The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 28 January 2008
Headline story. STRP's in town. The Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel is holding its 14th ordinary meeting (STRP14) this week at the Secretariat's facilities in Gland, Switzerland, and some 50 thematic and regional members, representatives of International Organization Partners and other interested organizations, representatives of related MEAs, and invited experts have gathered for a punishing daily schedule of presentations and drafting throughout the week, 28 January to 1 February. Among the organizations represented here are the CBD and CBD SBSTTA, CITES, FAO, UNEP-WCMC, SWS, WWT, IPS, GEO, ESA, IPCC, TNC, as well as the government agencies and organizations from which the members and invited experts have come. The participants' list is available here in PDF format. [28/01/08]
Now available.SC36 agenda papers. All of the pre-meeting documentation for the 36th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee has been e-mailed to the participants and is now available for download in HTML, Word, and PDF formats on this Web site. [27/01/08]
The Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel is holding its 14th ordinary meeting (STRP14) this week at the Secretariat's facilities in Gland, Switzerland, and some 50 thematic and regional members, representatives of International Organization Partners and other interested organizations, representatives of related MEAs, and invited experts have gathered for a punishing daily schedule of presentations and drafting throughout the week, 28 January to 1 February. [28/01/08]
Programme Manager - WWF Thames Programme. "We are currently looking for someone to lead on the delivery of a high profile programme that seeks to ensure better management of the country's most famous river in the face of climate change. As Manager of WWF's Thames Programme you will lead the delivery of a high profile programme that seeks to ensure better management of the country's most famous river in the face of climate change." For more information about this opportunity, see the job description. Closing date: 13 February 2008. Location: Godalming, Surrey, UK. Contract type: Full Time, Permament. Salary: c£29,000 per annum. To apply send your CV and a covering letter to The Recruitment Officer, WWF-UK, Panda House, Weyside Park, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1XR, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. [25/01/08]
Training opportunities.International Training of Trainers on Wetland Management, a course focusing on the facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes and curriculum development (ICWM-TOT), Moldova, April 7 - 25, 2008. The course is organised by Wageningen International (formerly known as IAC), The Netherlands and ECO-TIRAS, Moldova, in close co-operation with Wetlands International, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Different governmental and non-governmental institutions, like e.g. WWF, will also be involved in the programme. Announcement here. [24/01/08]
Reminder of deadlines.Submission of draft Resolutions for COP10. Draft Resolutions intended for adoption by the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention must be formally submitted by Contracting Parties, and they must first be approved by the Standing Committee for transmittal to the COP. Ramsar authorities in the Parties and others should keep in mind that the deadline for submission of draft Resolutions for consideration at the 10th meeting of the COP (Changwon, 28 October - 4 November 2008), according to the Rules of Procedure for the COP, is 40 days prior to the last meeting of the Standing Committee (2-6 June) before the COP, that is, 22 April 2008. [24/01/08]
From the Ramsar Forum.3rd World Congress of Biosphere Reserves. "What does the future hold for biosphere reserves? What measures must be taken for them to meet the challenges of today? These questions will be the focus of debates at the third World Congress of Biosphere Reserves which will take place in Madrid (Spain) from 4 to 9 February 2008. The Congress will also take stock of the current Biosphere Reserves Programme and define objectives for the five years ahead." More details here. [23/01/08]
Vacancy announcement.WWF Mediterranean Freshwater Policy Officer. WWF, the global conservation organisation, is seeking a Mediterranean Freshwater Policy Officer to be based in the Mediterranean Programme Office in Rome. The position will support WWF in identifying key policy processes impacting on water ecosystems in the Mediterranean region and planning policy and advocacy actions with the aim of creating a policy context that supports freshwater ecosystem conservation and sustainable management both at the EU level and across the region. A main focus will be given to dam investors in the Balkan region and the European Neighbourhood Policy in Morocco and Algeria. The announcement is here (PDF). [23/01/08]
