World Wetlands Day 2003: Serbia



World Wetlands Day 2003 in Serbia

ROUND TABLE : "Conservation of wetlands in Serbia"

In order to celebrate the World Wetlands Day of, the Institute for Protection of Nature of Serbia organizes various happenings in order to inform the public about the values of Ramsar convention and Ramsar areas, since 1997, when this Day was founded by Ramsar Bureau.

Celebration of the WWD this year was under the global motto "No Wetlands-No Water" and included the round table meeting on February 3rd, in Special Nature Reserve and Ramsar site "Stari Begej-Carska bara" on subject "Conservation of wetlands in Serbia". Within this subject was presentation of projects of revitalization and conservation of water regime within the three Ramsar sites in Serbia: Stari Begej-Carska bara, Obedska bara and Ludasko lake.

The round table was realized in cooperation with State Secretariat for Work, Health Care and Social Care (Sector for Environmental Protection) and Secretariat for Protection and Sustainable Development of Province Vojvodina. The host of the meeting was AD Fishing Company "Ecka", manager of Ramsar site "Stari Begej-Carska bara".

The participants of the round table were the managers of areas included within the UNESCO World List of Wetlands of Global Importance, as well as those areas that are still within the nomination process, government and nongovernmental organizations engaged in the activities of Convention implementation, as well as numerous representatives of national and local media.

During the first part of activity, participants were addressed by Dr Lidija Amidzic, Director of Institute for Protection of Nature of Serbia, who reminded of state's richness in natural properties and resources, putting especial weight on diversity of wetland habitats and their importance for conservation of biodiversity on national and global level, but also the need of proper management that matches the premises of sustainable development. Mr Sci. Milutin Pantovic from State Secretariat presented the main regulations of Ramsar convention signed by our country, as well as the need of protection of wetlands from the aspect of their importance in conservation of freshwater ecosystems, and therefore also life quality on our planet.

After the greeting and welcome to the participants, the director of AD Fishing Company "Ecka" Vladimir Petrovic together with Dr Liljana Budakov (Institute for Protection of Nature of Serbia) opened the round table with a video presentation on subject "Conservation of Ramsar Area Stari Begej-Carska bara". Possibilities and means of realization of the projects of conservation of Natural properties were addressed by Director of Public Firm "JP Palic-Ludas" Dragutin Miljkovic who presented the project "Revitalization of wetland habitats near Ludasko Lake ", which is realized through Small Grant Program of Ramsar Bureau. Project of sanitation and revitalization of third Ramsar Area in Serbia - Obedska bara, which is realized with the financial help of EECO NET Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Province Secretariat for Protection and Sustainable Development of Vojvodina was presented by Mr Sci Slobodan Puzovic (Institute for Protection of Nature of Serbia), while Jelena Beronja (Youth Researchers of Serbia) spoke about the International Eco-camp being realized with this goal, and presented the project "Return of the Ibis".
The round table represented a chance to exchange experiences of all groups whose common interests include conservation and development of wetland areas, the possibilities of realization of projects of their revitalization and management, in accord with principles of sustainable development and wise utilization.

The organized tour on Carska bara, that concluded the session, presented the unique opportunity for everyone, and especially the present journalists, to photograph the wonderful winter landscapes of Special Nature Reserve Carska bara as well as some of the representatives of diverse bird fauna finding shelter here. In order to better present the ways of sustainable utilization of resources in this area, also visited was the neighboring factory for making objects out of reed stalks.

Please find the photographs we made, and that will serve to better illustrate this happening and Special Nature Reserve Carska Bara.

Natasa Panic

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