The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 4 August 2001
4 August 2001
Tobias Salathé, Regional Coordinator for Europe, is participating at the 6th Living Lakes Conference "Water Quality and Traditions in Lake Areas", 27 July to 4 August at Ulan Ude, Lake Baikal, Russian Federation, local costs to be supplied by the Global Nature Fund. [15/07/01]
New on the Site: Call for nominations for the Wetland Conservation Award; Summary of decisions of STRP10 (English), French and Spanish to follow; Ramsar Camargue self-indulgent photos. [15/07/01]
Ramsar signs MOC with Ducks Unlimited. At a ceremony on Saturday 21st July at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Washington, Mr Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, Mr D.A. (Don) Young, Executive Vice-President of Ducks Unlimited USA, Mr Rod Fowler, Executive Vice-President of Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Sr Eduardo Carrera, Director General of Ducks Unlimited México, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to strengthen the working relationship between the Ramsar Convention and the three sister organizations of Ducks Unlimited.
With over one million supporters, Ducks Unlimited (DU) is a leading NGO in the conservation of wetlands and their waterbirds in North America. Following the new MOC, DU will use its extensive networks of partners, representatives, Associate Organizations and experts to further the work of the Convention in the region, and both Ramsar and DU will explore the scope for specific initiatives of further cooperation such as exchanges of staff, joint projects and publications. Here's the text of the MOC and a press release from Ducks Unlimited. [24/07/01]
Call for nominations for the Wetland Conservation Award. The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award was established in 1996 by Resolution VI.18 in order to recognize and honor the contributions of individuals, organizations, and governments around the world towards promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands. It was awarded for the first time at the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (San José, Costa Rica, 1999) (1999 winners' profiles, ceremony photos). The Ramsar Standing Committee, in October 2000, revised the criteria and procedures for adjudicating the Award and determined to select three winners for presentation at the 8th Conference of the Parties, to be held in Valencia, Spain, from 18-26 November 2002. The Committee gratefully accepted the offer of the Danone Group (France) to complement the Ramsar Award with the Evian Special Prize, a cash prize of US$ 10.000, which will be granted to each of the three laureates who will receive the Award at COP8.
Nominations are encouraged of persons, organizations, or government agencies that have taken initiatives which have contributed significantly to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of a wetland site or group of wetlands, especially those initiatives which might serve as inspirational or practical examples for others. Look here for a reprint of the explanatory brochure and forms for nomination in English, French, and Spanish and in a variety of formats. [15/07/01]
Ramsar Newsletter 32 is now on the stands. To those many librarians round the world who have inquired whether they've been dropped from the subscription list of the quarterly Ramsar Newsletter, since they haven't received a single quarterly issue since Newsletter 31 a year ago, we can report "it's okay now" and you can begin updating your records. Newsletter 32, after many adventures, is now being posted to its 5000 subscribers from the Bureau, in English, French, and Spanish versions. With lead stories on the cultural heritage of wetlands and 16 pages of news of recent Contracting Parties and new Ramsar sites, as well as brief background items on recent important meetings, Ramsar Advisory Missions, and cooperative agreements with other environmental instruments, Newsletter 32 lends tangible weight, body, and archival librariness to the news that all readers of the Ramsar Web site having been enjoying, usually in somewhat greater detail and with better photos, over the past 1.42% of our lifespans (using Dante's estimate of 70 years).