Conference on Combating Desertification. The Secretary General, Mr Anada Tiega, is participating in the Beijing International Conference on Combating Desertification, 22-24 January 2008, organized by the Ramsar Administrative Authority in China, the State Forestry Administration, and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs as an intersessional event in contribution to the 16th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), set for May 2008. His address to the meeting earlier today, 22 January 2008, can be seen here. [22/01/08]
Now available.Forms for Ramsar regional initiatives. Forms are now available for the submission of proposals for regional initiatives to be operated in the framework of the Convention during the triennium 2009-2011. Contracting Parties are invited to submit proposals for regional initiatives (including regional networks and regional centres for training and capacity building), both ongoing or new. Based on the Guidelines for the development of regional initiatives (annexed to ResolutionVIII.30), in accordance with practice adopted prior to COP9 in 2005, proposals for regional initiatives to be endorsed by COP10 as operating within the framework of the Ramsar Convention should reach the Secretariat no later than 31 March 2008. This will allow time for analysis and submission to the 37th meeting of Standing Committee, 2-6 June 2008. The Standing Committee will take a decision on the list of regional initiative proposals to be submitted for endorsement and possible financial support by COP10. It is therefore important that the proposals follow strictly the format outlined in the attached form and reach the Secretariat in time for submission to the Standing Committee. Forms in MS Word: [21/01/08]
International Year of the Reef launch. Coral reef experts and managers from the United States, Mexico, France, and Bonaire will officially inaugurate the International Year of the Reef 2008 with a news conference as part of the International Coral Reef Initiative Meeting in Washington D.C. A live telephone and web connection to a NOAA-funded coral reef exploration of Bonaire, Netherland Antilles will present new findings following release of report on 2005 Caribbean coral bleaching event. Thursday, 24 January 2008, Washington, D.C. See the announcement here. [21/01/08] -- Francis Staub, IYOR Coordinator, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. http://www.iyor.org, http://www.icriforum.org.
World Wetlands Day, 2 February.A message from the Secretary General. "World Wetlands Day provides all of us with an opportunity to join together with our colleagues around the world to celebrate the benefits that we all receive from wetlands, and to help raise the awareness of our fellow citizens about the importance of these vital ecosystems for our common future.
"Whether we are talking about swamps and bogs, peatlands, rivers and lakes, estuaries and coastal zones, coral reefs or rice paddies, we understand that wetlands are essential for the supply of fresh water, maintenance of biodiversity, mitigation of the effects of climate change, groundwater recharge and flood control - and so many other so-called 'ecosystem services'- and we want to get that message out to decision-makers and citizens in our communities." The rest of Mr Anada Tiega's inspirational WWD message can be seen here. [18/01/08]
From the Ramsar Forum.Call for papers. "Dear Friends, A book on 'Water and Ecosystems' is planned to be published by the South Asian Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (saciWATERs) in collaboration with Sage Publications, New Delhi. This will be the sixth volume in 'Water In South Asia (WISA) series'. The book will be edited by Prof. Nimal Gunawardena (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), Prof Brij Gopal (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) and Prof. Hemasiri B Kotagama (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman). Papers are hereby invited from water professionals and practitioners working in South Asia. You are requested to submit a two page write-up indicating the main focus of the article/chapter before 31st January 2008. I will be grateful to you if you can express your interest by emailing to email@example.com as soon as possible. Please read attachment for details (PDF). If you have any further queries please feel free to contact me." -- Jayati Chourey, Research Associate/Crossing Boundaries Project, SaciWATERs, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. [18/01/08]
