News from the CEPA e-mail list
News round-up (30/06/04)
I'm just a little behind with my messages to the list so I'm going to make this a bit of a "pot pourri" to try to catch up before the news I have to share becomes very old news!
1. An interesting message from Malcolm Whitehead to the Wetland Link International e-list that I think is well worth sharing here. Malcolm wrote:
"We are having an issue in the UK with children losing their (historical) connection with nature. This is manifest at the school level by a decrease in schools visiting out-of-classroom learning centres because of health and safety and litigation fears, not to mention prescriptive, packed curricula confined to classrooms and the virtual. Some of us (WWT, RSPB, National Trust, Field Studies Council and 3D Education) have formed a Real World Learning partnership to lobby political parties to put something about the importance of out-of-classroom learning in their manifestos. I wonder if any WLI members are encountering similar situations. If so, please share them with the egroup" - please e-mail any comments directly to Malcolm.Whitehead@wwt.org.uk.
Malcolm drew attention to a fascinating report "A Child's Place" by the Green Alliance and Demos about a project on children's attitudes to nature. The authors note "children's ability to experience the natural environment is under threat. Fear and risk, lack of investment, overcrowding and poverty are all restricting their opportunities to spend time outside. This report argues that children's well-being and environmental issues are inextricably linked. The worse a local environment looks, the less able children are to play freely, and to develop the habits and commitments that will enable them to address environmental problems in the future."
The authors recommend that child-related policy should explicitly link improvements to quality of place to environmental issues such as sustainability. You can download a PDF of the report here http://www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/achildsplacebook/ and there is also a video on the project that you can view on-line at this same URL.
2. Some of you will know of the 1st Edition of the Ramsar Handbooks, published in 2001, incorporating the guidance on the wise use of wetlands adopted by the Conference of the Parties through to COP7 as well as additional materials such as case studies, useful publications etc.
Now the 2nd Edition of the Handbooks is ready in English: 14 volumes including the additional guidance from Ramsar COP8 in 2002 and revised versions of most of the previous volumes. The full set will be published in English, French and Spanish, on CD-ROM in not too long a time, in PDF versions suitable for printing by all interested readers.
Of particular interest to list members will be Volume 6, "Wetland CEPA" which includes the guidelines annexed to Resolution VIII.31, The Convention's Programme on communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) 2003-2008. The additional materials therein include some insights on developing Wetland CEPA Action Plans, the work of the CEPA Specialist Group, WWD as a CEPA activity and more.
The 14 volumes in English are available now for download from the Ramsar Web site at http://ramsar.org/lib_handbooks_e.htm. The French and Spanish versions are progressing well and will be added to the Web site as they are finalized. The translations, lay-out, and CD-ROM publication have been generously funded by the General Directorate for Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment, Government of Spain.
3. Wetland Ambassador Campaign extended to the Mekong for 2004 (recently posted on the Ramsar Forum by Dwight Peck.)
In June 2002 I reported on this e-mail list of an innovative campaign in China. The Wetland Ambassador Campaign is a conservation, education and awareness-raising initiative that works by engaging with university students to conduct projects on important wetland issues and themes, and it has been working in China since 2001.This programme of work has proved to be so successful that it is now continuing into its 4th year.
A report from Lei Guangchung, Ramsar's Senior Advisor for Asia, documented the opening ceremony for the 2004 Wetland Ambassador Campaign for the Mekong and Yangtze basins which took place on 28 May 2004 in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China. Through its expansion to the Mekong region, this year is the first time that the Wetland Ambassador Campaign has been organized across international borders. It has been organized with joint support from Danone-Evian and WWF Living Waters Programme, in partnership with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, the Mekong River Commission, the State Forest Administration of China, WWF China, WWF Indochina and WWF Thailand. A brief illustrated report from WWF's Denis Landenbergue can be viewed at one's leisure at http://ramsar.org/w.n.wwf_ambassadors_launch.htm.
All for now - but more on the way!
Best wishes, Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat
Sandra Hails, CEPA Programme Officer
Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 999 0176; Fax: +41 22 999 0169
Web Site: http://ramsar.org
CEPA mini-Web site: http://ramsar.org/outreach_index.htm