The Ramsar Toolkit on CD-ROM


United Nations University publishes the Ramsar Wise Use Handbooks on CD-ROM

The Global Environment Information Centre of the United Nations University (UNU/GEIC) in Tokyo, Japan, has recently published the Ramsar Wise Use Handbooks in a CD-ROM version that is now available to the public, free of charge. The print version of the boxed set of nine pamphlets, edited by Sandra Hails, was published by the Ramsar Bureau in May 2000 (, but readers have long expressed a wish to have the whole set available in a handier and more cost-effective format. The new CD-ROM includes the English, French, and Spanish Handbooks in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, with a Web browser interface to facilitate the reader's journey through this wealth of Ramsar lore.

From the informative text accompanying the CD-ROM:

"This series of handbooks has been prepared by the secretariat of the Convention (the Ramsar Bureau) following the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP7) held in San José, Costa Rica, in May 1999. The San José conference was notable for adopting guidelines under each of the three main obligations under the Convention - Wise Use, Wetlands of International Importance and International Cooperation - to add to guidance adopted by previous COPs. These guidelines have been prepared as a series of handbooks to assist those with an interest in, or directly involved with, implementation of the Convention at either the international, regional, national, sub-national or local levels. Other handbooks may be added at a later date.

The handbooks have been prepared in the three working languages of the Convention (English, French and Spanish) and incorporate, where appropriate, material from case studies designed to illustrate key aspects of the guidelines. The full text of most case studies can be found on the World Wide Web site of the Convention at"

This publication project has been headed up by Jerry Velasquez on the UNU/GEIC side and Sandra Hails of the Ramsar Bureau. Naturally, the Toolkit will be updated as needed in the aftermath of Ramsar COP8, set for Valencia, Spain, in November 2002. In the meantime, the Ramsar Convention and its partners around the world will long be grateful to the United Nations University for having undertaken this valuable initiative.

Individuals and organizations wishing to have the new CD for their very own should inform Ramsar at of their postal address and the quantity required.

The photo on the front cover of the CD-ROM is courtesy of Hassan Zaki, WWF/Pakistan.

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