Ramsar COP8 DOC. 25: Ramsar implementation in the African region



"Wetlands: water, life, and culture"
8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2002

Ramsar COP8 DOC. 25
Information Paper
English and French

Regional overview of the implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan 1997-2002: Africa

The National Reports upon which this overview is based can be consulted on the Ramsar Web site, on http://ramsar.org/cop8_nr_natl_rpt_index.htm.

Contracting Parties in Africa: (35): Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.

Contracting Parties whose National Reports are included in this analysis (33): Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.

The National Report from Tunisia was received after the deadline for its inclusion in the Ramsar Database for COP8 analyses. However, this analysis takes into account Tunisia's report.

Burundi and Libyan Arab Jamahiriya have recently acceded to the Convention and therefore they are not expected to submit a National report for COP8.

Contracting Parties yet to submit National Reports: 0

1. Main achievements since COP7 and priorities for 2003-2005

1.1 Main achievements since COP7

Seventeen African Ramsar Contracting Parties are working on the development and/or implementation of National Wetland Policy/Strategies/Action Plan. Wetland issues are increasingly being considered through Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, National Environmental Action Plans and other sectoral strategies or policies.

In 31 African countries, Ramsar's obligations are at least partly being considered in National environmental policies and plans.

Thirteen Contracting Parties have undertaken or are undertaking review of laws and institutions as a way to create an enabling environment for wetland conservation and wise use.

Twenty-two Contracting Parties have established a National Ramsar Committee or similar body to coordionate the implementation of the Convention.

Eighteen Contracting Parties have some mechanism in place for regular dialogue between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and those personnel working with the other environment-related conventions.

Twenty-two Contracting Parties are making efforts to encourage private sector support for wetland conservation and wise use.

Thirty-five new Ramsar sites have been listed since COP7 and about 30 more are in process for additional designation.

Eighteen countries are supporting international programmes that encourage transfer of information, knowledge and skills among wetland education centers and educators.

Twenty-one countries are taking strict protection measures to regulate activities in those wetlands where it is warranted.

Twenty Contracting Parties are allocating funds to conservation and wise use of wetlands

In addition, it is useful to mention the qualitative progress that has been made during the triennium 2000-2002:

· Increasing understanding of the Convention's principles, its objectives and the way it operates by national institutions of Contracting Parties - actions on establishment and reinforcement of coordination mechanism, improved working relationship between national institutions responsible for water and those responsible for environment, consultation on policy development, training;

· Increasing availability of tools for action, including guidelines on critical issues - wide dissemination of Ramsar guidelines;

· Enhanced self-motivation from some Contracting Parties, especially those which have recently acceded - more Ramsar site designations, more interest in management plans, improved dialogue with other conventions;

· Increasing involvement of Ramsar in subregional structures, other international organizations and funding mechanisms - more links with river/lake basin organizations and subregional economic bodies, increasing work in GEF projects and development of a proposal submitted to the European Commission;

· Improved working relations between Ramsar Partners and development of joint venture activities - Ramsar site designation and management, development of strategies and actions on invasive species, joint actions on river/lake management.

1.2 Priorities for 2003-2005

Despite the increasing efforts to implement the Ramsar Convention in Africa, there are still several challenges to be addressed, which include:

· Accession to the Convention of the remaining countries in the region: At least 15 countries out of 53 need support to joint the Convention, taking into account the fact that 3 to 5 countries may join the Convention before COP8;
· Need for further policy development and implementation;
· Adoption of legislative frameworks to allow full implementation of the Convention;
· Improved communication within the region;
· Conflicting sectoral policies are to be considered and harmonized;
· A better knowledge on wetland values, especially through economic valuation of wetland values and function.

More specifically the following major priorities areas of work need to be considered over the next triennium:

Applying the mechanisms of the Convention for inventory, assessment and monitoring so as to increase public and political awareness and understanding of the critical values and functions of wetlands in supporting sustainable development and human well-being;

Contracting Parties are expected to use the general guidance provided through the conceptual framework for wetland ecosystem inventory, assessment and monitoring for further steps to be taken to improve inventory, assessment and monitoring processes at national level;

Contracting Parties are also urged to identify some key topics requiring further guidance and elaboration under the Convention to support full implementation of the framework.

Reinforcement of institutional partnerships at national level between Governmental entities responsible for wetlands ("the water producers") and those responsible for water resources ("the water product"); and between other sectors of government and 'non-state actors' (including intergovermental organizations, NGOs) concerned with sustainable use of wetlands.


Establishing of National Wetland Committees where they do not yet exist;

Involving of all relevant national institutions, especially those responsible for the water sector, and including governments entities, NGOs and other non-State actors, into existing National Wetland Committees, and ensuring such multi-sectoral membership in newly established national Wetland Committees;

Better recognition - at all levels - of the high importance of wetlands (including Ramsar sites) in arid and semi-arid environments.


Improving knowledge of wetlands in drylands, through inventory and assessment of the status and trends, notably of their hydrological importance, their support to biodiversity, and support to economic development;

Acquiring in-depth knowledge on the major factors affecting the conservation status of wetlands in drylands, including drought and desertification.

Implementation of the third CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan

Following the implementation of the second Joint Work Plan 2000-2001, Contracting Parties of both Conventions and their partners are expected to consider joint activities under the thematic areas and cross-cutting issue addressed by both Conventions.

Since the Ramsar Convention uses a broad definition of 'wetland', it recognizes wetland types found within each of the ecosystem thematic areas covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity. As a result, Ramsar Contracting Parties and Ramsar Partners are encouraged to undertake activities relating to all these thematic areas.

Invasive species

Challenge: Developing and implementing comprehensive invasive species management strategies in the subregion, including through legislation (where necessary), public awareness, education, and exchange of experience and expertise, so as to prevent new invasions and control already established invasive species.

Mobilising funding resources

Challenge: Making use of the best possible use of existing donor mechanisms, including from multilateral and bilateral donors, and those available through the Convention, through focusing on the role of wetlands as an asset for sustainable development

Establishment of a coherent national and regional network of Ramsar sites, including at the river basin scale, as the basis for their sustainable management


Fully implementing the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 7) so as to reflect the importance, diversity and distribution of wetlands in the region, as a basis for their sustainable management;

Improving assessment of the conservation status of existing Ramsar sites and identifying and implementing actions to improve their status;

Establishment of management planning processes for all Ramsar sites in the region, including the restoration/rehabilitation of degraded sites, with a particular focus on the use of the Montreux Record as a tool for seeking assistance for sites under threat.

Transboundary management of shared water systems at basin scale

Undertaking joint initiatives on assessment of common challenges and taking action on common solutions at basin scale in the region;

Promoting transboundary wetland management initiatives at all levels, particularly with potential international donors.

Initiating or reinforcing collaborative transboundary actions for the promotion of integrated coastal zones management (ICZM).

Develop or encourage joint initiatives between Ramsar's International Organization Partners and Ramsar Contracting Parties together with other players such as national NGOs and seek to apply their experiences to the development of ICZM initiatives on other coastal areas in the region.

Island developing countries

Challenge: Ensuring that the specificity of issues of wetland conservation and wise use for island developing countries in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans are recognized and fully addressed by the Convention, alongside those of continental countries.

Better application of Article 3.2 Of the Ramsar Convention

The Ramsar Administrative Authority in each Party needs to establish a mechanism by which those responsible for each Ramsar site will be aware of the requirements of Article 3.2 and will report to the Administrative Authority when a change or likely change in ecological character has been detected. In turn, for those locally responsible for a Ramsar site to detect and report such change, or likely change, a monitoring mechanism must be in place at the site, and the COP has recommended that this should form part of the management planning process for all Ramsar sites.

2. Implementation activities undertaken since COP7

2.1 Inventory and assessment

A. Wetland inventory [1.1]

Tunisia and Zambia are the only African Ramsar CPs that have reported having a national comprehensive wetland inventory, produced in 1998 for Tunisia and 1994 for Zambia. However, Tunisia's report does not provide information as to how comprehensive is the national wetland inventory in terms of geographic scope, thematic handling, and relevance to a priority setting exercise. As for Zambia, the report recognizes that some additional field work is needed to complete or update the available information.

Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda are undertaking a national wetland inventory and they expect to cover their respective territories over the next two years.

Fourteen additional Contracting Parties are working on wetland inventories, having sometimes inventories with partial coverage but - with the exception of Kenya, South Africa and Uganda - there is no indication about the timeframe as to when a comprehensive wetland inventory with a national coverage will be available.

Although the COP8 reports on wetland inventories seem to convey a sense of decreasing achievement compared to COP7 reports, there is a positive side to this trend: our Contracting Parties have a better understanding of what is a comprehensive national wetland inventory. Thus Ramsar Administrative Authorities are now aware of the fact that what they used to consider as a comprehensive national wetland inventory was in most cases a mere directory of major wetlands without adequate insight about the values, functions, major uses and threats relating to existing wetlands.

B. Wetland assessment [1.2]

Although 16 Contracting Parties have indicated that they are undertaking regular internal reviews to identify factors potentially altering the ecological character of Ramsar sites, the Ramsar Bureau has not been regularly informed about the factors that affect the sites. As a result, most information about threats on Ramsar sites come from NGOs or other sources of information which are not responsible for the management of the sites.

However, the following Contracting Parties have indicated in their national reports some threats that may cause changes in ecological character of Ramsar sites: Algeria (2 sites), Benin (2sites), Botswana (1 site), Egypt 82sites), Kenya (2 sites), Mali (3 sites), Mauritania (1 site), Mauritius (1 site), Morocco (4 sites ), Namibia (1 site), Senegal (2 sites), Togo (1 site), Uganda (1 site). The Bureau of the Ramsar Convention will liaise with the Administrative Authorities of the relevant Contracting Parties to have a better understanding of the threats, and if need be, consider the inclusion of the sites into the Montreux Record. Some of the sites, such as the 2 sites in Egypt, 1 site in Mauritania, the 2 sites in Senegal, and 1 site in Uganda, are already included in the Montreux Record.