UNCCD Executive Secretary visits Ramsar Secretariat. Mr. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), visited the Ramsar Convention Secretariat on 16 January 2008, his first visit to Ramsar, to discuss issues of common interest to the two conventions since his appointment by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In the absence of the Ramsar Secretary General, Mr. Gnacadja, accompanied by Mr. Gregoire de Kalbermatten, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCCD, was welcomed by the Deputy Secretary General, Dr. Nick Davidson, and Mr Abou Bamba, Senior Advisor for Africa, who has lead responsibility for dryland issues in the Ramsar Secretariat. Here is Mr Bamba's brief report on what they discussed. [17/01/08]
New publications on Poland's wetlands. The Naturalists' Club Poland has recently published two very interesting publications with the titles "Conservation of Baltic raised bogs in Pomerania, Poland" (Maria Herbichowa, Pawel Pawlaczyk, and Robert Stanko, 2007, 147 pages, in Polish and English) and "Conservation of wetlands in Polish agricultural landscapes" (Ab Grootjans and Leslaw Wolejko, eds., 2007, 112 pages, in English and Polish) presenting experiences in practical Nature Conservation, gathered as a result of implementation of the LIFE-Nature and Dutch PIN-Matra projects. Anyone interested may contact them at: Klub Przyrodników, tel./fax. +48 68 3828236, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kp.org.pl. [17/01/08]
Hungary completes updates of Ramsar site data. The Parties to the Ramsar Convention decided in 1996 (Resolution VI.13) that the Ramsar Information Sheets used to provide site data for the Ramsar Sites Database should be updated at least every six years, in order to provide managers, researchers, and the public with more or less up-to-date information and to allow monitoring of changes in the ecological character of the sites over time. The process of updating is ongoing and many Parties have been doing their best to keep up with this commitment - and the Secretariat is pleased to announce that Hungary has just completed the updating of site data for all 26 of its Wetlands of International Importance. We hope that that will provide an additional inspiration to other Parties to improve the currency of their Ramsar site data regularly. The current status of RIS updates for all Parties can be seen here. [16/01/08]
Reminder. Ramsar Award for 2008 deadline approaching. The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award was established by the Conference of the Parties in 1996 to recognize and honor the contributions of individuals, organizations, and governments around the world towards promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands. The Award has been conferred in each of three categories at the COPs in 1999, 2002, and 2005, and it will be again at COP10 in Changwon, Republic of Korea, in October-November 2008 - and as in the past it will be complemented by the Evian Special Prize, a cash prize of US$ 10,000 for each of the categories, donated once again by the Danone Group.
Once again, too, the Award will be given in the categories of management, science, and education. Nominations are encouraged of persons or government or non-government organizations that have taken initiatives that have contributed significantly to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, especially those initiatives that might serve as inspirational and practical examples for others. Nominations need to reach the Secretariat by 31 January 2008 (email@example.com) at the latest, and further details, selection criteria, and nomination forms, as well as reports on the past winners and testimonials by some of them about what winning the Award has meant to them, can all be found here. [18/10/07]
Asia Regional Meeting gets under way. On Monday morning, 14 January, Mr Chartree Chueyprasit, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, opened the Asian Regional Meeting in the Maruay Garden Hotel of Bangkok. This is the largest Ramsar regional meeting so far, with over 150 registered participants. It will focus on major challenges for wetlands, biodiversity and climate change in preparation of Ramsar's COP10, opening in some nine months in Changwong, Republic of Korea. The meeting was perfectly organised by Ms Nirawan Pipitsombat (left in the picture), Ramsar's national focal point in Thailand. The meeting will continue until Friday 18 January, including a visit of the Bang Pu Nature Education Centre, run jointly by WWF-Thailand and the Royal Thai Army, on Wednesday 16 January. [14/01/08]
Now available. LIFE Focus brochure "LIFE and Europe's wetlands". "The LIFE-Focus brochure "LIFE and Europe's wetlands - restoring a vital ecosystem" is now available online on the website of the LIFE programme, an EU Financial Instrument for the Environment. The print version can be ordered free of charge at OPOCE from the end of January 2008. For further details consult the "Ordering publications" page. The brochure illustrates to what extent the LIFE programme has been contributing to a large number of projects supporting the conservation of wetland ecosystems within the Natura 2000 network. It presents a selection of LIFE wetland projects which have received LIFE co-funding since 1992. The majority of case studies focus on the restoration and management of wetlands, while a number also target key wetland species. We would be very pleased if you could spread the word about this brochure among your professional circles. If you have any questions about the brochure or our activities in general, we would also be very pleased to answer them." -- Monique BRAEM, Assistant, Astrale GEIE - Communication Team, Brussels. [15/01/08]
