The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 4 January 2001

The Wetland Values and Functions info pack has been reprinted here in its resplendent entirety; World Wetlands Day inspirational message from the Secretary General (English, French, & Spanish versions); Winners of SWS's Ramsar grants for 2001. [29/12/00]

Two Ramsar Advisory Mission reports from 1988: no. 8, Parc national d'oiseaux du Djoudj and no. 9, Réserve spéciale de faune du N’diaël, Sénégal. [29/12/00]

Participatory Management Networking Service (PMNS) getting started. Amongst all its many deep deliberations, the 25th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee pondered the question of the implementation of Resolution VII.8 on participation of local communities and indigenous people in wetland management, and at the end of the day welcomed the joint initiative by IUCN, WWF, and the Ramsar Bureau to establish a Participatory Management Networking Service (PMNS), to be managed by IUCN’s Social Policy Programme (Decision SC25-8). The Participatory Management Networking Service (PMNS) is intended to facilitate the dissemination of information concerning participatory management of natural resources (Collaborative Management, Community-Based Management and Indigenous Peoples Management). PMNS will link existing networks and institutions to promote a better flow of rich and diverse experience, providing a common space to share lessons learned, it is said. Learn a bit more about it here. [21/12/00]

'Wetland Values and Functions' info pack now available. As part of the Ramsar Convention’s contribution to World Wetlands Day 2001, the Bureau has prepared an information pack, in English, French, and Spanish versions, consisting of ten fact sheets on the values and functions of wetlands. Individual single-page front-and-back two-color fact sheets cover the basic ideas, and wherever possible assign monetary values, in order to help demonstrate the importance of wetlands in the most fundamental economic and cost-benefit terms. Topics covered include: Flood Control, Groundwater Replenishment, Shoreline Stabilisation & Storm Protection, Sediment & Nutrient Retention and Export, Climate Change Mitigation, Water Purification, Reservoirs of Biodiversity, Wetland Products, Recreation/ Tourism, and Cultural Value. Get more detail and ordering information here. [19/12/00] 

Ramsar exhibit replicated on posters. The "Ramsar Exhibit" was unveiled in May 2000 to deafening applause and has already stunned crowds of passersby in large venues in Nairobi, Québec City, Tokyo, Amman, and Bonn. Now, on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2001 and the 30th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Ramsar Bureau has come to the aid of all those Friends of Wetlands yearning for their own Ramsar Exhibits and has developed a poster exhibit which reproduces in a relatively low-cost manner that very same magnificent original.  Like its parent, the Ramsar Poster Exhibit was designed by Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland and funded by the communications segment of the Evian Project, financed for the Ramsar Convention by the private-sector Danone Group and the French GEF. Get more detail and ordering information here. [19/12/00]

Ramsar 30th Anniversary poster is ready in time for World Wetlands Day 2001. 2 February 2001 is the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the city of Ramsar, Iran, and a new poster has been developed to commemorate the Convention's work in alleviating the worst effects of the continuing loss of wetland values and functions around the world. This sobering outreach item is guaranteed to cast a long shadow over any festive occasion and invite earnest inquiries about what we can do to reverse present trends -- it's available in reasonable quantities in the three Ramsar languages, and more details are available here. [16/12/00]

Ramsar inventory workshop produces "Inventory Route Map". The Wetland Inventory Training Workshop, organized by the Ramsar Bureau and the IUCN East Africa Regional Office and held in Kampala, Uganda, 6-9 December 2000 with funding support from Switzerland’s Ramsar Africa Grant, included participants from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The purpose of the workshop was to define the needs for wetland inventory in relation to wise wetland use at national and local levels; examine the choices of wetland inventory types to provide the most cost-effective information that is required; discuss the various methods and approaches to wetland inventory and the minimum information needed; and learn from the practical experiences of Uganda and other countries involved in inventories, amongst other goals. The meetings developed an "Inventory Route Map" from the African perspective, and this will be fed into the ongoing work of the Convention’s subsidiary scientific body (the STRP) on wetland inventory methodologies. This very interesting "Route Map" is still unofficial, but this Microsoft PowerPoint presentation may be of interest to many members of the Ramsar family and is available for download here. [16/12/00]

United Kingdom extends Ramsar site in the Western Isles. The site known as North Uist Machair and Islands, Phase 1 (RS no. 1004, 1,560 hectares, designated July 1999) in the Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland has now got its "Phase 2", effective 3 November, with the integration of further nearby SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) into the site. The word "machair" refers to areas of grassland upon sand, commonly behind coastal sand dunes in northwestern Scotland. The Ramsar site, now including 4,705 hectares in this astonishingly beautiful area, qualifies under Criterion 6 by supporting internationally important numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover during the breeding season and Barnacle Goose, Ringed Plover, and Turnstone during the winter. The total designation, which is also a Special Protection Area under the EC Directive, now includes four sites on the west and north coasts of North Uist and all or part of three islands in the Sound of Harris south of Lewis and Harris. The RSPB maintains a small visitors’ centre and guided walks at the Balranald Bog part of the site. The spread of the invasive American mink is considered to be a potential threat and measures are being taken. [15/12/00]

