Ramsar mourns the loss of an outstanding wetland conservationist in Europe
For many years Martin Schneider-Jacoby, working for the German-based Euronatur Foundation, cooperated with the Ramsar Secretariat for better wetland management in South-Eastern Europe. After completing his biology PhD on White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) in the Sava river floodplain in Croatia, undertaking field work in what became subsequently the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park and Ramsar Site, he continued to work on wetland-related issues in Croatia and neighbouring Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and other Balkan countries.
Martin on lake Skadar Ramsar Site in Montenegro
He contributed substantially to raise awareness and understanding on wetland-related matters, on the East-Adriatic migratory bird flyway and unsustainable hunting, and on the possible synergies between commercial fish and salt pond management and biodiversity conservation. By doing so, he motivated and educated many local conservationists and contributed substantially to the creation and management of Ramsar Sites such as Livansko Polje (in Bosnia-Herzegovina), Skadar/Shkodra Lake and Buna/Boiana River (shared between Montenegro and Albania) and others. He was a regular source of information and advice for the Ramsar Secretariat, e.g. during a Ramsar Advisory Mission to Lake Skadar in 2005 (see report here).
The wetland community in South-Eastern Europe and beyond has lost an inspirational defender of its cause. Martin leaves a huge gap. The Ramsar Secretariat, and particularly its European team, express their condolences and sympathies to Martin’s family and friends, to Euronatur (read their obituary here) and all conservation pioneers in South-Eastern Europe and in the Mediterranean basin beyond. Martin will be greatly missed. It is now up to us to continue his work.
Text and photo by Tobias Salathé, Senior Regional Advisor for Europe