Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 July 1997
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline Story: Improving the data on Ramsar sites. Pursuing Resolution VI.13 wherever it may lead, the Bureau is urging Contracting Parties to bring the data on Wetlands of International Importance up to date and up to standard. The revised Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS) is being communicated to the Parties via diplomatic channels; draft RISs for sites with none on file have been developed by the Bureau and the Ramsar/Wetland Sites Officer (Wetlands International) and are being sent to the Parties for correcting and approval; and the Parties are being asked to update RISs for all sites designated prior to 31 December 1990. Get more detail here, if you dare! [29/6/97]
Brief Hiatus: No news is good news? The Ramsar Web site won't be updated during the week of 29 June to 7 July due to the webmaster's holiday [bien merité], so save your bandwidth and come back eager and grinning in a week's time. [29/6/97]
- Tom Kabii, Regional Coordinator for Africa, is returning from the CITES meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, by way of Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique, returning on 7 July. His Management Guidance Procedure mission to Lake George, Uganda, slated for early September, is shaping up, with a large number of well-known consultants on heavy-metals pollution having offered to assist.
- Delmar Blasco, the Secretary General, is with Tom in Africa, then bound for Lelystad to meet with the Board of the International Course on Management Training, and then off on holiday, leaving a very full agenda behind for the rest of us. Whilst relaxing in the evenings during the CITES meeting in Harare, he revised the entire Ramsar Manual English version, and now the editing and lay-out team has got to wrestle themselves back into harness.
- Beginning 27 June and returning 15 July, the Regional Coordinator for Asia, Rebecca D'Cruz, will be in Malaysia to discuss plans for October's Asian Regional Meeting, attend the National Ramsar/Wetland Committee meeting, and liaise with WWF-Malaysia and Wetlands International-Asia Pacific; then in India to prepare for November's Management Guidance Procedure to Chilka Lake, discuss potential new Ramsar sites, and liaise with WWF-India and Wetlands International-South Asia; and then in Kazakhstan for a week to forward that country's accession to the Convention and discuss plans for a Central Asian Ramsar Subregional Meeting set for May 1998.
- Tim Jones, RC for Europe, will go to Lelystad for the final presentations of students' projects at the completion of the 4th International Course on Wetland Management Training, 2 July. [27/6/97]
New on the Site:Trip reports on Ramsar visits to Norway and the Neotropical Region (and longer Spanish version); Updated versions of the Contracting Parties and Ramsar Sites lists, dated 23 June but including the shift of Hong Kong's Mai Po to the P.R. of China (prematurely, because of our holiday schedule). [29/6/97]
Coming Soon: A full-text search engine for the whole Ramsar Web site. Just type in a keyword and you'll get far too many links ever to be useful!
World Wetlands Day -- no time like the present to start sewing your costumes. The second annual WWD will hurtle in upon us on 2 February 1998, seems like a long way off now but before you know it, WWD will be tomorrow and you won't have anything to do unless you start planning now. Whether you are the head of state of a Large Nation, the Social Coordinator for a medium-size NGO, the warden of an attractive but small and possibly under-rated Ramsar site, or a concerned citizen -- now is the time to start planning. The Bureau has produced a slender brochure with suggestions for things to do on 2 February 1998 (most, unfortunately, assume that you'll be able to go outdoors at least briefly, which in some countries won't be the case in February), and Valerie Higgins of the Bureau's Communications Unit will send you one if you ask politely. [29/6/97]
No Point Lillias Facility. The Government of Victoria, Australia, has issued a press release today to the effect that, despite the Federal Cabinet's mid-March decision to permit the relocation of a Hazardous Chemical Storage Facility to Point Lillias in the Port Phillip Bay and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar site, Victoria has decided NOT to proceed with the relocation. The Bureau has received a copy of the press release and here it is. [25/6/97]
Estonia picks nine new sites. Thereby increasing the number of Estonian Wetlands of International Importance by a factor of 10, to 10. Some of them are very interesting places, from both the ecological and the socio-cultural points of view. Here is a brief report drawn from the Environment Ministry's RISs (Ramsar Information Sheets). [24/6/97]
Croatian delegation visits the Bureau. Representatives of the management team of the Kopacki Rit Ramsar site in eastern Croatia, which was damaged during the recent military conflict, met with Bureau staff on 11 June to discuss future opportunities. Here is a brief report on the meeting prepared by Ramsar intern Maryse Mahy. [24/6/97]
Austrian National Ramsar Committee meets. The annual meeting of the Austrian Ramsar Committee was held on 12-13 June 1997 in Fusch, Province of Salzburg, near the Ramsar site of Rotmoos ("Red Bog"). Read all about it. [23/6/97]
Focus on Costa Rica. Friends of the Earth inaugurates a new wetlands research center in Costa Rica. Focus on Costa Ricareprints an article from Costa Rica Today that gives you the whole story. Not only that, we have another article from the same newspaper, entitled "The secret of the wetlands", which briefs Costa Ricans on wetlands and Ramsar and the upcoming COP. [17/6/97]
Two new Ramsar interns appointed. Following up on the enormous success of the first two Ramsar internships now in progress, the Bureau is pleased to announce the appointment of two more, who will begin about 1 August and bring the internship programme to its full complement of four. The Bureau is grateful for financial assistance from the United States for the support of these two posts.
