The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 18 October 2008
Headline story. Fifteen new sites in Mexico complete WWD pledge. On World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2008, the government of Mexico announced the designation of 45 new Wetlands of International Importance, and the required bureaucratic process for getting those sites added to the Ramsar List was begun at that time. The Secretariat is extremely pleased to report now that the last 15 of those 45 new Ramsar sites have been listed, bringing Mexico’s total number of sites to 112 and surface area to 8,118,927 hectares, second only to the United Kingdom in number of sites and just after Canada and the Russian Federation in total Ramsar area. The 15 new sites are chiefly coastal lagoons, estuaries, and beaches, but there are a few interesting inland and highland riparian and oasis sites as well. The completion of this project for 45 new Ramsar sites is a tribute not only to the commitment of the government of Mexico, but also to the dedication of our Assistant Advisor for the Americas, Ms Mila Llorens, who has worked long hours with Mexico over the past nine months to bring this valuable work to fruition. Mila’s brief descriptions of the 15 newest sites can be see here --
As of today, the Convention has registered 1,801 Ramsar sites covering a total area of 163,022,001 hectares. But more new sites will be added in the next few days before the COP begins. [17/10/08]
Invitation.COP10 High Andean side event. The Contact Group of the Strategy for the Conservation and Wise Use of High Andean Wetlands is pleased to invite you to the High Andean Wetlands Side Event to take place during the COP10 in Changwon, Republic of Korea. The main purpose of this event is to present the lessons learned in the formulation process and the implementation of this Strategy. See the invitation.
El Grupo de Contacto de la Estrategia Regional de Conservación y Uso Sostenible de Humedales Altoandinos se complace en invitarle al Evento Paralelo de Humedales Altoandinos a llevarse a cabo durante la COP10 en Changwon, Corea del Sur. El propósito principal de dicho evento es dar a conocer las experiencias aprendidas durante el proceso de formulación e implementación de dicha estrategia. Ver invitación.
Headline story.Help for the Secretariat. The Ramsar staff is pleased to welcome Ms Emily Reed, who will be covering the office during our absence at the COP and taking care of our World Wetlands Day requests to the end of the year. Emily graduated in Development and Environmental Geography from King’s College University London in 2008. She has previously done volunteer work for the Green Party U.K and the water quality campaign group Surfers Against Sewage. She will be helping us as a volunteer with Ramsar until Christmas, during which time she hopes to learn more about how the Secretariat functions. The Secretariat is extraordinarily pleased to have this help at this key time, as we are especially busy with the preparations for the 10th Conference of the Contracting Parties which begins in less than two weeks’ time. [16/10/08]
From the Ramsar Forum.Isahaya tidal-flat has gone? Never! “Dear Forum members, Japan Wetlands Action Network (JAWAN) would like to introduce new articles about Isahaya Bay and the Ariake Sea problem at JAWAN’s web-site. A national land reclamation project obliterated Isahaya Bay’s tidal flat in 1997, but many people including fishermen, NGOs and scientists continue to work towards the initiation of restoration at Isahaya bay. ‘Why it still matters 11 years after the shut-down?’ http://www.jawan.jp/e/news/081015isahaya.html . Please visit our exhibition booth (C-11) at CECO, the venue of the COP10, to get more information, thank you. Regards, Yoshino, Japan Wetlands Action Network.”
Headline story.Italy designates its 51st Ramsar site. The government of Italy has named “Lagustelli di Percile” (256 hectares, 42°06’N 012°55’E) as its next Wetland of International Importance. As summarized by Ramsar’s Monica Zavagli, this Natura 2000 SPA and Regional Natural Park in the hills of the province of Roma consists of two closed Apennine lakes, “Marraone” (the smaller with only 40 m diameter) and the wider “Marrone” also called “Fraturno” (118 m diam, depth 14 m), and their surroundings. The two basins constitute one of the most interesting areas of karstic origin of central Italy and their circular morphology witness their origin as dolines. The main habitats are large reed beds, built up by Phragmites australis associated with Scirpus spp. and Alisma plantago-aquatica, riparian vegetation with Salix spp., Populus spp., typical aquatic vegetation river-side, such as Potamogeton spp. and Myriophyllum sp., and important population of orchids growing on the calcareous grasslands around the lakes. The site also supports several species protected at European level such as:Salamandra terdigidata, Triturus carnifex, Bombina variegate, Euplagia quadripunctata, Euphydryas (aurinia) provincialis and Lanius collurio. Cow grazing and tourism are the main threats in the area. [16/10/08]
Nathalie Rizzotti, Project Officer, is in Thailand, 15-17 October 2008, and Nepal, 18-24 October, to visit site projects under the Ecole de l’Eau initiative funded by the Evian Initiative of the Danone Group. [14/10/08]
Peru names important mangrove habitat. The government of Peru has designated its 13th Wetland of International Importance with the “Manglares de San Pedro de Vice” (3,399 hectares, 05°31’S 080°53’W). According to Ramsar’s Mila Llorens, based on the accompanying Ramsar Information Sheet, this wetland in northern Peru is the last mangrove relict of the southern Pacific coast of South America and is composed of two mangrove species Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa, as well as 43 species of Phanerogamous plants. The site is part of the coastal wetland corridor for migratory birds, registering 98 species of resident and migratory waterfowl. The mangrove is habitat to many fish species, reptiles, invertebrates and micro fauna, and some mammal species such as Pseudalopex sechurae, Didelphys marsupialis and Conepatus semistriatus can also be spotted in the site. It is also of great social and economic importance for the inhabitants of the area, undertaking activities such as subsistence fishing and extraction of crustaceans and mollusks. The wetland is currently threatened due to inadequate management and lack of planning. Every year thousands of tourists visit the site, leaving trash behind, which accumulates and creates not only a visual impact but affects the wildlife living in it. There is a strong relation between the dry forest, the mangroves and the coastal desert, which are important for mammals and birds. [16/10/08]
Invitation.CREHO side event at COP10. The Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere is pleased to invite you to participate in the Side Event: "Ramsar Regional Center, Strengthening the Capacities in the Americas". The event will take place during the Ramsar COP 10 in Korea, on October 30th, 2008, from 18:00 to 19:30 hours, room 603. We look forward to seeing you there. More information: email@example.com.
