Mali's reinvigorated National Ramsar Committee
Mali launches the implementation of its National Ramsar Committee 2008-2009 Work Programme
The government of Mali has organized a workshop to launch the 2008-2009 work programme of its National Ramsar Committee on 29 March 2008 in Bamako, Mali.
The participants were members of the National Ramsar Committee and included the following government departments: i) tourism, ii) agriculture, iii) water, iv) environment, v) forestry, vi) health, vii) fisheries, etc. Representatives of NGOs, focal points of other biodiversity-related conventions who are also members of the committee, and members of parliament also attended the meeting.
The design of the work programme, which was prepared in collaboration with the Ramsar Secretariat, is articulated around the following activities: i) communication and public awareness, ii) COP10 preparation, iii) designation of new Ramsar sites, iv) creation of regional and local national Ramsar committees, v) preparation and organization of the next World Wetlands Day celebration, vi) members' capacity building, and v) fundraising
The government of Mali established its Ramsar National Committee in accordance with Recommendation 5.13 of Ramsar COP5 (1993). By the Ministerial Joint Decree no. 06/3173/MAE-MEP-MAT-MEN-MATCL-MA-MMEE-MSIPC-SG of 29 December 2006, the Ministries of Environment, Fisheries and Livestock, Handcraft and Tourism, National Education, Territorial Administration and Local Communities, Agriculture, Mining Energy and Water, and National Security and Civil Protection, created the Ramsar National Committee with a membership of senior government representatives, university professors, government organizations and NGOs with different qualifications in the field of wetlands management. The committee took up its new responsibilities from the date its composition decree was signed, but because of the lack of funding it had been more or less dormant since its creation. The government of Mali then successfully submitted a project for funding from the Ramsar Convention's Swiss Grant for Africa, funded by the government of Switzerland, to kick off the committee's activities.
These activities are being coordinated by the National Directorate for Nature Conservation (the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Mali), which is under the administrative supervision of the Ministry of Environment.
The Ramsar Secretariat would like to urge the other Contracting Parties that have established National Ramsar or Wetlands Committees that are not yet functioning properly to follow the example of Mali and raise funds with various donors at the national level to get things moving.
-- Mr Abou Bamba,
Senior Advisor for Africa