World Summit on Sustainable Development -- WWF/Ramsar press conference on protecting wetlands

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Programme for freshwater conservation announcement at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, South Africa - 2002

What: Press Conference and Ministerial Announcement

"Protecting Wetlands for a Water-Secure Future" to recognise exceptional designations of Wetlands of International Importance and their contribution to sustainable development.

When: August 27, 2002, 15:30 - 16:30

Where: The Executive Dining Room, Nedcor Sandton, C Block, Ground Floor, 135 Rivonia Road, Sandown, Sandton - map on reverse

Who: The event will be co-hosted by Director General of WWF, Claude Marti,n and the Secretary General of the Ramsar Bureau, Delmar Blasco, with special remarks by Chief Emeka Anyaoku, President of WWF and former Secretary General of The Commonwealth and His Excellency Minister Ronnie Kasrils (Water Affairs and Forestry) and chaired by His Excellency Minister Mohammed Valli Moosa (Environmental Affairs and Tourism).

Background: By the time of the opening of the Summit, Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Chad, China, Guinea, Peru, Tanzania and Zambia will have each, in 2002, designated more than a half million hectares of freshwater areas as Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. The commitments of these nine countries add up to 22 million hectares, representing over one quarter of the total area of wetlands recognised by Ramsar in the previous 30 years since the Convention was signed in 1971. The Ramsar Bureau and WWF plan to use this announcement to inspire other countries to follow the example to also protect their freshwater ecosystems, and will take this opportunity to emphasize to the international donor community the importance of these commitments and the related need to contribute greatly increased financial resources for sustainable management of freshwater.


15:30 - 15:35 Introductory remarks by host country Chair of the World Summit His Excellency Mohammed Valli Moosa.

15:35 - 15:40 WWF's Director General Claude Martin on importance of this achievement for sustainable development.

15:40 - 15:50 Delmar Blasco addresses the role of a long-standing convention such as Ramsar in freshwater conservation and presents certificates to the nine countries.

15:50- 15:55 Mr. Yves Buschenschutz, Director General of Evian Danone, addresses corporate sector support for wetland conservation.

15:55 - 16:00 His Excellency Ronnie Kasrils on examples of sustainable water management illustrating the links with poverty alleviation and ecosystem protection.

16:00 - 16:05 Remarks by Chief Anyaoku on links between poverty alleviation and sustainable development and the need for committed funding for freshwater management.

16:05 Concluding remarks and opening the floor for questions by His Excellency Mohammed Valli Moosa.

WWF press release on the event

WWF Bolivia press release on the event

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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