Symposium on alpine wetlands set for late March 2001

20/03/2001

Symposium on «Mountain Living Waters»

Evian, France - 26 and 27 March 2001

evian2.jpg (2371 bytes)To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the 40th Anniversary of WWF, in the context of panda.gif (879 bytes)WWF’s Living Waters Campaign, and financed by the Ramsar Evian Project «Caring for Water Resources and Water Quality », sponsored by the Danone Group . . .

With the support of the following partners: WWF International, IUCN, the World Conservation Union, the Danone Group, and Evian Mineral Waters . . .

A two-day symposium entitled «Mountain Living Waters» is being organised to prepare a draft resolution for the protection of mountain wetlands of international importance to be submitted to the next Conference of the Contracting Parties to Ramsar in 2002 (Ramsar COP8).

As the Ramsar Convention’s strategies have evolved over the years since its creation in 1971, it has come to focus more upon the protection of water sources and resources. In addition, resolutions adopted at Ramsar COP7 in San José, Costa Rica (1999), promote the inclusion in the Ramsar List of underrepresented wetland types, such as peatlands, and put forward guidelines for identifying and designating karst and other subterranean hydrological systems as Wetlands of International Importance.

Following this example, it is hoped that the Contracting Parties will adopt a specific resolution encouraging the designation of mountain wetlands as Ramsar sites. These wetlands would incorporate underground hydrological systems and glacial areas, peat bogs and mountain lakes. Mountain wetlands play a fundamental role in providing sufficient quality water which is essential for sustaining human life and biodiversity. They also represent a patrimony which is inextricably linked economically and socially to mountainous regions.

It is hoped that countries that have an interest in this issue will support the draft resolution that will be submitted to the next Conference of the Contracting Parties to be held in Valencia, Spain, from 18-26 November 2002.

Themes of the Symposium

  • Importance of the protection of mountains wetlands, including subterranean hydrological systems, glacial areas, peat bogs and mountain lakes.
  • Pilot studies of sites in different mountain regions: Europe (Alps), Asia (Himalayas), Latin America (Andes), Africa (Fouta Djalon) and North America (Rocky mountains)
  • Guidelines for the designation of mountain wetlands as Ramsar sites and draft resolution.
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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
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2,187 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,608,257

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