Database of wetlands in Mali
First version of the database on wetlands in Mali
The Department of Nature Conservation of the Ministry of Equipment, Land-Use and Environment (the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Mali) recently developed the first version of the database on Mali's wetlands, in accordance with Recommendation 1.5 (1980) and Resolution VII.20 of the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties ( San José, Costa Rica, 1999), which encouraged Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention to prioritize the compilation of comprehensive national wetlands inventories which would provide sufficient data for related activities such as policy development and wetland designations.
This first version is up and running but will continue to be developed further for some time.
The development of this database was done under the scope of the National Action Plan for Wetlands Management in Mali (PAZU), which was officially launched following decree N° 05-2252/MAE- SG of 28 September 2005 that led to the creation of the coordination unit for PAZU, following the adoption of the National Wetlands Policy in September 2003 and in accordance with Recommendation 6.9 (adopted at COP6 in March 1996 in Brisbane, Australia).
The creation of PAZU was a result of a project which was jointly funded by the Netherlands government, the Malian government, the Ramsar Secretariat, and WWF International with a four-year lifespan (2004-2008) and has Mr. Soumana Timbo, the focal point of the Ramsar Convention in Mali, as the coordinator of the PAZU coordinating unit.
The development, management and dissemination of a database of wetlands in Mali is one of the seven missions of PAZU, in accordance with the operational objective 1 (inventory and assessment) of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008. The present database uses a combination of GIS and Earth observation software (http://www.pixelasarl.com/mhmali/). The wetlands of Mali are grouped with respect to the seven main regions of Mali: Gao, Kidal, Koulikoro, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso and Tombouctou. Information on each individual wetland can be obtained from the database, for example: The official and local name of the wetland, the wetland type, location (region, geographical coordinates), surface area, physico-chemical characteristics, wetland functions, land-use types/cover, existing fauna and flora, rare fauna and flora, land use tenure/ownership, disturbances and threats to the wetland, cultural value and justifications under Ramsar Criteria for identifying Wetlands of International Importance, amongst others. Most of the information provided in this database is required for the designation of Wetlands of International Importance, but most interesting is the information provided on the justification under Ramsar Criteria, which refers to aspects/values of the wetlands which could qualify them as Ramsar sites.
The Ramsar Secretariat congratulates the government of the Republic of Mali once more on the achievement of this objective of the PAZU and encourages Mali towards the further accomplishing of more of its objectives. Other African countries are once more encouraged to emulate the example set by Mali.
-- Evelyn Moloko Parh, Assistant Advisor for Africa