On Earth Day countries review progress and achievements of the High Andean Wetlands Regional Initiative

The 10th Meeting of the High Andean Wetlands Regional Initiative took place from 21 to 25 April 2014 in Santiago de Chile. At the official opening ceremony on Earth Day, Mr Waldemar Coutts, Minister Counsellor and Director of Environment and Maritime Affairs at the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ramsar Administrative Authority in Chile, highlighted the progress of the initiative. He also underlined the importance for countries to continue supporting the initiative.

Countries reviewed progress since the approval of the initiative at COP9 in Uganda in 2005. Main achievements include the preparation of national strategies for High Andean wetlands, regular updates on the initiative at national level and the consolidation of the initiative’s governance body. 

Another achievement is the designation of 14 High Andean wetlands in the List of Wetlands of International Importance since 2005, bringing the number of Ramsar Sites in the High Andes to 33 with a surface of over 6 million hectares. 

Delegates of the High Andean Regional Initiative

IUCN, the Conservation Group of High Andean Flamingos and Ecuador on behalf of Birdlife presented the actions and projects that are implementing in the region.          

Parties discussed mechanisms to strengthen some of the criteria of the Operational Guidelines for Regional Initiatives. They set priorities for implementation and agreed to report back in November 2015. They also agreed to apply for funding under the Global Environment Facility (GEF6). The meeting was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile.

Visit to El Morado National Monument (San Francisco Glacier and Morales Lagoon)

Report and photos by Maria Rivera, Senior Regional Advisor for the Americas

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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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