El Centro Regional Ramsar para la Capacitación e Investigación sobre Humedales para el Hemisferio Occidental se complace en invitarle a participar del Evento Paralelo: “Centro Regional Ramsar, Fortaleciendo Capacidades en las Américas“. El evento se realizará durante la COP 10 de RAMSAR en Corea, el día treinta (30) de octubre de 2008, a partir de las 18:00 a las 19:30 horas en el salón 603. Esperamos contar con su distinguida presencia. Más información firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Cristina Tzanetatos, CREHO. [16/10/08]
France and Germany collaborate on new Ramsar sites. The Ramsar Secretariat is extremely pleased to announce that the governments of France and Germany have jointly designated two new Wetlands of International Importance and inscribed them as the ninth Transboundary Ramsar Site (see joint instrument here, PDF). The TRS covers both sides of the upper river Rhine between the two countries, roughly from the Karlsruhe area southward past Strasbourg and Freiburg nearly to Basel, some 170-190 km. The French Ramsar site, “Rhin supérieur / Oberrhein”, includes 22,413 hectares in the Alsace region, and the German one, “Oberrhein / Rhin supérieur”, covers 25,117 hectares in Baden-Württemberg, with a joint TRS centre point of 48°25’N 007°45’E. Both Ramsar sites are Natura 2000 Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and both share great importance for any number of reasons, not least of which is their support for internationally significant numbers of migratory birds. It’s worth mentioning that this is a fitting reward for Dr Edith Wenger, who has been advocating for and working towards just this result for many years.
Brief site descriptions for the Annotated Ramsar List have been prepared from the respective Ramsar Information Sheets by Ramsar’s Assistant Advisor for Europe, Monica Zavagli. [15/10/08]
Tour du Valat at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. Tour du Valat participated at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, 5-14 October, in Barcelona and organised a knowledge cafe on the project Observatory of Mediterranean wetlands. This workshop that took place on October 8th and provided the opportunity to present and discuss the project which has been developed with a host of partners including among others Wetlands International, WWF, and BirdLife International, and it provided a platform to discuss the future evolution of such an initiative. The proposal about the Observatory of Mediterranean wetlands will also be discussed at the Ninth Meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com9), planned to take place on 28 October 2009, Changwon, Republic of Korea, in the framework of the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP10).
Read more on the project Observatory of Mediterranean wetlands on the website of Tour du Valat.Source: Jean Jalbert, Director General, Tour du Valat. [16/10/08]
Important note.End of COP10 pre-registration. Ramsar registration staff are heading to Korea, and online pre-registration will close at 09.00 GMT on Monday, 20 October 2008. It will still be possible to register at the desk in person at the Conference.
El personal de Ramsar encargado del registro está en camino a Corea, por lo tanto, el registro en línea cerrará a las 09.00 GTM el día lunes 20 de octubre 2008. Sin embargo, será posible registrarse al comenzar la Conferencia.
