5th European regional meeting on the Ramsar Convention, December 2004

14/09/2004


armenia

5th European Regional Meeting on the implementation and effectiveness of the Ramsar Convention, Yerevan, Armenia, 4-8 December 2004

Annotated Programme and Agenda

Aim of the Meeting

During its 30th meeting, the Convention's Standing Committee recognized the value of mid-term meetings of regional groupings of Contracting Parties and pre-accession countries in preparation of the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to be held in Kampala, Uganda, 7-15 November 2005 with the theme "Wetlands and water - supporting life, sustaining livelihoods".

The 5th Regional Meeting of the European Contracting Parties aims to analyse the major issues and concerns that characterize the expansion of the Convention and its work in the region. It will provide the opportunity to share experience and to discuss common problems, major achievements, and the need for future actions. Each participant is encouraged to engage actively in the debate. To allow so, half of the Meeting time is foreseen for discussions. Oral presentations will be kept to a minimum. They are either short introductions to the discussions on specific topics, or brief presentations of case studies and lessons learnt. Additional background information, baseline documentation, and case studies will be displayed in poster form or made available through hand-outs, display copies, exhibits, and on the Ramsar website. The foremost aim of the Meeting is to physically meet and interact with other people.

Using the Ramsar Tools

Ramsar COPs are substantive meetings that adopt a significant array of guidelines and resolutions (decisions) for the implementation of the Convention. In 2004, the Secretariat published the 2nd edition of the "Ramsar Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands", providing an overview of existing guidelines in 14 volumes. They are available on CD, or can be downloaded at www.ramsar.org/lib_handbooks_e.htm. Further guidelines, requested by COP8, are in preparation by the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) for consideration by COP9. The workshops of the Regional Meeting will discuss their subjects.

In April 2003, Contracting Parties were supplied with the National Planning Tool/National Report Format for COP9. This tool was developed to plan the application of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 at national level. Contracting Parties were asked to prepare National Targets and Actions and to communicate them to the Secretariat. The Regional Meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss experience with the implementation of the actions listed in the Strategic Plan, to identify key issues for the Convention's work in Europe, and to make recommendations for improvement of its regional services.

Programme and Agenda

SATURDAY - 4 DECEMBER 2004

09:00 - 11:00 Guided city walk through central Yerevan (registration needed)

11:00 - 17:00 Registration at welcome desk

14:00 - 17:30 OPENING PLENARY
Chair: Georgy Arzumanyan, Ministry of Nature Protection, Armenia

14:00 Opening and Welcome

Vardan Ayvazyan, Minister of Nature Protection, Armenia
Gordana Beltram, Chair of Ramsar Standing Committee
Nick Davidson, Ramsar Deputy Secretary General

Wetland conservation in Armenia - its contribution to sustainable development and poverty alleviation
Karen Jenderedjian, Ministry of Nature Protection (20 min)

Followed by a media conference.

15:00 coffee/tea

15:40 Adoption of the agenda

  • The role of the Ramsar Convention in the modern world of multilateral environmental agreements
    Gordana Beltram, Chair Standing Committee, Slovenia (20 min)
  • Assessing the effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention
    David Pritchard, STRP, BirdLife International (20 min)
  • From Yerevan to Kampala - procedures and issues for COP9
    Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General (20 min)
  • Aims of this meeting
    Tobias Salathe, Ramsar Secretariat (20 min)

19:00 Dinner Reception
Hosted by the Government of Armenia

SUNDAY - 5 DECEMBER 2004

08:00 - 17:00 Registration at welcome desk

09:00 - 12:30 RAMSAR'S WISE USE CONCEPT IN THE 21st CENTURY
Chair: Vija Busa, Latvia

09:00 Introducing two workshops that focus on major challenges for the Convention. Workshop A addresses the need to establish efficient procedures at national level to assure and improve the implementation of the obligations of the Convention. Workshop B addresses the need for the Convention to adapt in response to the evolving requirements of environmental management in order to achieve sustainable development.

National Wetland Policies and Committees - how efficient are they to further the implementation of the Convention at national level
Gerhard Sigmund, Standing Committee, Austria (20 min)

From wetlands for birds to water for people - needs for integrated water resource management inside and outside of the European Union
Henk Eggink, Standing Committee, the Netherlands (20 min)

10:00 coffee/tea

10:30 - 12:30 Two Parallel Workshops

Each workshop illustrates the theme introduced in plenary from different angles. Presentations of case studies highlight specific aspects and lessons to be learnt. This should trigger a lively discussion amongst all participants on the aspects most important for the Convention. Conclusions of the discussion will be submitted as recommendations to the plenary on the last day of the Meeting.

