The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 July 2000

International Navigation Association working group meeting. On 21-22 June the Bureau hosted the 2nd meeting of the Wetland Restoration Working Group of PIANC, the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses (also known as the International Navigation Association), which groups all the major business interests in harbours, maritime and river navigation. The group is ably chaired by Russ Theriot of the Waterways Experiment Station (US Army Corps of Engineers), and is mandated over the next two years to produce guidelines on wetland restoration for the use of private sector concerns involved in harbour development and maintenance. Ramsar’s Dr Tobias Salathé, among others in the group, brings the perspective of environmental organizations and sees this kind of cooperative participation in industry’s efforts to be environmentally-friendly as a promising field of endeavor. View some pix and a few more details. [22/6/00]


Ecuador names La Segua as its 5th Ramsar site. The Ramsar Bureau is pleased to announce that as of 7 June 2000, Ecuador has designated its fifth Wetland of International Importance. La Segua (1836 hectares) is a freshwater wetland located in the confluence of the rivers Carrizal and Chone, consisting of a central marsh that is flooded most of the time and an extensive plain that is inundated in the rainy season. More detail and a few pictures are available. [français et/y español] [19/6/00]


Further update on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is a four-year international scientific study, subtitled "A joint assessment of condition and change in ecosystem goods and services undertaken for the Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention to Combat Desertification, Convention on Wetlands, and other partners, facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme". Just recently we reprinted here an update on developments in the project from Nairobi -- here is a further good update on the status of the project direct from Valerie Thompson of the World Resources Institute, on behalf of the MA secretariat. [15/6/00]


Update on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is a four-year international scientific study, subtitled "A joint assessment of condition and change in ecosystem goods and services undertaken for the Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention to Combat Desertification, Convention on Wetlands, and other partners, facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme". The project is now almost ready to be launched, with more than 50% of the USD 20 million budget practically secured. At the 1st Board Meeting, set for Trondheim on 16-17 July 2000, the Ramsar Convention will be represented by the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General, and STRP Member Dr. Yara Schaeffer-Novelli (Brazil), representing the Chair of Ramsar’s STRP, Dr Jorge Jiménez, who is unable to attend. Here’s some further news on these interesting developments. [8/6/00]


2nd Ramsar/CBD Joint Work Plan approved in Nairobi. Deputy Secretary General Dr Nick Davidson reports: "The Convention on Biological Diversity’s recent COP5 in Nairobi (15-26 May 2000) marks an important step in the development of collaboration between intergovernmental conventions and in particular that between the Ramsar Convention and the CBD. CBD Contracting Parties strongly endorsed the second CBD/Ramsar Joint Work Plan (2000-2001), noting that it provides a useful example of future cooperation between conventions – a theme that receives repeated mention elsewhere in CBD’s COP5 Decisions.

Of particular importance in this second joint work plan is the recognition that the common ground between the two conventions goes far beyond the inland waters that were the focus of the first joint work plan and into several other ecosystem themes (marine and coastal, forests, dry and sub-humid lands) and a variety of cross-cutting issues such as alien species; incentive measures; indicators, monitoring and assessment, impact assessment and sustainable use. The work plan also includes a number of actions designed to harmonise institutional processes, notably in enhancing collaborative action between the scientific and technical subsidiary bodies of the two conventions.

Our challenge is now to take forwards the many tangible actions set out in the joint work plan to deliver further assistance to countries in implementing sustainable use of wetlands and biodiversity. The Ramsar Bureau looks forward to working closely with our counterparts in the CBD Secretariat in implementing the joint work plan, and is committed to further developing similarly strong working links between Ramsar and the other environmental conventions. The approved Joint Work Plan is now being prepared for publication in hard copy, and its text is available on the Ramsar Web site in the 3 Ramsar languages." [Traducciones] [6/6/00]


Ministerial Danube meeting in Bucharest. In celebration of World Environment Day, Environment Ministers from Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine are gathering in Bucharest, 4-5 June, in a meeting jointly sponsored by WWF-The World Wide Fund for Nature and with participation by the Ramsar Bureau. On the agenda are signing ceremonies for two major documents: 1) an "Agreement on the Establishment and Joint Management of a Transboundary Protected Area in the Danube Delta and Lower Prut River", by the Governments of Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, and 2) a "Declaration on the Cooperation for the Creation of a Lower Danube Green Corridor", by Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine. Secretary General Delmar Blasco and Regional Coordinator Tobias Salathé are representing the Ramsar Bureau, and additional speakers come from the participating governments as well as from UNDP, UNEP, OSCE, the World Bank, USAID, RIZA, and the Council of Europe. The Ramsar Convention Bureau has been asked to serve as the Depositary for the new 4-state Declaration and has accepted to do so. [Traductions]. Here is the English text of the 4-party Declaration. [5/6/00, 12/6/00]

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