Slowly becoming available.Documents for Standing Committee 36. The 36th meeting of Ramsar Standing Committee will take place 25-29 February 2008, at the IUCN facilities in Gland, Switzerland, and the official date for distribution of the meeting documentation (30 days prior to the opening of the meeting) is therefore 25 January 2008. Nonetheless, SC36 documents are being posted here as they are finalized, and eager participants would do well to check back here from time to time. [08/01/08]
World Wetlands Day 2008 in Corsica.The MedWet Secretariat and Office de l'Environnement de la Corse launch a celebration in Corsica. For World Wetlands Day 2008 the MedWet Secretariat in collaboration with the Office de l'Environnement de la Corse are launching a celebration in Corsica. On 2 February a number of films on water and wetlands are planned to be shown in different cities across the island of Corsica. The Office de l'Environnement de la Corse (OEC) has been working to assist the wise management of wetlands. For the past five years the OEC has been coordinating celebrations for World Wetlands Day across Corsica. This year the OEC chose film as a means for sensitizing the public on the value of wetlands. Aware of the annual Ramsar MedWet award crowning high quality films focusing on water and wetlands, the OEC addressed a proposal to the Ramsar Convention and MedWet for a joint film event. A selection of films has been chosen for this celebration of World Wetlands Day in Corsica: Rain is falling by Holger Ernst, Delta Oil's Dirty Business by Yorgos Avgeropoulos and The Water Bearer by Pascal Gelinas. The screening will take place courtesy of the directors who have provided rights for showing of their films at this awareness-raising event. An update on more events to be launched by the MedWet Secretariat for World Wetlands Day 2008 will follow soon. You can read more about films that won the Ramsar MedWet award in the past here. (From the MedWet Web site) [07/01/08]
Happy Holidays. The staff of the Ramsar Secretariat wish everyone an excellent holiday season and a very good new year for 2008. [27/12/07]
"Challenges and Perspectives for the Management of Bahía Lomas Ramsar site" held in Magallanes, Chile, 29-30 November 2007. With the purpose of promoting the wise use of Bahía Lomas Ramsar site, interchange of experiences, and information under the agreement signed in 2005 between ENAP (National Petroleum Company of Chile) Magallanes region and CONAMA XII region, an international workshop was held from November 29 to 30 2007 with the participation of relevant academic, institutional and civil society stakeholders related with wetlands and the Ramsar Convention, with a visit to the Bahía Lomas site as well. Here is a well-illustrated report by Ramsar's María Rivera . [04/01/08]
Con éxito se realizó en Magallanes, Chile, el seminario internacional Desadios y Perspectivas para el Manejo del Sitio Ramsar Bahía Lomas. Con el objetivo de generar un espacio para la promoción del Uso Racional del Sitio Ramsar Bahía Lomas, a través del acceso a información e intercambio de experiencias, en el marco del Convenio de Cooperación firmado en el 2005, ENAP en Magallanes y CONAMA XII región organizaron el 29 y 30 de noviembre un Seminario Internacional con relevantes actores del ámbito académico, institucional y de la sociedad civil relacionada a los humedales y la Convención Ramsar, así como una visita al humedal de Bahía Lomas. Informe .
Nepal names four high altitude Ramsar sites. As reported here in October 2007, as part of commemorations in Kathmandu on 23 September, the first anniversary of the Ghunsa tragedy, in which the lives of 24 noted conservationists from the Nepalese government and WWF were lost in a helicopter crash, the government announced the designation of four new high altitude Wetlands of International Importance. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for the Asia-Pacific, Ms Pragati Tuladhar, was on hand to deliver an address on behalf of the Secretary General and present Ramsar site certificates for those four new sites. The paperwork has now been completed and the sites have been added to the Ramsar List. Together they are an extraordinary group of himalayan lakes -- Gokyo and Associated Lakes (4,710m-4,950m asl), Gosaikunda and Associated Lakes (4,054m-4,620m asl), Phoksundo Lake (3,611m), and Rara Lake (2,900m) -- all within National Parks and the first of these already a UNESCO World Heritage site (Sagarmatha National Park).
