The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 31 June 2012
The government of Japan has designated nine interesting new sites for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, bringing that Party's total number of Ramsar Sites to 46. Summary descriptions of the new sites have been prepared for the Annotated Ramsar List by Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Asia-Pacific, Ms Nessrine Alzahlawi. Read more. [26/06/2012]
The Faroe Islands (Denmark) designates three islands in the Faroes
Denmark has designated three new Wetlands of International Importance in the Faroe Islands, all of them extremely significant sites for seabirds and all of them Important Bird Areas under BirdLife International. The details are all here. [23/06/12]
The year of tourism and wetlands for Ramsar
In July 2012, the Convention will formally address tourism as one of the many ‘ecosystem services’ that wetlands deliverat the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) in Bucharest, Romania. The Conference will identify what countries need to do at national and local levels to ensure that wetland tourism is sustainable, consistent with the Convention’s ‘wise use’ principle, which will hopefully result in the adoption of a Resolution on tourism and wetlands. (See the Draft Resolution here).
Based on the fact there is a clear need to manage wetland tourism wisely through sound policies, planning, and awareness-raising – in other words, by putting the principles of sustainable tourism into action, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and UNWTO worked on a publication that highlights the considerable value of wetlands for tourism and the economic benefits that tourism can bring for the management of wetland sites that will be launched at COP11 on 9 July. Through case studies and other materials, this publication demonstrates the contributions that sustainable tourism practices in and around wetlands can make to conservation, poverty alleviation (through improvement of local livelihoods), regional and national economies, and support to local cultures. It also highlights the associated risks and impacts when tourism is not well managed and is not sustainable. See the section on tourism and wetlands here. The case studies can be viewed here. [21/06/12]
On the eve of the meeting of the Conference of the Parties due to begin in two weeks’ time, the Republic of Korea has designated a new site for the Ramsar List. Details here. [22/06/2012]
40,000 followers on Ramsar Facebook page
Did you know the Ramsar Convention has a Facebook page? Wetlands connect us all - Join our 40,000 followers!
It is essential for the Ramsar Convention to work with the general public and make people understand what will be lost by not caring for wetlands. Our FB posts help to spread the message of valuing wetlands and all their services at the global level, and the Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to see the interest and engagement of Ramsar’s Facebook followers.
Join Ramsar’s FB community at http://www.facebook.com/RamsarConventionOnWetlands and support both the wise use of existing wetlands and the restoration of those that are degraded as a means to keep our world healthy. We count on you. [20/06/12]
Ramsar Convention at Rio+20: Side event on TEEB and two partnerships with the World Bank
The new TEEB work on Water and Wetlands for the Ramsar Convention was announced at a side event on 15 June 2012 at the Rio+20 Conference, in Rio de Janeiro. The TEEB for Water and Wetlands aims to utilise the TEEB approach to generate a better understanding of the ecosystem service values of water and wetlands to encourage additional policy momentum and business commitment for their conservation, investment and wise use.
In light of the work on a TEEB for Water and Wetlands, and the importance in having the values of nature to help with better decision and policymaking at the national and international level, the Secretariat of Ramsar Convention has pledged its support for the World Bank’s Natural Capital Declaration, to be launched at the Rio+20 Earth Summit. Read more [20/06/12]
Vacancy at the Ramsar Secretariat for Intern/Assistant for the European region
The Ramsar Secretariat welcomes applications for the position of Intern/Assistant Advisor for the European region, a 12-month posting (possibly extendable up to 24 months) in the Ramsar Secretariat in Switzerland to begin around 25 October 2012. IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, provides administrative services for the Ramsar Convention, and more information and online application for this post is available on the IUCN website at:
The deadline for applications is 22 July 2012. Note: A candidate should SUBMIT HIS/HER APPLICATION ONLINE, USING THE LINK ABOVE. No other method of application will be considered. [19/06/12]
The government of Mexico is continuing its grand tradition of celebrating World Wetlands Day every year with the designation of new Wetlands of International Importance, and the paperwork has recently been completed for five additional new sites. Mexico now has 138 Ramsar Sites, covering a surface area of 8,826,429 hectares. Read more. [19/06/12]
The government of Madagascar has designated two new Wetlands of International Importance, effective as of 5 June 2012, bringing that Party's total number of Ramsar Sites to 9, covering a total area of 1,175,011 hectares. Descriptions of the two new sites are available here. [18/06/2012]
The Caribbean state of Jamiaca has designated its fourth Ramsar site, called Mason River Protected Area, Bird Sanctuary and Ramsar Site (82 hectares, 18°11'38"N 077°15'46"W). More information here. [14/06/12]
Following on from two new Wetlands of International Importance announced two weeks ago for the USA, the Secretariat has added a third to the Ramsar List, the Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes in the state of Illinois. Read more. [14/06/12]
Egypt's Ministry for State of Environment Affairs has designated its first new Wetlands of International Importance since joining the Convention in 1988, two very interesting new sites in Fayoum governorate west of the Nile River: Lake Qarun Protected Area (134,042 hectares) and Wadi El Rayan Protected Area (175,790 hectares), the latter a World Heritage site known for its fossils demonstrating the evolution of whales from land-based to ocean-going mammals. More details here. [13/06/12]
The government of Spain has designated five more wetlands to the List of Wetlands of International Importance, bringing Spain's total number of Ramsar Sites to 73, the third highest number of sites amongst the Contracting Parties. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Europe, Kati Wenzel, has prepared brief descriptions of the new additions, based upon the Ramsar Information Sheets that accompanied the designations, for the Annotated Ramsar List. The full RIS information will be available soon on the Ramsar Sites Information Service at Wetlands International. Read the descriptions here. [12/06/2012]
The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Caribbean state of Grenada has deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention on Wetlands with the Director-General of UNESCO as of 22 May, and the Convention will therefore come into force for Grenada on 22 September 2012. More information here. [11/06/12]
The 360-page Ramsar Wetland Disease Manual: Guidelines for Assessment, Monitoring and Management of Animal Disease in Wetlands, prepared by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) and a broad range of contributing authors and editors on behalf of the Ramsar Convention, has now been published as Ramsar Technical Report no. 7. Read more here. [11/06/2012]
Action plan on culture and wetlands 2012-2016: request for comments
Ramsar Parties have adopted two Resolutions on the subject of culture, a Culture Working Group was created in 2005, and relevant actions are called for in the Convention's Strategic Plan. Implementation efforts so far however have been small-scale. With the support of the MAVA Foundation and in the framework of the Working Group, a small project is currently underway which aims to revitalise this area of work for the period following COP11, with broader stakeholder participation.
