New book celebrates Portugal's Ramsar sites


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Farinha, João Carlos, et al. Zona Húmidas Portuguesas de Importância Internacional : Sítios inscritos na Convenção de Ramsar. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza, 2001. Illus., maps. 88 pages, hardcover. ISBN 972-775-048-6.

portugal-book.jpg (24292 bytes)The Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICN) and the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning have just published a well-produced book on Portugal's wetlands of international importance, notably the twelve sites on the Ramsar List (authors: João Carlos Farinha, Luís Costa, Anabela Trindade, Paula Rito Araújo & Emilia Paula Silva). The book contains one-page descriptions of each Ramsar Site, coupled with general site maps and landscape photographs; thus providing a handsome overview of the current Ramsar Sites in mainland Portugal (there are none designated as yet on the islands). In addition, there is a 30-page overview on the Convention on Wetlands, its obligations, themes (Ramsar Sites, Wise Use, Nature Reserves and Training, International Cooperation) and history, as well as useful lists of the Ramsar Classification of Wetland Type and the Criteria for Identifying Wetlands of International Importance in Portuguese. A specific chapter presents MedWet, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative, a successful programme of regional cooperation started over ten years ago. The functioning of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee and the active contribution by Portugal and ICN, notably in the fields of wetland inventory, database and monitoring, is briefly illustrated. Selected bibliographic references and addresses of wetland organisations, a summary of ICN's strategic plan based upon Ramsar's current Strategic Plan, plus an executive summary in English complete the valuable work. This could become a model of a high-quality information and communications tool for the Convention on Wetlands at national level and beyond. Hopefully, other Contracting Parties will view it and become inspired.

-- reported by Tobias Salathé, Ramsar.

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