Ramsar (etc.) outing to Lac de Tanay


A Swiss mountain wetland on the scene

On the occasion of the 2004 World Wetland Day inspiring theme "From the Mountains to the Sea, Wetlands at work for us", the Ramsar Convention, IUCN, and BUWAL (Swiss Environment Ministry) staff, Pro Natura and Swiss Alpine Club members, and their friends - 30 people in total - met on the 1st of May to chat about wetlands and the Labour Day and hike in the Lac Tanay (or Taney) Nature Reserve (above the eastern part of Lac Léman, or Lake Geneva). Even though the clouds and fog hampered the vision three meters ahead during most of the trip, we had eventually the chance to get an overall view of the lovely alpine wetland lying at the bottom of Grammont Mountain.

In the sixties, the lake was threatened by mass tourism development. The Pro Natura-Ligue valaisanne, Heimatschutz-section Valais romand, and Swiss Alpine Club-section Monte Rosa, signed a contract in July 1965 with the Commune de Vouvry to protect the region Lac de Tanay-Le Grammont.

In an informal but informative way, everyone could ask questions and share his knowledge on many subjects such as mountain wetland values and functions, human activities and impact on this ecosystem, its fauna and flora, nature conservation…

Finally, we had the great chance to meet with Ms. Maranca, President of the Lac Tanay Commission, who gave some further details on cooperation and efforts to preserve the beauty of the site… which was highly appreciated with a glass of wine in one hand and a piece of delicious cake in the other. Let’s wish great success to the Commission with this hard task and, hopefully, this outing could serve as a nice opportunity to link people concerned and help further collaboration.

Great thanks to the Alpine Club’s Section ‘La Dole’ (and driver) for offering their minibus which could transport people in a more ecological way.

From left: Dr Odeh Al-Jayyousi, IUCN Regional Director West/Central Asia &North Africa (WESCANA); Ahmed El-Sabban and Abou Bamba, Ramsar; Michael Gilmour, WWF

Lac de Tanay, 1 May 2004

(from left): Ivan Rabbiosi; Martin Krebs, International Environmental Affairs, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland; Jacqueline Shahanian, Annette Keller and Estelle Gironnet

Tobias Salathé offering explanations

Ms. Maranca, President of the Lac Taney Commission

Ornithologists: Alan Johnson, Tour du Valat, and Tobias Salathé

From left: Guangchun Lei and Estelle Gironnet, Ramsar; Fabienne Grange (CAS-La Dôle); Iván Dario Valencia and Tobias Salathé, Ramsar; Martin Krebs and Ginette Thalmaier, International Environmental Affairs, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland

-- reported by Estelle Gironnet, Ramsar.

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