Le personnel de Ramsar responsable de l’enregistrement est en route pour la Corée, par conséquent, l’enregistrement en ligne fermera à 09h.00 GTM, le lundi 20 octobre 2008. Bien sûr, il sera toujours possible de s’enregistrer sur place avant la Conférence. [15/10/08]
From the Ramsar Forum.Heroes of the Environment. "Dear all, Please read the issue of Time magazine dated Oct 6, 2008 where all the heroes of the environment of several countries are featured. For someone who has contributed a lot to the wetlands ( I believe she subscribes to this forum too) especially the mangroves, I wish to congratulate Jurgenne Primavera of the Philippines. She is someone dear to our hearts especially if you come from Asia where the mangroves thrive. She has done so much & we think it was great seeing her being recognized by Time magazine. Cheers Jurgenne Primavera!! You are one of my Gurus!! Regards, Harban Singh, Malaysia." [14/10/08]
WWF provides lessons and guide to climate adaptation for freshwater wetlands. Recently WWF published two reports, one on lessons from field projects (two involving Ramsar sites) and a guide to climate adaptation for freshwater wetlands. Managers and stakeholders in freshwater systems need to stop talking about adaptation to climate change and start doing it, WWF says. The Ramsar International Organisation Partner presented a series of case studies from four continents showing that measures to improve the health of stressed water systems now would improve their ability to cope with projected climate impacts in the future. Jamie Pittock surveys the issues and describes the new publications, with a link to them on the Panda web site. [13/10/08]
2009 MAP Children's Mangrove Art Calendar. “Dear Friends of the Mangroves, the Mangrove Action Project's 9th international children's art competition has come to a successful close with again some beautiful children's art work coming to us from around the world, ensuring an inspiring next edition of our Children's Mangrove Art Calendar, offering our members a great way to keep track of the days ahead, while offering an excellent opportunity to contribute to MAP's ongoing efforts at the same time! Please order your calendars online at http://www.mangroveactionproject.org/get-involved/store/2009-map-childrens-art-calendar -- calendars are $12 plus $2 for shipping within the US and Canada, and $4 for shipping outside of N. America. MAP asks our members to help support this unique project because the calendar contest provides an opportunity for participating NGOs to build relationships with teachers and to provide school children with environmental information. Educating children on the importance of mangrove and coastal ecosystems is critical to effecting long-term change.” – Monica Alicia Paz Gutierrez-Quarto, Calendar Project Coordinator, Mangrove Action Project. [13/10/08]
Now available. WWD materials for 2009. As in the past, the Ramsar Secretariat is distributing materials (in English, French, and Spanish) that we hope will be helpful to you in your WWD activities. The basic mailing includes -- Posters and stickers on the theme in both hard copy and in printable format on the CD -- A full-colour leaflet to brief you on 9 things we all need to know about river basins, available as a PDF file on the CD at two different resolutions -- Do-it-yourself frogs for some hands-on activity for children of all ages, available on the CD as PDF files and including an instruction sheet (no staples or glue needed this year, just some clever finger-work!) -- 20 Questions for children (maybe with a little help from their teachers or animators!) -- Two comic strips from Pattie in Argentina for your amusement. A second CD has also been prepared with the original designer files for those who wish to customize the materials or translate them into local languages, but that will be sent only on special request.
The first mailing took place in early October 2008, but you can ensure that you receive the materials, too, by contacting the Secretariat (email@example.com). All of the basic materials are also available for downloading from here. [10/10/08]
Vacancy announcement.UNEP/GEF Volta River Basin Project. The UNEP/GEF Volta River Basin Project for “Addressing Transboundary Concerns in the Volta River Basin and its Downstream Coastal Area” is a regional initiative of six riparian countries in the basin – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo. The project has been designed to facilitate the integrated management, sustainable development and protection of natural resources of the Volta River Basin and will achieve its objectives by addressing priority regional transboundary issues and problems as identified through a preliminary transboundary diagnostic analysis (TDA) earlier conducted on the basin. Terms of Reference for the review of the preliminary TDA document and provision of methodology for new TDA and SAP development (PDF). Application Deadline: 25 October 2008. Starting Date: 15 November 2008. Languages Required: English and French. Duration of Contract: 20 man/days. [09/10/08]
Portugal names eleven Ramsar sites in the Azores -- Volcanic-based wetlands of great beauty and importance. The government of Portugal has brought its total number of Wetlands of International Importance to 28 by designating eleven new sites in its mid-Atlantic autonomous region of the Azores Archipelago. They include caldera lakes, geothermal springs and pools, mountain peatlands, and other wetland types on many of the nine islands of the group, as well as one of its famous reefs. Brief Annotated Ramsar List descriptions have been prepared by Ramsar's Monica Zavagli, João Mora Porteiro of the Universidade dos Açores, and Luis Costa, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (BirdLife Portugal), with links to photos of all of the new sites. [07/10/08]
Now available.COP10 side events schedule. Ramsar's Edgar Kaeslin has been putting together the arrangements for the various side events planned for the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Changwon, which gets under way just three weeks from now. More than 50 events have been fit into the limited times and rooms available, and the provisional list is now available here. [07/10/08]