2.2 Policies and legislation, including impact assessment and valuation

A. Policy instruments for wetland wise use [2.1]

In this review policy instruments include national wetland policy, national wetland strategies, and national wetlands action plans. Although a few African countries have so far a national wetland policy as such in place, it is useful to note that those countries that have committed themselves are undertaking a constructive process that deserves recognition and encouragement.

Uganda, which was the only African Ramsar Contracting Party to have a national wetland policy in place at COP7, has developed a number of strategies and other instruments to help implement the wetland policy. Those instruments include the biodiversity strategy of 2001, the Local Government Act of 1997, the Land Act of 1998, the Plan for the Modernisation of Agriculture, the Uganda National Wetland Programme, and the Wetland Sector Strategic Plan 2001-2010. All these instruments integrate the major tenets of the national wetland policy and provide an enabling environment for its implementation.

Ghana has adopted a National Land Policy to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of the nation's land and natural resources, including wetlands. In order to integrate wetland issues into national land-use planning and decision-making in other sectors, Ghana has adopted the document entitled "Managing Ghana's Wetlands: A National Wetland Conservation Strategy". It is worth noting an interesting aspect of Ghana's approach whereby the various implementation arrangements are providing innovative perspectives through which the decentralization of government administration offers a unique opportunity to District Assemblies to enact bye-laws to give legal support to relevant traditional practices, useful for wetland management.

South Africa has adopted 7 wetland-related policy instruments covering more or less wetland issues through Water Policy, Water Resource Protection Policy, Environmental Management Policy, Integrated Pollution and Waste Management Policy, Marine Fisheries Policy, Coastal Management Policy and River Basin Management Plans. The national Water Policy and in particular the Water Resource Protection Policy strongly incorporate the relevant obligations to the Ramsar Convention. However, River Basin and related plans developed prior to the above policies lack explicit consideration of water allocation to maintain basic ecological functioning of wetlands. As new plans are developed and existing plans are revised they will be required to comply with relevant policy and legislation.

Benin, Botswana, and Zambia are thought to be the next African Contracting Parties to have national wetland policy/strategy/action plans in place, since they have all developed the draft policy/strategy to be submitted to government for consideration and adoption. Some of these policies/strategies may be adopted before COP8. The process of developing a national wetland policy has taken a long time due to the need to consult extensively with all stakeholders, especially in Botswana, where the process has taken over four years. A draft national wetland policy has now been approved by the National Conservation Strategy Board and is pending adoption by government.

Madagascar is about to hold the last consultation gathering to make sure that the Draft National Wetland Strategy has the support of relevant stakeholders before taking it to the government for consideration and adoption.

Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal are developing national wetland policy/strategies and these policies/strategies may be adopted soon after COP8.

Namibia does not have a national wetland policy as such, but the National Biodiversity Strategy has identified wetlands as priority area for action.

The Gambia has so far a national water policy, a biodiversity policy and an environmental action plan all of which consider wetland issues. The country is planning to elaborate and harmonize wetland policy by 2004, depending on availability of funds.

Comoros has integrated wetland issues into the national environmental action plan and the national biodiversity strategy and action plan.

Mauritius does not have a national wetland policy as such but wetlands have been considered as important assets for sustainable development in the national biodiversity strategy and action plan.

Togo has integrated wetland issues into the national environmental action plan through a policy declaration on water and catchment management. The relevant obligations to the Ramsar Convention are being considered in the biodiversity strategy that is under development.

Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, the United Republic of Tanzania have indicated that they are planning to initiate the development of a national wetland policy in the near future, depending upon the availability of funds.

Tunisia has a National Water Strategy, a National Strategy on Soils and Water Conservation, and a National Conservation Strategy on Flora and Fauna, including Protected areas.

In addition Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, and Mali have reported that a national wetland policy is in place but they have not provided details about either an existing wetland policy or on the process of policy development.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported that there is no national wetland policy because wetlands are still managed by local traditional chiefs.

Thirty-one Contracting Parties (94%) report that Ramsar's obligations are at least partially considered in national environmental policies and plans.

B. Development, review and amendment of policies, legislation, institutions and practices [2.2]

Over 20% of the African Contracting Parties have undertaken a partial review of laws and institutions related to wetlands. The scope of the review has not been comprehensive and it does not involve a collective reconsideration of laws and institutions that fulfills the guidelines adopted by COP8 by Resolution VII.7. Most of the review is related to water law, biodiversity conservation, or fisheries.

A systematic and wide ranging review of laws has not been undertaken but eight Contracting parties are planning to consider the review of laws and institutions as part of the process for the development and the implementation of national wetland policies/strategies.

For instance, a review is planned under objective 2 of the Zambian Wetland Strategy and Action Plan. Under this Action Plan Objective 2 calls for the review of relevant legislation and strengthening of key institutions to ensure effective and efficient management of resources in selected wetland areas. Likewise Botswana is planning to undertake the review of laws and institutions after the adoption of the national wetland policy.

Uganda and Ghana have undertaken some review of laws and institutions as part of the implementation strategies of their national wetland policies. A supplemental review is planned by Uganda in 2002.

Fourteen Contracting Parties have reported that they are partly or totally reviewing government plans and policies which might impact wetlands. However Kenya and South Africa are the only Contracting Parties that have provided detailed information on the scope of the appraisal, the progression of the work and its purpose. In this regard Kenya has reported that potential impacts on wetlands are being addressed through the development of eight instruments that involve a number of actions at local, district, provincial, catchment, river basin, coastal and national level.

One of the eight instruments is the national wetland policy which is currently being finalized. The formulation of the national policy entailed the review of sectoral policies, strategies and plans at local, district, provincial and national level, and potential impacts on wetlands have been addressed in the review process. Similarly the formulation of the national wetland policy in Botswana has involved the review of some existing plans, programmes and policies that may impact wetlands.

South Africa is reviewing plans and policies through the draft Integrated Environmental Management regulations that will require that any new land use policy, programme, plan or project be authorized in terms of the prescribed process. In addition, a means to review the impact of all government plans, programmes and policies on the environment, including wetlands, is provided by chapter 3 of the National Environment Management Act. An important aspect of the South Africa experience is that following the promulgation of the National Water Act (1998), an integrated and catchment-based approach to water resource management is being implemented. Currently, for all water development initiatives, Reserve requirements are considered before any water use licenses can be issued. If the Reserve requirements cannot be met during the low flow season, or the catchment is stressed, the application is not recommended until a further more comprehensive Reserve determination is completed.

Chad has undertaken an extensive review of national institutions related to wetlands whereby the strengths and the weaknesses of relevant institutions have been analyzed. Recommendations have been made with a number of options in order to strengthen national institutions and develop new capacities.

Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Togo, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia have also made efforts to assist relevant institutions in building up their operations with regard to wetland conservation and wise use. In Benin and Ghana, for instance, this has been done through the provision of guidelines by the Eviromnental Protection Agency. In Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Togo and the United Republic of Tanzania, institutional review and capacity development are made through the work of the national wetland committee or similar body.

Twenty-nine Contracting Parties have reported that EIA is required for any action that can potentially affect any wetlands. However, South Africa is the only Contracting Party that has provided detailed information on how legislation relating to EIA is structured and why and how the EIA legislation is currently under review. Benin, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia have also provided some information about EIA requirements.

In this regard it is worth noting that Benin has developed one of the most authoritative Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA ) modus operandi in Africa on all environmental aspects, including wetlands. The Ramsar Administrative Authority in Benin, Agence Béninoise pour l'Environnement, is the national organization that is responsible for EIA processes.

2.3 Integration of wetland wise use into sustainable development

A. Methodogies for wetland conservation and wise use [3.1]

Methodologies for wetland conservation and wise use have been moved forward in Africa through a wide dissemination of the Ramsar Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands in English and French. All types of players have received these manuals, including decision-makers, research and training centers, government agencies, NGOs, wetland managers and to a lesser extent local communities. The local communities have not been the major beneficiaries of existing materials because of the nature of the materials and the languages in which the materials are available.

We need more audio-visual materials that can fit the needs of local communities, and some Ramsar Contracting Parties are producing or planning to produce their own materials, following the stimulation made by the global materials from the Ramsar Bureau. It may be useful to encourage local and national production of suitable materials for wetland users.

The availability of resource information on the management of wetlands in relation to various aspects of wetland management is as follows:

· 19 Contracting Parties (57%) have information materials on invasive species
· 5 Contracting Parties (15%) have resource materials relating to wetland management policies and practices
· 23 Contracting Parties (69.7%) have resource materials on economic valuation of wetlands as part of EIA

B. Peatlands [3.2]

There is no noteworthy information about peatlands from the African national reports.

C. Recognition of wetland values and functions [3.3]

The manual on wetland values and functions and the book on economic valuation of wetlands have been widely distributed throughout Africa to a wide range of players, including decision-makers and wetland mangers. As a result there has been an increasing awareness of wetland values and functions. The increasing awareness on wetland values and functions is now calling for the development of detailed and standardized guidelines on how to assess the economic values of wetlands. This is a new task for the Standing Committee and the STRP to seriously consider during the next triennium. These kinds of guidelines are likely to advance work on the production of tools that will encourage decision-makers in integrating wetlands in national planning on sustainable development.