Physical copies of Ramsar Newsletter 32 can be got from the Ramsar Bureau (email@example.com) in English, French, and/or Spanish, and free-of-charge subscriptions to future issues can be arranged the same way -- hopefully the next quarterly issue will be ready before July 2002. Adobe Acrobat PDF versions are available on this Web site in English, French, and Spanish, about 400kb filesize. [15/07/01]
Russian poster on Ramsar classification now available. The Wetlands International Russia Programme has produced a fine poster introducing the Ramsar Wetland Classification system in Russian. It is simple, with nice pictures, and explains the codes used for description of the main wetland types (as approved by Rec.4.7 and Res.VI.5 of the COP), including marine and coastal, inland, and human-made wetlands. It has been published thanks to financial support from Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries. You are most welcome to request the poster, just e-mail, call or fax to the Wetlands International Russia office: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , tel: +095 7270939, fax: +095 7270938. Reported by Inga Racinska, Ramsar. [15/07/01]
International Conference on Freshwater. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany will be hosting the International Conference on Freshwater, as announced at the 6th meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. The Conference will take place from 3 - 7 December 2001, in Bonn, Germany and there an informative Web site has been set up for it at http://www.water-2001.de. Further information is available from Ms Ulrike Kelm, International Conference on Freshwater, Tulpenfeld 7, 53113 Bonn, Germany (Tel: +49-(0)228-280 46 57, Fax: +49-(0)228-280 46 60, email@example.com ).
As part of the supporting documents available on this Web site, the lucky reader will find "Biodiversity and International Water Policy: International Agreements and Experiences Related to the Protection of Freshwater Ecosystems", 36-page paper commissioned by the Bundesministerium and written by Drs Axel Klaphake, Waltina Scheumann, and Rainer Schliep of the Technical University of Berlin. This extraordinarily thorough paper studies "an emerging global framework for action" particularly through the CBD, the Ramsar Convention, the UNFCCC, and the Convention on International Watercourses. Many other global, regional, and local agreements are also considered, however. To read this paper in either Word (big file!!) or Adobe PDF format, go to http://www.water-2001.de and hit the Supporting Studies button in the little mouse-over menu thingie in the lefthand frame. [11/07/01]
Additional stuff. The Camargue in southern France, part of the delta of the Rhône river into the Mediterranean, is one of Europe's greatest wetlands, and certainly one of its best-managed wetlands. No wonder, then, that Ramsar Bureau staff and friends should wish to investigate what's really going on down there. Tobias Salathé led us there, and here is the report. [11/07/01}
Bureau Technical Officer for COP8 appointed. The Ramsar Bureau is pleased to announce that Carlos Villalba from Spain has accepted the position of COP8 Technical Officer with funding provided by the Government of Spain. Carlos will start on 1 September 2001 and will be with the secretariat until 31 December 2002. His main duties will be to assist the Deputy Secretary General, Dr Nick Davidson, in the preparation of the Technical Sessions at COP8, but he will also assist with the workshops under the Global Biodiversity Forum and side events during the COP. Carlos has a particular interest in computers, so he should also be able to assist the Ramsar webmaster in COP8-related Web issues, as well as with the Bureaus Power Point presentations for the COP. [10/7/01]
Other staff news. New MedWet Coordination leaders come on board. The Secretary General has announced that Spyros Kouvelis will formally take up his functions as MedWet Coordinator in Athens on 15 July 2001. So too will Mr Nejib Benessaiah, working 40% of his time, as Policy Advisor in the MedWet Coordination Unit. More background is available here. [10/07/01]
New docs and pix. STRP's 10th meeting report and photos are ready now. The course of wetland conservation and wise use has been put back on track -- thirty-four formal decisions in the end, so that's good, that's progress!! The last meeting of this triennium's Scientific and Technical Review Panel is history, though the Expert Working Groups will be carrying on over the next few months finalizing their documents for consideration and endorsement by Standing Committee in December. It was an exceptional meeting in many ways, not only for the rapid progress with a large number of guidance documents for presentation to the next Conference of the Parties, but also for the invaluable contributions of representatives from the other Multilateral Environmental Agreements, observer organizations, and invited experts, in addition to the STRP members and observer organizations. Two days of working group workshops, three days of plenary sessions, one reception, one dinner, all worth a toast (photo left), and a promise to gather again in Valencia in 2002 to help us all get through the next COP (shudder). Click here. [09/07/01]
