The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 4 October 1998

Ramsar and RIZA visit Armenia. Like most right-thinking citizens, you've learned to yawn promptly at the bureaucracy's long and ubiquitous "trip reports".  But Ramsar's trip reports are different.  For example, take this report of the Bureau's recent trip to Armenia -- it's got nearly everything you could wish for: succinct background on Armenia's Ramsar history, a quick but penetrating look at both of its Ramsar sites, a synopsis of the problems yet to be faced, a capsule itinerary that will make you wish you'd been there, a lean set of recommendations and action points for follow-up, and some well-chosen scenic and people photos that will bring the whole thing to life for you, or almost.  Tim Jones of the Bureau and Frank Alberts, Head of RIZA's Land Use Planning Division, made the trip, 3-11 September of this year, and here is the result. [29/9/98]

Wetlands Conference set for Russian Federation. An important conference on "A Strategy for wetland conservation in the Russian Federation" is scheduled for 24-26 February 1999 in Moscow, Russia.  Organized by the State Committee of the Russian Federation on Environmental Protection and the Wetlands International - Russia Programme, the conference is intended to bring together representatives from key government agencies, NGOs, scientific institutions and other stakeholders to review the current state of wetland conservation in Russia, and to develop A National Strategy and Action Plan for Wetland Conservation in the Russian Federation. Here's the announcement. [27/9/98]

 And another, Egypt; Two more National Reports, Kenya and the Bahamas, to join Germany and Sweden posted last week; Consolidation of Ramsar Decisions: clickable directory to the Key Concept Index and the Annotated Strategic Plan. [2/10/98]

E/PA Workshop at the Ramsar Bureau. The Ramsar Bureau has just hosted a 2-day workshop, 24-25 September, on Education and Public Awareness programmes for wetland conservation and wise use.  Distressed by the disjunction between global efforts to coordinate E/PA efforts and, on the other hand, the wonderful work being done all the time here and there, by government agencies and NGOs all over the world, all the time, the Bureau invited representatives of a number of energetic programmes to stare at one another across our tables and explain to one another what they're doing - and arrange to share and cooperate and liaise and get to know one another better in future.  Participants included representatives of GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network), Water Watch Asia and Waterwatch Australia, the Ghana Wildlife Society, the IUCN Commission on Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Wetlands International's Specialist Group on E/PA, the Watercourse Program/Project WET in the USA, the People and Conservation Unit of WWF International, Water Planet of Sweden. [25/9/98]

National Reports to be reprinted here. In a practice dating from the first Conference of the Parties in 1980, the Contracting Parties have submitted to each COP their National Reports describing their progress in implementing the Convention in the triennium since the preceding meeting.   These provide the data for the Regional Overviews which inform the COP of the general state of the Convention and, since they are public documents, they inform the public of each Contracting Parties' progress in the conservation and wise use of its wetlands, or lack thereof.  For COP6 (Brisbane, 1996), for the first time ALL Contracting Parties submitted their NRs, and most of them on time.  For COP7, the Bureau's intention is to reprint them all here -- quite a few have already been received in the secretariat and are presently being finalized by the Bureau's Regional Coordinators in consultation with the Parties.  As they are finalized throughout the next few months, we will prepare them for the Web and post them here as promptly as possible.  And the first two are ready: Germany and Sweden, with many more to come.  Here is the NR index page. [23/9/98]

Connecticut (USA) posts groundbreaking Web page on its Ramsar site. The State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection has posted an attractive Web presentation of its entire "nomination report" that gained a place on the Ramsar List for the Connecticut River Estuary and Tidal River Wetlands Complex.   All the descriptive and technical information is there, prepared by the Office of Long Island Sound Programs of the DEP, the Southern New England section of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Connecticut chapter of The Nature Conservancy.  Quite a few Web sites have been set up to celebrate and consecrate other Ramsar wetlands around the world, but this appears to be the first time anyone has posted a full technical report on the site, and it seems to be a brilliant model for imitation.  Find the document at [22/9/98]

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