Cooperation on Himalayan wetlands


The Workshop on Wetland Conservation and Wise Use in the Himalayan High Mountains

Following the successful workshop on conservation of high Himalayan mountain wetlands held in Urumqi, China, in August 2002, WWF International, the Ramsar Bureau, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) jointly organised a follow-up workshop on "Wetland Conservation and Wise Use in Himalayan High Mountains" from August 30 to September 1, 2003, in Kathmandu, Nepal. The participants came from eleven countries including the representatives of Administrative Authorities of Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, and Kyrgyz Republic as well as national and international agencies and institutions. The overall goal of the workshop was to strengthen regional cooperation to promote and implement the conservation and sustainable use of high mountain wetlands in the Himalayan region. Financial support was provided by WWF International.

Specific objectives were to strengthen the regional network, initiated in the Urumqi workshop; to identify sites that can be designated as Ramsar sites, with an emphasis on transboundary cooperation; to seek a consensus on establishing a regional center on wetland conservation in the Himalayan high mountains; and to discuss and approve a concept note for further development of a joint project for water resource management of highland lakes.

Further details will be available later on once the outcome papers have been finalised.

The Workshop Participants

The Ramsar Bureau was represented by Dr Guanchung Lei, Regional Coordinator for Asia, and Liazzat Rabbiosi, Regional Assistant for Asia. After the workshop, they met with Dr. Tirtha Man Maskey, Director General, and Narayan Prasad Poudel, Deputy Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, the Administrative Authority of Nepal for the Ramsar Convention. During the meeting, the outcomes of the workshop were discussed as well as the three new Nepalese sites proposed for the designation as the Wetlands of International Importance.

The Opening Presidium of the workshop (from left to right): Dr. Mahesh Baskota, IUCN Nepal, Biksham Gujja, WWF International, Dr. Gabriel Campbell, Director General of ICIMOD, Mr. Shah Fateh Ali Miah, Director General of Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development Board, Dr. Guanchung Lei of Ramsar, and Prof Jian Liu, ICIMOD

The poster in front of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation

Rice paddies of Kathmandu, artificial wetlands

Patan Darbar Square, a World Heritage site

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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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