Living Lakes conference results. “The consideration of culture and tradition in lake regions can contribute to the rescue of threatened lakes and their catchment areas.” The 12th Living Lakes conference, recently concluded at Lake Trasimeno, came to that conclusion in the “Trasimeno Statement” agreed by more than 100 participants from 30 nations. “The continuing worldwide destruction of lakes and wetlands can only be stopped through the combined efforts of politics, science and society. Here, cultural values and the importance of water bodies play a crucial role. Due to their historical, spiritual and aesthetic characteristics, lakes and their catchment areas are extremely important for the culture and future of mankind.” Following their discussions of the cultural and spiritual relevance of lakes and wetlands and how these values can be incorporated in the protection of lakes, the Global Nature Fund, which sponsors the Living Lakes network, has summed up the proceedings in this press release and included the Trasimeno Statement as well (both PDF). [07/10/08]
First announcement. Adriatic Flyway Conference 2009. The EuroNatur Foundation, Black Mountain, and the Center for Protection and Research of Birds of Montenegro (CZIP) are organizing an international conference in Ulcinj (Montenegro), Bojana-Buna Delta, from the 14th to the 17th April 2009, that is aimed to promote the coastal area from Slovenia to Albania along the East Coast of the Adriatic as a unique place for bird preservation and nature based holidays in Europe and worldwide. It will also promote the protection of bird migration over the Mediterranean as a unique natural phenomenon in Europe. Here is the first announcement. [07/10/08]
Seabirds now internationally protected across Africa and Eurasia. “A total of twenty migratory waterbird species, including several species of auks, frigate birds, gannets and tropic birds have been added to Annex 2 of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA) - an international treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds in Africa and Eurasia. The decision to give 20 waterbird species greater international protection was made at the Fourth Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (MOP4) which was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar from 15-19 September 2008. At the meeting over 150 delegates from 80 countries adopted, among others, Resolution 4.11, which calls for the inclusion of 20 additional waterbird species in Annex 2 of the Agreement. The inclusion of these species gives them greater international protection and calls upon countries and other stakeholders in the region to take concrete action for those species that have an unfavourable conservation status." Here's the full text of AEWA's press release. [07/10/08]
BirdLife honors Luc and André Hoffmann. Every four years, BirdLife International recognizes the achievements of the people and organizations that support and promote its mission, programme and conservation priorities worldwide. The most prestigious individual award, the 2008 President's Medal, was presented by BirdLife's Honorary President, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan, to Dr Luc Hoffmann and his son André Hoffmann. Dr Luc Hoffmann has played an active part in the development and governance of national and international institutions, including the Ramsar Convention and IUCN. He served on the Executive Committee of BirdLife's predecessor, the International Council for Bird Preservation, and has been a Founder Patron of BirdLife, contributing significant financial support to the Secretariat's operating budget. Through family foundations he also contributes to various BirdLife programmes. André Hoffmann became the first Founder Patron after working with BirdLife's previous Treasurer, Tasso Leventis, and CEO Mike Rands, to create the BirdLife Founder Patron scheme. All of BirdLife’s Partnership and Conservation Achievement Award winners are described on BirdLife's Web site. [07/10/08]
Now available. 38th Standing Committee. The 38th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee will take place in Changwon, Republic of Korea, on 27 October, the day before the opening of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The agenda is mostly occupied with getting the COP off to a good start, and there are only eight agenda papers for participants to memorize this time. Here they are. [03/10/08]
Swampfest in Ohio celebrates USA’s 24th Ramsar wetland. Swampfest 2008 was held at the Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park (ORWRP) at The Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, Ohio, USA, on Thursday evening, September 25, 2008, to celebrate that wetland being named the USA’s 24th Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. The ORWPR is the first Ramsar wetland in Ohio and one of only a few in the American Midwest. An estimated 650 people attended the event, including OSU President E. Gordon Gee, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Charles Wooley, representatives of U.S. Congress members, ORWRP Director Bill Mitsch, the Society of Wetland Scientists, and The Nature Conservancy, among others. Representing the U.S. Ramsar program and presenting the Ramsar site certificate to President Gee were Mr. Wooley, Royal C. Gardner (past chair, U.S. Ramsar Committee, Stetson University Law School), and Suzanne Pittenger-Slear (current chair, U.S. Ramsar Committee, Environmental Concern, Maryland). The full, well-illustrated report can be seen here (PDF). [01/10/08]
Second announcement.World NGO Conference on Wetlands.Ma Yong-un, Korea NGO Network for Ramsar COP10, has provided a revised announcement for the World NGO Conference on Wetlands: “NGOs for Healthy and Sustainable Wetlands”. “Dear friends working on wetland conservation around the world, I would like to provide revised information on the 'World NGO Conference on Wetlands' which will be held 25-27 October this year right before the upcoming Ramsar COP10 in South Korea. The organizer of the conference, Korea NGO Network for Ramsar COP10, expects the conference will be a great chance for a lot of wetland NGOs around the world to meet to share information and experience on wetland conservation and to find ways to ask Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention for stronger commitment and action for wetland conservation. As organizersof the conference have secured funds to support air travel for a few dozen NGO participants from developing countries, I hope it will be an opportunity for them to be supported to come to Korea to join the Ramsar COP10 as well. Please refer to the attached information for details [PDF].” [01/10/08]
Eight more Ramsar sites for Mexico. On World Wetlands Day 2008, 2 February last, the government of Mexico announced the designation of 45 new Wetlands of International Importance, and gradually since then the paperwork for these important new designations is being cleared. Eight new sites added to the Ramsar List on 29 September 2008 bring Mexico's total number of Ramsar sites to 97, covering an area of 7,010,189 hectares, with the site data for 15 additional wetlands from that WWD announcement still in the pipeline. Here are brief site descriptions prepared by Ramsar's Mila Llorens for the Annotated Ramsar List. [30/09/08]
