The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 July 2004
Announcement. Call for applications for Ramsar Intern/Assistant Advisor for the Asia/Pacific. The Ramsar Secretariat is seeking applications for the position of Intern / Assistant Advisor for the Asia/Pacific, to work with the Senior Advisor on a broad range of tasks in support of the Parties from those regions. Ramsar internships are normally for a 12 month period but can be extended to 18 months, and applicants must be nationals of countries in Asia or the Pacific region. The position requires a full ability to work in English. Qualified candidates from those regions are encouraged to read the general terms of reference for Ramsar Internships and apply by 10 August 2004, with a view to beginning on 8 November 2004. [01/07/04]
Headline story. Guidebook on temporary pools available. "As part of its LIFE (EU-funded) project on the conservation of Mediterranean Temporary Pools (a EU Habitats Directive Priority habitat), the Tour du Valat Biological Station has just published a guidebook on the management of this particularly threatened wetland type (also the target of Ramsar Res. VIII.33), covering among others the results of this 5-year project. The guidebook comprises 250 pages in 2 volumes, has one English and one French edition, and can be ordered to Tour du Valat against a cheque of 10 Euros (covering P&P), or downloaded (French version only so far) at: http://www.tourduvalat.org/news_32.htm;jsessionid=a52f74c38bb0455ca4d8863d81df0f6e. For more info: email@example.com. Best wishes to all from the over-sunny Camargue!" -- Dr Christian Perennou, Chef de Projet / Project Leader, Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles - France; Site Web: http://www.tourduvalat.org. [01/07/04]
World Wetlands Day - early announcement. "CIWEM (www.ciwem.com ) is organising its annual conference to mark World Wetlands Day, to take place in London, England on 31st January and 1st February, 2005. Last year’s conference programme attracted more than 240 attendees, and we hope to increase this for the 2005 conference. The programme last year included technical visits, an evening reception and a one day conference. For further information, contact Justin Taberham, Director of Policy, CIWEM. Email Justin@ciwem.com." [01/07/04]
Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General, is in Tokyo, Japan, 28-30 June 2004, to participate in a meeting of the screening committee for the Cosmos Prize (http://www.expo-cosmos.or.jp/menu_e.html); he’ll also meet with the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Japan and arrive back in the Secretariat on 2 July.
Abou Bamba, Senior Advisor for Africa, is in Syrte, Libya, 26 June - 1 July 2004, for the AMCEN meeting (African Ministerial Committee for Environment) and discussions with the Libyan government on implementation of the Convention and designation of an Administrative Authority. [29/06/04]
Highlights from World Wetlands Day. Convention on Migratory Species marks World Wetlands Day.
Peru releases the Management Plan of the Reserva Nacional de Paracas, Ramsar site no. 545. This excellent management plan, prepared by INRENA using a participatory approach, includes detailed zoning of the site and a set of specific programmes required to be implemented to guarantee the sustainable use of the area. Paracas is also a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve, an area of vital importance for the productivity of its marine environment due to the Humboldt Current and for being a resting habitat of migratory birds. More than 300 species of fish and various species of seaweed can be found in the site, and more than 20 species of Nearctic's-breeding shorebirds stage and winter here. Other notable fauna include two species of marine turtles. The area is archaeologically important. Human activities include traditional fishing and shellfish harvesting. [30/06/04]
Perú publica el Plan de Manejo del Sitio Ramsar Reserva Nacional de Paracas, no. 545. Este excelente Plan Maestro o de Gestión fue preparado por el INRENA, Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales, y su formulación se hizo por medio de un amplio proceso participativo. El plan incluye una zonificación detallada del sitio y un conjunto de programas requeridos para lograr el uso sustentable del área. Paracas también es una Reserva de Aves Acuáticas del Hemisferio Occidental. La Reserva es un área natural de vital importancia tanto por la productividad de su ambiente marino debido a la corriente de Humboldt, como por ser un punto clave de parada para aves acuáticas migratorias. En el área se encuentran más de 300 especies de peces y varias especies de algas marinas. Más de 20 especies de aves playeras del Neárctico descansan y pasan el invierno allí. Otra fauna importante del sitio incluye dos especies de tortugas marinas. El área es arqueológicamente importante, y las actividades humanas incluyen pesca tradicional y colecta de mariscos.
