COP11 Opening Ceremony
COP11 Opening Ceremony
The 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (Ramsar COP11) opened yesterday evening in Bucharest at the Palace of Parliament, Romania. The entire ceremony was broadcasted live from the Rosetti Room, where more than 700 participants gathered to listen to the welcome speeches on www.ramsar.ro.
The Opening Ceremony was kicked off by Romania’s master of pan flute, Mr Gheorghe Zamfir. COP11 participants give grand applause to this emblematic Romanian musician known worldwide.
This musical interlude set the tone for the Master of Ceremony, Mr Magor Csibi (WWF Romania), who welcomed all participants by thanking them for their engagement in the conservation of wetlands over the last 40 years. While he was speaking, an unexpected guest joined the room to make the point about the importance of the Lower Danube Green Corridor (agreement committing Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine since 2000) by bringing in a massive cardboard sturgeon. Since 2006, Romania has banned sturgeon fishing both in the Danube and in the Black Sea, the usual sturgeon habitat.
|Pan flute master Gheorghe Zamfir imitating bird songs during his performance||COP11 participants in the Rosetti room|
The official part started with the passing of the Ramsar flag. Mr Yoo (Ramsar Standing Committee Chair and COP10 official representative) handed over the Ramsar flag to Mr Cozmanciuc (Romanian COP11 Coordinator) .
Live addresses followed this solemn moment. Read more here (source Earth Negociation Bulletin team).
|M. Corneliu Cozmanciuc, COP11 National Coordinator / State Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests||M. Ovidiu Silaghi, Minister of Transport & Infrasctructure||Bogdan Aurescu, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
|Remus Cernea, Prime Minister's Counselor (photo courtesy: IISD)||Masa Nagai, Acting Deputy Director, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, UNEP|
|Mr. Anada Tiéga, SG Ramsar Convention||Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General IUCN||James Leape, DG WWF International|
Photos by Adriana Trandafirescu (studio[at]quartzfilm.ro)
Second part of the Opening Ceremony: Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award Ceremony
Nothing better illustrates in practical terms the Convention's mission and values in wetland conservation than the achievements of the five laureates of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards. These laureates from five different countries each received the Ramsar trophy during COP11 Opening Ceremony as recognition of their contributions towards promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands worldwide.
|The five laureates (l-r): prof. Tsujii, Katie Beilfuss, Augusta Henriques, Luc Hoffmann, and Thymio Papayannis|
This year's edition were given in three categories: Education to the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Management to Ms Augusta Henriques and Science to Prof. Tatsuichi Tsujii. The jury has also conferred a Recognition of Achievement Award to Mr Thymio Papayannis. Finally, as 2011 marked the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Convention, the Standing Committee decided to honour one of the founding fathers of the treaty, Dr Luc Hoffmann, with a 40th Anniversary Honorary Ramsar Award.
|Members of the press||Our five laureates presenting their main achievements in wetland conservation at the press conference|
As in previous editions, the three 2012 awards for Education, Management and Science were complemented by the Evian Special Prize, a cash award of USD 10,000 to each laureate, generously donated by the DANONE Group, which was represented by Mr Emmanuel Faber, Vice Chairman of the Board.
|Mr Faber (left) and Mr Giraud from Danone Group congratulating Ms Henriques.|
COP11 theme: Tourism and Wetlands
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).
Ramsar and UNWTO Publication: "Destination Wetlands: Supporting Sustainable Tourism". The publication will be launched at Ramsar’s COP11 in Bucharest on 9 July by Ramsar’s Secretary General, Anada Tiéga, the Secretary General of UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, and the Romanian Minister for Regional Development and Tourism, Eduard Hellvig. This publication contains references to existing guidelines on sustainable tourism as well as many other useful materials on developing and managing sustainable tourism. Read more on tourism and wetlands.
A detailed list of side events on global and regional themes relevant to the Convention and the COP11 issues is now available online.
At the Conference venue, a large exhibition area will undoubtedly present a wonderful opportunity to showcase the work of many wetland-related partners. See the List of approved exhibition booths here.
More information on Romania, host country to the COP11 event is available here: www.ramsar.ro