WORKSHOP A - Chair: Gerhard Sigmund
NATIONAL WETLAND POLICIES AND COMMITTEES
(cf. Ramsar Handbooks 2 and 3)

  • The National Ramsar Committee in Austria - a federally structured country
    Wolfgang Pelikan, Administration of Burgenland (20 min)
  • Experiences with the work of the United Kingdom Ramsar Committee
    Trevor Salmon, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (20 min)
  • Economic incentives for wetland biodiversity conservation in the Republic of Moldova
    Alexandru Teleuta, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources & Aliona Stratan (20 min)

WORKSHOP B - Chair: Henk Eggink
INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
(cf. Ramsar Handbook 12)

  • The River Basin Management Plan - a basis for sustainable water management
    Cristian Rusu, Petru Serban & Graziella Jula, Apele Romana-Romanian Waters (15 min)
  • International cooperation for water and wetland management by the Danube Commission
    Adriana Klindova, Slovak Ministry of the Environment (15 min)
  • Integrated Water Resources Management - experiences from the Loire and Rhine
    Edith Wenger, WWF International (15 min)
  • Using Ramsar's guidelines for water allocation to wetlands in the transboundary Dniester river basin
    Ilya Trombitsky, Eco-Tiras River Keepers' Association, Republic of Moldova (15 min)

14:00 - 17:30 INCREASING OUR CAPACITY TO COPE WITH NEW
REQUIREMENTS

Chair: Dirk Schwenzfeier, Germany

14:00 Introducing two workshops that focus on major needs perceived at European level. Workshop C addresses the role of and the continuing need for sustained communication activities and programmes to increase awareness about wetland values and functions. Workshop D addresses the need for increased cooperation across state borders for the management of shared wetland sites, including the designation and management of transboundary Ramsar sites.

The role and effectiveness of CEPA at local, national and international level
Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat (20 min)

Shared catchments and wetlands - increasing transboundary cooperation
Thymio Papayannis, MedWet Initiative (20 min)

Followed by diploma presentations for the new transboundary Ramsar sites
Vallée de la Haute Sûre (Belgium/Luxembourg) and Upper Tisza (Hungary/Slovakia).

15:00 coffee/tea

15:30 - 17:30 Two Parallel Workshops

Each workshop illustrates the theme introduced in plenary from different angles. Presentations of case studies highlight specific aspects and lessons to be learnt. This should trigger a lively discussion amongst all participants on the aspects most important for the Convention. Conclusions of the discussion will be submitted as recommendations to the plenary on the last day of the Meeting.

WORKSHOP C - Chair: Sandra Hails
THE ROLE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF CEPA ACTIVITIES
(cf. Ramsar Handbook 6)

  • Preparing the national CEPA plan for Spain - a participatory process
    Susana Calvo, Ministry of Environment & Fernando Ramos, Friends of the Earth (20 min)
  • Setting up 'transfer units' for wetland conservation in France
    Pierre-Emmanual Vos, Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development (20 min)
  • Private sponsorship for wetland awareness - the Danone-Evian Ramsar programme
    Christophe Lefebvre, French Conservancy for Coasts and Lakeshores (10 min)
  • CEPA in central and eastern Europe - linking people, wetland sites and birds
    Patrick Triplet, Eurosite network (10 min)

WORKSHOP D - Chair: Thymio Papayannis
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
(cf. Ramsar Handbook 9)

  • The trilateral Wadden Sea Plan - common management of a shared wetland
    Carsten Dettmann, German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety & Jens Enemark, Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (15 min)
  • The Ramsar platform for the Morava-Dyie floodplain and the Carpathian Wetland Initiative
    Jan Kadlecik, Slovakian State Nature Conservancy & Milan Janak, Daphne Institute of Applied Ecology (15 min)
  • Focusing on important transboundary wetlands shared by Lithuania-Belarus and Lithuania-Russia
    Saulius Svazas, Vilnius University & Vidmantas Bezaras, Lithuanian Ministry of Environment
    (15 min)
  • International cooperation for shared lakes in southeastern Europe - the Prespa, Ohrid and Skadar/Shkodra regions
    Zamir Dedej, Albanian Ministry of Environment (15 min)

17:30 - 20:00 Poster Session and informal meetings

MONDAY - 6 DECEMBER 2004

Excursion to lake Sevan Ramsar site according to a specific programme

TUESDAY - 7 DECEMBER 2004

08:30 - 17:00 Registration at welcome desk

09:00 - 12:30 WETLAND INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT
Chair: Jan-Petter Huberth Hansen, Norway

09:00 Introducing two workshops that focus wetland and Ramsar sites. Workshop E addresses wetland inventory and assessment, the basic tool to inform policy and decision makers about the extent and status of wetland ecosystems. Workshop F addresses the "Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance", its objectives and role as a tool for conservation and sustainable development, from local to global levels.

Wetland inventory and assessment - how are we progressing in understanding ongoing development processes and related ecological changes
Doug Taylor, STRP, Wetlands International (20 min)

Implementing the "Strategic Vision for the List"- what do we want to achieve with Ramsar site designations
David Stroud, STRP, United Kingdom (20 min)

10:00 coffee/tea

10:30 - 12:30 Two Parallel Workshops

Each workshop illustrates the theme introduced in plenary from different angles. Presentations of case studies highlight specific aspects and lessons to be learnt. This should trigger a lively discussion amongst all participants on the aspects most important for the Convention. Conclusions of the discussion will be submitted as recommendations to the plenary on the last day of the Meeting.

