsequent report on activities, not as well attended as had been wished because of a week of flooding in the area, that included games for children and talks for the grown-ups.

United Kingdom, Northern Ireland III. Claire Foley (, Senior Inspector for EHS: Protecting Historic Monuments in Belfast, writes that a discussion day will be held with "participants from local community groups working in a large peatland area which is itself a Ramsar site - Lough Neagh".

United Kingdom, Northern Ireland IV.Rupert Brakspear (, Environmental Educator, Crawfordsburn Country Park in Helen's Bay, Co. Down, sent this report on 5 February of a World Wetlands Day slide show, art work, and hands-on demonstrations with a video-microscope. Two photos are included.

United Kingdom, Scotland. Dr Scot Mathieson (, Conservation Advisor with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), sends a copy of the agency's press release for WWD 2002 and notes that it is also available on the Web site

United States I.Mary Beth Dechant ( ) of the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago writes: "My colleagues and I here at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago are planning an evening event that will highlight World Wetlands Day. We wanted to share with you a description of our event, and tell you a bit about who our audience will be, because we are very excited to get this going and hope that you will appreciate our efforts!" Here is her description of the programme and the planned event.

United States II.Kelly Welch in Portland, Maine ( sic) writes: "I teach Environmental Science to 40 students at Greely High School in Cumberland, Maine. By sheer coincidence the Wetlands Scientist I had coerced into talking to my class in February sent me your link and told me about WWD 2002. I am very excited to provide the students with a cultural heritage aspect of wetlands. We are studying wetlands right now and from what I've read so far this would greatly supplement their curriculum, bring a deeper meaning of the functions and values to their lives, and we would love to be part of the multiplier effect of WWD! Please, if you still have materials available, could you send me the Cultural Heritage of Wetlands info pack, 2 WWD 2002 posters (one for us and a surprise for our speaker!), enough stickers for 40 students, and the Values and Functions of wetlands info pack? I am happy to reproduce the info packs if you don't have enough for each student! We speak English! Thank you so much for having such incredible info! Do you know when we might receive it by (perhaps in time for February 2nd?). Thanks again!!!"

United States III.Sarah Suggs (, Wetlands Specialist in the Department of Ecology, State of Washington, USA, based in Bellevue, has sent us the brief advertisement for WWD which begins "Come celebrate World Wetlands Day (WWD) in the Skagit Valley by touring restored estuarine wetlands, bird watching, and hearing tribal stories of the cultural significance of wetlands. The Pacific NW Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands invite you to learn more about wetlands of international significance and the importance of wetlands culturally." Here's the rest of the day's planned events. In addition, the Pacific Northwest SWS chapter has put up an informative Web page which describes WWD, laments that there are no Ramsar sites in the Pacific Northwest, lists the objectives of the Ramsar List, and invites readers' suggestions for future Ramsar designations. Here is Sarah's later report, with some exceptional photographs!

United States IV.Trisha Neal (, Public Involvement Coordinator for the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Charleston, Oregon, draws attention to a new page for WWD2002 on the South Slough NERR Web site, at, and here reports on the event.

United States V. Kim Millspaugh (, the chair of the USA chapter of Project Better World (a Shell Chemicals cooperative initiative in concert with the Earthwatch and Voluntary Service Overseas NGOs) plans to use WWD2002 materials to raise awareness at a talk in Houston at the end of January about the health of wetlands in Texas.

United States VI.Tildy LaFarge ( has sent to the Ramsar Forum the World Wetlands Day press release from Ducks Unlimited, along with a wetland quiz for children.

United States VII. The United States State Department issued a media release for World Wetlands Day 2002, and here it is.

Venezuela I. Alfredo Arteaga, Coordinador del programaProCosta PROVITA ( ) writes to describe a number of planned activities in the state of Miranda involving NGOs, public officials at state and local levels, and national park authorities. Here is his brief message.

