Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 June 1997
Headline Story: Ramsar Newsletter -- what's that? Back from the dead -- due out last November, if not earlier -- shoved rudely to the side by other priorities now forgotten -- long since given up for lost even by its best friends -- elegies and threnodies, and epicedian marches to the boneyard -- never mind, WE'RE BACK. Ramsar Newsletter 24 arrived today from the printer, the first issue since last July (we've been busy!), English, French, and Spanish, and is being posted this weekend to its 4,000 subscribers. No German edition this time -- the funding dried up, so they all get English instead. Ganz gut!
If you want to receive the Newsletter (or Bulletin, or Boletin) in hard copy and are not already one of the Magic 4,000 on the mailing list, let us know and we'll add you and send you one. Most of the news is reprinted from this Web site, so if you've been watching these pages since last September, you don't need the hard copy except for displaying it out in the waiting room. [31/5/97]
- The price of Economic Valuation of Wetlands has been established at UK sterling 17.50, US$ 26.25; please order from the IUCN Publications Services Unit. [30/5/97]
- The call has been renewed for applications for the post of Regional Coordinator for Africa in the Bureau. Read about it here. [30/5/97]
- Desperately to be hoped that you didn't miss the excitement on the Ramsar Forum today, when a large number of people ordered copies of the Economic Valuation brochure by pushing their Reply buttons and sending their orders to almost everyone in the electronically connected universe. Almost brought the San Francisco grid to its knees. [30/5/97]
- Yaroslav Movchan, Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine, is visiting the Bureau today, 30 May, with personnel from the Permanent Mission in Geneva, to discuss implementation of the Convention in his country and the state of the scientific data on Ukraine's Ramsar sites. [30/5/97]
WWF Vacancy. WWF International is seeking a Director for its Freshwater Programme, based in Gland, Switzerland. You saw it here first. [31/5/97] [The position has since been filled.]
Ramsar Forum 1, Ramsar Exchange 0. The Ramsar Forum, the Bureau's new public electronic mailing list, has soared to a promising beginning, with over 200 members having signed on in the first three days. We hope it will fill a real gap in the world of wetlands conservation communications. The Ramsar Exchange (on the other hand) needs some new thinking, especially about the language problem -- this is the list devoted to official communications, and on Monday, 2 June, we intend to split it off into three separate lists, for English, French, and Spanish, with special sublists for the Standing Committee and STRP. Just you wait -- this may be a groundbreaking event. . . . . . [31/5/97]
Ramsar Electronic Mailing List Launched (bis). Even before anyone's had a chance to catch his or her breath, the Bureau is launching its second e-mail mailing list -- the Ramsar Exchange, which is intended to provide a fast and low-cost e-mail mechanism for the exchange of information on Convention matters between the Bureau and the Convention's administrative authorities, partner organizations, STRP members, and selected others who are officially charged with implementation of the Convention, as mandated by Action 3.3.4 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002. Not all of the Parties will have access to the Ramsar Exchange in the near- and mid-term future, but the secretariat expects to realize significant savings in the transmission of necessary documents and, if all goes well, closer relationships with the Parties through more frequent contacts. [28/5/97]
Strategic Plan in Chinese! With partial funding support from the Ramsar 25th anniversary fund, the Wetlands International - China Programme have produced a translation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 into Mandarin Chinese, bound with a translation of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy 1996-2000. Intended primarily for the use of the 17 sectoral ministries currently involved in the development of China's Wetland Conservation Action Plan, under the leadership of the Ministry of Forestry, the Ramsar administrative authority, the publication has been issued in limited quantities, but the Ramsar Bureau (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be happy to photocopy its own copy for anyone else who would like to have one. Further information from Chen Kelin in the PR of China (email@example.com).
Lost Book Finally Appears! Get ready -- Economic Valuation of Wetlands: a Guide for Policy Makers and Planners, written by Ed Barbier, Mike Acreman, and Duncan Knowler, and published by the Ramsar Bureau, is finally ready for prime time. Here's a shameless advertisement, including the table of contents and a rather nice jpg of the cover, in this space. [23/5/97]
Wetland Research and Education Centre, Bangladesh, seeking support. The Wetland Research and Education Centre (WREC) was formally inaugurated in north-central Bangladesh on 2 February 1997, in commemoration of World Wetlands Day, with generous funding from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Dhaka, which maintains an environment fund to support local activities. A creation of Carinam (the Centre for Advanced Research in Natural Resources and Management) in Dhaka, the WREC is operating under a Dutch grant of US$ 20,000 for one year, which ends in November 1997, and the Centre is looking for further funding support to continue its work.
S.M.A. Rashid reports that the Centre is currently working on:
- mass awareness programs for wetlands and wetland resource conservation.
- creating a database on the wetlands of Bangladesh with relevant information according to the Ramsar Information Sheet.
- education and training programs for students, NGOs, and government officials on wetland conservation and promoting the wise use concept.
- planning for exchange programs with well-established educational institutions and research organizations for WREC staff.
- planning for the development of wetland conservation education and training modules, manuals, packages for sharing on a national, regional and international level.