The Ramsar Convention will definitely have to think about additional suitable tools that will promote wetlands as assets for conservation and sustainable development as a result of the second WSSD.

D. Integration of wetland policies into broader planning and management from local to national scales [3.4]

Twenty-six (78.7%) African countries are at least partly implementing integrated management approaches through catchment management including river basin/lakes and coastal zones. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the following initiatives that have a high significance for the implementation of the Ramsar Convention:

1. Integration of wetland policies at basin scale (shared catchments and water resources)

· The MedWet Committee, a framework for action in the Mediterranean countries, including five Ramsar Contracting Parties from Africa, is undertaking a number of actions that contribute to the implementation of integrated management approaches, together with the GEF MedWet Coast project, the MedWet North African Wetland Network, the MedWet/NGOs Network, and the development of the MedWet/Sites Network. Details of these achievements are provided in the report of the MedWet Coordinator.

· The Lake Chad Basin Commission's collaboration with the Ramsar Bureau and the 5 member states, involving management planning at the basin scale, designation of Ramsar sites by all member states with the objective to have the whole lake on the Ramsar List, development and implementation of projects at basin scale with the support of GEF, the World Bank, UNDP, IUCN,WWF International and other partners such as the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

· Likewise the Niger Basin Authority is working on project development and implementation, Ramsar site designation and management, with the 9 member states in collaboration with GEF, the World Bank, UNDP, WWF International, Wetlands International, the Ramsar Bureau and other partners, including the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

· The Nile Basin Initiative is developing and implementing an integrated river basin management programme with the 10 member states. The Convention has not so far been closely involved in this process. However, the Ramsar subregional meeting for Eastern and Southern Africa, held in Zambia, November 2001, proposed that the Ramsar Convention seek to establish a presence in the subregion to strengthen its work on the ground. In this regard, the meeting mandates the Regional Representative and the Bureau to explore ways of appointing an officer in the subregion so as to ensure more political support and stronger collective actions for wetland conservation and wise use in Southern and Eastern Africa. The Ramsar Secretary General has established contact with the Secretariat of Nile Basin Initiative to initiate and foster collaborative work.

· WWF International and the Bureau of the Ramsar Convention have recently established a partnership with Malawi, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Mozambique to promote the establishment of Basin Organization for the integrated management of Lake Malwi/Nyasa/Niassa by the three countries. A special side event was held in Johannesburg during the WSSD with the support of the Swiss Government in order to encourage this process.

· The Okavango GEF programme in Angola, Botswana, and Namibia is underway with a focus on water management.

· The integrated marine and coastal zone programme jointly sponsored by FIBA (Fondation Internationale du Banc d'Arguin), IUCN, and WWF International for the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, and Senegal.

· The integrated management of protected areas in the Niger basin and the Pendjari- basin between Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo, which now includes "W" Park-Arly-Pendjari-Oti-Monodouri. This programme is sponsored by the European Union.

2. Integrated management approaches at national level

· the development of the Okavango Delta Integrated Management Programme which is underway in Botswana with the financial sponsorship of the Botswana Government, the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative, Denmark, Sweden and other donors. The Ramsar Administrative Authority (the National Conservation Strategy Agency) is providing the overall coordination of this multifaceted programme, involving numerous players.
· the development of a GEF project in Benin for an integrated coastal zone management
· the integrated coastal zone management in Egypt
· the integrated management approaches in Kenya based on catchments and the major mountains and forest which are the sources of the main rivers and water resources
· the South Africa coastal zone management, in which the entire coastal zone of the country is affected by the new policy and will be covered by the Coastal Management Act.
· the river basin management programme in South Africa, supported by the National Water Act and is being implemented across the country, whereby the relevant policies and the principles of integrated water resource management are applied to all water development initiatives
· the Rufiji River Basin, the PanganiRiver Basin and the Tanzanian coastline are integrated management in the United Republic of Tanzania
· the Nakambe Basin in Burkina Faso, in which an integrated approach is being implemented.
· in the United Islands of Comoros integrated an coastal zone management project is underway in the Marine National Park of Moheli
· Chad is planning to establish an integrated management programme in the Chari-Logone Basin.

2.4 Restoration and rehabilitation [4.1]

Twenty-two African Ramsar Contracting Parties have undertaken some assessment to identify wetlands for restoration and rehabilitation. As a result of these assessments, the following wetland areas have been identified as priority for restoration and rehabilitation:

· Algeria: Marais de la Macta, Ouled Said
· Benin: coastal zone
· Congo: Likouala area (Lake Télé)
· Democratic Republic of Congo: coastal zone due to oil exploitation and other mining
· Egypt: assessment has been done for the following wetland and catchment areas but the report does not indicate whre there is a need for restoration/rehabilitation: Nile River, Lake Burullus, the eastern part of Lake Bardawil, Lake Manzala, Lake Maryut, Mediterranean coast of the El Omayed Biosphere reserve, coral reefs along the Gulf of aqaba, Red Sea coast, including mangroves along the Red Sea.
· Ghana: the priority has been focused on the coastal wetlands by a local NGO;areas covered: Amansuri wetlands, Essiama salt pans.
· Guniea: Tristao Islands
· Kenya: Lake Victoria due to heavy pollution, siltation and invasive spèecies; Lake Baringo water level fluctauations, intensive siltation, loss of catchment forests; Lake Olbollosat, Lake Jipe, Saiwa Swamp, degraded mangroves systems at Gazi, Ramisi River Delta, Monmbasa Creek, Kibarani, and Malindi.
· Mali: Mopti area, including the 3 Ramsar sites in the Niger inner delta.
· Mauritania: Diawling National Park, due to invasive species (Salvinia molesta and Thypha)
· Morocco: Iriki Lake
· Senegal: wetlands of the Senegal River Delta due to invasive species (Slavinia molesta and Thypha); Saloum Delta and the coastal areas, particularly the Somone Community Reserve
· South Africa: Upper Mokolo and Nyl River catchments; Upper Wilge and Kip River ctachments; Upper Mooi and Mgeni River catchments, Upper Blyde, Olifants, Usutu, Inkomati, Sand, Hlelo, Elands and Crocodile Rover catchments; Kromme, Upper Mzimvubu and Upper Mzimkulu catchments, Upper Juskei River catchments
· Tunisia: Ichkeul National Park, Lake Kelbia, Kness islands, and Dar Fatma Peatlands
· Uganda: Kabale in the sothwest of Kumi; in addition management plans are being developed for 1o wetlands which will incorportae wetland restoration and rehabilitation.
· United Republic of Tanzania: focus has been made on threaten wetlands in unprotected areas: priority wetlands include the Usangu Flats and the Great Ruaha River.
· Zambia: Lukanga Swamps

2.5 Invasive alien species [5.1]

Nineteen CPs indicated they have information materials on invasive species. In addition, Tanzania, Botswana, Senegal, Tanzania and especially Nigeria (with its National Committee on Invasive Species) have undertaken significant work on invasive species.

Over the past triennium, the Ramsar Bureau and IUCN have undertaken a consultation process with other players and some of them have expressed interest in participating in a joint endeavour so as to team up to start implementing the Resolutions of both the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on invasive species.

As a first step for cooperation, the Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention attended a workshop organized by GISP (Global Invasive Species Programme) in September 2000, Cape Town, South Africa. The Global Invasive Species Programme held this important meeting to present and synthesize the results and products of the initial phase programme components. This meeting presented the products of the first phase of the Global Invasive Species Programme initiative, which began in 1996. Participants in the meeting included representatives from key nations identified through the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Environment Programme; key scientists in the field of invasion biology, ecology and biodiversity; and representatives from non-governmental and inter-governmental agencies.

Recognizing that the African capacity to combat the environmental, economic, social, and political challenges posed by alien invasive species is not sufficient, the Bureau of the Ramsar Convention came to a decision that working cooperatively with various partners could help raise awareness and increase knowledge and capacity to address the key issues, starting with Africa.

As a matter of fact, it has been recognized that the major river basins and many wetlands in West Africa are currently facing major impacts from invasive species. Eichornia crassipes (Water hyacinth) and Salvinia molesta are threatening the Niger River basin, the Senegal River basin, and a great number of wetlands.

It is in the light of this development that the Ramsar Bureau and its partners agreed to start the initiative in west Africa:

· The first workshop was held in Djoudj National Park as the Ramsar Bureau has carried out a joint expert mission with the World Heritage Centre, IUCN and BirdLife International in order to assess a recent invasion by an introduced aquatic weed, Salvinia molesta. The report of the mission called for urgent financial assistance to deal with Salvinia molesta. Following the recommendations of the mission, which were endorsed by the Bureau of the World Heritage Convention, the Committee of the World Heritage Convention approved a sum of US$130,475 for implementing phase 1 of the 3-phased mitigation project.

· The second workshop on invasive species was organized by IUCN-EARO for East and Southern Africa. IUCN-EARO is carrying out the next steps in the Wetland Invasive Awareness project for Eastern and Southern Africa. Information on invasive species for all of the southern African countries along with Rwanda and Burundi will be assessed. An "awareness tool" probably in the form of a leaflet or small booklet, describing the ten or twenty "worst wetland invasive species concerning Africa", will be developed. This initiative is sponsored by NORAD, the MacArthur Fundation and the Swiss government through the Ramsar Bureau

In addition the Ramsar Bureau has undertaken some field work, including a joint mission with the World Heritage Center in Djoudj National Park, Senegal, and in Diawling National Park, Mauritania in 2000, in order to assess the seriousness of invasion by Salvinia molesta in these Ramsar sites and make recommendations for solving the problem. This joint mission was undertaken in response to a request from Senegal and Mauritania, and it was a useful action that helped the Bureau in terms of understanding the major issues on invasive species, especially understanding the wide range of stakeholders and players on the ground.