Now available.Photos of Madagascar's Lac Tsimantampetsotsa. Further to the report of the Ramsar celebration in Madagascar (reported on the 15th of June), Jamie Pittock, WWF Living Waters Programme's Director, reports on his visit to one of that country's Ramsar sites, and provides photos: "On June 12th I visited Lac Tsimantampetsotsa, a Ramsar site of nearly 46,000 ha on the southwest coast, Province of Toliara, Madagascar. This site highlights the commitment of the government of Madagascar to conserve its natural environment and provide more sustainable livelihoods for its people." Here is Jamie's brief report of his visit and 12 photos of the site's sights. [30/06/04]
Lesotho's steps towards Ramsar accession. In its celebration of World Wetlands Day 2004, Lesotho's Ministry of Natural Resources, Water Affairs, Wetland Unit together with Lesotho National University, IUCN ROSA, national NGOs and other bodies concerning with nature gathered in a seminar at the Lesotho National Convention Centre on 2 February to mark Lesotho's commitment to nature conservation at the national and global levels. The Lesotho population also took part in the celebration and expressed itself in different activities of the workshop. H.E. Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Monyane Moleleki, H.E. Minister of Tourism Environment and Culture, H.E. Assistant Minister of Justice, Ms. Lebohang Nts'inyi, Human Rights, Law and Constitutional Affairs, Ms. Mpeo Mahase attended the seminar. Through this event, a declaration to join Ramsar Convention was made and the documents related to Lesotho's accession to the Convention were signed. The Letseng-la-Letsie wetland was announced to be Lesotho's first Ramsar site, and the Ramsar Secretariat has recently received the Ramsar Information Sheet and map for that sites. Lesotho's report on its WWD celebration and photos of the candidate Ramsar Site can be seen here. -- reported by Ahmed El-Sabban, Ramsar. [24/06/04]
Rwanda progresses towards joining the Convention. In the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda, 1 March 2004, the government has posted its authorization for the ratification of the Ramsar Convention: "Under article one of the law nº 37/2003 of 29/12/2003, the President; the Parliament and the Senate of Rwanda have authorized the ratification of the Ramsar Convention of February 2, 1971 on wetlands of international importance. Article 2 of the same law indicates that the law comes into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda and becomes effective in accordance with article 10 of the Protocol mentioned in article one of this law." As Ramsar's Abou Bamba indicated in his report of the recent pre-accession workshop held in Rwanda, that country has chosen its first Ramsar Site and is rapidly progressing towards joining the Ramsar family. [23/06/04]
Suggested theme for World Wetlands Day 2005. World Wetlands Day takes place on or about the 2nd of February every year and offers governments at all levels, NGOs, schools, and citizens alike an opportunity "to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular." For February 2005, as for the past seven years, the Ramsar Secretariat will be making promotional materials available free of charge - this year, in addition to inspirational messages suitable for quoting in press releases, there will be a new poster and stickers, available in physical format in English, French, and Spanish and electronically in QuarkXpress for those who may wish to produce them in their own languages or with local content added. This year the Standing Committee has adopted the suggested overall theme of "cultural and biological diversity of wetlands", and our poster will be promoting the slogan "There's wealth in wetland diversity - don't lose it!"
