World Wetlands Day 2006 in the Secretariat
World Wetlands Day today. Today, 2 February, is World Wetlands Day, a day (or in some cases, a week) when governments at all levels, nongovernmental organizations, wetland site managers, and citizens carry out celebrations to raise the public's awareness about the values of wetlands in general and about the Convention on Wetlands in particular. 2 February is the anniversary of the signing of the Convention in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, an appropriate date for WWD but not always a convenient one, especially in the northern countries. Nonetheless, in the coming weeks you'll be able to see reports of the imaginative activities that have been reported to us from all over the world.
The Secretary General, Dr Peter Bridgewater, is sending a special message on this day to everyone involved in WWD activities, one which relates this year's theme of 'wetlands and poverty alleviation' to the experience of people everywhere. In addition, readers will be interested to find additional insights in today's messages on the Convention's CEPA e-mail list. And we are very pleased to be able to announce that a number of new Ramsar sites have been designated for addition to the List of Wetlands of International Importance as of 2 February 2006 and will be announced today at ceremonies and presentations of site certificates in those countries. Details on these new sites can be found on the following pages:
Albania: Lake Shkodra and River Buna
France: Les étangs littoraux de la Narbonnaise
Guatemala: Parque Nacional Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo
Jamaica: Portland Bight Wetlands and Cays
Mexico: Cascadas de Texolo y su entorno; Estero de Punta Banda; Isla Rasa; and Manglares y Humedales de Tuxpan
Republic of Korea: Suncheon Bay
Romania: Dumbravita Fishpond Complex; and Mures Floodplain
Slovenia: Cerknisko jezero z okolico
Ramsar Secretariat staff are also participating personally in WWD celebrations today in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Netherlands, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Slovenia, and Switzerland, and reports on these events will appear here soon.