The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 11 February 2010

La France lance son deuxième plan national d’action en faveur des zones humides. La veille de la journée mondiale des zones humides, Mme Jouanno, Secrétaire d’Etat chargée de l’écologie a présenté le nouveau plan d’action pour la période 2010-2012. Ce document fait suite au plan de 1995-2000 et s’appuie sur le bilan réalisé par l’Autorité Administrative Ramsar sur 15 ans de politique publique sur les zones humides. Ce plan est le résultat du travail et des concertations menés au sein du groupe national des zones humides au cours de l’année 2009. En savoir plus. [09/02/10]

Decade-old dream comes true for Lake Chad. "World Wetlands Day is being celebrated with the full recognition of Africa’s Lake Chad as a wetland of international significance, fulfilling an agreement made a decade ago by the four nations that share it. The declaration by the Cameroon Republic that its portion of Africa’s fourth largest lake is being declared a wetland of international importance under the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands follows similar declarations by Niger and Chad (both in 2001) and Nigeria (2008). Cameroon’s announcement will also clear the way for Lake Chad to become the largest of the world’s few recognised trans-boundary international wetlands, where countries make a formal agreement for joint protection and management of shared aquatic ecosystems and their resources." Read WWF International's press release on Cameroon's newest Ramsar site. [05/02/10]

Ramsar mission to two SGF / SGA projects in Africa. Last November Burkina Faso and Senegal welcomed a Ramsar mission assessing two projects supported by the Small Grants Fund and the Swiss Grant for Africa. Alexia Dufour, Ramsar Regional Affairs Officer, met the grant beneficiaries and visited the sites, two Sahelian lakes, “la mare d’Oursi”, a Ramsar site in Burkina Faso, and “la mare de Lothiandé” in the far east of Senegal. Read more. [04/02/10] (français aussi)

World Wetlands Week in Seychelles
. The World Wetlands Week 2010 celebrations in Seychelles continued on the 2nd of February with a  series of activities including the “adoption” of the North East Point Wetlands  by the Seychelles Scouts Association (SSA) in the presence of the national and  international media. Read more (PDF). [04/02/10]

World Wetlands Week in Seychelles. Anada Tiéga, Secretary General, Abou Bamba, Senior Advisor for Africa, and Assistant Advisor Cynthia Kibata are in Seychelles to participate in World Wetlands Week celebrations in that country. Here is brief illustrated report (PDF) on the first two days of the festivities. [03/02/10]

Secretary General's message for World Wetlands Day. "This year’s theme, Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change, with the slogan “Caring for wetlands: an answer to climate change”, captures the sense of urgency we all feel about the need to address the potentially disastrous consequences of global climate change as quickly as possible." Secretary General Anada Tiéga explains this year's suggested messages and encourages participants around the world for 2 February. [01/02/10] [français et/y español]

World Wetlands Day message from the CBD. Read here: a message from Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2010. [30/01/10]

WWD in Switzerland. In Switzerland the Grande Cariçaie Ramsar site will be celebrating WWD on the 2nd February at Estavayer le Lac. Throughout the day Ramsar staff members Nathalie Rizzotti, Montse Riera, Catherine Loetscher and Sandra Hails will be welcoming 13 different classes of schoolchildren from around the area and using a floor-sized version of the Ramsar game to raise their awareness about wetlands and water. Children will also visit other ‘stands’ organized by staff from the Ramsar Site to learn more about wetlands. In the evening the stands will be open to members of the public and there will also be a conference on wetland conservation in Africa with an opening speech delivered by M. Seydina Issa Sylla, past President of Wetlands International in Africa. More information on these events available here: , [01/02/10]

Seychelles names 2nd site for WWD 2010. The government of Seychelles has designated a small wetland on Mahé Island for World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2010. At ceremonies at Seychelles’ World Wetlands Week celebrations next week, Ramsar staff will hand over to national authorities the site certificates for Aldabra Atoll (announced here in November 2009) and for Mare Aux Cochons High Altitude Freshwater Wetlands (04°38’S 055°25’E). Read more. [28/01/10]

Bangladesh SGF project. Ann Aldersey, Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Asia-Oceania, traveled to Bangladesh, 6-15 January 2010, to participate in activities to formally launch the 2008 Ramsar Small Grants Fund (SGF) project, 'People acting through social mobilization for the conservation and wise use of the wetlands in the southwest coast of Bangladesh'. The project is being undertaken by the Coastal Development Partnership, with financial support given by the government of Japan. Read more (PDF). [28/01/10]

Cameroon lists its part of Lake Chad
. The Secretariat is very pleased to report that Cameroon has designated its portion of Lake Chad as a Ramsar site, effective on World Wetlands Day, 2 February, thus completing the Ramsar coverage of this important lake: Partie Camerounaise du Lac Tchad (12,500 hectares, 12°46’N 014°19’E). Read more. [27/01/10] WWF International press release.