Now's a good time for all of our WWD collaborators to begin planning their WWD activities, and we will be striving mightily to have our materials ready for mailing by mid-October 2004. Our general index page for World Wetlands Day can be found here, and reports on WWD activities this past February in over 80 countries can be found here and will provide ample suggestions and examples - especially for those unimaginative far northerners who keep complaining that February is a bad time of the year for a party in a wetland. Examples of what some of our collaborators have recently done in producing their own customized WWD materials based upon ours can also be viewed here. Some of the free materials left over from WWD 2004 - here - will also be available next year as long as supplies last. As always, we will welcome learning of your plans beforehand and receiving reports and photos afterward for posting on our Web site, and, as in past years, the production of Ramsar WWD materials is being generously supported by the Evian Ramsar Project of the Danone Group (France). [22/06/04]
News from Wetlands for the Future.Studies on Brazilian coral reefs: training and application of remote sensing techniques. The Brazilian Ministry of the Environment published recently the "Atlas of Coral Reef Protected Areas in Brazil" - Atlas dos Recifes de Coral nas Unidades de Conservação Brasileiras, in partnership with the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources (IBAMA), and the Coastal Reefs Project. Financing from the Ramsar Convention's Wetlands for the Future Fund (WFF/00-2BRA/2) was instrumental in the data acquisition for the project. Here is Iván Dario Valencia's brief summary of the project, with illustrations. [21/06/04]
IUCN's new Belgrade office hosts seminar on transboundary cooperation. A basic question debated in an international meeting held 13-17 June 2004 in Belgrade and the Tara National Park of Serbia was the need for transborder cooperation and the benefits it might entail. One of the key reasons was the joint management of water resources, and in particular wetlands, in shared hydrological basins. The meeting, organised in an efficient and hospitable manner by the new IUCN Regional Office for Europe (ROfE), in close collaboration with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in Europe (ROSTE), the Serbian Institute for Nature Conservation, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), had as its theme ‘MAB Biosphere Reserves and transboundary cooperation in the SEE Region’. Here is Thymio Papayannis'on the meeting. [21/06/04]
Now available. The lost Ramsar Resolutions. For reasons known only to themselves, the Parties that gathered in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1990 for the 4th Ramsar Conference of the Parties chose to adopt five Resolutions and 14 Recommendations -- and then sneak in four more Resolutions almost without telling anyone. The legally adopted Resolutions on the "Framework for the implementation of the Convention" (the 1990 equivalent of our modern Strategic Plan and Bureau Work Plan), Financial and budgetary matters, the Standing Committee's responsibilities, and the Bureau's priorities long stood outside the simple, straightforward list of adopted decisions, but here they are at long last. The Framework turns out to be a worthy precursor to the famous Ramsar Strategic Plans, and the "Terms of reference for the financial administration" of the Convention appear to be the legal documents still in force for the lawyers, bankers, and archivists. The resolution on Secretariat Matters harks back to when there were actually two secretariats, in Switzerland and the UK, and things were still being gracefully sorted out. [21/06/04]
The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award - Call for Nominations. The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award ("for actions that have significantly contributed to long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands") was established in 1996 in order to recognise and honour the contributions of individuals, organisations, and governments around the world towards promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands. It was awarded for the first time at the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in 1999, and for the second time at the 8th Meeting, in 2002. The third awards will be conferred at the 9th COP, in Kampala, Uganda, November 2005. The 2005 Awards will be made in the three categories of management, science, and education, and as in the past each will be accompanied by the Evian Special Prize of US$ 10,000, courtesy of the Danone Group (France). Nominations should reach the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands by 31 October 2004 at the latest.
All friends of wetlands will be grateful if readers would distribute this announcement, as well as the selection criteria and nomination forms, as widely as possible amongst their friends and relations. The general index page, in English, Français, and Español, can be seen at http://ramsar.org/key_awards_index.htm. [18/06/04]
News from Wetlands for the Future.Informe sobre Taller sobre Humedales en el Perú. En la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos en Lima se llevó a cabo en febrero-marzo de 2003 el "I Taller de capacitación: Funciones de los ecosistemas de humedales y su valor para la sociedad", con auspicio del Fondo de Humedales para el Futuro - proyecto WFF/02/PER/WKS1. El proyecto produjo un video de carácter divulgativo titulado "Humedales, fuentes de vida natural" sobre los Sitios Ramsar en el Perú con especial énfasis en el Sitio "Zona Reservada Los Pantanos de Villa", ubicado en el área metropolitana de Lima. [17/06/04]
The "I Workshop on Wetland Ecosystem Functions and their Societal Value" was held in February-March 2003 in the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, with the support from the Wetlands for the Future Fund -project WFF/02/PER/WKS1. The project produced a nice video about Peruvian Ramsar Sites, with special emphasis on the Site "Zona Reservada Los Pantanos de Villa" located in the Lima metropolitan area.
