The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 4 January 1999

National Reports: Switzerland, Finland, the Russian Federation, Portugal, and Hungary today; Report on the Oceania Regional Meeting, and Bill Phillips' closing remarks; Registration materials for COP7 (English, French, and Spanish).  [5/1/99]

Yueyang Declaration reprinted here. The Sixth Northeast Asia and North Pacific Environmental Forum was held in Yueyang City, Hunan Province, China from 17-20 December 1998. It was attended by 92 representatives from governmental and non-governmental organisations, and environmental experts from China, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United States, and also from international organisations. The meeting was organised by Wetlands International – China Programme, the China Environmental Protection Foundation and the Asia Foundation, with the endorsement of the Chinese government. Funding was provided by the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund and Asia Foundation-Japan Office. The resulting resolution, called the Yueyang Declaration, has been provided for reprinting here by Faizal Parish and by Chen Kelin, Coordinator, Wetlands International-China Programme (Secretariat of Yueyang Workshop). [26/12/98]

"Kintyre Goose Roosts". The UK has designated "Kintyre Goose Roosts", a 311-hectare site in Scotland, as its 119th Wetland of International Importance, effective 28 October. Tim Jones reports: The Ramsar site comprises five hill lochs (freshwater lakes) on the Kintyre peninsula in southwest Scotland: Loch Garasdale, Loch an Fhraoich, Loch Lussa, Black Loch and Tangy Loch. The lochs are of international importance as a winter roost site for the globally vulnerable Greenland white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris). During the five-winter period 1991/92 - 1995/96 the site held an average of 8% of the world population, thereby qualifying under Ramsar criterion 3c. Additional biodiversity values of national importance include the presence of European otters (Lutra lutra) and, at Tangy Loch, a nationally rare aquatic plant, the slender naiad (Najas flexilis).

The most prevalent human activities within the site are forestry and sport hunting, with sport fishing, fishery production and livestock grazing as secondary uses. The area also has significant aesthetic, landscape and general non-consumptive recreation value.There are no known significant threats to the site at present, although further monitoring may be required to determine the effects of disturbance from forestry and hunting. [23/12/98]

Global Biodiversity Forum -- call for co-organizers. The organizers of GBF13, set for San José, Costa Rica, 7-9 May 1999 (immediately preceding Ramsar COP7), have announced a list of workshops to be held and asked for feedback from potential participants.  Read the announcement here, and contact the organizers directly.  [22/12/98]

Convention to Combat Desertification signs MOC with Ramsar. On 5 December, at the Global Biodiversity Forum during the CCD's 2nd Conference of the Parties in Dakar, Senegal, Ramsar's Secretary General and the Executive Secretary of the CCD signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two secretariats.  This follows on from Ramsar's MOC and Joint Work Plan with the Convention on Biological Diversity and can be seen as part of the general movement towards synergy, coordination, and avoidance of duplication amongst the major biodiversity conservation treaty secretariats.  The text of the new MOC is right here.  [8/12/98]

Small Grants Fund allocations for 1998 announced. The Standing Committee, at its 21st meeting, pored over a large number of grant applications and made its determinations . . . sort of.   Because of a funding shortfall, SC21 was constrained to make its allocations in a graduated tier system which allocated present funding to 17 projects (category A1), for about 600,000 Swiss francs, and rated another 14 projects (category A2) as eligible for funding should additional contributions be received in the Fund, and still another 16 projects (category B)as eligible for funding just in case all the A1s and A2s should score first. A more substantial report on the actually funded projects will be written soon, but in the meantime here is the list of project titles in their category order. [8/12/98]

First Oceania Regional Meeting opens in Hamilton, New Zealand: On 1 December, following a colorful opening ceremony (a "powhiri") presided over by a Maori queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and a welcoming address from the Hon. Marie Hasler, Associate Minister for the Environment, the meeting set off upon a full agenda which will keep the participants laboring through to Friday.  Some 60 participants made the trip, and they represent the three Ramsar Parties in the region (Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea) as well as the Cook Islands, Fiji, Wallis and Futuna (French territory), Niue, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Kiribati, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Guam (US territory), the Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, the Northern Mariana Islands (US territory), and Vanuatu.   Organizations attending, with bells on, include BirdLife International, the secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species (Bonn Convention), the Society of Wetland Scientists, Wetlands International, and WWF, as well as Ducks Unlimited NZ, Fish and Game NZ, the University of Waikato, the Miranda Conservation Board, the Federation of Commercial Eel Fishers, NZ Federated Farmers, and a number of Maori Trust Boards.   The Deputy Secretary General, Bill Phillips, and the Regional Coordinator for Asia, Rebecca D'Cruz, are stirring the pot on the Bureau's behalf, and more results will soon appear here. [2/12/98]

CCD's 2nd Conference of the Parties gets off to a good start. The Convention to Combat Desertification opened its 2nd COP on Monday, 30 November, and will keep its collective nose to the grindstone until the 11th of December.  Ramsar's Secretary General, Delmar Blasco, and our Regional Coordinator for Africa, Anada Tiéga, are participating in the festivities, and Mr Blasco addressed the plenary session on 1 December -- you can read his statement here at no extra charge.   The daily goings on can be followed on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin through the International Institute for Sustainable Development's site, [2/12/98]

Pan-Asian Regional Meeting. The Ramsar Bureau is pleased to announce that the Government of the Philippines has kindly agreed to provide the venue for the Pan-Asian Regional Meeting of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971). The meeting will take place from 22 - 24 February 1999 in Manila, the Philippines. It is expected that at the meeting there will be consideration of the key topics scheduled for discussion at COP7. These will include such issues as Ramsar and Water, mechanisms to enhance regional and transboundary cooperation, how Ramsar can work more effectively in partnership with the other international conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); capacity building for wetland management; and mobilising development assistance.For further information, please contact: Rebecca D’Cruz, Regional Coordinator for Asia [13/11/98]

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