The Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative

26/05/2005

Norway hosts working group on Ramsar initiative for Nordic and Baltic countries

Following last year’s very successful Nordic Wetland Conference and Ramsar Meeting on 4-7 May in Ørlandet on Trondheim Fjord and the publication of the “Nordic Wetland Conservation” report by the Nordic Council of Ministers, Norway invited the Ramsar administrative authorities from nine Nordic and Baltic countries to a working group meeting in Trondheim on 3-4 March 2005. The group included delegates from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Russian Federation and Sweden, plus Thymio Papayannis from the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) and Tobias Salathé from the Ramsar Secretariat. These experts spent two days intensively discussing ways to increase wetland conservation and awareness and possibilities to strengthen cooperation in the Nordic-Baltic region concerning wetland issues and Ramsar recommendations, in order to prepare for the establishment of a “Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative”

Their deliberations were guided by the principles adopted in Valencia (at COP8) through Resolution VIII.30 on “Regional initiatives for the further implementation of the Convention”. The group’s work focused on identifying common problems and specific regional issues in order to build bridges with other major players and establish transnational cooperation for shared water catchments and wetland sites. The recommendations of the working group circulated since in the concerned capitals for approval and are attached (below). During the 31st meeting of the Standing Committee (8-10 June 2005), the Nordic-Baltic countries intend to present their initiative under agenda point 9.4 addressing regional initiatives in the framework of the Ramsar Convention.

-- reported by Tobias Salathé, Ramsar

The Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative
Summary from the Working Group Meeting in Trondheim, Norway, 3 - 4 March 2005

Intense discussions among (f.l.t.r) Jan-Petter Hubert-Hansen (NO), Vija Busa (LV), Gunn Paulsen (NO), Torsten Larsson (SE), Ann Wahlström (SE, red pullover) and Thymio Papayannis

The group briefly visited Gaulosen Nature Reserve (i.e. the estuary of river Gaula at Trondheim fjord) part of Ramsar Site N°1198 Trondheimfjord wetland system designated in 2002, before embarking on the second working day

…and a few Nordic winter views of this estuary, an important staging area for migrating and wintering waterbirds.

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