The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 31 May 2012


Bhutan's accession to the Ramsar Convention

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 three 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 descriptions of the three fascinating sites from the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN). [31/05/2012]

Two new Ramsar Sites in the USA

The United States has designated two interesting new sites for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, both effective as of World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2012: Congaree National Park in the southern state of South Carolina and The Emiquon Complex in Illinois, comprising three existing protected areas, the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge, and Emiquon Preserve that are owned and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy respectively. Further details. [30/05/12]

 Who's Where?


Paul Ouédraogo, Senior Advisor for Africa is in Orlando, Florida, USA, from 2 - 8 June 2012 to attend the 9th Intecol International Wetlands Conference, coordinated by University of Florida/IFAS. He will be presenting a PPT on “Wetland policy development in Rwanda: from wetland inventory to legislation of sustainable use”. [31/05/12]

For more old Ramsar Secretariat travel news, see also 'Who Was Where', 2000
, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 , 2012

Yesterday's News


Celebrating wetlands in Vietnam

The 4th Forum on “Nature and culture conservation for the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta” was held on 21 May 2012 in the city of Cao Lanh, Dong Thap province, Vietnam. On the following day, a ceremony was organised to celebrate the Listing of Tram Chim National Park as the country’s 4th Ramsar Site and the number 2,000 site worldwide. More [29/05/12]

Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean – the next 20 years

At the time when the global Ramsar family meets in Bucharest for COP11 in July 2012, wetland specialists from around the Mediterranean Sea will gather for their 11th meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee, the governing body of MedWet, the longest established Ramsar regional initiative that was originally conceived in 1991. On this occasion, nearly 300 participants looked back at the achievements of this regional programme of cooperation for water-related ecosystems during a major conference in Agadir, Morocco, last February. More [23/05/12]

The International Day for Biological Diversity, 22 May 2012 - Message from Anada Tiéga, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention

Every 22 May, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands joins in worldwide celebrations of the International Day for Biological Diversity – an opportunity for the Convention to reaffirm its commitment to the importance of wetlands for the planet’s biodiversity and human wellbeing, as well as its active engagement with the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The theme for this year, “Marine Biodiversity”, underlines the need to actively engage in maintaining marine and coastal biodiversity in a world where pressures on coastal regions for economic development are particularly high. An estimated 60% of the world’s human population live on or close to the coast, which is directly or indirectly causing many stresses affecting sustainability in the coastal zone, such as loss of habitat, increased pollution, accelerated sea-level rise, and interruption of flow of water and sediments. Many of these problems seriously affect coastal wetlands and their capacity to continue to provide vital functions for people and biodiversity in these areas. More [22/05/12]

Briefing Note on wetland restoration

The fourth entry in the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel’s Briefing Notes series is The benefits of wetland restoration, by Sasha Alexander, STRP Representative of the Society for Ecological Restoration, and Robert J. McInnes, STRP Representative of the Society of Wetland Scientists. The 20-page paper reviews the importance of wetland ecosystem services and the role of restoration in maintaining them, with brief case studies, describes methods of prioritizing potential restoration projects, and provides a wealth of links to additional materials. (PDF) [18/05/12]

World Migratory Bird Day 2012 highlights the close relationship between birds and people

World Migratory Bird Day 2012 will be celebrated this weekend (on 12 – 13 May) with the theme “Migratory birds and people – together through time”. World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is a global awareness-raising campaign being jointly organised by AEWA and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and other key partners highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats.

Since World Migratory Bird Day began in 2006, events have been carried out in 104 countries with public events such as bird festivals, education programmes and birdwatching excursions being carried out to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day. Details of this event and many others taking place around the world can be found on the WMBD website: [10/05/12]

COP11 Draft Resolutions translated in Arabic and Russian languages

To facilitate and promote participation of Contracting Parties from Arabic and Russian speaking regions in the 11th Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention (COP11), the Ramsar Secretariat has made unofficial translations of all the COP11 Draft Resolutions with generous financial support from the Satogaeri (Homecoming) Ink Jet Cartridge Recycling Project through UNEP. All the translations will be available on the COP11 webpage by mid-June 2012.

For Arabic translations please visit this link:

For Russian translation, please visit this link:

Important note: Since Arabic and Russian are not official languages of the Convention, the translations are considered UNOFFICIAL. [09/05/12]

New publication: Wetlands and culture in Japan

A new publication from Wetlands International, Japan, brings together some key findings on wetlands and culture. This 72-page, full-colour publication provides a brief introduction to their definition of wetland culture and explains the rationale of the three groups, and then presents 33 selected cases studies. More [08/05/12]

Ramsar Convention and the University of Senghor, Alexandria (Egypt): Joint Action Course on African Wetlands

Since 1st May 2012, twelve students from the University of Senghor of Alexandria (Egypt) are attending a course on wetlands issues in several Francophone African countries. More [07/05/12]

France designates network of 14 Caribbean ponds

The Secretariat is delighted to announce that France has designated its 41st Wetland of International Importance, called "Zones humides et marines de Saint-Martin", a Protected Biotope and Nature Reserve on the Caribbean island of Saint-Martin. Read more. [01/05/12]

Finland opens new wetland centre at the Liminganlahti Ramsar Site

First declared a Ramsar Site in 2004, this 12,275-hectare bay is the perfect site for a state-of-the-art wetland centre. It is a bird watchers paradise but also a place of beauty for those who simply enjoy open, natural spaces. The opening of the centre took place on the 27th April with a keynote speech from the Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Environment, Katarliina Poskiparts, who expressed her hopes for its long-term success locally, nationally and internationally. The centre is focussed on Liminganlahti wetland and how it changes throughout the year, with hands-on exhibits, wonderful photographs and illustrations, a fascinating look at traditional fishing activities as well as a gift shop and restaurant. The opening on the 27th was followed on the 28th by an international photo exhibtion that attracted over 2,500 visitors. More [01/05/2012]

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The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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