Mongolia to host biodiversity conference, September 2004. An International Conference on “BIODIVERSITY OF EURO-ASIA CONTINENTAL WETLANDS” will be organized by the Mongolian State University of Education and Inner Mongolia Normal University in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, September 6-8, 2004. The text of the announcement, with the registration form, is available here. [17/06/04]
"Sustainable development festival", Geneva, 12 and 13th of June. Inspired by great success of the World Environment Day (5th of June/ Ramsar and IUCN headquarters, Gland), the Ramsar regional assistants engaged themselves to making the crucial objectives of the Ramsar Convention better known to the public of the 2nd edition of the "Sustainable development festival", which took place on 12-13 June in Geneva. The joint stand of the Geneva Environment Network together with other co-organizers of the event (Agenda 21 for the city of Geneva and the Sustainable Development Service of the Canton of Geneva) was enriched with the Ramsar posters and information material, as well as the special exhibit on sustainable rice production and trade focused on the example of the Ebro Delta in Spain (Ramsar Site designated in 1993). Again, as on World Environment Day, it gained a great public interest partly thanks to the interactive quiz which invited people to think of the values of wetlands and the need for their conservation. Hundreds of exhibits and stands on initiatives for sustainable development in terms of mobility, renewable energy, resource and waste management, at local, regional and national scale were shown, and the international input of the Ramsar Convention was highly appreciated. http://www.geneve.ch/agenda21/developpement2004.html#samedi12, http://www.environmenthouse.ch. Reported by Liazzat Rabbiosi, Estelle Gironnet and Iván Dario Valencia. [17/06/04]
China sets national targets for wetland conservation. The Ramsar Convention Implementation Office (the State Forestry Administration) has recently formulated China’s National Wetland Conservation Programme for 2002-2030, jointly working with the National Commission of Development and Reform, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Land Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Construction, State Environment Protection Administration, and the State Oceanic Administration. A very brief summary of the major targets for 2010, 2020, and 2030 can be seen and reflected upon here. [16/06/04]
WWF Annual Conference applauds Madagascar Ramsar plans. Under deep blue skies and brilliant sunlight, WWF International celebrated the end of its 2004 Annual Conference, 6-10 June 2004, with an event dedicated to the Convention on Wetlands. It took place in the small urban wetland of Tsarasaotra, in the outskirts of Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar, which has been proposed as a Ramsar site. During the ceremony, the president of WWF International chief Emeka Anyaoku proclaimed as a 'Gift to the Earth' the decision of the Malagasy government to designate more than 1 million hectares of wetlands as Ramsar sites (among which Lake Alaotra of 772,000 hectares) and to develop rapidly a National Wetland Strategy for the sustainable management of Madagascar's wetlands. From the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, Ms. Sahondra Rabesihanaka, Ramsar focal point for this country, explained in detail the measures taken by the government concerning wetlands and the positive perspectives for the future, later confirmed by the secretary general of the Ministry. Thymio Papayannis reports on the occasion, with photographs. [15/06/04]
Handbook of Mangroves in the Philippines - Panay. A handy compendium has recently been published on the 30 species of mangroves on the island of Panay in the Philippines -- compiled by Jurgenne H Primavera, Resurreccion S Sadaba, Ma. Junemie Lebata, and Jon P Altamirano, this 106-page full-color softcover book contains key information, photographs, and distribution maps of each of the species as well as discussions of issues like legislation, aquaculture, and rehabilitation and a generous set of references. Supported by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere ASPACO Project and published by the Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center in Tigbauan, Iloilo, the publication should prove practically useful to practitioners and students alike and to others as a model. Han Qunli of UNESCO's Regional Office for Science and Technology for Southeast Asia writes in the Foreword: "It is amazing to see the rich mangrove diversity in Panay, where almost no pristine mangroves remain owing to other development activities over the years. It is believed that the Handbook will help promote mangrove rehabilitation in Panay, and set a model for other areas in the Philippines as well. This handbook is well designed for non-specialist readers, with precise firsthand scientific data and illustrative descriptions as well as visual presentation." Information about purchase is available from firstname.lastname@example.org. [15/06/04]
