The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 19 October 2007
SGF project seminar in the Unguri-Holosnita Ramsar site in northwest Moldova. In the framework of the Ramsar 2006 Small Grant Fund project "Management Scenario Development for the Unguri-Holosnita New Ramsar Site and Awareness Raising on the Ramsar Convention Wise Use Policy", the second seminar was held the 26th September 2007 in the village of Rudi, part of the Unguri-Holosnita Ramsar site (no1500), a wetland ecosystem which extends northwest where the Dniester River forms the natural borders between Moldova and Ukraine. Ramsar's Monica Zavagli participated in the seminar and prepared this illustrated report. [16/10/07]
NorBalWet conference on monitoring of wetlands. In 2006 took place two very successful meetings under the Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet), one in Sweden focusing on the restoration of wet forests and mires, and one in Norway focusing on restoration of rivers, floodplains, lakes and deltas. This has been followed on 20-22 September 2007 by a conference on monitoring of wetlands held at Lepanina, on the southern Baltic coast of Estonia, organized by the Nature Conservation Department of the Estonian Ministry of the Envrionment, the administrative authority for the Ramsar Convention. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé was there and provides this brief report, with photos and the meeting's conclusions. [12/10/07]
4th Asia Regional Conservation Forum. The 4th Asia Regional Conservation Forum, an international conference on environment and sustainable development focusing on the Asia region, was held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 10-14 September 2007 with the theme "Synergies for Sustainable Asia". The meeting was organized by The World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the government of Nepal. Its main aim was to generate a platform for meaningful dialogue on approaches towards critical conservation and development issues in the Asia region, as well as potential solutions, and also to share and foster partnership with different stakeholders. Ms Pragati Tuladhar represented the Ramsar Convention there and filed this illustrated report. [11/10/07]
United Arab Emirates join the Ramsar Convention. The Secretariat is delighted to announce that we have been informed by UNESCO, the Convention's legal depositary, that the United Arab Emirates have completed the accession formalities on 29 August 2007, and that therefore the Convention, as amended in 1982 and 1987, will enter into force for the U.A.E. on 29 December 2007. The new Party's first Ramsar site is "Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary" (620 hectares), an area of "sabkha" saline flats, intertidal mudflats and mangroves, small lagoons and pools, and a few tiny islands which lies at the interface between the Arabian or Persian Gulf and the Al Awir Desert in the Emirate of Dubai - the name means 'head of creek' in reference to the 14km long watercourse known as the Dubai Creek, which is an important waterway in the area that serves as a focal point for the social and cultural life of Dubai. During winter the site supports more than 20,000 waterbirds of 67 species and acts as a critical staging ground for the wintering birds of the East African-West Asian Flyway. The site hosts more than 500 species of flora and fauna and is one of the best-managed arid zone wetlands in the region. Located within Dubai city, it is an important tourist spot and received visitors from 98 countries in 2005-6. Eutrophication is seen as the principal threat to the character of the site but has been decreasing recently. A marine biological field laboratory is present, and a visitors' centre is under construction.
The Convention now has 156 Contracting Parties, which have designated 1,676 Wetlands of International Importance. [26/09/07]