The government of Nepal is to be commended for this initiative, and WWF Nepal is to be acknowledged for its considerable assistance in preparing the groundwork for these designations. WWF Nepal is also our source for the extraordinary photographs that follow the brief site descriptions that can be found here. [21/12/07]
Announcement.Asian Wetland Symposium set for June 2008. Previous AWS meetings were held in Japan, Malaysia, and India -- they brought together thousands of people to focus their efforts on identifying priorities in wetland management in the Asian region, and the recommendations of the previous Asian Wetland Symposia have provided valuable guidance to the Conference of Parties to the Ramsar Convention on three occasions. The 4th Asian Wetland Symposium will be held 22-25 June 2008 in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and the full announcement can be read here. [21/12/07]
Republic of Korea names two new sites. The Republic of Korea, which will be playing host to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties next year, has just added two new sites to the List of Wetlands of International Importance, as of 20 December 2007. Du-ung Wetland (6 hectares, 36°49'N 126°11'E) in Chungcheongnam-do is a topographically unique wetland for the area: a freshwater lagoon fed by underground water, separated from the Yellow Sea by a sandy dune system. A large number of nationally endangered and rare species are found, including Korean golden frog (rana plancyi chosenica), Narrow-mouth Boreal digging frog (kaloula borealis), and the Tiger lizard (eremias argus). In all, 311 plant species, eight mammals, 39 bird species, 14 amphibians, and 110 species of insects, with 49 species of invertebrates, have been recorded. Under the Wetland Conservation Act, no recreation or tourism is allowed in the area, officially, but officials report that a visitors' centre is planned and eco-guide training sessions and study tours are being developed.
Moojechineup (4 hectares, 35°27'N 129°08'E), also a Wetland Conservation Area, is a 10,000-year-old high moor, the oldest in Korea, with well-developed peat layers and slightly acidic surface water. Various rare flora and fauna, including locally and nationally endangered species, have been identified, including a high diversity of insects with some 197 species. The name of the site comes from a ritual praying for rain in the Ulsan area. The Republic of Korea now has 7 Ramsar sites covering an area of 4,560 hectares. [20/12/07]
Announcement.Living Lakes Eastern Europe Network. The final conference of the “Living Lakes Eastern Europe Network" will take place on February 19 - 22 2008 in Estonia. The conference is meant to create an international platform for an intensive exchange of knowledge and experiences. The first two days (February 19, 20) will be dedicated to field trips to Lake Peipsi and Lake Võrtsjärv. At the conference in Tartu, participants will have the possibility to benefit from the wide knowledge of several experts giving a lecture on the issues of sustainable tourism development, visitor management of protected areas, sustainable fisheries and land use planning. The Living Lakes Eastern Europe Network comprises seven organisations from five different countries: Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania and Germany. The Conference is hosted by the Global Nature Fund, the Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation (CTC), the Lake Võrtsjärv Foundation (LVF), the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Limnology and the South-Estonian Tourism Foundation and sponsored by the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU), the European Union and the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre. For more information please visit the website www.globalnature.org/eastern-europe-conference or directly contact Mrs. Stefanie Lampert (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr. Udo Gattenlöhner (email@example.com). [19/12/07]
Wetland biodiversity conference in China. An international workshop on Mainstreaming Wetland Biodiversity Conservation: Experiences and Lessons Learned in Practical Applications of Mainstreaming, organized by the GEF Wetland Project Office and the State Forestry Administration of China, took place from 2-4 December, 2007, in Yueyang, Hunan Province on the shores of Dongting Lake, a large freshwater lake that includes three Ramsar sites. Sponsored by UNDP/GEF, the workshop brought together over 130 experts and practitioners with the objective of sharing experiences in mainstreaming wetland biodiversity across all sectors of the national economy, society, and the policy-making framework, as well as at global levels. Sandra Hails, Ramsar's CEPA Programme Officer, participated in the conference and provides this illustrated report, as well as the "Dongting Lake Declaration" that issued from the meeting. [18/12/07]