As a result of this joint action, an action plan has been prepared and is being implemented in Senegal and Mauritania. This action plan has also generated more interest from other players such as the European Union, the Royal Tropical Institute in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, and the Plant Protection Research Institute in South Africa.

2.6 Local communities, indigenous people, and cultural values [6.1]

Twenty-eight Contracting Parties (over 84%) have reported that they are working on this important aspect of the implementation of the Ramsar Convention, and it is encouraging to notice an increasing attention to different approaches that enhance and encourage the participation of local stakeholder in wetland conservation and wise use programmes.

These approaches are based on a number of incentives measures: the development of local capacity, the integration of traditional knowledge and pertinent cultural practices into wetland management, the devolution of power and generation of income along with sharing of benefits, the recognition and enforcement of customary regulations and the devolution of ownership on land and water resources.

In this regard it is useful to point out the approaches and area of work that are being brought into play in each relevant Ramsar Contracting Party:

· Algeria: working on restoration/rehabilitation of Ramsar Sites with local communities, through education and public awareness and wetland management.
· Benin: working on coastal zone management with local communities, through consultation in the development of an Action Plan.
· Botswana: extensive consultation in the process for the development of the National Wetland Policy; endorsement and implementation of Community-Based Natural Resource Management projects.
· Burkina Faso: collaborative work between government agencies and villages in the preparation and implementation of projects.
· Comoros: signed agreements between government agencies and local communities on co-management plans for marine protected areas, including a Ramsar site.
· Côte d'Ivoire: devolution of power to local communities for the establishment of local committee to monitor and exploit fresh water resources, especially fish; local regulations of fishing and co-management of protected areas.
· Democratic Republic of Congo: public education and awareness campaigns on wise use of wetlands.
· Egypt: involvement of local communities in wetland inventory work as well as in management and monitoring actions.
· The Gambia: involvement of local communities the preparation of the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the preparation of wetland management plans.
· Ghana: through the incorporation of wetland conservation in the National Land Policy, the development of the National Wetland Strategy and the acceptance of bye-laws from district authorities.
· Guinea: promotion of collaborative management projects and establishment of sub-catchment committee for the management of the source of the Niger River and its headwaters.
· Guinea Bissau: collaborative management projects in the coastal zone, particularly on the management of mangroves and fisheries.
· Kenya: involvement of local communities in integrated planning process for a number of wetlands and catchments; promotion of community wise use projects, through ecotourism and other income-gererating projects; assistance to youth organization in formal units to participate in wetland conservation and wise use; working with freshwater wetland forum and marine coastal forum.
· Madagascar: devolution of authority to local communities for the management of natural resources, including wetlands; consultation in the formulation of a National wetland Strategy; support to the designation of privately-owned wetland as a Ramsar site.
· Malawi: promotion of community -based management schemes.
· Mali: new legal arrangements that with devolution of authority to local communities through the decentralization process; support to village-based management projects.
· Mauritania: support to co-management project especially on Ramsar sites; increasing consultation of stakeholders in wetland management; integrated coastal zone management.
· Mauritius: training activities and wetland management planning.
· Morocco: stakeholder involvement in wetland management
· Niger: support to village-based management programmes.
· Nigeria: extensive consultation of stakeholders in planning and decision-making. Seeking alternative livelihoods for local communities to lessen pressure on wetlands; sharing knowledge in a two-way approach.
· Senegal: involvement of local communities in institutional mechanisms, including Ramsar site committees; participation of stakeholders in the preparation and implementation of management plans.
· Sierra Leone: introduction and enforcement of bye-laws to complement government efforts; establishment of community policing teams; provision of micro-credit schemes.
· South Africa: through workers in wetland rehabilitation projects in the framework of "Working for Wetland Partnership" which dictates that "at least 60% of contractors and workforce should be women"; through training and awareness programmes along with several poverty relief projects, involving invasive species control activities. Designation of community-owned wetlands as Ramsar sites is underway and transfer of ownership of the Orange River mouth Ramsar site to communities is being explored. An allocation of funds to an ongoing community-based wetland management is also proposed. In addition the Land Care South Africa Programme promotes the adoption by community and individuals of an ecologically sustainable approach. The programme takes into account South Africa's obligations to Ramsar and to the Rio Conventions.
· Tunisia: through Ramsar site management and Ramsar site committees.
· Uganda: through awareness campaigns and the formation of 3 communal wetland associations
· United Republic of Tanzania: by establishing wetland management committees at different levels: Village environment committee, Ramsar site committee, district Ramsar committee and inter-district Ramsar committees. The Village Land Act, which became operational in 2001, is a strong instrument that will facilitate local communities' involvement in the management of the wetlands of their lands.
· Zambia: The Zambia National Wetland Policy, which is about to be adopted, provides the framework that will facilitate all stakeholders' involvement, including local communities in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention. The policy principles include involvement of communities in decision-making processes, empowerment of local communities, devolution of ownership of wetlands, promotion of role of women, support to formal training, promotion of traditional knowledge and pertinent cultural practices, investment of revenues generated from wetland wise use into community development and enforcement of suitable customary regulations.

2.7 Private sector involvement [7.1]

It is heartening to note the growing efforts that are made to encourage private support for wetland conservation and wise use with 22 Contracting Parties out of 33 (over 66%) in Africa reporting on actions made in this regard.

Some of the most remarkable actions incorporate legal measures, including incentives and penalties, education and public awareness. The results have been effective vehicles to increase private sector recognition of wetland values and functions in some countries such as Egypt.

Benin is encouraging the involvement of the private sector and local authorities in the preparation and provision of financial support to local action plans on environmental management. Through village banks and other local funding mechanisms, a promising scheme is underway. Public consultations in the EIA process, including the private sector, is another strategy that has been adopted to improve private sector participation in wetland management.

Ghana has decided to make the private sector aware of the important values of wetlands and the need to address certain issues on wetlands in their EIA to protect these ecosystems. Agreements are increasingly signed with private companies working in or close to wetlands so as to jointly protect the ecosystems.

Other countries such as South Africa have focused their strategy on intensive lobbying of mining companies, peat industries and forestry companies by NGOs. This has been a particularly effective strategy with the forestry companies, as they are the largest private land-owners in South Africa.

Kenya has also achieved significant results with the tourism sector, the commercial fishermen, the commercial horticultural farmers, the ranchers, the boat operators, the power producers and the industrialists in towns close to wetlands.

2.8 Incentives [8.1]

Only 12 countries (36%) have directly reported that they are working on incentive measures but in reality one can say that more significant efforts have been made on incentive measures.

As a matter of fact, although this issue has not been much elaborated as such in the national reports for COP8, there is a clear indication elsewhere in most reports that African Ramsar Contracting Parties are progressively providing more incentives to wetland users for a better understanding of the role of wetlands in sustainable development and the need to plan and finance their management.

In this regard, Benin is providing alternative livelihoods to fishermen in order to reduce pressure on fisheries. Financial assistance is also provided to the managers of sacred sites who are using traditional methods to conserve wetland and forests in Benin.

Likewise Kenya has adopted a legislative measure through the Environmental Management and Coordination Act to encourage best practices, through tax rebates and provision of awards for environmentally compatible production.

Other incentive measures are made in Mauritius to encourage the management of the first Ramsar site and in the Democratic Republic of Congo through specific arrangements included in the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the National Environmental action Plan.

Items 2.6. about Local communities, indigenous people, and cultural values and 2.7 relating to private sector involvement give ample information about the ongoing efforts on incentive measures: the development of local capacity, the integration of traditional knowledge and pertinent cultural practices into wetland management, the devolution of power and generation of income along with sharing of benefits, the recognition and enforcement of customary regulations and the devolution of ownership on land and water resources.

2.9 Communication, education, and public awareness [9.1]

The most significant reviews of resource materials related to wetland management, policies and practices that have been made with the help of the Ramsar Bureau are mainly subregional and national workshops, jointly organized with Ramsar partners. These workshops include:

· 3 Ramsar subregional meetings through which the Contracting Parties have reviewed the overall implementation of the Convention with a focus on subregional challenges and priority actions. The specific challenges and priority actions relating to methodologies for wetland conservation and wise use have been expressed in the conclusions of the meetings.

· A specific training course on wetland inventories and wetland management was carried out in Garoua, Cameroon for French-speaking countries, by the Garoua School for Wildlife Mangers and ATEN, a French training institution, using the MedWet materials as the main tool for training. Field work was included in the Garoua exercise.

· Another gathering on wetland inventories was undertaken with the technical assistance of IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Africa and the Uganda National Wetland Programme. The Uganda wetland inventory method was the basic tool for this training session. This initiative was sponsored by the Swiss government through the Ramsar Bureau.

· The Evian Encounters were also good opportunities to review and assess some of the existing methodologies for wetland conservation and wise use. This action includes field visits and discussion on the ground on various aspects of wetland management practices. The Evian encounters are sponsored by the Evian Danone Group and the French GEF funds.

In response to Resolution VII.14 on invasive species, the Ramsar Bureau and IUCN initiated a small project aimed at contributing to the implementation this Resolution in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its main activities include producing and disseminating a number of awareness materials about invasive species, their nature, their impacts and possible control measures, to a wide range of concerned managers and institutions throughout Africa.