South Africa’s newest Ramsar site in KwaZulu-Natal. The government of the Republic of South Africa has designated its 20th Wetland of International Importance, and its seventh in KwaZulu-Natal province, effective on World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2010 -- Ntsikeni Nature Reserve(9,200 hectares, 30°08’S 29°28’E). Details here. [27/01/10]

Planning for the Regional Centre in Iran. The Ramsar Regional Centre – Central and West Asia (RRC) was established to enhance the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Central and West Asia through training, research, advocacy and public awareness programmes. On 6th and 7th January 2010, the RRC held its 2nd Collaborative Management Board meeting to review the Centre’s work over the past couple of years and to develop a plan of action for 2010. Illustrated report. [25/01/10]

USA designates Mississippi River floodplains. The government of the United States has listed its 26th Wetland of International Importance, the Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Wetlands (22,357 hectares, 43°03’N 091°10’W). The site, which threads through four northern Midwestern states -- Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois – consists primarily of flowing main and side channel habitats, large shallow to moderately deep backwater marshes, flooded floodplain forests and shrub-dominated communities. Text and photos here. [13/01/10]

Brazil names rainforest lake system for Ramsar List. The government of Brazil has designated Rio Doce State Park (Parque Estadual do Rio Doce) (35,973 hectares, 19º38’S 042º32’W) as its 10th Wetland of International Importance. Ramsar Assistant Advisor Nadia Castro summarizes that the site, located in the southeastern region of Brazil, is the largest vegetation fragment of the endangered Atlantic Rain Forest in Minas Gerais State. Read more. [13/01/10]

Brasil designa sistema lagunar en la selva tropical. El gobierno de Brasil ha designado Rio Doce State Park (Parque Estadual do Rio Doce) (35,973 hectáreas19º38’S 042º32’W) como su 10º Humedal del Importancia Internacional. La Consejera Asistente de Ramsar, Nadia Castro, señala que el sitio, ubicado en la región sureste de Brasil, es el fragmento de vegetación más grande de la amenazada Mata Atlántica en el estado de Minas Gerais. Continúe leyendo.

Ramsar Advisory Mission to Greenland. Initially triggered by a planned molybdenum mining development which would impact part of the Ramsar site Heden (Jameson Land) in eastern Greenland, the Ramsar mission quickly expanded to consideration of wider issues concerning the state of wetlands and Ramsar sites in Greenland generally. From 9 to 14 June 2009, Ramsar’s Tobias Salathé traveled to Greenland and worked with an expert team from the governments of Greenland and Denmark and a number of research institutions. His comprehensive report on the issues and the Mission’s recommendations is now available here. Some photos. [12/01/10]

International Training of Trainers on Wetland Management. Esther Koopmanschap of Wageningen International UR's Centre for Development Innovation (formerly known as Wageningen International) in the Netherlands has provided information about their long-standing course on Training of Trainers on wetland management, a course that is endorsed by the Ramsar Secretariat, and its next offering in September 2010. Please read the announcement carefully and take note of the various deadlines for course and funding applications. Also note the e-mail address for further information and follow-up.  [12/01/10]

Article 3.2 guidance from Australia. Article 3.2 of the Convention on Wetlands commits Contracting Parties to monitor their Ramsar sites and inform the Secretariat whenever the ecological character of a site has changed, is changing, or is likely to change as a result of human interference. To help interpreting that obligation, Australia’s Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has published “National Guidance on Notifying Change in Ecological Character of Australian Ramsar Wetlands (Article 3.2)”, as module 3 in its National Guidelines for Ramsar Wetlands series. This very helpful document is available here in PDF and from the Australian authorities' Web site. [11/01/10]

Ramsar video available in German. The Convention’s short introductory video, Wetlands: keeping our planet alive and well, is already available in the official working languages, English, French, and Spanish. Now the Federal Ministry for the Environment of Austria, with the support of the Austrian Federal Forests Ltd and the Ramsar Secretariat, have produced a German version as well. Read more. [11/01/10]

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