The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 8 January 2010
El Salvador’s fourth Ramsar site. The government of El Salvador has designated its fourth Wetland of International Importance, effective World Wetlands Day 2010 -- Laguna de Olomega (7,557 hectares, 13º19’N 088º04’W). As described by Ramsar’s Nadia Castro, the Olomega Lake, located in the Central American Dry Forest ecoregion, is the largest body of freshwater in eastern El Salvador. The site also covers the surrounding vegetation, such as the herb-dominated marshes and a patch of seasonally saturated forest, known as La Chiricana and one of the last relicts of this community type in the country. Read more. [08/01/10]
Transboundary Water Resources Management in the Caucasus. A workshop on Transboundary Water Resources Management in the Caucasus was held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 8-10 December 2009, organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia, and the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus within the framework of the Convention on the Protection and use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (UNECE Water Convention). Some 48 experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and Turkey as well as from international organizations and NGOs had an opportunity to meet and discuss key issues facing transboundary waters and cooperation in the region. Karen Jenderedjian, Ramsar National Focal Point in Armenia, and the Ramsar Secretariat's Nadia Alexeeva report. [05/01/10]
Visit to the “Ecoles de protection de l’eau project” in Thailand: Raising awareness for improved management of Beung Kong Long Ramsar Wetland. As part of the “Ecoles de protection de l’eau initiative”, financed by Danone Evian, WWF with the support of the Ramsar Convention is implementing a three-year project that started in 2008 in order to reduce risks for the Ramsar site and to develop the wise use of water. Ramsar’s Nathalie Rizzotti visited the project in late November 2009 and has provided this report. [04/01/10]
Premio para la Autoridad Administrativa Ramsar en México. El Gobierno de México representado por Flavio Chazaro, Director de Desarrollo Institucional de la Comisión Nacional del Areas Protegidas (CONANP) recibió en Madrid, España el 15 de Diciembre el Premio de la Fundación BBVA por la Conservación de la Biodiversidad en Areas Protegidas. El BBVA mencionó que el premio fue otorgado a México en reconocimiento a su destacado trabajo en la colaboración internacional de áreas protegidas y la conformación de nuevas áreas en diferentes tipos de ecosistemas siendo el segundo país con más designaciones de sitios de importancia internacional en el marco de la Convención de Ramsar (Ramsar Iran, 1971) puesto que ha designado 116 sitios Ramsar en los últimos 6 años. La Secretaria de Ramsar felicita a nuestra Autoridad Administrativa en México por este premio y los invita a continuar con el rol activo en la conservación de áreas protegidas. Ver más en la nota de prensa preparada por CONANP. [17/12/09]
Visit of the Ramsar Secretariat to Uruguay. From the 19-22 of October 2009 the Secretary General Anada Tiéga and Senior Advisor Maria Rivera visited Uruguay to have an overview of the implementation of the Convention on the ground. Report by Maria Rivera. [17/12/09]
Visita de la Secretaria de Ramsar a Uruguay. Del 19-22 de Octubre el Secretario General Anada Tiega y la Consejera par alas Américas Maria Rivera, visitaron Uruguay para tener referencia sobre la implementación de la Convención a nivel nacional y regional. Informe por Maria Rivera.
Networking with wetland managers in Nordic-Baltic countries. The 5th seminar of the Nordic-Baltic Wetland Initiative (NorBalWet) focused on networking with wetland managers in Nordic-Baltic countries was held on 25-27 August 2009 in Turku, Finland. It brought together 30 Ramsar focal points from administrative authorities, wetland managers, nature conservation and environmental monitoring specialists and others and provided an excellent opportunity for experts to share practical experiences of wetland management, restoration and conservation, as well as to discuss progress since the previous meeting and plans for future work. Ramsar's Nadia Alexeeva reports. [16/12/09]
Report on the 3rd East Asian Seas Congress. The 3rd East Asian Seas Congress was held from 23-27 November 2009 in Manila, Philippines, under the theme of "Partnerships at Work: Local Implementation and Good Practices," to review progress with implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), as well as to highlight initiatives and good practices that are being carried out in East Asia for the sustainable use of the coastal and marine resources in the region. Some 1,400 government officials, scientists, consultants and NGOs attended the event which was hosted by the Government of the Philippines and organized by the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia. Lew Young provides a report with photos. [16/12/09]
Iran extends Caspian Sea Ramsar site. The Islamic Republic of Iran has significantly extended the boundaries, from 500 to 3,177 hectares, of the Caspian shore Ramsar sites that was first listed in June 1975, as “Bandar Kiashahr Lagoon and mouth of Sefid Rud”. The site now encompasses all of the Bujagh National Park and that will be its new Ramsar name. Ann Aldersey’s description of the site can be found under that name in the Annotated Ramsar List, here. [14/12/09]
Visit of the Ramsar Secretariat to Argentina. Anada Tiega, Ramsar Secretary General, and María Rivera, Senior Advisor for the Americas, visited Argentina from the 15-18 of October 2009 to participate in the la Plata River Basin Regional initiative and visit some Ramsar sites. Report by María Rivera (PDF). [14/12/09]
Visita de la Secretaria de Ramsar a Argentina. Anada Tiega, Secretario General de Ramsar, y María Rivera, Consejera para las Américas, visitaron Argentina del 15-18 de Octubre 2009 para participar en la reunión de la iniciativa de la Cuenca del Plata y visitar algunos sitios Ramsar. Informe por María Rivera.