Ramsar squooshes turtles in Cuba. As part of the "III Congress on Environment and Development: 10 years after Rio" in Havana, Cuba, Ramsars Margarita Astrálaga, Denis Landenbergue of WWFs Living Waters Campaign, and Julia Langer of WWF Cuba offered a special session for Cuban professionals on "Wetland Conservation and Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Cuba", 21 June 2001. The primary objective of the session is to discuss future actions and management activities in the Ciénaga de Zapata (452,000 ha) in Matanzas province, Cubas first Ramsar site recently designated with assistance from WWFs Living Waters Campaign and WWF Canada. More information and some great photos here. [07/07/01]
New report available. Use of the Swiss Grant for Africa fund for 2000. Read it here. Four exemplary projects funded by the Government of Switzerland through the Ramsar Bureau, totaling 140,000 Swiss francs: 1. Continuation of the work on the formulation of an integrated management plan for the Okavango Delta in Botswana. 2. Formulation of a management plan for the Manambolomaty Ramsar Site in Madagascar. 3. Coordinating mechanisms for a joint implementation of environment-related conventions. 4. Communication capacity in Sierra Leone. Excellent Africa wetlands information here! [03/07/01]
International Association for Impact Assessment signs Memo with Ramsar. In recognition of the fact that the IAIA and the Ramsar Convention share many common objectives in ensuring that the ecological, social, and economic effects of development projects on wetlands are taken into account in the decision-making process and seeking to solidify the fruitful cooperation that has been growing between the two bodies, particularly because of IAIA participation in the work of Ramsars Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) the President of IAIA, Elvis Au, and the Secretary General of the Convention, Delmar Blasco, have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on 22 June 2001 which lays out those common objectives and formalizes future cooperation and a framework for joint activities. The text of the new agreement is available here. [27/06/01]
Update on the revivification of Wetland Link International. A few years ago, Wetland Link International (WLI), a programme of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) based in the UK, operated a successful network of wetland education centres, encouraging the sharing of information and exchange of expertise, particularly through its exemplary newsletter. Budgetary difficulties forced a brief hiatus, but WLI is presently being revivified in the context of the Ramsar Conventions Outreach Programme. Ramsar Resolution VII.9 (San José, 1999) identified wetland education centres as key locations for promoting the principles of wetland conservation and wise use through CEPA activities, and it also identified WLI as the key organization to assist the Contracting Parties in this area of work. Here is Ramsars Sandra Hails briefing on WLI to the members of the Communication, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA) e-mail list, linking to a position paper by Doug Hulyer of WWT with a call for comments. These new developments will be interesting to everyone involved in the work of wetland interpretation and visitors centres. [27/06/01]
STRP converges upon Gland. The members and observers of the Conventions Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), and a number of invited experts, are descending upon Gland for the 10th meeting of the Panel. Yesterday, June 25th, the Expert Working Group on Climate Change huddled throughout the entire day, in discussions with a representative of IPCC amongst other things, and today, Tuesday the 26th, there are concurrent morning and afternoon sessions of many of the other Working Groups, in which group members assess their progress and plan their presentations to plenary. From Wednesday to Friday, the Panel will meet in plenary and work its way through an astonishingly bulky agenda, reviewing the draft guidance documents so far produced and reaching agreement on how best to finalize them for Standing Committees consideration and forwarding to the 8th meeting of the n. Well known for his work on Mediterranean wetland issues, particularly in connection with IUCN and Tour du Valat, Jamie most recently served as Senior Environment Adviser with the secretariat of the World Commission on Dams, which has recently completed its mandate. The new IUCN regional programme is presently being established, under a framework agreement signed among IUCN and Spanish national and regional authorities last December. [26/06/01]
More to follow. Watch this space. Feedback and suggestions are welcome to: the Ramsar Convention Bureau, Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland (tel +41 22 999 0170, fax +41 22 999 0169, e-mail . Updated regularly by Dwight Peck, Ramsar Bureau.