In this regard, two workshops on invasive species were jointly organized with IUCN -West Africa, IUCN East Africa and various partner government agencies from West Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa. The latter includes OMPO (NGO working on migratory birds of the Western Palearctic), the World Heritage Center, Wetlands International, WWF International, and other partners. These workshops made a review of existing scientific and technical information on invasive species, using mainly the IUCN materials, the GISP (Global Invasive Species Programme) materials, and a review made by WWF International. The workshops were intended to contribute to capacity building and awareness building on the identification and management of invasive species. The workshops were organized thanks to the financial contribution of the Swiss government through the Ramsar Bureau, the World Heritage Center, MacArthur Fundation and NORAD through IUCN, and Conseil Régional de Picardie, France, through OMPO.

A joint project on training between Niger and To go, supported by the Ramsar SGF and financial contribution from OMPO, has produced 2 significant sets of materials on wetland inventory with a focus on migratory birds. This documentation is a valuable tool for other training initiatives. It will be used in a subsequent training session for managers of Ramsar sites and World Heritage sites in West Africa, later in 2002.

The Wetlands International Regional Programme in West Africa and the IUCN Regional Office in West Africa, in collaboration with the Ramsar Bureau, have significantly used the Ramsar Handbooks in a number of training sessions during the triennium.

The Ramsar Bureau and Ramsar partners have made a wide-ranging use of the Ramsar guidelines on wise use of wetlands through meetings organized in, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

2.10 Designation of Ramsar sites

A. Application of the Strategic Framework [10.1]

Although 75% of African Ramsar Contracting Parties have set up a preliminary directory of potential Ramsar sites, the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance and other wetlands has not been fully applied.

In most cases, a systematic approach has not been applied in order to identify sites at national level, with special attention to designation of a representative range of wetland types, especially suitable sites of under-represented wetland types. As a result, mangroves, coral reefs, seabed grasses and wetlands in drylands are still under-represented in the African segment of the Ramsar List.

As indicated on section 2.1 about "Wetland Inventory" in this overview, a comprehensive national wetland inventory with adequate insight about the values, functions, major uses and major threats relating to all wetlands has yet to be completed.

Nevertheless, significant achievements have been made by Algeria, Guinea, Kenya, Niger, and Tanzania in terms of the designation of new Ramsar sites over the past two years. Additional efforts are underway in Algeria, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia, with the proposition of about 30 new Wetlands of International Importance; the Ramsar Bureau is currently processing the draft Ramsar Information Sheet received from these Contracting Parties.

Likewise, two noteworthy actions are in progress through the implementation of the decisions of the Heads of States and Government of both the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Niger Basin Authority (NBA).

In this regard, Decision 3 of the 10th Summit of the Head of States and Government of Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Central Africa Republic, held in N'djamena, Chad, on 28th July 2000 stipulates "Within the framework of a strategy to save the Lake Chad, the Heads of States took note of the efforts being made by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the World Wide Fund for Nature on Conservation and Restoration of the Lake and declared the Lake Chad a Trans-boundary Ramsar site of International Importance. Consequently they urged all member States that are yet to ratify the Ramsar Convention to speed up in doing so".

In pursue of this decision, Chad and Niger have already designated their respective shares of Lake Chad as Ramsar sites.

In River Niger basin countries, 9 countries are expected to implement Decision No. 6 of the 7th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Niger Basin Authority (Abuja, Nigeria, 16 February 2002) concerning the designation of an additional network of Wetlands of International Importance in the River Niger basin, including those with the highest value in terms of their biological diversity and importance for local communities.

In conformity with this decision Guinea has designated 6 additional Ramsar sites; Niger has designated 2 additional Ramsar sites, and Ramsar Information Sheets are in process by the Ramsar Bureau for 2 further designation from Niger in the basin.

Benin has proposed the designation of her share of "W" National Park and the Ramsar Information Sheets are in process by the Bureau.

Mali is expected to designate the whole inner delta and Nigeria is undertaking a national wetland inventory with the aim to consider the designation of Ramsar sites in the Niger basin.

Following these initiatives, the African subregional meetings held before COP8 in Lusaka, Zambia, in Algiers, Algeria, and in Cotonou, Benin, recommended to promote and implement equivalent decisions of basin management authorities, and between countries, so as to establish coherent networks of Ramsar sites throughout the region's river basins.

In conformity with this expectation, Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa will be the first beneficiary of a joint support from WWF Living Waters Programme and the Swiss government, through which Tanzania will designate her portion of the lake. Malawi and Mozambique are expected to designate their own portion of the lake so as to complete the designation of the whole lake as a transboundary Ramsar site in the near future, with the aim of promoting the joint management of the lake between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. This proposed action will most likely smooth the process of Mozambique's accession to the Ramsar Convention.

Through the process of accession, the designation of additional Ramsar sites is underway in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Liberia, Mozambique, and Sudan. Similar actions are expected soon to be initiated in Ethiopia, Lesotho, Rwanda, and Seychelles.

In order to strengthen this promising experience, the Africa pre-COP8 meetings have urged Contracting Parties and Ramsar Partners to progress in the following courses of actions:

· Improve knowledge of wetlands in drylands, through inventory and assessment of the status and trends, notably of their hydrological importance, their support to biodiversity, and support to economic development.

· Acquire in-depth knowledge on the major factors affecting the conservation status of wetlands in drylands, including drought and desertification.

· Strengthen national and regional links with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification so as to identify joint actions for 'wetlands in drylands', including raising awareness of the critical values and functions of wetlands in the region's arid and semi-arid areas. [CPs, UNCCD secretariat and national focal points, NESDA]

· Work with counterpart focal points for UNCCD and others, with the assistance of the Bureau, to identify and report on critical wetlands (including wetlands at risk), and their status and trends, in arid and semi-arid lands, along with the drivers (root causes) of their degradation. [CPs, UNCCD focal points, Bureau]

· Become fully familiar with how to apply existing tools and mechanisms, including the Strategic Framework for Ramsar Site designation adopted by COP7 (Resolution VII.11 - Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 7), the guidance on the compilation of Information Sheets on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS), and the reporting of change in ecological character under Article 3.2 of the Convention, and the use and purpose of the Montreux Record. [CPs]

· Seek the continued assistance of the Convention's International Organization Partners, and notably the WWF's Living Waters Programme, in the identification and designation of further Ramsar sites in the region. [CPs, IOPs]

· Ensure that the Ramsar Information Sheet for each designated Ramsar Site is regularly updated so as to reflect any changes to the ecological character and status of the site, and provide such updates to the Bureau at least every six years. [CPs]

· Use existing national planning processes to develop and implement management plans for all existing Ramsar Sites, using the Convention's guidance on management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands. [CPs]

Consequently Contracting Parties are urged to use the Convention's mechanisms for Ramsar Site designation and management in order to fully implement the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 7) so as to reflect the importance, diversity and distribution of wetlands in the region, as a basis for their sustainable management.

B. Maintenance and use of the Ramsar Sites Database [10.2]

Some new Contracting Parties have been requested to provide the Ramsar Bureau with adequate information, using the updated Ramsar Information Sheet and the guidelines on map production. In response to this request, Benin (2 sites) and Mauritius (1 site) have submitted revised Ramsar Information Sheets and maps. Libya is planning to seize the opportunity of the national wetland inventory that is planned in the near future to review the Ramsar Information Sheet and maps for Ain Elshakika and Ain Elzarga Ramsar sites, for which the Bureau has no data.

Other new Ramsar Contracting Parties have yet to provide adequate Ramsar Information Sheets and maps for their first sites, namely Burundi (1 site) and Nigeria (1 site).

In response to COP7 Resolution VII.12, requesting a number of Contracting Parties to provide Ramsar Information Sheets in approved format and with suitable maps, Algeria (2 sites) and Kenya (2 sites) have provided revised Ramsar Information Sheets and maps.

In accordance to Resolution VII.12, adequate Ramsar Information Sheets and maps are still needed from Gabon (3 sites), Ghana (1 site), Guinea Bissau (1 site), Mali (3 sites), Mauritania (1 site), and Uganda (1 site).

In addition, Resolution VI.13 of the Ramsar Conference of the Parties on "Submission of information on sites designated for the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance", in paragraph 7, "urges Contracting Parties to give priority to providing the Bureau . . . with maps and completed Information Sheets on Ramsar Wetlands for all sites designated for the Ramsar List, and to revise the data provided at least every six years (i.e. every second Meeting of the Conference) for monitoring purposes."

Pursuant to this Resolution, the Ramsar Bureau, together with Wetlands International, which is in charge of maintaining and updating the Ramsar Sites Database, has been undertaking an evaluation of the quality of the official information available on Ramsar sites at the Bureau. Taking into account the results of this evaluation concerning the Ramsar Sites in Africa, the Bureau has sent request to relevant Contracting Parties.

In response to this request, Niger (1 site) and Tunisia (1 site) have provided updated Information Sheets and map for "W" National Park (Niger) and Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia).

Mauritania has provided an excellent updated Ramsar Information Sheet and new maps for the Banc d'Arguin Ramsar site. This is used as a model for new Ramsar sites.

Ghana has reviewed the boundaries of existing Ramsar sites and, as a result, the surface area for three sites has been changed. Ghana has also provided new maps for the existing Ramsar sites but better quality maps are still needed. The Bureau is therefore requesting the Administrative Authority to provide updated Ramsar Information Sheets and maps for all sites. This is all the more timely to be undertaken since this Contracting Party has adopted new regulations for wetland conservation that include the designation of core areas for Ramsar sites and the definition of authorised activities, proscribed activities, and restricted activities.