Special feature.Australia’s Coorong Ramsar site at an example of growing challenges. The Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Lake Albert Ramsar site in South Australia, as well as many other wetlands in the vast Murray-Darling river basin, have been under extreme stresses in recent years, and citizens groups and governments at all levels have been expressing their concerns and trying to find solutions for some time. Jamie Pittock’s brief illustrated paper, "Over-allocation of water and climate change wreck ecological havoc: big issues for Ramsar C0P10? Australia’s Coorong Ramsar site provides an example of the growing challenges facing many countries in conserving wetlands", surveys the situation and the prospects for the Ramsar sites in the basin as food for thought in the run-up to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Ramsar Parties coming up at the end of this month in Changwon, Korea. Here it is. [29/09/08]
12th Living Lakes Conference. The 12th International Living Lakes conference is underway in Castiglione del Lago at Lake Trasimeno, Italy. Ramsar's Monica Zavagli is participating in the event and will report later, but in the meantime, here is an early press release from the Global Nature Fund, which founded the Living Lakes network back in 1998. [26/09/08]
Visit to the new “Ecoles de protection de l’eau” pilot project in Argentina.Nathalie Rizzotti, Ramsar project officer and Danone Evian coordinator, went to the northeast of Argentina to visit the new “Ecoles de protection de l’eau” pilot project. It was the first visit from the Ramsar Secretariat to one of the three projects that are called “Écoles de protection de l’eau” ("Water Protection Institutes"). All three – the other two are located in Nepal and Thailand – are financed by a new fund coming from the Danone-Evian partnership with the Ramsar Convention (http://www.evian-ecolesdeleau.fr/). The project is being implemented in two Ramsar sites, Jaaukanigas and Chaco wetland, an area of more than 900,000 hectares in Santa Fé and Chaco Provinces. Nathalie's brief report, with photographs, can be found here. [25/09/08]
Now available. Interviews with Ramsar Award winners. The winners of the 2008 Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards were announced in June 2008, and the awards ceremony will take place during opening session of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in Changwon, Republic of Korea, on 27 October 2008. The winners of the Awards and the accompanying Evian Special Prize of US$ 10,000 each are -- in the Education category, Dr Sansanee Choowaew; in the Science category, Mr Dave Pritchard; and in the Management category, Mr Denis Landenbergue. In addition, the 2008 Recognition for Excellence was awarded to Dr Jan Květ. Interviews with all four of the laureates, conducted recently by Mark Schulman, Libuše Vlasáková, and Ramsar staff, are now available in English here. [25/09/08]
State of the World’s Birds. “Common birds are in decline across the world, providing evidence of a rapid deterioration in the global environment that is affecting all life on earth – including human life. All the world’s governments have committed themselves to slowing or halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010. But reluctance to commit what are often trivial sums in terms of national budgets means that this target is almost certain to be missed. These are some of the stark messages from State of the World's Birds, a new publication and website (birdlife.org/sowb) launched today at BirdLife International’s World Conference in Buenos Aires. . . . The report highlights worldwide losses among widespread and once-familiar birds. A staggering 45% of common European birds are declining: the familiar European Turtle-dove Streptopelia turtur, for example,has lost 62% of its population in the last 25 years. On the other side of the globe, resident Australian wading birds have seen population losses of 81% in just quarter of a century. . . . Twenty North American common birds have more than halved in number in the last four decades State of the Worlds Birds identifies many key global threats, including the intensification of industrial-scale agriculture and fishing, the spread of invasive species, logging and the replacement of natural forest with monocultural plantations." The full press release is available here, and the State of the World's Birds Web site is here. [25/09/08]
Invitation. Ohio State University's wetlands to host SwampFest Sept. 25. Plan to join President E. Gordon Gee at OSU's Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, 352 W. Dodridge St., Columbus, Ohio, to celebrate its designation as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance at SwampFest 2008, from 5-10 p.m. Thursday (9/25). The public is invited. CABS buses will be running from the RPAC to Swampfest at 4:20, 4:50 and 5:20 p.m. Enjoy the Picnic at the Swamp, an outdoor lecture on wetlands of the world, and bluegrass and rock bands all evening. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. See the announcement here (PDF). [24/09/08]
Position announcement.Nature Conservation Officer, Dubai. Mohammed Anisuzzaman Khan, Senior Nature Conservation Officer, Environment Department of Dubai (www.wildlife.ae) sends notice of a vacancy announcement for a Nature Conservation Officer with the Municipality of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to be based in Dubai. The deadline for applications is 1 October 2008, and the announcement can be found here (PDF). [23/09/08]
Three more Ramsar sites for Mexico. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that a further three Ramsar site designations have been finalized from amongst those that the government of Mexico announced on World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2008. They are Humedales de Montaña La Kisst (36 hectares, 16°44’N 092°39’W) in Chiapas; Playa de Colola (287 hectares; 18°18’N 103°25’W), a turtle beach on the Pacific coast in Michoacán state; and El Estero La Manzanilla (264 hectares; 19°18’N 104°47’W), a productive mangrove estuary on the Jalisco coast. Summaries by Mila Llorens of the site information on all three can be found here. [19/09/08]