Algeria names another five Ramsar sites. The Direction Générale des Forêts, Ministère de l'Agriculture et du Développement Rural of Algeria have designated an additional five Wetlands of International Importance, bringing that Party’s total number of Ramsar sites to 47. Garaet Timerganine (1,460 hectares, 35°40’N 006°58’E) is a seasonal freshwater marsh in the Wilaya de Oum El Bouaghi in the northeast. Marais de Bourdim (11 ha; 36°48’N 008°15’E) is a swamp and forested area found within the National Park of El Kala in El Tarf also in the northeast. Site classé Sebkhet Ezzmoul (6,765 ha; 35°53’N 006°30’E) is described as a seasonal saline lake located in the high plateau in the east of Algeria. Site Ramsar du lac Boulhilet (856 ha; 35°45’N 006°48’E) is an agriculturally important freshwater pond that was over-exploited in the 1970s to 1990s but has since been restored and again supports both cereal crops and wintering waterbirds. Vallée de l’oued Soummam (12,453 ha; 36°42’N 005°00’E) includes both mountain marshes and a coastal lagoon in the northeast. Ramsar’s Cynthia Kibata has prepared descriptions of all five sites. The five new designations and some more still in the pipeline have been prepared with support from WWF International Freshwater Programme. [12/12/09]
“1100 Altitude Wetland”. The government of the Republic of Korea has designated its 12th Ramsar site and its third on Jeju Island. The interestingly named “1100 Altitude Wetland” (13 hectares, 33°21’N 126°28’E) lies within the Mt Halla National Park, World Heritage site, and MAB Biosphere Reserve. As summarized by Ramsar’s Ann Aldersey, the site is a mountainous wetland consisting of a number of unique freshwater marshes and pools. The wetland is in an area of low gradient enabling the capture and retention of freshwater, to form small permanent lakes and peat bogs that support diverse floristic assemblages and significant endemism. The site supports 3 threatened bird and one plant species within Korea, as well as a number of mammal, reptile and insect species endemic to Jeju Island. The site is culturally and religiously important to the local communities. Visits to the site are increasing, with 900,000 visitors in 2008. Visitation is managed by Mt Halla Visitor Centre, and the site is managed under 3 management plans as part of the World Heritage and Biosphere programs. [11/12/09]
Ramsar in Canada. From 2 to 9 October 2009, Senior Advisor for the Americas María Rivera visited Canada to confer with colleagues in Environment Canada, the Convention’s Administrative Authority there, and to participate in the First Canadian Ramsar Site Managers Training Course. The course was hosted by the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area Ramsar site and presented by Clayton Rubec and Jim McCuaig of the Centre for Environmental Stewardship and Conservation (CESC), with Ms Rivera and Prof. Royal Gardner as additional guest instructors. María Rivera’s illustrated trip report can be found here, and CESC’s follow-up report on the course can be seen here, both PDF. [10/12/09]
“Conservation of wetlands in the Carpathians” was the theme of an international conference held at the tourist village Tatranská Štrba at the edge of the High Tatra Mountains National Park in Slovakia on 16-19 November 2009. The conference was attended by 65 experts from all seven Carpathian countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine), the Carpathian and Ramsar Convention Secretariats, and WWF’s Danube-Carpathian Programme.It was the first major event organised in the framework of the Carpathian Wetland Initiative, one of the 15 regional initiatives endorsed as operating within the framework of the Ramsar Convention. Tobias Salathé reports. [09/12/09]
