The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 4 June 2010

Ramsar's Secretary-General participates in two roundtables in Geneva to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity and World Environment Day on 4 and 5 June 2010. 
In 2002, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity committed to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth. Today we notice alarming biodiversity declines showing that world leaders are failing to deliver commitments made in 2002 to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss. As an environmental community it is now more important than ever to convince people, from governments to local communities, that biological diversity belongs to us all and our survival as a species depends on it. More [04/06/10]

Ramsar expert team visits Poyang Lake, P.R. China. The Jiangxi Provincial Forestry Department, P.R. China, invited the Ramsar Convention Secretariat to form a team of experts from the Convention, ICF, IUCN and WWF to visit the Poyang Lake Ramsar site from 12 – 17 April 2010. This was due to concerns that the normal decline in winter water levels of the lake has been occurring much earlier and this period of decline was lasting longer than previously. More [31/05/10]

Constructed Wetland Association organizes a meeting in June on wastewater management and the application of constructed wetlands. Wetland specialists from across the globe will be presenting the latest developments in the use of constructed wetlands on 22-24th June 2010, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, UK. This event will be particularly useful if you are considering using wetlands but are unsure of the technology; you are studying or have an interest in further developments and advances in wetland technology.  View the programme [28/05/10]

Greece and Turkey agree to collaborate on Evros Ramsar Site. Last week, Thymio Papayannis, MedWet/Com Honorary Member, informed the Ramsar Secretariat about the signature of a Joint Declaration between Greece and Turkey on collaboration concerning the Evros / Maritsa / Meriç River. The Declaration was signed in Athens on 14 May by the two Ministers of Environment in the presence of Prime Ministers Erdogan and Papandreou. More [25/05/10]

Message from the Secretary General on the occasion of the International Day for Biodiversity, 22 May 2010. [Read]

In 2002 governments of the world established the target of, by 2010, significantly reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity. 22nd May is the International Day for Biodiversity and 2010 is the International Year for Biodiversity so it is no surprise that the global environmental community has made a special effort to focus on biodiversity, its current state and future fate... [More]

Cameroon lists its part of the Rio del Rey Estuary. The Secretariat is very pleased to report that Cameroon has designated its 5th Site of International Importance, located in the department of Ndian, at the edge of the Gulf of Guinea. WWF International, through its Freshwater Programme and the WWF Cameroon Country Programme Office, provided financial and technical assistance to the Government of Cameroon for the designation of this new Ramsar site. More [20/05/10]

Kakadu National Park Ramsar Site: expansion and merger. In Australia, the Kakadu National Park supports a variety of wetland habitats (e.g. tropical rivers, floodplains and billabongs) and wetland wildlife (e.g. waterbirds, native fish, and crocodiles). The site also supports two Ramsar sites and recently the Australian Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts approved the merger of these two sites into a single 'Kakadu National Park Ramsar site', and to extend the boundary by approximately 600,000 hectares. More [19/05/10]

Building capacity in wetland centres through staff exchanges. The Secretariat had the pleasure of a visit from Ms Ghania Omari, a young educator from the wetland education centre at the Lac de Réghaïa Ramsar Site in Algeria. Ghania has just come to the end of a two month internship with the Champ–Pittet wetland centre located in the Rive Sud du Lac de Neuchâtel (Grande Cariçaie) Ramsar Site in Switzerland and came by the Secretariat to talk about how the experience of her stay has enhanced her skills and also to make a presentation to staff on the Ramsar Site and its education centre. Full story here [19/05/10]

WOW Flyway Training Kit launched at CBD SBSTTA-14 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project - the largest international wetland and waterbird conservation initiative in the African-Eurasian region – launched the innovative Flyway Training Kit at a special side event presentation during the fourteenth meeting of the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-14) on 14 May in the UNEP premises, Nairobi, Kenya.

Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, chaired the meeting that counted over 45 participants from 17 countries representing Government Agencies, NGOs, donors, Intergovernmental and UN Agencies. More [17/05/10]

Ramsar Standing Committee. The 41st meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee concluded last week in the Black Sea coastal city of Kobuleti, Georgia, and the participants were gratefully impressed by the hospitality and generosity of our Georgian hosts. It was the first time in 15 years that a Standing Committee meeting (except for those alongside meetings of the COP) was held outside the Secretariat facilities in Switzerland, and many delegates hoped that that would become a tradition in future. Amongst the business concluded, the SC renewed the Secretary General’s tenure for another term, reviewed plans for Ramsar 40th anniversary celebrations next year and the preparations for COP11 in 2012, approved the National Reports format for COP11, and approved three new Regional Initiatives (for the Black Sea, Caribbean, and American mangroves) as operating in the framework of the Convention. The full SC41 report and the decisions are now on the Ramsar website. [11/05/10]

Third Global Biodiversity Outlook launched in Geneva, 10 May 2010. The Global Biodiversity Outlook is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) and it is formally launched during the International Year of Biodiversity, in all regions, on 10 May 2010. The publication is an important vehicle for informing a variety of audiences of the importance of biodiversity and the progress made in meeting the 2010 Biodiversity Target. Mr Anada Tiéga, Ramsar Secretary General, was invited to take part in the launch today and to give a presentation on the 2010 biodiversity target and the status of Inland Water Ecosystems during a roundtable event at the International Environment House, in Geneva. GBO-3 can be downloaded  in English in PDF (10MB) here. Also available in French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian here. [10/05/10]

Message from the Ramsar Convention Secretariat on the occasion of World Migratory Bird Day, 8-9 May 2010.

Never has it been more urgent to raise awareness worldwide of the phenomenon of bird migrations: today we can still enjoy this experience of the natural world – but for how much longer? More [07/05/10]

Building capacity for Ramsar CEPA Focal Points in east and southeast Asia, Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 19-22 April 2010. The second of a series of workshops for Ramsar CEPA Focal Points brought together 26 CEPA Focal Points and other representatives from 14 countries in east and southeast Asia in the town of Samut Sakhon, near Bangkok from 19-22 April. The workshop was organised and funded by the Ramsar Secretariat and the Ramsar Regional Centre – East Asia, with the support of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning in Thailand. More [07/05/10]

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2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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