Now available. CMS Family Guide. The encyclopaedia of the Convention on Migratory Species is now available online and in hard copy format. The Guide comprises more than 100 fact sheets explaining the history and structure of the convention, its daughter Agreements and MoUs, and some of the many species the Convention seeks to conserve. Published with funding from UNEP, additional sections cover Threats and Challenges to migratory species and the CMS's activities in relation to other Mulilaterial Environmental Agreements, including the Ramsar Convention, and some of its many activities, from the Small Grants Programme to World Migratory Bird Day to the "Friends of the CMS". The Guide will be updated periodically to take account of new Parties, new Agreements and progress made in conserving endangered migratory animals. The package of fact sheets can be downloaded in PDF format in eight sections and the hardcopy can be requested from the Secretariat in Bonn, firstname.lastname@example.org. The CMS Secretariat is presently seeking funding for French and Spanish translations. [18/12/07]
CIWEM wetland conference for WWD 2008. Over the past five years, the World Wetlands Day conferences organized in London by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) have become major events for the wetland community as a whole to meet and share their views. The focus of the WWD 2008 conference, 29-30 January 2008, is wetland policy, how this is influenced and implemented. The aim of the meeting is to: Actively engage and update the wetland community in helping to promote effective input into water planning policies that will affect various activities over the next five years. The main issues are: the Periodic Review process (PR09) - wetland policies for water company investment; River Basin District Planning - wetland policies for programmes of measures; The post Pitt Review Flood Risk Management policy for UK - the role of wetlands; BAP new targets - implementation and delivery; Wetlands Strategy - post workshop report. In addition there will be wide range of inspirational talks, network opportunities, guided tour of the London Wetlands Centre and sharing best practice. The full details and application form are here (PDF). [18/12/07]
Now available.Ramsar address to UNFCCC COP13. On 14 December 2007, the Secretary General, Mr Anada Tiéga, addressed the ministerial segment of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In his remarks he stressed the importance of wetlands to climate mitigation and adaptation, the role of peatlands in climate change, and the necessity for integrated, multisectoral partnership approaches to tackling climate change impacts. Here is the text of his address. [14/12/07]
CREHO course on EIA in wetland management.International Course on Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Impact Assessment for Wetland Management. Twenty-two representatives of governments, NGOs and consultants from nine Latin American and Caribbean countries participated in an intensive 17-day theoretical and practical course on Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment for wetland management that was held in Panama from November 19th to December 5th, 2007. The course was organized by the Regional Ramsar Centre for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO) and sponsored by the Ramsar Convention and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Details and photos here. [14/12/07]
Culminó Curso de Impacto Ambiental y Evaluacón Ambiental Estratégica para el Manejo de Humedales. Durante 17 días de sesiones teórico practicas, 21 representantes de 9 países del gobierno, organizaciones no gubernamentales y consultores de Latinoamérica y el Caribe, participaron en el curso de Impacto Ambiental y Evaluación Ambiental Estratégica para el Manejo de Humedales que se llevo a cabo en Panamá del 19 de Noviembre al 5 de diciembre. El curso organizado por el Centro Regional Ramsar para la Capacitación e Investigación sobre Humedales en el Hemisferio Occidental CREHO y la Convención Ramsar fue financiado por la Convención Ramsar y el Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de Estados Unidos. Fotos.
VI Simposio Internacional de Humedales en Ciénaga de Zapata, Cuba. Participantes de América Latina y el Caribe compartieron experiencias sobre manejo sustentable de humedales en el Simposio Internacional de Humedales de la Ciénaga de Zapata, Cuba del 5-9 de Noviembre de 2007. En el evento participaron científicos, funcionarios, ecologistas, estudiantes y miembros de ONG´s. Informe. [14/12/07]
VI International Wetlands Symposium in Zapata Cienaga, Cuba. Participants from Latin America and the Caribbean shared experiences about wetland management in the International Symposium in Zapata Ciénaga, Cuba, from 5-9 November 2007. The workshop was attended by scientists, officials, ecologists, students and NGOs members. Report.