Next Assistant Advisor for Asia / Oceania chosen. The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Ms Marian Gwilliam of Fiji has been selected to succeed Ms Ann Aldersey as Assistant Advisor for the Asia/Oceania Region starting in early 2010. Marian gained her Bachelor of Science and Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Science from the University of the South Pacific and has worked in a range of environmental fields. She has recently been involved with documenting Small Pacific Island Nation perceptions of climate change and their responses to its impacts, as well as extracting and plotting 40-years of sea-level data to extrapolate average sea-level trends for both islands and continents within the Pacific rim, and the probable causes for the observed trends. She has also worked for the Fijian government’s Department of Environment to assess the country’s capacity to meet obligations under the three Rio Conventions (CBD, UNFCC and UNCCD), as well as volunteering with BirdLife International to conduct bird surveys and assess the result of a programme to eradicate invasive rats from the Ringgold Islands, Fiji. The Secretariat looks forward to welcoming Marian to the team. [09/12/09]
“Towards a shared vision for the integrated management of the Sava river”. This was the theme of an international conference in Zagreb, Croatia, on 4-5 November 2009, organised by the IUCN programme office for southeastern Europe. The 100 or so expert participants of the four countries, including representatives of the European Commission, UNESCO, ICPDR, Ramsar, IUCN and WWF, discussed steps to assure effective integrated river basin management planning for the Sava, the second largest tributary of the river Danube. Tobias Salathé sets the background and describes the results – read more. (09/12/09]
RRC – EA hosts meetings in Changwon, Republic of Korea. On 17 November 2009, the Ramsar Regional Centre – East Asia, launched last July, held its first steering committee meeting and reviewed its progress over the past year. It also approved its programme for next year as well, and then over the following two days hosted the “Changwon Declaration Network Meeting” with the Ministry of Environment, dedicated to reviewing the dissemination and uptake of the Changwon Declaration that was adopted during Ramsar COP10 (Resolution X.3). Ramsar’s Lew Young participated in both meetings and has provided this illustrated report. [08/12/09]
Crane Festival 2009 in Kazakhstan. The Fourth Crane Festival was held on 26 September 2009 in Kazakhstan’s Karamendy village, organized in the framework of UNEP/GEF/ICF "Development of a Wetland Site and Flyway Network for Conservation of the Siberian Crane and Other Waterbirds in Asia" international project. The Festival gathered guests and participants from many regions of Kazakhstan, and schoolchildern from several cities of the Russian Federation also took part in the contest. In total, more than 38,000 children took part in the contest, and more than 300 participants were present at the Gala-concert. Vera Inyutina, manager of the Siberian Crane Wetland Project in Kazakhstan, sent this informative report with photographs. [08/12/09]
RAM mission report to Panama. In October 2007 the Government of Panama (ANAM) requested the Ramsar Secretariat to send a Ramsar Advisory Mission to assess the status of the the Bahía de Panama and San San-Pond Sak Ramsar sites as they were facing various threats that could affect the ecological character of the sites. The Mission was carried out by María Rivera and Montserrat Carbonell, 18-28 November 2008 -- María summarizes the problems and the report's recommendations here, and the report itself is available (in Spanish) here. [07/12/09]
Ramsar SGF. The Holiday Season is almost upon us, and has started very well for the Ramsar Small Grants Fund with an early Christmas present of the funds to support two excellent projects from our 2009 project portfolio. There are still 24 excellent 2009 projects open for funding. Is there any chance you have just a little spare budget left for 2009? Would you like to make a donation to the 2009 Small Grants Fund?
