The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 April 1998

Questionnaire on Management Planning Guidelines- help still needed. In February the Bureau asked for input from wetland site managers in order to help the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) determine whether further revision of the Convention's Management Planning Guidelines is desirable. A brief questionnaire was circulated to the Contracting Parties and posted on this Web site.  By the requested deadline of 31 March, the response has been disappointing, with only about 30 responses from Argentina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Honduras, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Namibia, Turkey, and Zambia, and another 30 from the United Kingdom.  In the hope of receiving still further responses, the deadline has now been extended to the eve of the STRP meeting itself, 21 April.  If you have firsthand knowledge and experience of developing or implementing management plans for Ramsar or other wetland sites, please help by filling out the questionnaire, posted here in English, French, and Spanish versions and available as a Word 7 e-mail attachment, and returning it to the Bureau before that date. [31/3/98]

Small Grants Fund Deadline is now. Governments and organizations wishing to submit Ramsar Small Grants Fund project proposals for consideration by the Standing Committee in October have only until 31 March to get their applications, duly endorsed by the administrative authority of the Contracting Party.  If you're just rotating the idea of applying around in your head, it's too late!  But if you are presently putting the finishing touches on your proposal, finishing-touch faster!  Here are the background information and forms.  [22/3/98]

Diplomatic Note 1998/6 with Ramsar's proposed Joint Work Plan with the CBD; Ramsar introductory info pack materials in Spanish; Ramsar Forum exchange on livestock grazing in wetland management; reports of the MedCom1 meeting (with pix) and the Paris Water Conference (with speech).   [31/3/98]

Czech party set for 31 March. On 31 March a special ceremony will be held at the 'Novozámecky fishponds' Ramsar site in the Czech Republic to mark the successful completion of an emergency assistance project under the Convention's Small Grants Fund. The money (some SFR 40,000) was allocated in 1997 for the rebuilding of the water control structure which regulates outflow from the fishponds. Without this work the wetland system was in imminent danger of drying out. It is hoped that the successful implementation of the SGF project, together with other management planning measures, will lead to the removal of the site from the Montreux Record in the not too distant future. [27 March 1998]

Paris Water Conference reported. The International Conference on Water and Sustainable Development, held in Paris in preparation for the Commission on Sustainable Development meeting in New York in April, provided an opportunity to advance the Ramsar "message",  that an "ecosystems approach" must underpin the implementation of the new paradigm of integrated water resources management, and that the Ramsar Convention is well placed to assist the international community in meeting the challenges of the global water crisis of the next century.   Here's the Secretary General's report on the Paris Conference and his intervention in plenary, with the text of the Conference's Final Declaration. [25/3/98]

MedCom1 meeting a success. The first meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee, with the Ramsar Convention's Secretary General serving as ex officio chairperson, has concluded in Thessaloniki, Greece, and produced a final set of decisions.  Here's a report on the meeting and subsequent excursion to the Lake Karla restoration project, with photos, and the text of the final decisions. [24/3/98]

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
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2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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