Inaugural U.S. Ramsar site managers meeting and U.S. National Ramsar Committee meeting held at Caddo Lake, Texas. Members of the U.S. National Ramsar Committee (USNRC), Ramsar site managers and representatives from ten U.S. Ramsar sites, and other Ramsar supporters met at Caddo Lake from October 31 to November 2, 2007, to share experiences, discuss collaborative opportunities, and consider how Ramsar might be strengthened in the United States. Ramsar's María Rivera provides this brief illustrated report. [13/12/07]
Reunión de Manejadores de Sitios Ramsar de Estados Unidos y Comité Nacional Ramsar en Caddo Lake, Texas. Miembros del Comité Nacional Ramsar de Estados Unidos, manejadores de Sitios Ramsar , representantes de 10 Sitios Ramsar y otros actores interesados en los humedales se reunieron en Caddo Lake del 31 de Octubre al 2 de Noviembre para compartir experiencias, discutir oportunidades de colaboración y considerar como se puede fortalecer la Convención de Ramsar en Estados Unidos. María Rivera de la Secretaría de Ramsar preparo este informe.
Ramsar Africa Regional Meeting reported. The "Africa Regional Meeting in preparation of Ramsar COP10" took place in Yaoundé, Cameroon, 26-30 November 2007. The conclusions of the meeting are ready in French and are presently being translated into English, and the official report of the meeting will also soon be along in both languages. Here, in the meantime, is Mr Abou Bamba's brief report of the proceedings and quite a few photographs of the meeting, the celebrities, and the field trip in the Ebogo mangrove wetlands by Ramsar's Alexia Dufour. [12/12/07]
Switzerland approves "Swiss Grant for Africa" for 2007. The Secretariat's Africa team is pleased to announce that the Federal Government of Switzerland (Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication) through the Swiss Agency for the Environment (OFEV) has agreed to assist the Convention's activities in Africa for another year through the Swiss Grant for Africa. The 2007 Swiss Grant for Africa will allow the Secretariat to support three projects on the continent and supported the organization of the Africa Regional Preparatory Meeting for COP10 held from 26 to 30 November 2007, in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This will make an important contribution to the team's strategic objectives for Africa. See Abou Bamba's description of the supported projects here. [12/12/07]
National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka. The Directory of Asian Wetlands (comp. D. A. Scott, IUCN, 1989) identified 41 wetland sites of international importance in Sri Lanka, covering 274,000 ha in total. In 1990, Sri Lanka joined the Ramsar Convention and designated Bundala as its first Ramsar site. A major advance in the conservation of wetlands in Sri Lanka was the establishment of a National Policy on Wetlands in 2004, the National Wetlands Steering Committee was also revived in 2003, and a draft wetland conservation strategy and action plan was undertaken. To progress the conservation of wetlands in the country, the Steering Committee requested the services of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to facilitate the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) in preparing an updated information base on wetlands in Sri Lanka. The wetland directory was jointly funded by the CEA and IUCN (through financial assistance from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Sri Lanka), while the digital database was funded by IWMI. The National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka is a 342-page book that presents an overview of the country's wetlands by S W Kotagama and C N B Bambaradeniya, followed by data sheets and maps on 62 significant wetlands in a format consistent with the Ramsar Information Sheet. For more information about the availability of the Directory, contact email@example.com. [13/12/07]
Training opportunities.Training course by MedWet on tools for wetland inventorying, monitoring and assessment. A training course by MedWet on tools for wetland inventorying, monitoring and assessment is planned to take place on 18-21 December 2007, Florence, Italy. The course "MedWet tools for Wetland Inventory, Assessment and Monitoring" is addressed to professionals in wetland conservation in public administrations and organisations active in this field. Organised by the Agenzia regionale per la protezione ambientale della Toscana (ARPAT) the course is held within the framework of the INTEREG IIIC project: MedWet information and knowledge network for the sustainable development of wetland ecosystems (MedWet/CODDE). This is the second training course organised in the framework of the MedWet/CODDE project. To read more about the first training course click here. -- Sofia Spirou, Communications Officer, MedWet Secretariat, Athens, Greece. [12/12/07]
Deadline approaching.USA National Wetlands Awards. The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2008 USA National Wetlands Awards Program is January 15, 2008. The Awards Program honors individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the conservation and restoration of the USA's wetlands, and the 2008 Awards will be given in six categories: Education and Outreach; Science Research; Conservation and Restoration; Landowner Stewardship; State, Tribal, and Local Program Development; and Wetland Community Leader. Program co-sponsors - the Environmental Law Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Federal Highway Administration. For more information or to submit a nomination, please visit www.nationalwetlandsawards.org or contact: National Wetlands Awards 2000 L St. NW Suite 620 Washington, DC 20036. Phone: (202) 939-3862 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. [12/12/07]