Swiss Re hosts roundtable on climate change economics.Peter Bridgewater, the Secretary General, attended by invitation an executive roundtable event, "Economic dimension of climate change", at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon, Switzerland, 3-4 June 2004. The event was a complement to the Climate Change Futures project being conducted by Swiss Re, the global reinsurance company, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Centre for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, by examining various climate change-related scenarios in depth. The dialogue was an intensive presentation/discussion format, and Ramsar, along with UNFCCC, was able to contribute substantially to the outcomes. Here is Peter's brief report on the issues covered and a link to the Swiss Re summary. [14/06/04]
Recent progress towards Global Action on Peatlands. At COP8 in 2002, the Ramsar Contracting Parties formally recognized that "peatlands are a vital part of the world's wetland resources" as well as their "importance to the maintenance of global diversity and for the storage of water and carbon, which constitute a function vital to the world's climate system". In Resolution VIII.17 the COP adopted detailed "Guidelines for Global Action on Peatlands", and in 2003, the Ramsar Secretariat established a Coordinating Committee for Global Action on Peatlands (CC-GAP) to prepare an implementation plan for global action on peatlands. The open-ended Committee consists of peatland experts representing interested Contracting Parties, Ramsar's STRP, the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG), the International Peat Society (IPS), Ramsar's International Organisation Partners and other NGOs, the private sector and other bodies, including the secretariats of the Convention on Biodiversity and of the UN Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change. Here Ramsar's Tobias Salathé provides an illustrated report on the CC-GAP's second meeting, 6 June 2004, on the occasion of the 12th International Peat Congress in Tampere, Finland, and brings us up-to-date on this whole area of work, whilst also calling upon the Parties and everyone else to contribute information about activities that should be included in the implementation plan for consideration at COP9 in 2005. Here is his welcome . [11/06/04]
World Environment Day: Combined efforts to charm the public at IUCN HQ, 5 June 2004. The three environmental organizations based in Gland, Switzerland - IUCN, Ramsar, and WWF International - joined forces to host a well-attended open house on World Environment Day, 5 June 2004. Stands, booths, displays, exhibits and exhibitions, games and lotteries, presentations and informative allocutions there were in abundance, amongst which Ramsar's "sustainable trade in rice" and Ebro Delta efforts were a major centre of attraction, and the tombola (or lottery) and water-squirting games were hits, but pride of place went to the Water Lab, hosted by the science lady Ms Laëtitia Estève and assisted by Ramsar's Iván Dario Valencia (left), which the TV cameras wouldn't leave alone, and the improvisational theatre troupe from Neuchâtel, resplendent in their Ramsar COP8 T-shirts, kept the audience on the edges of their chairs with their writhing interpretations of environmental themes. Annette Keller, Sandra Hails, Estelle Gironnet, Liazzat Rabbiosi, Iván Dario Valencia, and Ahmed El-Sabban waved the flag for the Ramsar Convention as nearly 1,000 adults and kids had an informative good laugh and vowed to come back again next year. Here are some more details and 22 photographs to show you what you've missed. [11/06/04]
"The Turtle People" wins Ramsar/Medwet cinema prize. On the evening of World Environment Day, Saturday 5 June 2004, "Aamakaar, the Turtle People" was chosen by the jury of the EcoCinema Festival in Rhodes, Greece, as this year's best movie on wetlands and water. Surabhi Sharma's film took top honors because of its innovative focus on the inextricable link between people and nature, one of the main features of Ramsar's wise use principle. The attractive award and a monetary prize of €4,000 was conveyed in recognition of how well Sharma's film evokes the everyday life of the so-called Turtle People, in North Kerala (India), fighting for the survival of an Olive Ridley Turtle nesting beach while their own survival is threatened by the sinking of their village due to the erosion of the shore from sand mining activity in their estuary. The film juxtaposes the community's struggle against elements threatening their village and its natural resources with the cycle of life of the turtles. Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General of the Convention, as he conferred the award, highlighted the fact that "the film insists on the relation between people and nature, showing human activities and populations as an inextricable part of the environmental equilibrium." The details and some photos are here. [09/06/04]