Swiss Grant for Africa.Rapid Wetland Inventory in DR of Congo. With the support of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, under the scheme of the Swiss Grants for Africa (SGA), and technical assistance from WWF-DRC, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has just completed an impressive rapid inventory of the representative wetlands of the country. The group of freshwater experts who contributed to the report highlighted 33 wetland priority areas, covering parts of every province of DRC. The 66-page inventory report provides a description for each priority area with information on the biological diversity as well as data responding to some of the fields of the Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS). Here is a brief report by Ramsar's Abou Bamba, with a link to the inventory report itself. [19/09/08]
Call for applications to the Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund. The ‘Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund’ has been established to provide financial support to projects at site of importance for migratory waterbirds in the East Asia - Australasian Flyway. Cathay Pacific placed an initial donation of HK$500,000 (approx. US$65,000) into the Fund which is administered by WWF Hong Kong, and further donations are actively being sought to increase the amount in the Fund so that a greater number of worthwhile projects can be supported in future. Each year, up to 25% of the amount in the Fund will be earmarked for disbursement to support approved projects. At present, the maximum amount that can be applied for each project shall not exceed US$4,000. Seven projects have been funded since the first round of application in June 2006. You may visit our website <http://www.wwf.org.hk/eng/maipo/awcf/projects.html> for details.
There will be a single call for applications to the Fund each year with the deadline currently being 31 October 2008. For further information, please check http://www.wwf.org.hk/eng/maipo/awcf/ or contact the AWCF Administrator, Miss Katherine Leung, by e-mail email@example.com.
Celebrations for Austrian-German cooperation. On September 4th 2008, a ceremony took place at the "Austrian-Bavarian Wildalm" Transboundary Ramsar Site, a large mire area situated at 1430 meters asl. covering the whole bottom and the slopes of a karst depression or polje with a natural brook that vanishes into a ponor. The site comprises the two Ramsar sites -- the bog Bayerische Wildalm and Wildalmfilz in Tyrol, Austria, and Bayerische Wildalm in Bavaria, Germany, and the complex supports several endangered plant species. The regional affairs officer of the Ramsar Secretariat, Alexia Dufour, presented diplomas to the Bavarian Secretary of Environment, Marcel Huber, and the Tyrolean Landeshauptmann, Hannes Gschwentner, at the Gufferhütte, Tyrol, a mountain refuge, starting point of excellent hiking trails to the site. Congratulations to Austria and Germany for this initiative of great interest for the promotion of international collaboration for the conservation and wise use of wetlands! [17/09/08]
Vacancy announcement. IUCN: Programme Officer, Islands. IUCN is seeking to recruit a "Programme Officer, Islands" for the Ecosystem Management Programme, a full-time position based in the IUCN HQ in Gland, Switzerland, for two years, renewable. Deadline for applications is 15 October 2008. Here is the announcement (PDF). [18/09/08]
Himalayan Initiative drafts strategy. The 6th meeting of the Himalayan Wetland Initiative, organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and funded by the Asia Pro Eco Europe Aid Cooperative Office, was held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 1st to 3rd September, 2008. The main objective was to complete the draft of a strategy for the Himalayan Wetland Initiative so that Contracting Parties in the Himalayan region can consider and endorse the final version during COP10 at the end of October. Here is a report, with photographs, from Ramsar's Lew Young. [17/09/08]
Japan Wetland Society launched. "Dear Forum members, Greetings from Japan. The Japan Wetland Society (JAWS) was officially established on 6th September 2008. The inauguration ceremony was held in Tokyo and Prof Tsujii (President of the WI Japan) was selected as the first President of the Society. Among the Board members of the Society are Prof Masatomi (crane expert), Prof Isozaki (environmental laws), Prof Kikuchi (the head of the Japanese delegation at Ramsar COP5), Ms Nakamura (Ramsar Center Japan), Mr Natori (UNU). There were 42 co-founders of the Society including Prof Kawanabe (Director of the Lake Biwa Museum), Prof Higuchi, Prof Washitani, Prof Fujikura, Dr Komoda, Mr Tsuji (President of JAWAN), Mr Kurechi. Other leading wetland researchers, active NGO members and wetland managers throughout Japan have expressed their interests in joining the Japan Wetland Society. The Society aims to promote wetland-related researches and conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Although the Society is still in its embryonic stage, we would like to seek some ways to cooperate with other Ramsar- and wetland- related bodies in other countries in not too distant future." -- Satoshi Kobayashi, Ph.D., Kushiro Public University (firstname.lastname@example.org). [17/09/08]
Bosnia & Herzegovina names 3rd Ramsar site. The government of Bosnia & Herzegovina has designated “Livanjsko Polje (Livno karst field)” (45,868 hectares, 43°53’N 016°47’E) in Hercegbosanska canton as its third Wetland of International Importance. As summarized by Ramsar’s Monica Zavagli, based on the accompanying Ramsar Information Sheet, the new site is the largest karst depression in the Dinaric karst region and perhaps the largest periodically flooded karst field in the world. It comprises seasonally flooded agricultural land and alluvial forest, seasonal marshes and pools, permanent streams, karst springs and sinkholes, and the largest peatland in the Balkans. Together with the Sava wetlands, it is the most important wintering, migration, and breeding site for waterbirds and raptors in the country and a key site along the Central European Flyway. The polje is important for the identify of the local community of Livno, well-known for its traditional cheeses, and for a wide range of recreational pursuits. Threats include water extraction for energy production, a planned coal-fired thermoelectric plant, and unsustainable peat excavation. [16/09/08]
Noticia Lamentable.Sr. Jesús Ramos. Con gran tristeza la Secretaria de Ramsar tuvo conocimiento del fallecimiento el pasado 30 de agosto de 2008 del Sr. Jesús Ramos, Punto Focal Ramsar para Venezuela por varios años. Jesús estuvo relacionado con la implementación de la Convención por cerca de 5 años y jugo un papel clave en la organización de la V Reunión Panamericana celebrada en Mérida, República Bolivariana de Venezuela en Septiembre de 2007. Por muchos años el Sr. Ramos estuvo dedicado y comprometido en la conservación de los recursos naturales de Venezuela como investigador y académico.
