The Wetlands for the Future Fund


US State Department Ramsar logo US Fish and Wildlife Service


An initiative for training and capacity building on conservation of wetlands in the Neotropical Region

Sponsored by :
Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
U.S. State Department
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Projects reported for 1995-1997


The project on education for the conservation of the coastal wetlands of Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego was completed in 1998. More than 30 teachers of 34 primary schools were trained in this important topic. As part of the project 1,217 letters between Argentine and US schools (Anchorage and Boston) were interchanged regarding the issue "Saving our migratory birds". After the workshop, an art contest about migratory birds, a clean-up exercise on the beaches of the region, and the celebration of the "World Migratory Birds Day" were organized respectively. (Photos available)

The public awareness seminar on wetland management for local communities, government and non-government agencies took place 31 May - 5 June 1999, in Guanacache, Mendoza. 163 participants, including stakeholders and members of local communities, attended the seminar. As relevant products, the Ramsar Information Sheet of Lagunas de Guanacache was completed and the Technical Inter-Province Group to study and manage the site was established. (Photos available)

The Training Programme on Limnology in the Ramsar site Laguna Blanca, Formosa, Argentina was completed. 25 participants from Argentina and Paraguay were trained with the participation of the Instituto de Linmologia (INALI), Parques Nacionales (APN), Universidad Nacional de Formosa, the Direccion de Fauna y Flora and the Secretaria de Ciencia y Tecnologia of Formosa Province. (Photos available)

The project on Implementation of the database program and Geographic Information System (GIS) for the Laguna Blanca National Park Ramsar site was successfully completed in 1999. The Data Base and GIS were implemented in the National Park and a Web page was designed (available at: Two training courses on use of GPS, map digitalization, data base operation, and application of the GIS were addressed to Argentina’s National Park administrative staff. As a consequence at present the National Park has a definitive strategy to face the management of the area.

The project on Planing, preparation and implementation of the postgraduate course in management and wise use of South American wetlands was successfully incorporated to the Wildlife Management Master Program of the Zoological Applied Center of Cordoba University. 20 participants of different provinces attended the course. It was decided to implement more specific university level courses in the Master Program about the conservation and wise use of wetlands in the subtropical and temperate regions of South America.


The project on Strengthening of the Mangrove Bioecology Laboratory - Bioma to become an information and educational mini-center was completed in 1999. A Web page was elaborated, available at: in order to promote its activities related to the wise use and conservation of mangroves including: long-term and short-term training either undergraduate or graduate courses at the Sao Paulo University, dissemination of projects, discussions on line, community services and establishing a network through electronic mail for specialists in mangroves and coastal zones.

A Geographic Information System course took place 7- 17 September 1999 with the support of the Administrative Authority, San Pablo University and the Wetlands for the Future initiative. 20 Participants were trained in the use of the Computer Aided Mapping and Resource Inventory System (CAMRIS). As a result, the participants were taught the basics required to enter data, retrieve data and generate hard copy. The system provides many of the GIS (Geographic Information System) functions required by most resource users quickly and inexpensively.


Participative training for the conservation of Jachajawira Highland wetland took place in Arica during 1999 with the support of CAPAJ (Programa de Conocimiento Aymará de Preservación de Auquénidos y Justicia) and Wetlands for the Future Initiative. As a result of the meetings among the local government, the stakeholders, the private sector and the local people, the description as well as the economic valuation of the area were done in order to initiate processes aimed at establishing this area as a Ramsar site. Designation to the Ramsar List is seen as a significant step in maintaining the values and functions of this important ecosystem. (Photos available)


The project on Diagnostic and ecological assessment of the ancient Sinu river basin, with emphasis on Cispata Bay and surrounding marshes - Dissemination of Results was completed. As a result of this project, a georeferenced database of all the studied components (phytoplankton, fish, birds and other vertebrates) were prepared, together with the maps prepared by the Dutch program: I.T.C, International for Institute Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences would establish in the future a Geographic Information System for the Region.