  • WORKSHOP E - Chair: Doug Taylor
    WETLAND INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT
    (cf. Ramsar Handbook 10)

    Wetland inventory activities in Russia - a review and required action
    Vadim Vinogradov † & Irina Kamennova, Wetlands International (15 min)
  • Wetland inventories in France
    Marie-Claude Ximenes, French Environment Institute (15 min)
  • The national wetland inventory in Croatia - how can it be used
    Eugen Draganovic, Ministry of Culture (15 min)
  • New tools to manage wetland cultural heritage
    María José Viñals, STRP, Polytechnical University Valencia (15 min)

WORKSHOP F - Chair: David Stroud
RAMSAR SITE DESIGNATION
(cf. Ramsar Handbook 7)

  • Development of the Spanish Ramsar list using Natura 2000
    José Ramón Picatoste, Ministry of Environment & Carlos Villalba (15 min)
  • The relevance of the European Ramsar site network for peatland conservation
    Tatiana Minayeva, STRP, Wetlands International (15 min)
  • The contribution of Nordic Ramsar sites to global peatland conservation
    Torsten Larsson, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (15 min)
  • The United Kingdom Ramsar site review - its approach and objectives
    Colin McLeod, UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (15 min)
  • The role of the European Ramsar site network in conserving threatened waterbirds
    Bert Lenten, UNEP-AEWA Secretariat (15 min)

14:00 - 17:30 WETLAND MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING
Chair: Sten Asbirk, Denmark

14:00 Introducing two workshops that focus on crucial aspects of wetland site management. Workshop G addresses local socio-economic conditions and influences that are likely to change the ecological character of particular wetland ecosystems. Workshop H puts wetland site management into a wider catchment basin perspective, addressing the need for integrated water and wetland resources management.

Monitoring ecological character and site management - how are we coping with natural dynamics and human influence
Frank Alberts , STRP, the Netherlands (20 min)

The broader picture of site management viewed from the catchment basin perspective
Eckhart Kuijken, STRP, Belgium (20 min)

15:00 coffee/tea

15:30 - 17:30 Two Parallel Workshops

Each workshop illustrates the theme introduced in plenary from different angles. Presentations of case studies highlight specific aspects and lessons to be learnt. This should trigger a lively discussion amongst all participants on the aspects most important for the Convention. Conclusions of the discussion will be submitted as recommendations to the plenary on the last day of the Meeting.

WORKSHOP G - Chair: Frank Alberts
ECOLOGICAL CHARACTER, LOCAL DEVELOPMENT AND SITE MANAGEMENT
(cf. Ramsar Handbooks 1, 5, 11 and 8)

  • Achievements in managing Ramsar sites in Belarus
    Alexander Kozulin, National Academy of Sciences & Olga Belyakova, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (15 min)
  • Restoration of lake Gilli - results so far and perspectives
    Amalia Hambartsumian, Mikhail Voskanov & Haykaz Rubenyan, Khazer Ecological and Cultural Association, Armenia (15 min)
  • Lead shot at Larnaca salt lake - assessment and restoration activities
    Miroula Hadjichristoforou, Cypriot Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (15 min)
  • Deep water navigation through the Danube delta Ramsar site and Biosphere Reserve - how to cope with new threats
    Virgil Munteanu, Standing Committee, Romania (15 min)

WORKSHOP H - Chair: Eckhart Kuijken
SITE MANAGEMENT AT CATCHMENT BASIN SCALE
(cf. Ramsar Handbooks 1, 4, 13 and 14)

  • The development plan for Lonjsko Polje - ways towards integrated river basin management
    Goran Gugic, Lonjsko Polje Nature Park & Gorana Cosic-Flajsig, Croatian Waters (20 min)
  • New approaches to lake and floodplain conservation in Latvia
    Inga Racinska, Latvian Fund for Nature (20 min)
  • Conservation and wise use of freshwater ecosystems in the Caucasus ecoregion
    Maka Bitsadze, WWF International (20 min)

17:30 - 20:00 Poster Session and writing up of workshop reports and recommendations

WEDNESDAY - 8 DECEMBER 2004

09:00 - 12:30 CLOSING PLENARY
Chair: Gordana Beltram, Standing Committee, Slovenia

09:00 The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment - how to use its products
Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General (20 min)

09:30 Key recommendations from the workshops and their discussions
four rapporteurs (4 x 10 min)

10:30 coffee/tea

11:00 Continuation: Key recommendations from the workshops
four rapporteurs (4 x 10 min)

11:45 Meeting report and consolidated conclusions from the workshop recommendations
Tobias Salathe, Ramsar Secretariat (10 min)

12:30 Closure of the Meeting
Minister Vardan Ayvazyan

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