Read our 2009 Project Portfolio, and if one or more take your fancy, please do let us know (Dufour@ramsar.org)! Should you need further information on any of those projects, again, do let us know! At this stage in the process we welcome both specific project donations and general contributions to the Fund. So please do what you can! Many thanks, and best wishes for a very Merry end of 2009 and a Happy and Successful 2010!” -- Alexia DUFOUR, Regional Affairs Officer. [07/12/09]
First national Ramsar conference in Austria and designation of the 12th transboundary Ramsar site. In 2007 Austria organised the first meeting for European Ramsar STRP national focal points in Mittersill. Now, two years later, Austria was again the first country to organise a national Ramsar conference, 11-12 November 2009, focusing on “the significance of wetlands for drinking water supply, climate change mitigation and biodiversity support”. Around 140 experts gathered in Eisenstadt, the capital of Austria’s youngest federal state Burgenland, including participants from the neighbouring countries Hungary, Slovenia and Switzerland. Read more. [02/12/09]
Kazakhstan’s 6th Ramsar site in 2009. The government of Kazakhstan has designated its sixth new Wetland of International Importance in the year 2009, complementing its first Ramsar site, which was originally listed by the Soviet Union back in 1976. “Alakol-Sasykkol Lakes System” (914,663 hectares, 46°16’N 081°32’E) is a State Nature Reserve in the far east of the country – it’s Kazakhstan’s largest reserve for nesting wetland birds and a major migratory stop, with over a hundred thousand waterbirds and semi-aquatic birds stopping annually. Read more. [02/12/09]
Wetlands as carbon sinks. An article by Melanie Lenart in the recent Nature Reports on climate change (26 November) discusses the unappreciated role of wetlands in carbon storage, using the Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park in Ohio (USA) as an illustrative case, and the need for recognition of that role in the upcoming Copenhagen climate change debates. Various collaborators in the Ramsar Convention’s efforts to promote this message, such as William Mitsch, the Olentangy Park’s director, and Susanna Tol of Wetlands International, explain the rationale for advocating the inclusion of wetlands in carbon credit schemes and urge that wetlands be included in the Copenhagen negotiating text. The article is at http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0912/full/climate.2009.125.html.
Visita de la Secretaria de Ramsar y WWF a la Laguna Macaya en Bolivia. El Gobierno de Bolivia está trabajando en la preparación de la información técnica para la designación de la Laguna Macaya como Humedal de Importancia Internacional, ya que es uno de los principales sitios que sirven de hábitat para los flamencos Altoandinos, así que fuimos invitados a conocerlo . . . . Fotos. [01/12/09]
Mexico names marine site on Gulf of California. The government of Mexico has designated its 114th Wetland of International Importance for the Ramsar List. “Canal del Infiernillo y esteros del territorio Comcaac (Xepe Coosot)” (29,700 hectares, 29°10'N 112°14'W) is a channel between Island Tiburón and the Sonora coast in northwestern Mexico, characterized by the presence of sea-grass beds, mangrove estuaries, seasonal creeks and small coral reef patches. Read more. [27/11/09]
The VI Workshop of the Regional Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of High Andean Wetlands, organized by the Bolivian Government through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, with financial support from the Danone Group, was held in La Paz, Bolivia, from 21-24 September 2009. The main objective of the VI Workshop of the Strategy was to discuss the impact of climate change in high Andean wetlands and the definition of priorities for the triennium 2009-2012 with special emphasis in the definition of funding mechanisms for its implementation. Report (PDF, 5MB) [26/11/09]
El VI Taller de la Estrategia Regional para la Conservación y Uso Sostenible de Humedales Altoandinos, organizado por el Gobierno de Bolivia a través del Ministerio de Ambiente y Cambio Climático y la Secretaria de la Convención Ramsar, con el apoyo financiero de Danone, tuvo lugar en La Paz, Bolivia del 21-24 de Septiembre de 2009. El objetivo principal del taller fue discutir el impacto del cambio climático sobre los Humedales Altoandinos y la definición de prioridades para el trienio 2009-2012 con énfasis en la definición de mecanismos de financiación para su implementación. Informe (PDF, 5MB)
Dos nuevas publicaciones sobre la aplicación de la Convención Ramsar en Ecuador. Como resultado del proyecto “Capacitación en Base de una Revisión de la Legislación e Institucionalidad Relacionados con la Gestión de Humedales en el Ecuador” financiado bajo el Fondo Humedales para el Futuro (FHF) en 2007, el Centro Ecuatoriano de Derecho Ambiental (CEDA), en coordinación con el Ministerio del Ambiente de Ecuador (MAE), ha publicado dos nuevos documentos, que se encuentran disponibles en su página web (www.ceda.org.ec). Continúe leyendo » [25/11/09]
Turkey names 13th Ramsar site. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has designated Lake Kuyucuk (Kuyucuk Gölü) (416 hectares, 40°45’N 043°27’E) as Turkey’s 13th Wetland of International Importance. As summarized by Nadezhda Alexeeva from the RIS, this Wildlife Reserve is one of the most important wetlands of Kars province in northeastern Turkey – the freshwater stream- and spring-fed lake is surrounded by treeless steppe and sparse Phragmites reed patches, and the area may be typical of what much of the Anatolian Steppe grassland-wetland community used to consist of before widespread degradation of its water bodies over the past several hundred years. More details here, with photos. [20/11/09]