The Ramsar Bulletin Board, July 2013
Travel to Fiji for the third annual PMI meeting and 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress, 8-12 July
Vainuupo Jungblut, Ramsar Officer for Oceania (ROO) based at the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa, recently visited the Fiji Islands from 8-12 July to attend the third annual meeting of the Pacific Mangroves Initiative (PMI) held at the offices of IUCN Oceania and the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress held at the University of the South Pacific.
The main highlights of the PMI meeting included a demonstration to the PMI members of the Regional Mangrove Monitoring Database developed by SPREP to store and manage national mangrove data. The database already contains mangrove data from Samoa and Tonga, while official requests to host national data from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Fiji are in the pipeline. A soft launch of the database online is planned for the first week of August. More [31/07/13]
Symposium on the 20th Anniversary of the 5th Meeting of the Conference of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands in Kushiro 1993
Report and photos provided by Ms. Makiko Yanagiya, Wildlife Division, Nature Conservation Bureau, Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
About 150 people took part in the symposium on the 20th Anniversary of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention in Kushiro (COP5 in Kushiro City, Hokkaido, in June of 1993) was held at the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan on the 4th of July, 2013. The Ramsar Kushiro Conference (1993) was the first COP of the Convention on Wetlands held in Asia and it made a significant contribution to raising awareness in Asia about the conservation of wetlands. During the symposium, a congratulatory video message from the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, Mr. Anada Tiega, was screened. More [30/07/13]
Strengthening the wetland policy and guidelines for the Royal Government of Bhutan
With the generous contribution of the government of Japan, this Small Grants Fund (SGF) project helped revise and strengthen the wetland policy and guidelines of Bhutan as well as raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands and the significance of being a member of the Ramsar Convention. More [29/07/13]
Farewell party for Anada Tiéga, outgoing Ramsar Secretary General
Ramsar staff and many other guests gathered on the IUCN terrace yesterday in Gland, Switzerland, to thank Anada Tiéga for his six years as Secretary General to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Colleagues and friends from many organizations braved the summer heat yesterday evening to enjoy the friendly farewell messages lauding the many achievements of Mr Tiéga during his six-year tenure at the helm of the Ramsar Convention. Read more [25/07/13]
Working towards a Global Wetlands Observing System
Last week, four members of staff (DG Anada Tiéga, DSG Nick Davidson, Paul Ouédraogo, Senior Advisor for Africa, and Charlotte Ako Eyong, Assistant Advisor for Africa) took part in a user consultation workshop held at the European Space Agency’s ESRIN establishment in Frascati, Italy. The Ramsar Secretariat has been working closely with the European Space Agency on its GlobWetland project, which is developing monitoring and management tools based on earth observation data in a pilot project involving Ramsar Sites around the world. More [24/07/2013]
Government of Norway funding conservation in Myanmar
In January 2013, the Government of Norway's Directorate for Nature (now known as the Norwegian Environment Agency), began a long-term project to assist the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) of the Union of Myanmar to conserve the biodiversity and wetlands in the country. The Norwegian Government also requested the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention to provide administrative assistance to the project, and IUCN was sub-contracted to provide logistical coordination in Myanmar. Other partners include the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). More [23/07/13]
“How to update a Ramsar Information Sheet” video guide now available in French and Spanish!
The Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to share with you the French and Spanish versions of the step-by-step video guide that will take you through the necessary steps to submit your updates on Ramsar Sites. Ramsar Contracting Parties commit themselves to providing updated information for all of their Ramsar Sites no later than every six years or on the occasion of any significant change in the sites' ecological character.
