WWF's European Freshwater Team
WWF European Freshwater Team meeting at Tour du Valat
On 2-6 April, the WWF European Freshwater Team met for its first meeting with a new coordination unit, headed by Andreas Wurzer, at their new office, situated in the Camargue (Rhone delta) Ramsar Site in southern France at the premises of the Tour du Valat Biological Station (a Mediterranean centre for research and conservation of wetlands, one of the initiators of Ramsar's MedWet Initiative).
Welcomed by Luc Hoffmann, founder and president of Tour du Valat and a former WWF International vice-president, about 40 participants of WWF International and many national WWF organisation, of Wetlands International's Russian programme and the Ramsar Bureau discussed the European input into WWF's Living Waters Target Driven Programme, focusing on issues such as water and agriculture, water and wetland index (presented at the European Regional Meeting on the Ramsar Convention in October 2001), mountain ecoregions, integrated river basin management and the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, as well as the proposed Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and its focus on planning national actions. WWF can provide substantial help to the administrative authorities of Ramsar's Contracting Parties to identify provisional national targets until 31 August 2002, prior to COP8.
The meeting in full debate in Tour du Valat's conference room, established in a former sheep barn, a traditional building of most agricultural estates in the Rhone delta area.
-- reported by Tobias Salathé, Ramsar.