La Secretaria de la Convención Ramsar y en especial el equipo de las Américas envían las más sentida condolencias por esta perdida a su familia, colegas y amigos pero pueden estar seguros que siempre será recordado como un excelente colega y amigo de la familia Ramsar. [16/09/08]
Sad News.Mr. Jesus Ramos. It is with great sadness that the Ramsar Secretariat learnt of the death of Mr. Jesus Ramos, former Ramsar National Focal Point in Venezuela who died on 30 August 2008. He was involved with the Ramsar Convention for around 5 years and played a key role in the organization of the V Pan American meeting held in Mérida, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in 2007. Over the years, Mr. Ramos has been very dedicated to his task and was very engaged in the conservation of Venezuela’s natural resources as a researcher and academic.
The Ramsar Secretariat and especially the Team for the Americas send Mr. Ramos’ family, colleagues and friends our most sincere condolences for this sad loss. Let them be assured that Mr. Ramos will be remembered as an excellent colleague and friend of the Ramsar family.
Germany's National Wetland Committee. A meeting of the German National Wetland Committee was held on September 3rd, 2008, at the Ministry of Environment in Bonn, Germany. About twenty people, representatives of the federal Ministry of Environment, some Federal States (Länder), WWF-Germany, NGOs, the Bundesamt für Naturschutz (federal Agency for nature protection) and a representative of the Ramsar Secretariat attended the meeting. Here is a very brief summary of the event from Ramsar's Alexia Dufour. [16/09/08]
Study shows migratory waterbird declines. A study showing declines of 41 per cent of migratory waterbird populations along their main migration routes in Africa and Eurasia is presented to the Fourth Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (MOP4) in Antananarivo, Madagascar this week (15-19 September 2008). The report: “Conservation Status of Migratory Waterbirds in the African-Eurasian Flyways” prepared by Wetlands International for the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) is being presented to delegates from over 80 countries attending an intergovernmental meeting which began in Antananarivo today. The study reveals that 41 % of the known trends for 522 migratory waterbird populations on the routes across Africa and Eurasia show decreasing trends. The situation is even worse for waterbirds using Western and Central Asian Flyways, where 55 % of populations with known trends are currently declining. . . . Simon Delany, Waterbird Conservation Officer at the Netherlands-based Headquarters of Wetlands International and principal author of the report, said: “The main causes of declining waterbird numbers along the African-Eurasian Flyways are the destruction and unsustainable exploitation of wetlands, which are largely driven by poorly-planned economic development.” Press release (PDF).[15/09/08]
From the Ramsar Forum. International Crane Workshop in Gumi, Korea, October 2008. “Dear friends, An international workshop and symposium on crane conservation will be held ion Gumi City, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Republic of Korea from 23 to 25 October (just before the Ramsar COP10). It will cover the following four areas: Group A. wintering ground management & avoid over-concentration; Group B. Crane conservation involving local communities; Group C. Crane habitat loss and monitoring method in Korea; Group D. Ecotourism and Education program. Gumi is located at the bank of Nakdong River. Every year thousands of cranes (mostly Hooded Crane and White-naped Cranes) make a brief stop at the area before their journey to the main wintering ground in southern Japan. The site has good potential to re-establish a wintering flock of cranes. This is one of the main topics to be discussed at the workshop.