Venezuela II. Rafael Rodríguez Altamiranda ( of Cabudare in Estado Lara writes: "It's really wonderful the WWD theme for this year "Wetlands: Water, Life, and Culture". I'm preparing some interesting 2002 activities, also the traditional press release and the celebration on February 2nd. This year I`m planning an additional activity 'visit the most important artificial wetland in my region', the Yacambú Dam, which is located in the Yacambú National Park, in the northwest of Venezuela. About 100 children will participate in the 2002 WWD activities."

Venezuela III. Alejandro Luy (, Gerente General, Fundación Tierra Viva, based in Caracas, writes: "El Comité Nacional Ramsar de Venezuela, Ministerio del Ambiente y de los Recursos Naturales, Instituto Nacional de Parques, Coordinación No Gubernamental de Comunicación, Educación y Concienciación del Público de Convención Ramsar están organizadon el evento "Humedales: agua, vida y cultura -- Estado actual de los sitios Ramsar de Venezuela". - Fundación Tierra Viva está organizando una exposición sobre el Delta del Río Orinoco en la Biblioteca Pública Manuel Feo La Cruz, en Valencia, Estado Carabobo. (Adjunto la nota de Prensa). - Alejandro Luy, como Coordinador No Gubernamental de Comunicación, Educación y Concienciación del Público de Convención Ramsar y Gerente General de Fundación Tierra Viva publicará en el Diario El Nacional un artículo sobre los humedales el día 2 de febrero. - Adicionalmente he coordinado la publicación en la revista digital Venezuela Analítica ( una serie de artículos escritos por profesionales de la conservación y miembros de ONGs sobre los humedales, su importanic ay problemática. Estos artículos estarán disponibles a partir del jueves 31 de enero."

Venezuela IV.Lucía Pizzani, Director de Asuntos Internacionales (, for PROVITA, has sent PROVITA's press release outlining the significance of WWD and Ramsar for Venezuela and describing the organization's activities around the country, along with an excellent photograph of the Cuare Ramsar site.

Yugoslavia. Natasa Panic, PR officer for the Institute for Protection of Nature of Serbia (nature@net.yu) in Novi Beograd, writes: "Celebrating World Wetland Day, our Institute is organizing a seminar for local and national government representatives, national Ramsar Council, managers of protected wetlands, scientists and professionals, and local community in protected wetland area of the Sava River. There will be about 40 participants and it was our intention to provide them with some Ramsar material. We already prepared leaflets in the national language and a PowerPoint presentation of wetlands in Serbia." Here is her subsequent report, with a few photographs.

Zambia.Sarah Black (, Communications Manager, WWF Kafue Partners for Wetlands, writes: "We had our WWD event yesterday and we have got coverage on the prime time local TV, we are on ALL the radio stations, the minister for environment to read the whole of the attached speech, we got coverage in all the major daily's and will be in the weekly papers at the weekend. BBC have done a radio interview and there is a chance on the website as well. But what did the journalists want - YOUR POSTERS!!! Have you got any left overs that you could send me or even some more stickers as thanks yous to a few people? I have to ask, if you don't ask you don't get right? Thanks for your support, it has really made a difference."

Other. From the Palestinian Territories, Mohammed AbuDaya (, Director of Nature and Biodiversity Department, Ministry of Environment, writes: "In spite of the economical and political bad situation in the Palestinian territories, we organized some activities on World Wetlands Day. Our plan included: 1) Organization of a workshop entitled "World Wetlands Day", with different NGOs & Governmental organization representatives attending. It was opened by a speech from H.E Dr.Yosef Abu Safia, Minister of Environment, and followed by lectures and speeches from different experts. Then this activity was followed by a field visit trip to Wadi Gaza as an example of wetland area in Palestine. During the workshop a packet has been distributed. 2) Public awareness campaigns program for selected secondary school classes also included a field visit trip and short lectures. The media covered all these activities. Within this week we will provide you with materials by post prepared in the celebration. We are fully aware that we have only touched the surface of the issue but we hope situation improving and getting better so we are able to organize more programs."

From Taiwan, Chao Hsuan Chung (, Project Coordinator for Taipei WetNet and the Environmental Protection Club of National Taiwan University, writes that WWD will be celebrated at a wetland camp to be held 1-3 February for some 50 senior high school students in northern Taiwan.

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