However, at the time of the preparation of this report (September 2002), the Ramsar Bureau was still awaiting a response from the following Contracting Parties:

· Burkina Faso: 3 sites: La Mare d'Oursi, La Mare aux hippopotames et Parc National du W
· Chad: 1 site: Lac Fitri
· Comoros: 1 site: Lac Dziani Boundouni
· Côte d'Ivoire: 1 site: Parc National d'Azagny
· Ghana: 6 sites : Keta Lagoon Complex, Densus Delta, Muni Lagoon, Owabi, Sakumo Lagoon and Songor Lagoon
· Guinea: 6 sites: Ile Alcatraz, Iles Tristao, Rio Kapatchez, Rio Pongo, Konkouré et Ile Blanche
· Malawi: 1 site: Lake Chilwa
· Mauritania: 1 site: Parc National du Diawling
· Morocco: 4 sites: Merja Zerga, Merja Sidi Boughaba, Lac d'Afennourir et Baie de Knifiss
· Senegal: 4 sites: Djoudj, Bassin du Ndiael, Delta du Saloum et Gueumbeul
· South Africa: 9 sites: De Hoop Vlei, Barberspan, De Mond (Heuningnes estuary), Langebaan, Wilderness Lakes, Verlorenvlei, Orange River Mouth Wetland, Kosi Bay and Lake Sibaya
· Togo: 2 sites: Parc National de la Kéran et Réserve de faune de Togodo
· Uganda: 1 site: Lake George

2.11 Management planning and monitoring of Ramsar sites

A. Maintenance of the ecological character of all Ramsar sites [11.1]

Twenty-two (66%) African Ramsar Contracting Parties have undertaken some assessment to identify wetlands for restoration and rehabilitation. As a result of these assessments, over 50 wetland areas, including fresh water and coastal zone, have been identified as priority for restoration and rehabilitation (for more details see item 2.4 on Restoration and rehabilitation.

56% of African Contracting Parties indicated they are taking measures to maintain the ecological character of Ramsar sites, but, except by South Africa, no details about the measures taken are provided in their reports.

There are 86 committees for wetland management, of which 50 committees are on Ramsar sites.

Only 40 Ramsar sites have a management plan out of 108 Ramsar sites in Africa at the time of this analysis (September 2002). This represents 37% of the sites but only 23 management plans are fully implemented, corresponding to 21% of the total number of sites. 26 plans (24%) are being prepared.

Zoning measures are being considered in almost all Ramsar sites, including those that do not have the full implementation of a management plan, although the report does not give many details. The most important aspect is the fact that almost all management plans that are under development consider zoning as one of the measures to regulate activities, particularly on fragile ecosystems.

Strict protection is applied in 65% of the African Contracting Parties, especially those wetlands that have been legally classified as National Parks or similar type of protected area.

B. Monitoring the condition of Ramsar sites, including application of Article 3.2 and Montreux Record) [11.2]

The main challenge about this important aspect of the work of the Convention is the ability to develop and fully implement a management plan for all Ramsar sites. Without a management plan, monitoring the conditions of a Ramsar site is a thorny undertaking. However, some progress is being made with modest support from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund and other sources of funding.

Another impediment to efficient monitoring of Ramsar sites' ecological character is the lack of national norms and standards for Ramsar sites as described by South Africa. In this regard, Ghana has set up some guiding principles in the implementation arrangements of the National Wetland Strategy. These guiding principles provide some inspiration about the implementation arrangements of the wise use principle, wetland site and species protection, wetland restoration, research, monitoring and evaluation. Ghana has adopted new regulations for wetland conservation that include the designation of core areas for Ramsar sites and the definition of authorized activities, proscribed activities, and restricted activities.

Assignment of responsibility for the management of Ramsar sites is a key issue to consider. The best organized institutions, with technical capacity and ability to enforce law, are more likely to ensure an effective monitoring of Ramsar ecological character. 16 Contracting Parties have reported that they are undertaking regular internal reviews to identify factors affecting the ecological character of Ramsar sites, but there is not much information on the results of these reviews.

In relation to the Montreux Record (MR) of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference, the following developments have taken place:

The Democratic Republic of Congo has requested inclusion of the Parc National des Mangroves in the Montreux Record because of adverse change in its ecological character. The Bureau sent the Administrative Authority the Montreux Record Questionnaire in order to get the necessary information for inclusion in the List - the questionnaire has been filled out, and the site has officially been put on the Montreux Record.

Another RAM has visited the MR site Djoudj National Park, Senegal, and Diawling National Park, Mauritania. This mission, which involved all of Ramsar's official partners and the World Heritage Centre, is assisting Senegal and Mauritania to control or eradicate invasive species that are bringing about changes in the ecological character of these Ramsar sites. Djoudj National Park is already on Montreux Record and Diawling has been incuded. As a result of the mission's recommendation, Senegal has requested emergency assistance from the Bureau in order to take some immediate action. The assistance was provided with funds from the Swiss Grant for Africa. Additional financial assistance from the World Heritage Convention has been provided and a promising action plan is under way to combat Salivinia molesta through biological control. However, Typha remains a major concern.

Following a Ramsar Advisory Mission carried out in 2001 in Togo, it has been recommended to include Parc National de la Keran in the Montreux Record due to human encroachment in the Ramsar site. Togo is considering this inclusion.

Two Ramsar Advisory Missions (RAMs) have been undertaken for MR site Ichkeul National Park in Tunisia in collaboration with Eurosite, IUCN, and the World Heritage Centre. The mission reports are available on the Ramsar Web site.

Algeria has included the Oasis de Ouled in the Montreux Record.

In the area of Ramsar site restoration, following discussion with the Ramsar Bureau Algeria is undertaking a restoration scheme for one of the newly designated Ramsar sites in the Algerian Sahara, the Oasis de Ouled Saïd. The need for a special intervention is perceived as an urgent matter. One of the reasons for the designation of this site was to raise awareness of the values of the site but also to reach a consensus on the need to undertake a programme for a management plan that includes actions aimed at removing the threats to the site. The major threat to this site is caused by wind erosion with sand dune intrusion on the site.

In Africa concerns have been expressed by some international and national NGOs, and the Bureau of the Ramsar Convention has requested regular updated information from relevant Contracting Parties on the following sites:

Botswana: A strategy to combat tsetse flies in the Okavango Delta, the largest Ramsar site worldwide, has been adopted with spray of insecticides. An EIA has been carried out and the Bureau is following up the progress of this initiative through the preparation of an integrated management plan for the Delta with input from the Ramsar Bureau and various donors, including the Government of Botswana, DANIDA, SIDA, IUCN and DED.

Morocco: A number of sources of information, including scientists and local NGOs, have advised the Ramsar Bureau about ongoing degradation of wetlands, including critical wetlands for the conservation of some endangered bird species. Wetlands at risk include Ramsar sites, especially Baie de Kniss and Merja Sidi Boughaba.

The Ramsar Bureau has made an official request to Morocco on the conservation status of Ramsar sites and has expressed concerns about the overall conservation trend regarding wetlands. The Morocco Government has provided an answer and the Bureau is establishing regular contact so as to assist in whatever manner possible in order to reverse the trend.

2.12 Management of shared water resources, wetlands and wetland species

A. Inventory and integrated management of shared wetlands and hydrological basins [12.1]

Concerning Ramsar site management, a GEF project has been approved for the preparation and the implementation of a management plan for Lake Fitri Ramsar site in Chad, for the first Ramsar site in Nigeria (Nguru Lake), and for a potential Ramsar site in Cameroon (Waza-Logone).

The Ramsar Bureau has been cooperating with the Lake Chad Basin Commission. The Presidents of Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, and high-level representatives of the Presidents of Cameroon and the Central Africa Republic met on 28 July 2000 in N'Djamena for the 10th summit meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, with the President of Sudan participating as an observer, and took a long step forward in ensuring a sustainable future for Lake Chad and its large catchment. SFR 40,000 grants have been awarded for each of the Commission Member States by the WWF Living Waters Programme to assist in the designation of related Ramsar sites in each of them, and a Global Environment Facility (GEF) project has been approved specifically for Ramsar designation and an appropriate management plan for Lake Chad and its basin. The LCBC Heads of State agreed a Final Communique welcoming the Ramsar, WWF, and GEF initiatives and calling for further donor support, and issued a memorandum declaring all of Lake Chad as a transboundary Ramsar site as soon as the relevant studies can be completed. In response to this decision, Niger and Chad have designated their respective portions of Lake Chad. Cameroon is still in the process of designation.

In Southern Africa, the mouth of the Orange River forms part of the boundary between South Africa and Namibia, with both countries having designated their respective parts as Ramsar sites. Both countries are now hard at work planning the integration of these two sites into a single jointly-managed transboundary site. South Africa has requested Ramsar Forum readers' advice on harmonization of legislation, institutional arrangements for management and coordination, and day-to-day management.

South Africa is also involved in developing a system of transfrontier conservation areas with its neighbors: six of them are proposed, one of which is already functioning as a jointly managed, continuous transboundary park. The planned initiatives involve Mozambique and Lesotho, which are in the process of accession to Ramsar.

Other joint activities in Southern Africa include the SADC Regional Wetlands Conservation Project, coordinated by IUCN, a project for the Identification and Mapping of Peatlands in Southern Africa, involving Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. WWF International is assisting Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania in a process intended to establish a commission for a joint management of Lake Malawi/Niassa/Nyasa.

B. Cooperative monitoring and management of shared wetland-dependent species [12.2]

The Wetlands International West Africa programme is coordinating waterbird censuses throughout Africa. Specific attention is being paid to populations Black Stork, with financial support from Belgium. Kenya is carrying out a small project on White Stork populations with support from Austria.

Concerns have been raised about flamingo mortality in Eastern Africa. Ramsar Contracting Parties and Ramsar partners are exploring possibilities for a better understanding of the problems and possible solutions.

