4th PIANC wetland restoration workshop held in London, March 2001


The 4th meeting of the working group on wetland restoration set up by the International Navigation Association (PIANC) -- "to raise awareness and to provide a technical guidance document targeted at engineers, scientists, developers and managers in the ports and navigation sector, to assist them in planning, design, construction, monitoring and management of fresh and saltwater wetlands, internationally" – was held in London, England, 13-16 March 2001.

The Bureau’s Dr Tobias Salathé is a member of the group (representing the Convention) and participated in their first meeting in Brussels in February 2000. The 2nd meeting was convened in the Bureau’s offices in June 2000, the 3rd one in Rosario, Argentina (without Ramsar participation), and the next ones are planned for June in New Orpianc2a.jpg (13789 bytes)leans and November 2001 in Rotterdam. By then, the guidance document should nearly be ready for final editing and publishing by PIANC.

(right) Participants in the 2nd PIANC restoration workshop, Gland, Switzerland, June 2000

During the meeting last week in London, in a room of Posford Duvivier Ltd. (a partner of the Haskoning Engineering Group) on Dean's Yard of Westminster Abbey, the working group discussed draft versions of most of the chapters for the guidance document (Introduction, Background, Strategic Plan, Site Evaluation, Wetland Functions, Site Construction, Site Management, Monitoring and Evaluation of Success, Case Studies). Tobias agreed to draft a first version for the "Site Management" chapter, recalling existing Ramsar guidelines, etc.

The final product will be the outlined guidance document, following the PIANC format, published as a 50-page A4 booklet (in English and probably also in French), plus a CD-ROM with case studies. It was concluded that for PIANC purposes it would be advantageous to have more substantial case studies than the short highlights (<300 words) foreseen for inclusion in the Ramsar STRP’s wetland restoration mini-Web site. However, the case studies will also be provided to Dr Bill Streever (STRP observer from SWS and BP Amoco) as they come in, leaving him the freedom to use short versions of them on the Ramsar STRP mini-site.

The next meeting is scheduled for 19-20 June 2001 in New Orleans, USA, with a visit to nearby Inner Harbour Navigation Canal Lock, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and Davis Pond and Caernarvon project sites on 18 June, plus an optional visit of the Waterways Experiment Station (US Army Corps of Engineers) near Vicksburg on 21-22 June. Because this occurs just before Ramsar’s 10th STRP meeting, however, it’s not yet clear whether the Bureau will be able to be represented.

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