The workshop is co-organized by BirdLife Asia Division, Korean Crane Network and International Crane Foundation. If you are interested to attend the workshop, please contact Dr Lee Ki-sup of the Korean Crane Network for registration: Dr Lee Kisup, Korean Crane Network. Office phone: +82-2-734-0678(f), mobile +82-11-9788-0678, Email email@example.com." -- Simba Chan, Senior Conservation Officer, BirdLife Asia Division. [15/09/08]
Reminder. Credentials for delegates to COP10. It’s good to remind delegates that the Rules of Procedure specify certain things about the official credentials that they must bring with them to Ramsar COP10, and that no representative may exercise the right to vote unless his or her name is clearly and unambiguously listed in those credentials. The Rules stipulate that “The original of the statement of credentials of the head of delegation and other representatives, alternate representatives, and advisers shall be submitted to the Secretary General of the Convention or to his/her designated representative if possible not later than twenty-four hours after the opening of the meeting. . . . The credentials shall be issued either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs or his/her equivalent. . . . The credentials must bear the name and position of the person who signs the credentials as well as the full signature of the appropriate authority or else be sealed and initialled by that authority.” The full text from the Rules can be seen here in and . [10/09/08]
Floods at Nepal's Koshi Tappu Ramsar site. The Secretariat has recently received a report from the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Nepal informing us of the devastating impact of the Koshi River breaking its defensive embankment in mid-August, flooding and affecting 60,000 people in Nepal and another 3 million people in neighbouring Bihar State, India. Before the break in the embankment, the Koshi River was also the source of the water for the Koshi Tappu, Nepal's first Ramsar site, but only 20% of the water now reaches the site because of the change in the course of the river. Whilst much humanitarian aid is now being given to help the people affected by the flood, the Secretariat is also communicating with the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Nepal to see what assistance can be given to assess the impact to the Koshi Tappu Ramsar site and make suggestions for the future conservation of the site. The report from Dr Annapurna Nand Das of the Dept. of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation can be seen here (PDF), and some photos and a satellite image of the flooding, here. [11/09/08]
Training opportunities. EIA course at CREHO. The International Course on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Strategic Assessment (ESA) for Wetlands Management is a two weeks intensive course that will take place in Panama City, 24 November to 5 December 2008, as part of the Regional Wetlands Training Program for the Western Hemisphere developed by the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands for the Western Hemisphere - CREHO. The course has been designed for decision-makers and mid-level officials from the governmental, non-governmental, private and international sectors, professionals or technicians working in wetlands-related issues. [10/09/08]
El Curso Internacional sobre Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental (EIA) y Evaluación Ambiental Estratégica (EAE) para Manejo de Humedales es un curso intensivo de dos semanas que se dictará en Ciudad de Panamá, como parte del Programa Regional de Capacitación sobre Humedales para el Hemisferio Occidental del Centro Regional Ramsar para la Capacitación e Investigación sobre Humedales en el Hemisferio Occidental-CREHO. Este curso ha sido diseñado para los tomadores de decisiones y funcionarios de nivel medio, del sector gubernamental, privado, organizaciones no gubernamentales, organismos internacionales, sean de nivel profesional o técnico que se desempeñan en actividades o funciones relacionadas con humedales.
OCHA teams to Haiti and the Turks and Caicos. “Dear Mr Tiega and colleagues, Please be informed that, upon request of the national authorities/UN Residenct Coordinator, two UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) teams have been deployed to Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands, respectively, in response to Hurricanes/Tropical Storms Gustav, Hanna and Ike. In the context of these disasters, impact on the wetlands on these islands may be of particular concern. Both teams have an environmental expert among their members to identify any life threatening/urgent environmental issues: Mr. Olivier Bruyere (UN DSS) is part of the UNDAC team for Haiti, and Cecilia Morales, of UNEP PCDMB, is part of the team for the Turks and Caicos Islands. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleagues with any questions concerning the above. Best regards,” -- Ms. Mirja Peters, Environmental Emergencies Unit (joint UNEP/OCHA) Emergency Preparedness Section, Emergency Services Branch Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland (http://ochaonline.un.org/ochaunep). [08/09/08]
Vacancy announcement. Ramsar opening for Intern for the Americas. The Ramsar Secretariat welcomes applications for the position of Intern/Assistant Advisor for the Americas Region, a 12-month posting (possibly extendable to 18 months) in the Ramsar Secretariat in Switzerland to begin in the second week of January 2009. With an age limit for applicants of 30 years old, the post offers an opportunity for young graduates to become acquainted with the workings of an intergovernmental treaty dealing with the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Candidates for this internship should be nationals of countries in the Americas and have lived most of their lives in the region. Full ability to work in Spanishand English is required for this post. Prospective candidates: please view the General Terms of Reference for Ramsar internships (also available from the Secretariat), which includes conditions of service and salary structure, and send the application form (Word, PDF) attached to the General Terms of Reference, a covering letter, both in English and Spanish, explaining your interest in an internship with the Ramsar Secretariat and your future career goals, your CV, as well as two letters of reference from your previous supervisors or dean of the faculty where you carried out your studies, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is 3 October 2008. [05/09/08]
Feedback and suggestions are welcome to the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland (tel +41 22 999 0170, fax +41 22 999 0169, e-mail ).