The most significant ongoing endeavor in this regard is the GEF project that has begun with selected Ramsar sites and potential Ramsar sites to be managed for the implementation of both the Ramsar Convention and the CMS/AEWA. This project is coordinated by Wetlands International and involves African sites. The Ramsar Regional Coordinator for Africa represents the Convention in the project's Steering Committee

C. Support and promotion of regional arrangements under the Convention [12.3]

Senegal and The Gambia have signed an agreement which establishes a transboundary wetland system for the promotion of joint management. The wetland system includes the Delta du Saloum, a Ramsar site and Biosphere Reserve on the Senegal side and Niumi National Park (a suggested Ramsar site) in the Gambia territory.

Senegal has also signed another agreement with Mauritania for the promotion of joint management actions between Djoudj National Park in Senegal and Diawling National Park in Mauritania: One of the first concrete actions in this transboundary arrangement is the fight against two invasive species: Typha australis and Salvinia molesta. Salvinia control has also provided an opportunity for Ramsar to work closely with the World Heritage Convention as a joint support to both Senegal and Mauritania with a strong input from IUCN and other partners, including the Swiss government

In West Africa, ongoing transboundary management of wetlands includes: the "W" Wetland Complex, involving Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger, with the support of the European Union; the Niger Basin Initiative supported by WWF International, Wetlands International, The Nigerian Conservation Foundation, the World Bank, and UNDP, on Mapping Biodiversity and Food Security Priorities for the Niger River Basin. In addition the World Bank and UNDP through a GEF process are supporting a transboundary pilot project entitled "Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends in the Niger River Basin". This project involves 8 Ramsar Contracting parties: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, as well as Cameroon which has yet to become a Ramsar Contracting Party.

The Ramsar Bureau is initiating working relationships with the Nile Basin Initiative so as to implement a recommendation of the Southern African Subregional Meeting which states:

"The meeting called for closer links with regional bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) and endorsed a proposal to appoint a Ramsar Commissioner to represent the Convention in the Nile Basin Initiative and other similar bodies for a better integration of wetland management in the work of existing subregional organizations."

Since Angola has initiated the process of accession to the Ramsar Convention, it is hoped that the work that is going on for the preparation of an integrated management plan for the Okavango Delta will feed into the overall planning at basin scale through OKACOM, involving Angola, Botswana, and Namibia.

2.13 Collaboration with other multilateral environmental agreements and institutions [13.1]

Eighteen Contracting Parties (54%) of African Contracting Parties are establishing mechanisms to coordinate the work of environment-related conventions. In addition, 9 Contracting Parties have reported that some initial actions have been taken to implement the joint work plan between the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Biological diversity (CBD).

All African Contracting Parties recognize the need for collaboration and joint implementation of environmental conventions but it will take time to achieve this objective. In this regard, the integrated management plan for the Okavango Delta is exploring alternatives in this area of work.

2.14 Sharing of expertise and information [14.1]

Sharing of expertise and information has been carried out mainly through the regional and subregional meetings. In this regard, the 3 subregional meetings held in Algiers (Algeria), Cotonou (Benin), and Lusaka (Zambia) have been extremely successful. They need to be repeated as much as possible.

2.15 Financing the conservation and wise use of wetlands

A. Promoting international assistance to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands [15.1]

68% of African Contracting Parties have submitted project to donors to support wetland management.

Financing the conservation and wise use of wetlands is an important endeavor that should be considered in a broad picture of sustainable development. This approach is in line with the mission of the Convention and it entails the following frameworks for action:

· Ramsar is involved in the preparation of the Environmental Action Plan of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa Development) especially in the following thematic areas: Wetlands, Invasive Species, Cross border natural resources management, Poverty and Environment, and Coastal and Marine Environment including freshwater. Working in the framework of the NEPAD Action Plan will certainly contribute to the conservation and wise use of wetlands as a means to contribute to sustainable development in Africa.

· The launch of the African-European Union Strategic Partnership on Water Affairs and Sanitation and the signed declaration by African leaders and the European Union, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2 September 2002, are important steps that will definitely facilitate the implementation of the mission of the Ramsar Convention.

In this regard, it is worth noting that the Johannesburg declaration is acting on the basis of the Plan agreed during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and

- recognizes that water resources, good-quality water-related ecosystems, water supply, and sanitation are vital for food security, health and well-being and can make a significant contribution to sustainable development, poverty reduction and economic growth,
- underlines that water resources management needs to be addressed at all levels. It should be based on river, lake or ground water basins and be pro poor and gender sensitive,
- emphasizes that a balance between human water needs and those of the environment can contribute to the goal of halting or reversing the loss of environmental resources by 2015 and to the achievement by 2010 of a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity.

· There is increasing support for wetland and catchment conservation and wise use from GEF (Global Environmental Facility), which is a financial mechanism structured as a trust fund that operates in collaboration and partnership with the three implementing agencies (UNDP, UNEP, and the World Bank) for the purpose of achieving global environmental benefits.

Many of the GEF projects are in line with the mission of the Ramsar Convention in Africa, whereby the GEF supports the development of projects in the environmental focal areas of wetland and river/lake basins biodiversity and international waters. These projects include the NEPAD Action Plan, the pilot projects on Lake Chad Basin, the Nile Basin Initiative projects, the Lake Victoria project, the Lake Tanganyika project, the Coastal Management within the Environment Component of NEPAD, the African Eurasian Flyways project and many others.

· It is also useful to mention a Policy Paper prepared by the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscapes (SAEFL), together with the Bureau of the Ramsar Convention and WWF prior to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This paper is a good basis for further collaboration between the Swiss government and Ramsar Partners.

B. Environmental safeguards and assessments as part of all development projects (including foreign and domestic investments) affecting wetlands [15.2]

87.5% Contracting Parties indicated that EIA is required for any action which can potentially affect any wetland, but few details about the way this is done are given.

2.16 Financing of the Convention [16.1]

At the time of the preparation of this report (September 2002), fewer than 50% of African CPs are up to date with payment of financial contributions. The Bureau is examining ways of reversing the trend. A number of African Contracting Parties are exploring ways to pay their financial contributions and it is expected that some of them will be able to pay before COP8.

Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland have provided financial assistance for the organization of three African subregional meetings in the preparation of COP8. The Bureau of the Ramsar Convention and the Ramsar Contracting Parties wish to convey their gratitude to these donors.

Algeria, Benin and Zambia have hosted the meetings and they have also provided financial and in-kind contribution to the subregional meetings held in Algiers, Cotonou and Lusaka. The Bureau expresses its thanks to these Contracting Parties.

2.17 Institutional mechanisms of the Convention [17.1]

The major achievements in this regard are:

· 22 Contracting Parties have established a National Ramsar Committee or similar body to coordinate the implementation of the Convention.

· 18 Contracting Parties have some mechanism in place for regular dialogue between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and those personnel working with the other environment-related conventions.

2.18 Institutional and financial capacity of Contracting Parties [18.1]

The institutional and financial capacity of African Contracting Parties needs continuous support in order to be able to cope with the numerous challenges pertaining to wetland conservation and wise use in the region. In this regard, a number of new strategic partnerships are being developed and/or implemented, including NEPAD, the European Union partnership with Africa, the GEF assistance, and many bilateral and multilateral inputs from the donor community.

In the meantime, some African Contracting Parties such as Algeria, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda are increasingly making significant progress. Many other Contracting Parties, including Benin, Mauritius and Nigeria, have indicated that they are planning to strengthen their institutional and financial capacity for wetland conservation and wise use.

2.19 Working with the Ramsar International Organization Partners (IOPs) and others [19.1]

There is an increasing recognition of the role that is played by the Ramsar International Organization Partners through the following areas of work as their main centers of attention:

· Development and implementation of wetland management plans in many African countries with the assistance of regional and/or national offices of IUCN, WWF International, Wetlands International and the Africa Partnership of BirdLife International.
· Ramsar site designation, especially through the financial and technical assistance of WWF Living Waters Programme.
· Development of training and capacity building activities with the help of IUCN offices and Wetlands International Regional Programme in Dakar, Senegal.
· Increasing availability of scientific and technical information through the work of BirdLife International (Important Bird Areas), IUCN (wetland inventories), Wetlands International (African Waterfowl Census), andWWF International (work on fisheries and other wetland values).

The Bureau of the Ramsar Convention will explore with the IOPs the possibilities for more work on river/lake integrated management. In this regard, it is worth noting some of the lessons learned from the collaborative work with WWF International together with river/lake organizazions such as the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Niger Basin Authority, and the Malwi/Niassa/Nyasa lake:

· This partnership highlights the importance of having a legal framework (similar to the Lake Chad Basin Commission) that has a clear mandate to act on behalf of its member-countries on basin-related/transboundary issues, such as developing a partnership with international organizations, in this case the GEF (World Bank/UNDP/UNEP), Ramsar Convention, and WWF, etc.

· There is a widely expressed interest for promoting similar synergies between "wetlands of international importance" and the development of GEF pilot-project in other shared basins, e.g. in Niger River basin, Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa basin, Lake Tanganyika basin, Nile River Basin, etc.

· It appears as a priority to further develop regular cooperation between the national institutions responsible for water resources and those responsible for freshwater ecosystems, in the context of such transboundary initiatives, so as to reconcile two concepts that should be complementary and not in opposition:

The need for a well-structured basin organization (or for its establishment where it does not yet exist) was often recognized as an important condition to foster effective integrated river/lake basin management.

2.20 Training (20.1)

At least 20 different activities have been undertaken by the Ramsar partners and the Ramsar Bureau to improve the capacity of a range of players for wetland management, including policy makers, wetland managers and local communities: the areas of work that were considered include policy development and implementation, legislative review, wetland inventories, wetland management and work on invasive species. For details see Communication, education, and public awareness (9.1).