The Centre is seeking continued financial support on a long-term basis (5-10 years), with annual evaluations of progress as the basis for continued support. Exchange programs from other environmental education/wetland conservation organizations are also sought as a way of improving the Centre's programs. The Centre is also interested in carrying out joint research/conservation programs on wetlands. Further information can be obtained from S.M.A. Rashid, Carinam, 70 Kakrail, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh (tel +880 2 417111, fax +880 956 4969, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) [28/5/97]
Ramsar Electronic Mailing List Launched.The Ramsar Bureau is pleased to announce the launching of the Ramsar Forum, an electronic mailing list devoted to the wide range of news, announcements, opinion, information requests and replies concerning the conservation and sustainable use of wetland resources in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular. The Ramsar Forum is an official service of the Ramsar Bureau and all interested persons are encouraged to join it; messages are welcome in any of the Convention's three languages (English, French, and Spanish). You may subscribe to the Forum simply by sending an e-mail message to the following address: email@example.com The subject line can be left blank, and your message should read exactly this: join ramsar-forum
When you join, you will receive a confirmation of your subscription and a message that welcomes you with a fuller description of the Ramsar Forum's policy and purpose as well as details on how to use the list and its services. You can also read that same Ramsar Forum "join text" right here.
Note: Within the next week, the Bureau will be launching a second mailing list, the Ramsar Exchange, a closed-subscription vehicle to facilitate administrative interchange among the Bureau, the Convention's administrative authorities, STRP members, partner organizations, National Ramsar Committees, and selected other officials. [23/5/97]
Enough of that PDF! By popular demand, the famous Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance is now available for download from this Web site in a number of popular wordprocessor formats (Word for Windows 95, WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, Word 5.1 for Macintosh, and Rich Text Format), as well as the sometimes awkward Adobe Acrobat PDF. View the options and savor your choices. Unfortunately, there have been no changes since the 4 April edition of the List, but some new info is expected later today or tomorrow morning. [21/5/97]
E-mail for Tour du Valat.For everyone who's been sitting on edge of chairs waiting to send e-mail messages to staff at the Station biologique de la Tour du Valat in the Camargue -- you can now e-mail anyone at TdV directly to their desktops using this formula: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jamie Skinner, who forwarded this news to us, points out that much delay would be inadvisable, "because the coypu are bound to gnaw through the cable eventually -- ah, wetlands". (19/5/97)
37th Management Guidance Procedure. At the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the latest application of the Ramsar Management Guidance Procedure was carried out in the I.R. of Iran in late April and early May. The Ramsar mission, made up of two Bureau staff members (Michael Smart and Rebecca D'Cruz) and two Dutch technical experts (Henk Moen and Vincent van den Berk), visited a number of Ramsar sites on the Caspian (Miankaleh, Anzeli Mordab, Bandar Kiashahr and Amirkelayeh) and had extensive discussions with the Iranian authorities in Teheran. They also visited Gomishan Marshes, a spectacular wetland just south of the border with Turkmenistan, which has been awarded funding assistance from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund with a view to its designation as a Ramsar site.
The Iranian authorities confirmed their strong desire to continue their high profile in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention (which began life in 1971 at the Iranian city of Ramsar on the Caspian shoreline), both within Iran and internationally. The MGP mission will be making detailed recommendations on the management of the sites visited, several of which have been affected by the rise in Caspian sea level. In some cases there are difficulties in coordinating the need to conserve wetland biodiversity and the need for sustainable economic development. The mission's main recommendations are on the need to strengthen the capacity of the Department of the Environment to act as a coordinator, both at national and local levels, among the many bodies which have an impact on wetlands, and the need to find the necessary funds for such activities perhaps with support from UNDP, which is particularly interested in such activites.
The mission report - as with other MGP reports - will first be submitted to the Iranian authorities, and will afterwards become a public document. A visit by the Secretary General is intended later in the year, and he will follow up with the Iranian authorities on the implementation of the mission's recommendations. (15/5/97)
Excellent Book - You Should Buy It. A Guide to the Restoration of Nutrient- Enriched Shallow Lakes, by Brian Moss, Jane Madgwick, and Geoffrey Phillips, 180 pages, profusely illustrated with photos, charts, graphs, maps, and diagrams -- thorough background science and a step-by-step strategy, with nine case studies from European wetlands, several of them from the Broadland Ramsar site in Norfolk. Available for 14.95 pounds sterling plus 4 more for handling from the Broads Authority, 18 Colegate, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 1BQ, UK. (15/5/97)
U.S. National Ramsar Committee meets with the Secretary General. Delmar Blasco, the Convention's Secretary General, visiting the United States to address the "Communities Working for Wetlands" meeting, had the opportunity to meet with members of the U.S. National Ramsar Committee on 6 May, in the offices of the World Wildlife Fund. Notes of the meeting, prepared by Constance Hunt, the Chair of the Committee, are available here. (9/5/97)
International Migratory Bird Day. Saturday, 10 May, will be the 5th annual International Migratory Bird Day, and the theme this year will be "Join the Flock . . . Be Part of the Solution." In the United States, activities are planned in many states, particularly in the best bird-watching spots. Special attention is being drawn to declining bird species and what citizens can do to assist in their conservation. The Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is Ramsar's Administrative Authority in the USA, has issued a press release describing the significance of the day, and you'll find it reprinted here. (6/5/97)
U.S. National Wetlands Awards. The winners of the 1997 [U.S.] National Wetlands Awards, sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have been announced, and the awards will be presented on 8 May 1997 in Washington, D.C., USA. The winners are:
Education/Outreach: Wilfred Cwikiel, Conway, Michigan
Science Research: Joy Zedler, San Diego, California
Volunteer Leadership: Larry Smith, Memphis, Tennessee
Land Stewardship and Development: Brian O'Connor Dunn, Bayside, Texas, and James Siepmann, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Outstanding Wetlands Program Development: Laura Lenzen, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Cheryl Miller, St. Paul, Minnesota
[Source: Environmental Law Institute's ELI-Wetlands list server, 5/5/97]. [6/5/97]
Feedback and suggestions to: the Ramsar Convention Bureau, Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland (tel +41 22 999 0170, fax +41 22 999 0169, e-mail ).