The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 6 July 1998
Mongolia names three new sites. Despite the fact that Mongolia joined the Convention only a few months ago, the Ministry of Nature and the Environment has already submitted three additional nominations to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, bringing the total number of Ramsar sites in Mongolia to four (264,220 hectares) and the number of Ramsar sites in all the 110 Contracting Parties to 927 (68,203,343 ha). Here's a brief description of the new designations. [6/7/98]
Legal frameworks workshop. On 3-4 July the Bureau hosted a gathering of experts to help develop Guidelines for the review of law and institutions relevant to wetlands. This project, which will report its findings at COP7 next May, is being undertaken by the IUCN Environmental Law Centre on behalf of the Ramsar Convention. Legislative and institutional review is a key part of the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines, which was further promoted in the Strategic Plan. At the workshop there were experts in wetland law, policy, and Ramsar implementation from Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, India, Peru, Slovenia, Uganda, and the UK, the USA. The exchange of ideas and experiences, many of which are being documented as case studies for the project, was very dynamic and should make for a detailed consideration of these issues next May. [6/7/98]
‘Graphical Profiles’ from the Ramsar Database.Scott Frazier, the Ramsar/Wetland Sites Officer at Wetlands International - Africa, Europe, and Middle East, has announced the inauguration of a new Web-based service of the Ramsar Database: a "graphical profiles" section which includes maps, pie charts, all kinds of things – exactly the sort of colorful graphics he has been providing for Ramsar meetings for quite a while now. The site has already got the products that Scott and Edith Hubert produced for the Ramsar Pan-European meeting earlier this month, and the output created for the Pan-American and Pan-African meetings will be up soon. View their handiwork on the Wetlands International Web site (http://www.wetlands.org) in the Ramsar Database section, and read Scott’s description of the project posted recently on the Ramsar Forum. [30/6/98]
The 2d edition of the guide 'Financial instruments for the Natura 2000 Network and nature conservation' has just been published by the TERRA environmental policy center in Madrid. The publication was funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management & Fisheries, and DGXI of the European Commission. It will be useful for anyone wishing to gain a working knowledge of European Union financial mechanisms in favour of nature conservation. Available in English and Spanish, the guide provides a concise and readable introduction to the LIFE instrument, to the Structural Funds, the Cohesion Fund and the CAP accompanying measures, together with examples of field implementation. The guide is in approximately A5 format and runs to 157 pages, ISBN: 84-923776-1-5.
Gorillas born in the Congo. The Environmental News Network reported on 17 June that the International Gorilla Conservation Program (a coalition of the African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna and Flora International, and WWF) has developed a ranger-based monitoring programme in Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda, despite the civil unrest in the region. In Congo, with support from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and WWF-Netherlands, IGCP has implemented an emergency program for the conservation and rehabilitation of the southern sector of the Virunga National Park, a Ramsar and World Heritage site, where the endangered mountain gorilla is found. The births of 10 gorillas have recently been documented. See http://www.enn.com/enn-news-archive/1998/06/061798/gorilla.asp.
Austria-Kenya twinning project. The Austrian National Ramsar Committee meeting this week saw progress in organizing the White Stork Twinning Programme with Kenya, and here is a brief report on it. [24/6/98]
Doñana Conference completed. The International Conference "Humedales de importancia para las aves acuáticas: Doñana – una necesidad de actuación" (Wetlands of Importance as Waterfowl Habitat: Doñana, a need to act) was held in Madrid 25-26 June 1998. Following keynote addresses by Delmar Blasco on the Ramsar Convention and Thymio Papayannis on the MedWet Strategy, presentations and discussions focused on preventive and corrective actions for Doñana and the protection of wetlands in Spain in general. [26/6/98]
Turkey names four new sites. The Republic of Turkey has designated four new sites, effective 15 April 1998, and significantly expanded the boundaries of two more. The four new sites are Akyatan Lagoon (14,700 hectares) on the Mediterranean coast not far from Adana; the Gediz Delta (14,900 ha) in the Gulf of Izmir on the Aegean coast; the Kizilirmak Delta (21,700 ha) on the Black Sea coast, and Lake Uluabat (19,900 ha), a large lake just south of the Sea of Marmara. Lake Kus (Manyas), also just south of Marmara, has been a Ramsar site since 1994, but its area has now been doubled in size to 20,400 ha, and Lake Burdur, north of Antalya and east of Pamukkale, has been extended from 12,600 to 24,800 ha. Turkey now has 9 Wetlands of International Importance, totaling some 159,300 hectares. A series of attractive pamphlets has been published for all of Turkey's Ramsar sites by the Ministry of Environment, General Directorate of Environmental Protection, Eskisehir Yolu 8km, TR-06530 Ankara (fax +90 312 286 2271). [22/6/98]
Riga results now ready. The 3rd Ramsar Pan-European Regional Meeting, held in Riga, Latvia, is history. More than 100 participants from European Contracting Parties and international organizations wrestled with the big issues and came up with a series of "conclusions and recommendations" on 1) Transboundary Cooperation; 2) National and Regional Wetland Policies; 3) Wetland Restoration and Rehabilitation; 4) Building financial and technical capacity for wetland conservation. Here's a brief report, with links to the Conclusions and Recommendations in the three Ramsar languages. [16/6/98]
"Creating a sea change". The new joint marine policy of WWF and IUCN, Creating a Sea Change, has been published, and the text of the attractive brochure which describes it and lists its main objectives has been reprinted here on this Web site, mainly in order to bring to the attention of the Ramsar community the objectives that involve the Convention on Wetlands. The full text of the policy is available from WWF and IUCN. [16/6/98]
Mr Hirofumi wins Goldman Prize. Richard Forrest, National Wildlife Foundation ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), reports that "in April, Mr. Yamashita Hirofumi, coordinator of the Japan Wetlands Action Network (JAWAN), was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world's most prestigious environmental award--often referred to as the 'Nobel Prize for the Environment.' Mr. Yamashita was recognized for his campaign attempting to stop the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture's Isahaya Bay Reclamation Project, which in 1997 destroyed Japan's largest and most important tidal flat wetland. Due to Mr. Yamashita's efforts, the original development plan was scaled back, and the Japanese public has been educated about the importance of protection and restoration of wetlands. " [22/6/98]
Arctic to Tropical Peatland Symposium. At the annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Anchorage, Alaska, USA, 8-12 June 1998, the full-day "Arctic to Tropical Peatland Symposium" (9 June) considered, among other topics, the IUCN draft guidelines for sustainable management of tropical peatlands and the role of international conventions and other policy instruments. Mr Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, contributed a statement to the participants, which was conveyed to the meeting by Prof. Ed Maltby of the Royal Holloway Institute for Environmental Research, co-chair of the SWS symposium and Director of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management. Here's the text of his statement. [9/6/98]