Ramsar Oceania officer appointed in Samoa

24/08/2004


Ramsar goes Southeast…

A new subregional adviser has been appointed to deal with wetland and water issues in the Oceania Region

Gland, Switzerland, 17 August 2004 (Ramsar Convention Secretariat/SPREP, Samoa): In order better to promote the Ramsar Convention and the conservation of wetlands and water resources in the Oceania region, a new subregional outposted office of the Convention was created in Samoa and a new subregional adviser was designated last week. With strong experience in environmental issues in the region, Mr. Seiuli Vainuupo Jungblut will work under the supervision of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to provide the Small Islands States and Territories of the Oceania region with support for wetlands and water conservation and management. In particular, he will help the countries join and implement the Ramsar Convention.

Oceania holds the 140th Contracting Party. This new appointment was followed, last Thursday, by the accession of the Marshall Islands as the 140th Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention, confirming the long standing priority of the Oceania region for the Convention. While this region shelters many of the most endangered wetland ecosystems of the planet, including coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass meadows (a vital ecosystem for the survival of the Dugong) and rare island wetlands, it is currently the most under-represented region within the Convention. Of the 140 countries that have joined the Ramsar Convention, only five belong to the Oceania region, while the region holds a total of 29 States and Territories (two more countries are in the process of joining the Convention in the next months).

The Ramsar Regional Office for Oceania. The Oceania Regional Officer will deal with several issues ranging from conservation and management of the wetlands in the South Pacific region to the capacity limitations of some Pacific Island countries regarding international obligations. Advice to help these countries reach international funding mechanisms will be, for example, one of the key roles of the Ramsar Regional Office for Oceania.

This new outposted office of the Ramsar Convention has been possible thanks to the support of the Australian Government, the US Government, SPREP, and WWF International.

More information on the Ramsar Convention: www.ramsar.org
More information on SPREP: www.sprep.org.ws

Contacts at Ramsar...
For questions, comments or for any further information on this document or on the Ramsar Convention, please contact:

Sebastià Semene Guitart
Special Assistant on Media, Outreach and Culture
ssg@ramsar.org

Dwight Peck
Communications Officer
peck@ramsar.org

Tel: +41 (0) 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 (0) 22 999 0169

Contacts at SPREP...
For questions, comments or for any further information on this document or on SPREP or the Pacific region, please contact:

Chris Peteru
Media and Publications Officer
chrisp@sprep.org.ws

Tel: +685 21929
Fax: +685 20231

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