Costa Rica

The Centro Neotropical de Entrenamiento de Humedales has trained 223 people in 9 events in Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and Chile during 1999. In these events rural professors, indigenous leaders, technical leaders of governmental and non-governmental organizations and academia were trained in the conservation and management of wetlands in the Neotropical Region. 4000 copies of text and the brochure "El beneficio de los Humedales en America Central" were reprinted as part of this project. (Book available to scan)

The special edition of Vida Silvestre Neotropical on "Conservation and Rational Use of Wetlands in the Neotropics" was published in 1999 thanks to the support of Wetlands for the Future. The volume 7(1) was printed in 1200 copies and included one main essay, 4 main papers, 3 technical notes, 7 informative notes and two book reviews. This number had 79 pages. The special edition was distributed to the normal subscribers of the magazine, to each author of the papers and notes, to the organizations dealing with the conservation of the Neotropical Region, and during the COP7 to the representatives of each Contracting Party of the Ramsar Convention in May 1999. (Journal available to scan)


The project "Capacitación para el Manejo y Conservación de los Humedales Costeros Tropicales con énfasis en los Manglares" was completed. Three training courses were carried out with the support of the Merida University. 23 participants attended the first course on the Ecological Basis for Management of Coastal Ecosystems, 31 May - 11 June 1999; 12 participants attended the course on Ecology and Management of Tropical Estuaries, 21 June - 2 July, 1999; and 12 participants attended the course on Analysis and Simulation of Ecosystems: A natural Resources Research and Management tool, 21 June - 2 July, 1999. The total of participants of the cycle of courses was 43 people of 17 institutions and 9 countries. The beneficiaries of the course were the administrative personnel and technicians of institutions involved in conservation, restoration, uses and research in the coastal wetlands like universities, ministries of the Medio Ambiente at federal and state level, and also NGO´s.

The project "The Veracruz Model 1998-1999" was completed. As a result three parallel activities were implemented. A training course on wetland management in Mexico took place in Tepic, Nayarit, 24 May - 6 June 1999 and was attended by 43 participants from nine countries, from both government and non-government agencies and academia. June 1999 was declared "Wetlands Month". This event included a photograph contest, an art contest for children, wetland-related conferences, videos, radio and TV programs. A final document was prepared describing the wetlands’ present status in Nayarit, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Michioacán and Colima states respectively. It is expected that this document will generate the basis to initiate a diagnostic plan for these wetlands. The Government of Mexico, through the Secretariat of Environment (SEMANARP), supported this workshop.

The project on "Training for the wise use of wetlands and the promotion of responsible fishing in the Reserva de la Biosfera La Encrucijada" was completed in 1999. 10 participants belonging to six fishing cooperatives and 3 participants of the technical staff of the Reserva de la Biosfera La Encrucijada were trained in the wise use and conservation of wetlands. Through the visits to fishing and fish-farming producers as well as people involved in eco-friendly activities in Veracruz, Tabasco, Logwood, Yucatan and Quinta States, the fishermen had the opportunity to share experiences with other producers, institutions and researchers. The experience obtained extended their knowledge and vision for the development of their activities. (Photos available)


Workshop on Conservation of Wetlands in the South Pacific , 20-21 October 1999. 41 participants from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Wetlands International and the Ramsar Bureau attended the workshop. Each country presented a summary of its country report identified priority areas of cooperation as well as possible sites for designation as Ramsar sites.

St. Lucia

The project on Capacity building in participatory wetlands management of the Trinidad and Tobago Forestry Division was held in Jamaica in May 1999. The grant from WFF permitted the participation of two officers from the Trinidad and Tobago Forestry Division in a two-week regional training course on Skills and Methods for Participatory and Collaborative Natural Resource Management. The two officers, Mr. McVorran and Mr. Rampersadcourse found the course highly relevant to their work, particularly the activities related to the stimulation of local participation in the management of the Nariva Swamp, a Ramsar site


From 8 to 19 March 1999, three staff members of the Nature Conservation Division, Surinam Forest Service, participated in a two-week training program at the Wildlife Section, Forestry Division of Trinidad y Tobago. The aim of the training was to exchange the knowledge of the trainees on management and public awareness with regard to Ramsar’s "wise use" concept and guidelines and that the trainees also become trainers for other reserve managers and game wardens in Suriname. The Management of the Caroni Swamp and conditions for entering the Caroni Swamp prohibited area and the Ramsar implementation wetland management program Plum Mitan community in the Nariva Swamp were the main topics of the training. Comments about the training were favorable. The participants were convinced that the training gave them a brighter view of how implementation between countries should done on a regular basis, so that they can learn more of each other.


The project on public information skills workshop for Ramsar Administrative Authority staff and conservation groups in Mesoamerica was completed. The workshop took place in San Jose, Costa Rica, 3-6 March 1999 and was focused specifically on wetlands conservation in advance of the COP7. In addition 15 participants were trained in how to communicate their message to the press, the general public, government agencies and local communities. More information available at http://RAINFOREST-ALLIANCE.ORG/news/archives/news/ news18.html

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