Andorra joins as 163rd Contracting Party and designates Pyrenees site for the Ramsar List
The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the European state of Andorra has deposited its instrument of accession to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands with the Director-General of UNESCO as of 23 July 2012. In accordance with the Convention’s Article 10.2, the Convention, as amended in 1982 and in 1987, will enter into force for Andorra on 23 November 2012, four months after the deposit of this instrument.
In conformity with the provisions of Article 2.1 of the Convention, Andorra has designated Parc naturel de la vallée de Sorteny, in Ordino parish, as its first wetland to be included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance. As summarized by Ramsar’s Kati Wenzel, the new site is a Natural Park high in the Pyrenees (up to 2,915m altitude), consisting of humid meadows, alkaline fens, bog woodland, several pools and a small alpine lake. The site offers habitat to several rare species of flora and fauna including Common Saw-wort Saussurea alpina and several species of amphibians and reptiles. It is also the most Eastern site known for Aurelio’s rock lizard Iberolacerta aurelioi which has a very restricted distribution range and is endemic to the Pyrenees. The site is used by several invertebrates, especially by butterflies such as Parnassius apollo.
It is also important for the provision and purification of water as well as for the general hydrological balance of the area. In terms of cultural heritage the site contains remains of constructions related to traditional activities of iron mining and livestock breeding, the latter still practiced today. The site is also increasingly used for tourism and recreation as well as for research. The park contains a visitor’s centre, a botanic garden and interpretational trails, and has a very illustrative website.
The Secretariat welcomes Andorra as its 163rd Contracting Party and the Parc naturel de la vallée de Sorteny as its 2,049th Wetland of International Importance.