From the Ramsar Forum. Wetland training opportunities in Asia.Petra Meijer writes: "I am trying to develop a directory of wetland training opportunities in Asia. I hope I can get some help from the Ramsar Forum members with identifying the wetland training opportunities. More specifically, I would like to know: 1. names of wetland training courses in Asia; 2. names of wetland training institutes (with preferably the URLs of their webpages); 3. brief descriptions of the contents of the training courses; 4. the target audience of the training courses; 5. the frequency of the training courses. Besides that, I would also like to know if other databases of wetland training opportunities in Asia have already been developed. Responses can be sent directly to me at email@example.com. Thank you in advance. Petra Meijer, Wetlands International - Malaysia Office, Capacity Building Programme Officer www.wetlands.org." [10/06/04]
Now available. More photos of the Wetland Ambassadors launch. The opening ceremony for the 2004 Wetland Ambassador Campaign for the Mekong and Yangtze basins took place on 28 May 2004 in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China. A brief illustrated report from WWF's Denis Landenbergue, with luxurious detail, is available here. Now Denis has graced us with seven additional photographs of the fun, and in particular of Dr Lei (right), and here they are. [10/06/04]
Rwanda marks World Environment Day with a focus on its wetlands. Rwanda celebrated WED for a whole week and, as a very wetland-dependent nation with neither seas nor oceans, chose to substitute wetlands instead of "Wanted! Seas and Oceans. Dead or Alive?" as its theme. Abou Bamba reports on a Ramsar pre-accession workshop held in Kigali, 1-5 June 2004, as part of the general festivities, and draws attention to the efforts Rwanda has been making recently both in its wetland policy and in its progress towards joining the Ramsar Convention. Here is his . [09/06/04]
. From the Ramsar ForumStatus of migratory wader populations in Africa and Western Eurasia.In its rôle as a global wader expert network for Wetlands International, the International Wader Study Group undertakes the compilation and interpretation of wader population estimates and also acts as the Wader Specialist Group for IUCN-The World Conservation Union's Species Survival Commission. David Stroud writes to the Forum that the Group has just published its major review of the status of 131 populations of 55 species of migratory waders (shorebirds) in Africa and Western Eurasia in its occasional series International Wader Studies. For the East Atlantic Flyway, the review updates the assessment made by Cor Smit & Theunis Piersm published in 1989. For other flyway systems in Africa and Western Eurasia, the review provides the first systematic population reviews. The publication contains accounts for each of the species and their populations, summarising current knowledge of population status and trends. Extensive analyses consider thematic, taxonomic and geographic status and issues. [08/06/04]
Launch of the revised Participatory Management Clearinghouse. The Participatory Management Clearinghouse on Natural Resources (PMC) at http://www.pmcnet.org/ has recently launched its latest version with a new design, various thematic and geographical entries through dynamic maps, and a complete search system with a powerful new database. This joint initiative of the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar), IUCN (The World Conservation Union), and SIDA (The Swedish International Development Cooperation) has been set up to facilitate the sharing of information concerning participatory management of natural resources, while disseminating Ramsar and IUCN field experiences on that topic. Classified thematically by ecosystems, regions, or themes, the posted documents, specific projects and case studies cover issues such as biodiversity and traditional knowledge, gender, water, equitable sharing, protected areas, or indigenous peoples. For the year 2004 the PMC proposes a new structure and approach, updated contents and latest references, projects, organisations and events, with a specific focus on wetlands and participatory management. For more information contact: Gonzalo Oviedo [firstname.lastname@example.org] or Carole Foret [email@example.com], and visit PMC at: http://www.pmcnet.org/. [07/06/04]
