The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 2 June 2001

Wetlands International and The Netherlands collaborate on innovative programme for wetlands. To explore a new way of working with its development assistance partners, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its Directoraat-Generaal Internationale Samenwerking (DGIS), has concluded an agreement with Wetlands International over cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. DGIS is providing Euro 2.2 million (US$ 2 million) to Wetlands International for an initial period from 1 April 2001 to 30 June 2002 inclusive, for delivery of a Programme on Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands. Beneficiaries of the fund will include DGIS target countries and neighbouring countries sharing a common resource, such as water catchments or fisheries. The programme also gives direct support to eligible International Conventions and Agreements including: Ramsar / Wetlands International Joint Work Plan, Ramsar / CBD Joint Work Plan, CBD/Ramsar River Basin Initiative, Ramsar Training and Advisory Service, World Commission on Dams Report and follow up actions, Work Plans with other relevant conventions (e.g. under preparation, notably CMS – the Bonn Convention on migratory species and their habitats). Here're some more details on this very welcome programme. [02/06/01]

MedWet/Com4 meets in Sesimbra. The 4th meeting of the Committee of the Mediterranean Wetland Initiative (MedWet) has just taken place in Sesimbra, Portugal, 21-23 May 2001. The meeting, attended by over 60 members of the Committee and observers from throughout the Mediterranean Basin, was splendidly organised and hosted by the Instituto da Conservaçâo da Natureza (ICN), Portugal, at the Hotel do Mar, Sesmibra, a fishing village south of Lisbon. Formal reports will appear here later, but here is a preliminary report of the themes discussed in plenary, MedWet Inventory workshop, and the technical session on Mediterranean salinas. [28/05/01]

River Basin Initiative 'design workshop' advances the cause. The RBI is a joint Ramsar-CBD initiative under the Joint Work Plan and is the major tangible demonstration of how such plans can and should be operationalised. The Design Workshop, held in Wageningen, 14-16 May, involved both international partner organizations (including Ramsar IOPs and other NGOs, global biodiversity and water resource management organizations, and multilateral and bilateral donors) and, through Netherlands Government resourcing to Wetlands International, a number of country representatives. The workshop reviewed and advanced the present design of the Initiative, particularly in relation to the preparation of a project submission to UNDP-GEF (part funding for the workshop came through a PDF-A grant from UNDP to develop the work). Dr Nick Davidson, Ramsar's representative to the meeting, says that "the partnership approach of the Initiative is already yielding significant opportunities for working together to better mainstream wetlands and biodiversity issues into water resource management, to provide a 'clearing-house' of information exchange on wetlands, biodiversity and river basin management, and develop analyses and reporting to contribute to better information and understanding of these issues as guidance for Ramsar Parties, CBD through its inland waters programme of work, other environmental conventions and partner organizations." [18/05/01]

Pakistan designates eight new Ramsar sites. The Ramsar Bureau is delighted to announce the Government of Pakistan’s designation of eight new Wetlands of International Importance, with a total of 222,246 hectares, bringing that Party’s total number of Ramsar sites to 16. The new sites include an extensive mangrove forest extending along Gawater Bay on the Arabian Sea to the Iranian border, and contiguous with Iran’s Govater Bay and Hur-e-Bahu Ramsar site; an uninhabited island off the coast, as well as other sandy beach coastal sites, which are important for endangered Olive Ridley and Green turtles; a 170-km stretch of the Indus River that is vital for the survival of the once-common Indus dolphin; and much more. IUCN-Pakistan and WWF-Pakistan have both been very active, not only in biodiversity studies and management planning for these areas, but also in technical preparations for these Ramsar designations. View brief descriptions, with photos and some very interesting details, right here. [14/05/01]

Agenda papers and pre-meeting documentation for the 4th European regional meeting on the Ramsar Convention. Beginning now, and progressing in the coming months. [01/05/01]

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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