Society of Wetland Scientists unveils its Ramsar Support Grant Program Awards for 2001.Eric Gilman, chair of the SWS International Committee, has announced the names of the winners of the SWS Ramsar Support Framework grants programme, which offers four US$ 5,000 grants annually to SWS members in developing countries who are engaged in work aimed at implementing the Ramsar Convention, funded jointly by the SWS and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The winning projects for 2001 are those by Paul Mafabi, Programme Coordinator of Uganda's National Wetlands Programme; Milan Valachovic of the Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Department of Geobotany, Slovakia; Sergio Gabriel Domber, Manager of the Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, Argentina; and Edgar Gonzales of the Asociación Kechua Aymara para la Conservación de la Naturaleza y el Desarrollo Sostenible (ANDES) and Indigenous People’s Biodiversity Network (IPBN), NGOs based in Peru, jointly with Francesco Giro, Director of Fundación Natura, Spain. Brief descriptions of these projects can be seen here on this site, as can a basic run-down on the SWS Ramsar programme with last year's winning projects. [14/12/00]

Mexico names a new site in theYucatán Peninsula. The Ramsar Bureau is delighted to report that Mexico has designated, as its 7th Wetland of International Importance, "Dzilam (reserva estatal)" (61,707 ha; 21°35’N 088°35’W). Dzilam is a coastal and marine reserve located in the north of the Yucatán Peninsula, adjacent to the Ría Lagartos Ramsar site. The site includes a unique hydrological system, "anillo de cenotes", a formation caused by the impact of a huge meteor. This site comprises various habitats: marine areas of the continental platform, seagrass beds, intertidal lagoons, sandy dune shores, flooded jungle, dry low jungle and medium height jungle. The site provides important habitat for more than 20,000 waterbirds, such as the Mexican pink flamingo and many other migratory species. It is also an important habitat for a wide diversity of species and life history stages of fish, molluscs and crustaceans, some of them with a high commercial value, and it provides habitat for several endemic, threatened and endangered species of cactus, reptiles and amphibians. The site has extremely important cultural values, as it was an area of residence of prehispanic cultures. 14,000 hectares of the site belong to private landowners. About 68% of the population residing in the area derive their livelihoods from fishing, hunting and agriculture, 8.5% from trade, 7.5% from industry, 4% from tourism, and the rest work for the government. This is the 1044th Ramsar site globally. [11/12/00]  [français et/y español]

Mauritania designates its third Ramsar site. The Ramsar Bureau is very pleased to announce that Mauritania has designated its third Wetland of International Importance, as of 10 November 2000. "Chat Tboul" (15,500 ha; roughly 16°33’N 16°24’W) lies along the Atlantic coast, immediately north of the Parc National du Diawling Ramsar site, around a former mouth of the Senegal river. Behind a ca.10km strip of coastal dunes, in some areas with a cover of Sahelian-type vegetation, the site includes a number of wetland types, from both permanent and temporary brackish and saline lakes and pools, estuarine waters, intertidal mud/sand flats and forested wetlands, sandy shores, and intertidal marshes. The site qualifies under the uniqueness and biodiversity Criteria, as well as under the 1% threshold for waterbirds (6) -- with several species (including Pelecanus onocrotalus, Phoenicopterus ruber, Larus genei, and Recurvirostra avosetta) meeting that standard -- and under Criterion 8 on importance for fish stocks. A number of small-scale traditional fishing and transhumant grazing practices are seen in the area, which also receives an annual allotment of fresh water under the management plan of the Diawling Park. Possible threats are foreseen from a proposal concerning evacuation of agricultural run-off from rice fields and from overexploitation of coastal fish stocks, as well as from the spread of shrimp and lobster farming. This is the 1043th Ramsar site globally. [9/12/00]  [français et/y español]

Wetlands International's Specialist Groups workshop furthers Ramsar objectives. On Nov 4-5, Wetlands International held a 2-day workshop involving its global and regional staff, Specialist Groups, other of Ramsar's International Partner Organizations (BirdLife, IUCN) and Ramsar Bureau staff (Nick Davidson and Tobias Salathé). The Workshop's primary aim was to review the working relationships between the various parts of Wetlands International's network and to chart a strategic direction for its future work. A number of key areas of activity were identified for future development - work that will further strengthen the valuable role that Wetlands International delivers as one of the Ramsar Convention’s four International Partner Organizations. As part of the meetings, Wetlands International hosted workshops to further develop Ramsar site selection and designation guidance for wet grasslands, peatlands and threatened waterbirds - part of its lead role as a member of Ramsar's STRP - and reviewed the draft project concept for a Ramsar Wetlands Training and Advisory Service, prepared by Wetlands International for the Ramsar Bureau and recently endorsed by the Standing Committee. [8/12/00]

Inventory training workshop now under way in Uganda. The Ramsar Bureau's Anada Tiéga (left) is in Kampala, Uganda, for the second Ramsar African training session on National Wetland Inventory. This workshop, 6-8 December, is intended for English-speaking African officers and has been funded from the Swiss African Grant, generously maintained every year over the past decade or so by the Government of Switzerland for Ramsar's wetland conservation actions in Africa. The first National Wetland Inventory training session, attended by French-speaking Contracting Parties in Africa, was held in Cameroon in March 2000 and financed from the Evian Project, supplied to the Ramsar Convention by the private sector Danone Group. [5/12/00]

Final report of Evian training project in Papua New Guinea. Aaron Jenkins, Wetlands International - Oceania, reports on the successful results of a wetlands training/survey project carried out in July 2000 under the auspices of the Ramsar Convention's Evian Project, with generous funding from the private sector Danone Group. Here is his brief report, with a few photos.  [28/11/00]

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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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