Special Treat: Ramsar Handbooks on a budget. Not long ago, we posted here the 14-volume English version of the second edition of the Ramsar Toolkit in PDF format, laid out in QuarkXpress suitable for fancy printing (French and Spanish to follow). The PDF Handbook downloads are optimized for printing and are Helpful, but Very Bulky. For readers who do not require the attractive printed version and dislike long downloads, we have now provided as well the "raw" Word versions as they went for layout -- these have not been finalized for publication and include Editor Sandra's instructions to the layout artist (Irene, at L'IV Communications in Morges), but the text is identical and suitable for quoting if need be. Cross-references among the handbooks series have been removed, and there are no images. Download times will be very significantly reduced, but the aesthetic loss will be incalculable. Readers seeking the COP-adopted Guidelines themselves, without the related material and illustrations, would be better counselled to go to http://ramsar.org/key_guidelines_index.htm. For the Raw Handbooks, go here now. [07/06/04]
The EcoCinema Festival and its first Ramsar/MedWet film prize. The 4th edition of the EcoCinema Festival began Tuesday on the Greek island of Rhodes. For the ensuing six days, the 20 members of the jury will have to judge a total of 92 films, divided into six categories. Among them, 12 films will be entered in the competition for the Ramsar/MedWet award for the best film on water and wetlands. This new prize has been created by the Ramsar Convention and its MedWet initiative to promote awareness of water resources, wetlands and their conservation and to encourage directors, producers and film makers to help in spreading and promoting the values of the Ramsar Convention. The jury for the Ramsar/MedWet award is formed by Spyros Kouvelis, Coordinator of the MedWet Unit, Marc van Fucht, producer and film maker, and Sebastià Semene Guitart, Special Assistant on Media, Outreach and Culture at the Ramsar Convention's secretariat. The prize, consisting on an official diploma and an monetary reward of 4000 euros, will be presented to the winner during the award ceremony on Saturday 5th June 2004, by Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention. During the opening ceremony, both the President of the EcoCinema Festival, Elias Efthymiopoulos, and the Artistic Director, Lucia Rikaki, underlined the growing number of films entering the competition, as well as "the growing number of members of the jury together with the number of awards", in reference to the Ramsar-MedWet award added this year to the festival. For more information on the EcoCinema Festival: www.ecocinema.gr. [05/06/04]
Colombia designa Sitio Ramsar en la costa del Pacífico. Colombia, cuya costa del Pacífico es una de las zonas más ricas en biodiversidad en el planeta, designó al Delta del Río Baudó como el tercer sitio Ramsar del país, noticia muy oportuna en el Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, cuyo énfasis este año está en los océanos. El sitio (8,888 ha, 04°50' N; 077° 20' W) es el estuario del Río Baudó, que como los demás en la cuenca del Pacífico colombiano es relativamente corto pero de muy alto caudal. El delta tiene ambientes de vegas inundables, playas de arena, pantanos arbustivos y bosques anegados. El proceso de designación fue realizado por el Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial con al apoyo del Fondo Mundial para la Naturaleza (WWF Internacional/Programa Aguas Para la Vida y WWF-Colombia), el Instituto de Estudios Ambientales del Pacífico, Codechocó, la Alcaldía de Pizarro y la Asociación Calidris. [04/06/04]
Colombia designates Pacific Coast Ramsar Site.Colombia, whose Pacific coastline is a hotspot for biological diversity, designated the Baudó River Delta as the country's third Ramsar Site, a timely designation for World Environment Day, the focus of which this year is on the oceans. The site (8,888 ha, 04°50' N; 077° 20' W) is the estuary of the Baudó river, which like the rest in the Pacific basin of Colombia is relatively short but has a very high flow. The delta comprises flood banks, sand beaches, shrub-swamps and swamp forests. The designation process was carried out by the Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development and supported by WWF International's Living Waters Programme and WWF-Colombia, the Pizarro municipality, CODECHOCO, Asociación Calidris and the Instituto de Estudios Ambientales del Pacífico.