Position announcement. Countdown 2010 Communications Officer. Position: Full-time, 12 months contract from February/March 2008. Duty station: IUCN Regional Office for Europe (ROfE), Brussels, Belgium. Reporting to: Head, Countdown 2010. Background Countdown 2010 is a powerful network of active partners working together towards the 2010 biodiversity target. Each partner commits additional efforts to tackle the causes of biodiversity loss. The secretariat - hosted by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) - facilitates and encourages action, promotes the importance of the 2010 biodiversity target and assesses progress towards 2010. As Communications Officer, you will bring out the best in Countdown 2010. You engage partners and supporters and inform them about the latest developments, reach out to new audiences and help the Countdown 2010 team in telling their stories in a convincing way. Here is the announcement (PDF). [12/12/07]
"Assessment on Peatlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change" launched during Bali UNFCCC COP. Today this new assessment was launched by UNEP in association with GEF, Wetlands International, CBD, the Global Environment Centre, and the Ramsar Convention. Ramsar Secretary General Anada Tiega participated as a Panel member in the launch and associated press conference. UNEP's press release about the findings of the report can be seen here. [11/12/07]
Global Peatland Fund launched. Wetlands International and BioX Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop the Global Peatland Fund with the goal to invest in the restoration and conservation of peatland projects. With the fund, both partners aim for large scale restoration of degraded tropical peat swamp forests in order to prevent further greenhouse gas emissions. The geographical focus of the Global Peatland Fund will initially be on Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, where Wetlands International has successfully carried out community-based peat swamp forest conservation and restoration projects in cooperation with local governments, NGOs and communities. The target of the Fund is to restore and protect approximately 500,000 hectares of these peat swamps by 2012. The rest of Wetlands International's press release can be seen here. [11/12/07]
Now available."GEF: Financing adaptation action". The Global Environment Facility provides grants to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. It is a financial mechanism for implementing the international conventions on biodiversity, climate change, and persistent organic pollutants, and it is also a financial mechanism for the Convention to Combat Desertification and collaborates closely with other treaties and agreements, including the Ramsar Convention. The GEF received the mandate from the UNFCCC in 2001 to finance climate change adaptation projects on the ground, and began piloting adaptation action under three financing avenues: 1) Strategic Priority on Adaptation (SPA); 2) Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and 3) Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).
A new 12-page booklet from the GEF describes these funding mechanisms and provides examples of projects under each of them, amongst which are a number of ongoing wetland management and restoration projects and possible models for new wetland-related projects in future. Ramsar Parties may be able to draw much inspiration and some guidance from this short publication. GEF: Financing adaptation action (PDF, 990kb). [10/12/07]
Ceremonies for Morava-Dyje-Danube initiative. The 8th meeting of the trilateral Ramsar Platform for the Transboundary Ramsar Site "Floodplains of the Morava-Dyje-Danube Confluence" was held on November 15th 2007 in Devin, Slovakia. Twenty-six members of the platform - representing the state administration, expert governmental and non-governmental institutions from the Czech Republic, Austria, and Slovakia - took part along with the other invited guests. The meeting was aimed at exchanging news on the present situation and at presenting current common activities on restoration of the area, flood control, etc. The next step, the elaboration of a common management plan, will begin during the next meeting in the Czech Republic in 2008. Alexia Dufour represented the Convention at the ceremonies and provides this illustrated report. [07/12/07]
Reminder.Call for expressions of interest: enhancement of the Ramsar Convention Web site.The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands invites relevant organizations to make an Expression of Interest to provide consultancy services for the redevelopment and enhancement of the existing Ramsar Convention Web site. Expressions of Interest should be submitted to the Ramsar Secretariat by 21 December 2007. Information concerning submission of an Expression of Interest is available here. As further background information, the Terms of Reference for the provision of the consultancy services is available here. Please note that at this time an Expression of Interest only is requested, and full tenders against the Terms of Reference are not required. [28/11/07]