The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 4 January 1999
Headline Story: Ramsar's new logo enters into force. The Ramsar Standing Committee, in Decision 21.4 of its October 1998 meeting, adopted a new logo which better expresses the evolving mission of the Convention. Today, 1 January 1999, the new logo comes into force and will be used from now on as Ramsar's corporate graphical identity on letterhead paper, publications, Web site, business cards, etc. Here's some explanatory text on the new logo, prepared for our first announcement of the change posted here on 27 November. [1/1/99]
New on the Site: New 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]
Who's Where . . . . . . .
The Secretary General, Delmar Blasco, has gone to Chile for consultations on the continuing development of a national strategy for the conservation of wetlands in that country, and will then proceed to Argentina for talks with the Administrative Authority. After a little time there on home leave, he will be back in the Ramsar Bureau in early January.
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]
New call for WFF proposals. The Ramsar Bureau, the United States State Department, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service are soliciting proposals from Latin American and Caribbean institutions and individuals to participate in the next round of the Wetlands for the Future (WFF) training program. This initiative strives to promote the implementation of the concept of "wise use" of wetlands through strengthening the capacity of countries to manage their wetland resources in perpetuity and contributing to integrate wetland conservation and management with the development process. All proposed activities should be in line with the principles, recommendations and guidelines of the Ramsar Convention. The update of last year's call for proposals is available here in English and Spanish. [18/12/98]
Free offer:Nice symposium minutes, excellent Christmas gift. The Bureau has received a carton of issue no. 10 of the Cahiers du Conservatoire du Littoral, 272 pages, entitled Utiliser les politiques foncières pour la protection du littoral méditerranéen / Making best use of land ownership and land-use policies for the protection of the Mediterranean Basin -- Minutes of the Symposium, Hyères, France, 21-22 April 1995; lots of French and lots of English, too, all crammed into one volume, bulky but not too difficult to wrap up in a festive array. We'll send one free to each of the firstcomers -- so write us. [18/12/98]
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]
Position vacancy in the Bureau. With the lamented departure of Dr. Montserrat Carbonell, our Regional Coordinator for the Neotropics, the position is being redefined slightly to Regional Coordinator for the Americas, and applications are now being sought. The starting date is (hopefully) 1 May 1999 and the deadline for applications is 31 January of the same year. Fluency in Spanish and English are required, but here, for the moment, is the English announcement only (the Spanish text follows tomorrow, sorry). [8/12/98] (Okay, here's the announcement in español. Thanks for your patience, hispanophones. 9/12/98) [This position has been filled.]
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]
Recommendation:Web site of the Towra Point Nature Reserve Ramsar site, 16 miles south of Sydney, Australia. Exceptional: check it out. [8/12/98]
Announcements: Positions available. Position vacancy at WWF in Denmark. Campaigner wanted for the WWF European Freshwater Programme. [9/12/98] [This position has been filled.]
Announcements: Positions available. WET (Wetland Ecology and Technology, Contract No. ERBFMRX-CT960051) is offering a 14-months' post-doc in Kiel, Germany. [8/12/98] [This position has been filled.]
Ramsar staff get new e-mail addresses: Effective immediately, Ramsar Bureau staff have new e-mail addresses, constructed on the form of firstname.lastname@example.org. Thus the Secretary General is now email@example.com, for example, and the Regional Coordinator for Europe is firstname.lastname@example.org. Our general mailbox, perhaps predictably, is at email@example.com. Our former e-mail addresses, using the domain @hq.iucn.org, will continue to work forever. [4/12/98]
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, http://www.iisd.ca/desert/cop2/index.html. [2/12/98]
Web Site Reorganization [or Reorganisation]: That's right, we've set up a new index page for the 7th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, which includes indexes to the documentation for the COP, the National Reports submitted by the Parties, hotel + travel information, background skinny, the whole schmear. You are specially privileged to view it, though as yet it's in its infancy for a little while. [30/11/98]
New Ramsar logo announced. Just when you thought you knew where you stood, the Ramsar Convention announces a new "graphic identity", intended to indicate more convincingly the Convention's new roles in the broad issues of sustainable use of wetlands and water resources. Enacted by Decision 21.4 of the recent Standing Committee, the new logo will be launched on 1 January 1999, and even now, you can read all about it here. [27/11/98]
MKI Travel, Inc., posts hotel and travel stuff for COP7. Calme-toi, all of you who've behaving in an agitated manner in the absence of firm information about hotel costs and options in San José, Costa Rica, for the gala 7th Conference of the Parties set to be visited upon that city in May 1999. The Bureau is still creeping towards mailing out invitations to Contracting Parties, potential observer states, and international NGOs, including all of this information, but now you must ask yourself: WHY WAIT? MKI Travel Inc., of Ottawa, who are handling travel and hotel arrangements for COP7, have set up a brilliant Web site with all the hotel options, maps of the locations, background info (about the currency, tap water, etc.), booking forms, you name it, and you will thrill to see those classy navigation bars. Check it out: http://www.mkitravel.com/conference/ramsarcop799/index.html [27/11/98]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. [13/11/98]
More to follow. Watch this space. 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 ). Updated regularly by Dwight Peck, Ramsar.