Transboundary collaboration for the Prespa Lakes. The Coordination Committee of the Prespa Park (PPCC) held its sixth regular meeting in the city of Korçe in southwestern Albania on 31 May and 1 June 2004. Since February 2000, when the prime ministers of Albania, Greece and the FYR of Macedonia declared the first transboundary protected area in the Balkans, considerable progress has been made in building trust and joint institutions among government, local authorities and civic society in the three countries involved and in launching common activities. Here is MedWet Senior Advisor Thymio Papayannis' brief report on the success of the meeting. [04/06/04]
Evaluating governance - a new handbook. Evaluating Governance: a Handbook to Accompany a Participatory Process for a Protected Area,by Peter Abrams, Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Julia Gardner and Pippa Heylings, is presently in draft form and undergoing field testing. The authors have expressed an interest in having the guide field tested in a Ramsar site (or other protected wetland) and would be interested in hearing from anyone who is in a position to do this. The purpose of the handbook is to assist in a systematic process of designing, conducting and following up a participatory assessment of protected area governance. "Governance" is used here to describe the processes, operations and relationships that structure the allocation and use of decision-making powers. Details here. [04/06/04]From the CEPA News.
Ramsar Handbooks on Wise Use ready in English. The Ramsar "Toolkit" was first published in 2000 (in boxed hardcover set and on CD-ROM by the United Nations University), nine handbooks that incorporated the guidance on the wise use of wetlands adopted by the Conference of the Parties through to COP7 in 1999 as well as a good deal of additional material, such as related Resolutions of the COP, case studies, illustrations, etc. Now the 2nd edition of the Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands is ready in English, 14 volumes including additional guidance from Ramsar COP8 in 2002 and revised versions of most of the previous volumes. Prepared by Sandra Hails and Nick Davidson over the past year and professionally laid out by L'IV Communications of Morges, Switzerland, the full set will be published on CD-ROM in not too long a time, in PDF versions suitable for printing by all interested readers (and available in hardcopy in very limited quantities from the Secretariat) - all of the handbooks will also be available for download from this Web site, and for starters the entire English version is now ready. The French and Spanish versions, too, are well progressed and will be added to this Web site as they are finalized. The translations, lay-out, and CD-ROM publication have been generously funded by the General Directorate for Nature Conservation, Ministry of Environment, Spain, as part of Spain's support for Ramsar COP8 and the publication of its proceedings. [03/06/04]
Reghaia Lake clean-up in Algeria. On 6 May 2004, a one-day clean-up campaign was organised at the Algerian Ramsar site of the Reghaia lake, in the framework of the MedWet Life 3rd countries project entitled "Protection and sustainable development of wetlands in North Africa", operating since January this year. Ms Nassima Aghanim, Executive Secretary of the North African Wetlands Network Focal Point of Algeria, provided a brief report, and photos, to the MedWet Web site. [03/06/04]
Wetland Ambassador Campaign for 2004. The opening ceremony for the 2004 Wetland Ambassador Campaign for the Mekong and Yangtze basins took place on 28 May 2004 in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China. The Wetland Ambassador Campaign is a conservation, education and awareness-raising initiative that works by engaging with university students to conduct projects on important wetland issues and themes, and it has been working in China since 2001. Through its expansion to the Mekong region, this year is the first time that the Wetland Ambassador Campaign has been organized across international borders. It has been organized with joint support from Danone-Evian and WWF Living Waters Programme, in partnership with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, the Mekong River Commission, the State Forest Administration of China, WWF China, WWF Indochina and WWF Thailand. A brief illustrated report from WWF's Denis Landenbergue is available here. [02/06/04]
New Ramsar Centre begun in Lower Austria. On Friday 21st of May 2004, the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Ramsar Centre took place in the town of Schrems (Austria). Together with representatives from the town of Schrems, WWF Austria, Ramsar OEG, and representatives both from nature conservation and tourism of the Government of Lower Austria, and with guests from the Czech Ministery of Environment, the Austrian Minister of Environment Josef Pröll (photo) marked the important step for this outstanding project. The project is funded by the town of Schrems and WWF Austria and financially supported by the Ecoplus, the Business Agency of Lower Austria. Here are more details and some photographs from Michaela Bodner,Ramsar-Stadtgemeinde Schrems OEG.[02/06/04]
More to follow. Watch this space. Feedback and suggestions are welcome to: the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland (tel +41 22 999 0170, fax +41 22 999 0169. Updated regularly by Dwight Peck, Ramsar Secretariat.