Ramsar regional meeting for Asia, Beijing, China, May 2005

17/05/2005

Progress report on the Asia regional meeting

The Ramsar pre-COP9 regional meeting for Asia got under way in Beijing, China, on Saturday 13 May 2005 and runs to the 16th. Welcoming remarks were made by the Vice Minister for State Forestry Administration, Exc. Zhao Xue Min, who stressed the importance of the Himalayan Initiative and called for a strengthening of international cooperation on environmental issues. Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General of the Convention, explained the latest developments of the Convention and presented an overview of the documents and issues to be discussed during the upcoming Standing Committee meeting and Conference of the Parties. Ms Yin Hong presented an overview of China's implementation of the Convention, and the Iranian delegate, Ms. Yasaman Rajabkhah Shalmany, discussed the situation of Ramsar Convention throughout the Asia region, stressing the need for improved communication among Parties in the region.

In Saturday's afternoon session, David Pritchard of RSPB/BirdLife International introduced the draft Ramsar resolutions intended for consideration at COP9, in particular the ones most relevant for Asia - a discussion of the key issues in the region followed, with an animated debate on the need for Ramsar guidance on tourism/ecotourism. The second part of the afternoon was dedicated to a technical session on 'Building Wetland Conservation into Asian Sustainable Development', with presentations on Water, Wetlands and Livelihoods, Ramsar's policies on the cultural values of wetlands and the CEPA Programme, as well as how to finance wetland conservation and wise use through specific mechanism for the Asia region.

Ms Yin Hong: overview of China's implementation of the Convention

Ms. Yasaman Rajabkhah Shalmany: Ramsar in the Asia region

Lei Guangchun, Ramsar Senior Advisor for the Asia/Pacific

Dave Pritchard, RSPB/BirdLife International
Sandra Hails, Ramsar CEPA Programme Officer


Ramsar's Lei Guangchun and Peter Bridgewater meeting with the Minister for Forests, China


Cultural performancs at the opening night dinner


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