A first draft of a "Strategic Action Plan on Culture and Wetlands" for 2012-2016 is now available for comment. If you are interested, please look at this document, which can be found here, and provide your own suggestions for improving the content and making this as useful as possible to all concerned. An email address to write to is provided in the document. [07/06/12]
Join Ramsar at Rio+20 for a Side Event on "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands"
The Ramsar Secretariat is organizing a Side Event on "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Water and Wetlands" that will take place in RioCentro, Brazil on 15 June. The TEEB for Water and Wetlands aims to utilise the TEEB approach to generate a better understanding of the ecosystem service values of water and wetlands to encourage additional policy momentum and business commitment for their conservation, investment and wise use.
The TEEB initiative has demonstrated the policy usefulness of presenting the value of nature into decision making. Placing an economic value on ecosystem services raises awareness that water and wetland services are valuable and indispensible services that nature provides for free. This Side Event will launch the TEEB Water and Wetlands initiative and seek input and engagement into the process. Following an introduction of the project, and its objectives and key messages, there will be a panel discussion with different stakeholders. Time will be allotted for questions and an open discussion with participants. See all details here (PDF) and on the Rio+20 website [06/06/12]
Prof. Emanuel Asuquo Obot's death: A loss to conservation efforts in Africa
It is with great sadness that the Ramsar Secretariat learnt of the death of Prof. Emanuel Asuquo Obot in a plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria. Prof. Obot was the Executive Director of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, and Ramsar's NGO CEPA Focal Point. He will be remembered as one of Nigeria’s most respected scientists by the entire Ramsar family. Ramsar's Secretary General, Anada Tiéga, knew him personally. Mr Tiéga notes that Prof. Obot "was instrumental in preparing the Ramsar Information Sheet for several Ramsar Sites especially in the Niger Delta ... He actually came here at the Secretariat two months ago and we discussed a collaborative process on wetland restoration in the Niger Delta. His death is a big loss for wetland conservation in Nigeria."
The Ramsar Secretariat sends prof. Obot´s family, colleagues and friends, its most sincere condolences for this sad loss. [06/06/12]
Photo: Professor Emmanuel Asuquo Obot (Photo courtesy: Nigerian Conservation Foundation)
On the occasion of World Environment Day (WED), the Ramsar Secretariat takes this opportunity to address sustainable tourism activities in wetlands and how this relates to this year’s WED theme on “Green Economy”. The UN Environment Programme defines the Green Economy as “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”. With their natural beauty and biodiversity wetlands make ideal locations for tourism and the income generated for national and local economies in and around wetlands can be substantial. There is consequently a clear relevance of sustainable wetland tourism in poverty eradication strategies and policies and as a potential contributor to a Green Economy. More [05/06/12]
The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands would like to warmly welcome Nessrine Alzahlawi as Assistant Advisor for the Asia-Oceania region. More [04/06/12]
Third workshop on water and adaptation to climate change in transboundary basins: Making adaptation work
Over 120 participants from all around the world gathered from the 25 to 26 April to attend the third workshop on water and adaptation to climate change in transboundary basins: Making adaptation work. The workshop was organized by the UNECE Water Convention in partnership with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), the Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (GWP-MED), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Meteorological Organization and the European Commission. More [04/06/12]
Over 30 participants from various ministries and organizations in the Republic of Sudan came together on 17 May, 2012 in order to agree on the purpose and methodology of carrying out a baseline inventory on Sudan’s Wetlands. A project proposal to carry out a national wetland inventory of the Republic of Sudan was developed by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Physical Development (MEFPD) of the Republic of Sudan. More [04/06/12]
The Secretariat is delighted to welcome Bhutan to the Ramsar family as its 161st Contracting Party - UNESCO has confirmed that the instrument of accession and the names and maps of two Wetlands of International Importance were received on 7 May, so that the Convention will come into force for Bhutan on 7 September 2012. Official data on the Ramsar Information Sheets for the Ramsar Sites Database is still being prepared by the government, but in the meantime we have some brief unofficial descriptions of the fascinating sites. [31/05/2012]