To help you through the process, we invite you to watch the video guide in English, French or Spanish and submit your updated Ramsar Information Sheets to the Ramsar Secretariat! [17/07/13]
Recent meetings broaden cooperation on wetland values
The Ramsar Culture Network has been helping to strengthen cooperation between the Convention and UNESCO, involving not only the latter’s World Heritage Centre, but also the Man & Biosphere Programme, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section and (in this International Year of Water Cooperation) the International Hydrological Programme (IHP). Presentations given at two recent meetings by Ramsar Culture Network Joint Coordinator Dave Pritchard have explored the relationships between ecological and cultural values of wetlands, and approaches to this which (in a context of ecosystem services) provide a basis for more successfully integrating approaches to management. More [16/07/13]
Norway names 12 new Ramsar Sites
Norway, the Ramsar Convention's third Contracting Party, has designated 12 new Wetlands of International Importance, effective 27 May, mostly island and coastal wetlands in the northern half of the country and most of them particularly important for their values for migrating seabirds. Since July 1974, the government of Norway has listed 63 Ramsar Sites, covering nearly 888,000 hectares. Site summary descriptions have been prepared, based on the Ramsar Information Sheets, by Ramsar's Laura Máiz-Tomé -- click here. [13/07/13]
First issue of the African Wetlands Watch Newsletter
The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is pleased to share with you the first edition of the African Wetlands Watch bi-annual Newsletter. As a discussion and communication tool, this newsletter is intended to inform its readers on the activities of the Africa Team of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and monitor the implementation of the Convention in Africa.
This newsletter shall enhance information sharing among different wetland stakeholders in Africa by providing a platform for discussion on wetland-related issues in the region and facilitate the Ramsar Secretariat’s reporting on specific regional actions to a wider range of actors. The plan is to produce the newsletter in English and French for distribution electronically. Though this first edition is in English only, subsequent editions will be produced in both languages. [10/07/13]
New National Wetland Policy for the Republic of Moldova
Moldova has just completed its Small Grants Fund project funded by Norway in 2011 on the development of a National Wetland Policy. The Ramsar Convention Small Grants Fund (SGF) is a mechanism to assist countries with economies in transition to implement the Convention and to support the conservation and wise use of wetland resources with a strong human and social dimension. More [08/07/13].
7th Meeting of Partners to the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership
The 7th Meeting of Partners (MoP7) to the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), a Ramsar Regional Initiative, was recently held in Anchorage and Seward, Alaska (USA) from 10 to 14 June 2013. The EAAFP works to conserve migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of people dependent upon those habitats in the EAAF region, and is currently made up of 30 Partners, including national governments, inter-government organizations, NGOs and the international business community. More [04/07/13]
Mexico’s 139th Ramsar Site
The Humedales de la Laguna La Cruz (6,665 hectares, 28°47’15”N 111°52’53”W) has been designated by Mexico’s Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), that country’s 139th Wetland of International Importance. Read more. (04/07/13)
Wetlands and hydropower
Wetlands and energy issues are addressed in Resolution XI.10 adopted a year ago at COP11 in Bucharest.
The Annex to this Resolution provides a comprehensive framework to address wetland implications of policies, plans and activities in the energy sector. During COP11, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) participated actively in several side events, and it has now just released “Guiding Principles on Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Danube Basin” (download PDF here) that were elaborated with lead support from Austria, Romania, and Slovenia with the contribution of many experts in different fields from all Danube basin countries and the European Commission. More [03/07/13]
Thailand names two island Ramsar Sites
The government of Thailand has designated two new Wetlands of International Importance for the Ramsar List, two small archipelago systems with coral reefs lying offshore of opposite sides of the country. Details here. (03/07/13)
Albania adds its parts of the Prespa Lakes to the Ramsar List
The government of Albania has designated as its 4th Wetland of International Importance its portions of Prespa Lakes international park, which is coordinated in conjunction with authorities from Greece and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The boundaries of the new Ramsar Site, called Albanian Prespa Lakes (Liqenet e Prespes Shqiptare) follow those of the Albania National Park for the aquatic components of the site. Read more here. [03/07/13]
Strengthening wetland conservation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region
The city of Bodø in Norway hosted the seventh meeting of the Habitat Contact Forum (HCF VII) from 11 to 13 June. HCF activities are part of the Nature Protection Subgroup (NPS) activities of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council’s Working Group on Environment (BEAC WGE). Laura Máiz-Tomé, Assistant Advisor for Europe at the Ramsar Secretariat, took part in the meeting since many of the topics that were discussed (establishment of new protected areas, management of existing protected areas, measures for the conservation of biological diversity) are closely related to the work of the Ramsar Convention. More [02/07/13]