Ms Raquel Siguenza de Micheo, who will take up a one-year appointment as Intern for the Neotropical Region, earned her Licenciatura en Biología at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala in 1993 and has been active in ecological work both on and off campus since then; it's planned that she will join the Bureau's Regional Coordinator, Montserrat Carbonell, to assist in the Management Guidance Procedure mission slated for Laguna del Tigre in Guatemala and then return with her and join the secretariat team in Gland.
Ms Ahoua Traore, Intern for the African Region, earned her Bachelor and Masters degrees in Geography from the University of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and is presently serving as an assistant in the secretariat of the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa. Her language skills, fluent French and proficiency in English and Spanish, will be especially helpful to the Bureau's Regional Coordinator, Tom Kabii, in developing increasingly productive contacts in the region.
What about the two present interns? See this progress report. [16/6/97]
Gonzalo Castro. The Bureau has been informed that Gonzalo Castro has accepted the position of Senior Biodiversity Specialist with the Global Environment Division of the World Bank in Washington, D.C., effective 16 June. Dr Castro was formerly president of Wetlands for the Americas (now Wetlands International - Americas) and then with WWF. He is also the editor of the work in progress "The Ramsar Handbook for Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands in the Neotropical Region," funded by Wetlands for the Future. [16/6/97]
Mongolia approves accession. In a fax received 12 June in the Bureau, Mr B Ganbaatar, Director of International Cooperation and Projects in the Ministry of Nature and the Environment of Mongolia, informed the Secretary General that the Parliament of Mongolia accepted accession to the Convention on Wetlands on 5 June 1997. The Ministry of External Relations is presently communicating the instrument of accession to the Director General of UNESCO, and we look forward to welcoming Mongolia to the family of Contracting Parties as soon as UNESCO signifies that it has been received. [13/6/97]
Cooperation with the World Heritage Convention. At an 11 June meeting between Jim Thorsell and Rolf Hogan of the Natural Heritage Programme and the Ramsar Bureau, new channels for increased cooperation were quickly and painlessly agreed upon, including, among other points, 1) liaison on specific joint actions in regard to threats, management planning, and approaches to national authorities in regard to sites shared between the two Conventions or adjacent; 2) assistance in identifying potential worthy sites for future designation under both Conventions (Renée Ferster Levy has identified at least 39 World Heritage sites with major wetland components and another 28 with secondary ones); 3) coordination of reporting formats and reporting on shared sites; 4) mutual assistance in training workshops (especially a proposed World Heritage workshop to be linked to the Ramsar COP in Costa Rica) and funding initiatives; 5) and joint publicity efforts, as in the Ramsar Newsletter and shared training slide show presentations. Momentum is building. [13/6/97]
Ted Hollis Scholarship Appeal. In October 1996 we sadly had to report on the death of Ted Hollis, a leading figure in the international movement to promote wetland conservation as an integral part of sustainable development, at the INTECOL meeting in Perth. Subsequently, his colleagues, friends, and admirers around the world developed an appeal to establish a scholarhip in his name as a fitting memorial to his work. Belatedly, here is the appeal document establishing the scholarship at University College London. [12/6/97]
Call for expert for Guatemala MGP. The Bureau requires the assistance of an expert on impact mitigation of oil exploitation for the Management Guidance Procedure mission slated for Laguna del Tigre, Guatemala, in mid-July of this year. The call is published here in Spanish, because the posting requires fluency in that language. [10/6/97]
Not a Headline Story: Reorganization of the Bureau's e-mail mailing lists. Important for us, maybe not for you -- the Bureau has almost completed its revision of our electronic mailing lists. The Ramsar Forum, an open, public list, is off to a good start, with a prestigious list of nearly 300 self-subscribed members and a promising content for early days. The Ramsar Exchange, a closed list for administrative authorities, partner organizations, and National Ramsar Committees, has been subdivided into three separate sections, one for each of the Convention's working languages (English, French, and Spanish), but it will be a few days before the "list owner" [me] can stabilize the e-mail address lists. Two more dedicated lists are also going on-line tomorrow, one for the members of the Ramsar Standing Committee, the others for the Scientific and Technical Review Panel. Whoever you are, you can fit yourself in here somewhere -- . [5/6/97]
Senior Ramsar position filled. Dr Bill Phillips, Director of the Wetlands, Waterways and Waterbirds Unit of the Biodiversity Group of Environment Australia, has been named the new Senior Coordinator, Policy and Technical Affairs in the Ramsar Bureau, to begin in mid-September 1997. This is the most senior post in the Bureau after the Secretary General, and carries a job description that fills a suitcase. Fuller background is available here. [2/6/97]
Norway Visit coming up. The Bureau's Regional Coordinator for Europe, Tim Jones, will visit Norway from 16-20 June as a guest of the Trondheim-based Directorate for Nature Management (the Administrative Authority responsible for implementation of the Convention in Norway). The Norwegian delegation at the Brisbane Conference initiated the Bureau's visit, which is aimed at reviewing implementation of the Strategic Plan in Norway, with special emphasis on management issues at some of the country's 23 Ramsar sites. The visit has been arranged in close cooperation with the county and municipal authorities that play key roles in site management and land-use planning issues. [4/6/97]
More to follow. Watch this space. Feedback and suggestions to: the Ramsar Convention Bureau, Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland (tel +41 22 999 0170, fax +41 22 999 0169, e-mail ).