2.21 Membership of the Convention [21.1]

Twelve African Contracting Parties have taken action to encourage accession to the Ramsar Convention by their neighbors which have not yet joined the Ramsar Convention. In this regard, the Bureau has been continuously working with the International Organization Partners, the Contracting Parties, and other players so as to facilitate accession to the Ramsar Convention. As a result, Benin, Burundi, Libyan Arab Jamahirya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the United Republic of Tanzania have joined the Convention during the triennium.

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, and Sudan are taking steps for accession. Djibouti has finished the process of accession and has sent the instruments of accession to UNESCO. Liberia and Equatorial Guinea have ratified the Convention and need only to designate of a Ramsar site in order to complete the accession process. Hopefully Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia will be Ramsar Contracting Parties before COP8.


Table 1. African Sites designated since COP7

Country Number of sites Total area of new sites (ha)
1 Algeria 11 1,908,870
2 Benin 2 139,100
3 Chad 1 1,648,168
4 Guinea 6 4,554,050
5 Kenya 2 42,169
6 Libya 2 Not details provided
7 Mauritania 1 15,500
8 Niger 4 553,402
9 Sierra Leone 1 395,000
10 South Africa 1 5,891
11 United republic of Tanzania 3 4,271,516
TOTAL 33 13,486,166 (Libya’s site areas not included)

Table 2. Africa Ramsar site list and management plan status

Country Site Name Area (ha) Total area per country (ha) Management Plan (MP) Additional comments
Algeria Lac des Oiseaux 70 No No information available
Lac Oubeïra 2,200 No No information available
Lac Tonga 2,700 No No information available
Chott Ech Chergui 855,500 No No information available
Chott El Hodna 362,000 No No information available
Chott Merrouane et Oued Khrouf 337,700 No No information available
La Sebkha d’Oran 56,870 No No information available
Complexe de zones humides de la plaine de Guerbes-Sanhadja 42,100 No MP under preparation
La Vallée d’Iherir 6,500 No No information available
Les Gueltates d’Issakarassene 35,100 No No information available
Marais de la Macta 44,500 No No information available
Les Oasis de Ouled Said 25,400 No No information available
Les Oasis de Tamantit et Sid Ahmed Timmi 95,700 No No information available
Benin Basse vallée du Couffo 47,500 No No information available
Basse vallée de l’Ouémé 91,600 No No information available
Botswana Okavango Delta 6,864,000 No MP under preparation
Burkina Faso La Mare aux hippopotames 19,200 Yes MP fully implemented
La Mare d’Oursi 45,000 No MP under preparation
Parc National du W. 235,000 No No information available
Chad Lac Fitri 195,000 No No information available
Partie tchadienne du lac Tchad 1,648,168 No No information available
Comoros Lac Dziani Boudouni 30 No MP under preparation
Congo Réserve Communautaire du Lac Télé/Likouala-aux-Herbes 438,960 No MP would be approved by stakeholders in 2003
Cote d’Ivoire Parc National d’Azagny 19,400 No Development of a MP was done but never approved nor implemented
Dem. Rep. Congo Parc National des Virunga 800,000 No MP under preparation
Parc National des Mangroves 66,000 No MP under preparation
Egypt Lake Bardawil 59,500 No MP under preparation through the MedWet Project
Lake Burullus 46,200 No MP under preparation through the MedWet Project
Gabon Petit Loango 480,000 No No national policy on wetlands
Setté Cama 220,000 No No national policy on wetlands
Wongha-Wongé 380,000 No No national policy on wetlands
Gambia Baobolon Wetland Reserve 20,000
20,000 No Resource limitation
Ghana Keta Lagoo Complex 127,780 Yes MP fully implemented
Densus Delta 4,620 Yes MP fully implemented
Muni Lagoon 8,670 Yes MP fully implemented
Owabi 7,260 Yes
Sakumo Lagoon 1,340 Yes MP fully implemented
Songor Lagoon 28,740 Yes MP fully implemented
Guinea Ile Alcatraz 1 No No information available
Ile Blanche 10 No No information available
Konkouré 90,000 No No information available
Rio Kapatchez 20,000 No No information available
Iles Tristao 85,000 No No information available
Rio Pongo 30,000 No No information available
Niger-Tinkiso 400,600 No No information available
Tinkisso 896,000 No No information available
Sankara-Fié 1,015,200 No No information available
Niger Source 180,400 No No information available
Niger-Mafou 1,015,450 No No information available
Niger-Niandan-Milo 1,046,400 No No information available
Guinea-Bissau Lagos de Cufada 39,098 Yes No information available
Kenya Lake Naivasha 30,000 Yes MP fully implemented
Lake Bogoria 10,700 No MP under preparation
Lake Nakuru 18,800 Yes MP fully implemented
Lake Baringo 31,469 No MP under preparation
Libya Ain Elshakika No information available No No information available
Ain Elzarga No information available No No information available
No information available
Madagascar Complexe des lacs de Manambolomaty 7,491 No The country has received support from Small Grants Fund for the development of the MP for this site
Lac Tsimanampetsotsa 45,604 No Nothing is planned
Malawi Lake Chilwa 224,800 Yes MP fully implemented
Mali Lac Horo 18,900 No MP under preparation
Séri 40,000 No MP under preparation
Walado Debo/Lac Debo 103,100 No MP under preparation
Mauritania Banc d’arguin 1,200,000 Yes MP fully implemented
Parc National du Diawling 15,600 Yes MP fully implemented
Chat Tboul 15,500 No MP under preparation
Morocco Baie de Khnifiss 6,500 No MP under preparation
Lac d’Afennourir 250 No No information available
Merja Sidi Boughaba 600 No No information available
Merja Zerga 7,000 Yes MP not implemented
Namibia Etosha Pan, Lake Oponono & Cuvelai drainage 600,000 Yes Not fully implemented
Orange River Mouth 500 Yes Not fully implemented
Sandwich Harbour 16,500 Yes Not fully implemented
Walvis Bay 12,600 Yes Not fully implemented
Niger Parc National du "W" 220,000 No No information available
Complexe Kokourou-Namga 66,829 No No information available
Lac Tchad 340,423 No No information available
Zone humide du Moyen Niger 88,050 No No information available
Nigeria Nguru Lake (and Marma Channel) Complex 58,100 Yes MP not fully implemented
Senegal Djoudj 16,000 Yes MP fully implemented
Bassin du Ndiael 10,000 Yes MP is not fully implemented
Delta de Saloum 73,000 Yes MP fully implemented
Gueumbeul 720 No MP under advanced preparation
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone River Estuary 295,000
South Africa Barberspan 3,118 Yes MP fully implemented
Blesbokspruit 1,858 No Development of a MP have stalled
De Hoop Vlei 750 Yes MP fully implemented
De Mond (Heuningnes Estuary) 918 Yes MP fully implemented
Kosi Bay 10,982 Yes No other information
Lake Sibaya 7,750 Yes No other information
Langeban 6,000 Yes MP fully implemented
Natal Drakensberg Park 242,813 Yes No other information
Ndumo Game Reserve 10,117 Yes No other information
Nylsvley Nature Reserve 3,970 Yes No other information
Orange River Mouth 2,000 No A joint MP being completed by Namibia and South Africa
St. Lucia System 155,500 Yes MP fully implemented
Seekoeivlei Nature Reserve 4,754 Yes No other information
Turtle Beaches/Coral Reefs of Tongaland 39,500 Yes MP fully implemented
Verloren Valei Nature Reserve 5,891 Yes No other information
Verlorenvalei 1,500 Yes MP fully implemented
Wilderness Lakes 1,300 Yes MP fully implemented
Togo Parc National de la Kéran 163,400 Yes MP not implemented (lack of funding)
Réserve de Faune de Togodo 31,000 Yes MP not implemented (lack of funding)
Tunisia Ichkeul 12,600
Uganda Lake George 15,000 No Need for financial resources
United Republic of Tanzania Kilombero Valley Floodplain 796,735 No MP expected to be developped within 5 years
Lake Natron Basin 224,781 No No other information
Malagarasi-Muyovozi 3,250,000 No MP under preparation – set up in 2004
Zambia Bangaweulu Swamps: Chikuni 250,000 No No other information
Kafue Flats: Lochinvar & Blue Lagoon 83,000 No MP being developed
TOTAL 110 27,422,740 YES = 39

Table 3. Sites on the Montreux Record

Country Site Name Date of inclusion (dd/mm/yy) Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM)
Algeria Lac Tonga 16/06/93 YES
Les Oasis de Ouled said 14/06/01 YES
Dem. Rep. Congo Parc National des Mangroves 11/01/00 NO
Egypt Lake Bardawil 04/07/90 YES
Lake Burullus 04/07/90 YES
Mauritania Parc National du Diawling 28/02/02 YES
Senegal Djoudj 16/06/93 YES
Bassin de Ndiael 04/07/90 YES
Tunisia Ichkeul 04/07/90 YES
Uganda Lake George 04/07/90 NO
TOTAL 10 YES = 8; NO = 2

Table 4. Sites removed from the Montreux Record

Country Site name Date of inclusion (dd/mm/yy) Date of removal (dd/mm/yy)
Algeria Lac Oubeïra 04/07/90 18/11/97
South Africa St. Lucia System 04/07/90 11/03/96

Table 5. New site designations in process

Number of proposed sites
Total surface area (ha)
Burundi (new Contracting Party)
Guinea Bissau
Mauritius (new Contracting Party)

Table 6. Updating of Ramsar sites in process

Country Number of sites Total surface area (ha)
Benin 2 544,833
Niger 3 495,302
Tunisia 1 16,600
Zambia 2 (extension) 1,186,000
TOTAL 8 2,242,735
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