World Wetlands Day 2001: Algeria
World Wetlands Day celebrations in Algeria
The Bureau's Anada Tiéga reports on his participation in WWD2001 Algeria:
The World Wetland Day celebration in Algiers was a big event, bringing together Government officials, some Members of the Parliament, NGOs representatives, some of the accredited members of the Diplomatic Corps in Algeria, children, teachers and students with a strong media coverage that started on February 1. I have had several interviews with journalists from TV, and radio stations and newspapers.
I was the first speaker during the official ceremony and my statement was on the African priorities for the implementation of the Convention during the present triennium. I took this opportunity to bring the Ramsar priorities for Africa to the mind of the audience.
In this regard, I made an emphasis on the following priority actions to be taken during the present triennium:
- Continue to promote membership of the Convention in the Africa region, especially in Central Africa, Southern Africa, and the island states.
- Encourage formulation and implementation of National Wetland Policies / Strategies / Action Plans.
- Encourage legislative review and practices which have positive impacts on wetlands.
- Promote legislative instruments and actions which address the impacts of toxic chemicals and pollution.
- Encourage production and dissemination of "Wise Use" publications.
- Promote actions that incorporate economic valuation of wetlands into national planning processes.
- Encourage preparation and implementation of management plans which include wetland restoration and rehabilitation practices.
- Encourage private sector involvement in the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
- Promote inventories of wetlands which include a directory of important wetlands in each Contracting Party
- Promote further designation of Ramsar sites and encourage Contracting Parties to provide appropriate and updated information on all Ramsar sites.
I made a short summary of the major achievements in Algeria concerning these prorities with an emphasis on Ramsar site designation and the private sector involvement. In this regard, it was for me a good opportunity to give to the Minister of Agriculture the new Ramsar site certificates. I also indicated our satisfaction for the involvement of the private sector, especially the companies which sponsored the WWD ceremony. I seized the opportunity to express our thanks to WWF International which provided financial support for the designation of 10 Ramsar sites.
In his speech the Minister of Agriculture indicated that Algeria will soon take steps for the establishment of a National wetland Committee that will involve representative of all major players on wetland management. He also mentioned that a legislative review will be undertaken so as to take into account wetland issues and concerns into the water legislation and other sectoral legislative framework. The minister also indicated that Algeria is planning to designate 10 more sites in 2001. However, they recognize that the new Ramsar sites are to be endowed with management plans that promote their conservation and wise use.
In the afternoon an awareness campaign on wetland issues was organised with teachers and children from a range of schools. The WWD event in Algeria was also organised at provincial level. We will receive a number of materials later and Dwight will have these materials for our Web site.
Overall it was well worth being there with the representative of one of our International Organisation Partner, Mr. Denis Landenbergue from WWF International. He made a statement after mine in which he revealed that Algeria is the first Ramsar Contracting Party to complete the designation of 10 Ramsar sites through the Living Waters Campaign programme.
Regional Coordinator for Africa
Bureau of the Ramsar Convention
Denis Landenbergue, WWF Living Waters Campaign, with the press in Algiers, World Wetlands Day, 2001
View text reports on the ten Ramsar sites newly designated on World Wetlands Day
and, if time permits, view a photo essay on these same sites