Ramsar Bulletin Board, 10 October 1997
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline Story: Wetlands on Fire. Taking advantage of a number of experts present in the Bureau during the Standing Committee meetings this week, the Convention has issued an important statement on the disastrous peat fires currently burning in Southeast Asia. Readers from the Ramsar community are encouraged to use the statement, or borrow from it, and spread the message as widely as possible. [3/10/97]
Same Headline Story as Yesterday, but lower down today. The Standing Committee's [still] here!, and still up to mischief :-). In its second day of deliberations, Tuesday the 1st of October, the SC advised the Bureau on continued development of its electronic communications efforts (like what you're reading now); firmed up planning for World Wetlands Day 1998 and for the 1st Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award, to be presented at the 7th COP; studied progress in creating the Ramsar "communications outreach center" in Evian, France; examined recent work of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel; suggested further actions for building upon Ramsar cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity; and called for renewed efforts for the designation of new Wetlands of International Importance, as an essential first step towards their conservation and wise use. The rapporteur got 49 pages of notes out of this session and, if matters continue as erst they have begun, will need a U-Haul trailer to carry today's notes away with him. [2/10/97]
- Everybody's here in the Bureau, hunkered down over the keyboards round-the-clock whilst the Standing Committee members, observer states, and partner organizations hover overhead in their aeroplanes waiting for landing clearance. The 20th meeting of the Standing Committee opens with fanfare and follies with the Subgroup meetings on Monday, 29 September, and the regular sessions through to the end of the week. No sleep anywhere round here for a week, that's for sure.
- Mireille Katz, the Secretary General's personal assistant, is representing the Convention in Rome at the 1st Conference of the Parties of the Convention to Combat Desertification, and will be relieved after the Ramsar Standing Committee meeting by Bill Phillips, the Assistant Secretary General. [1/10/97]
New on the Site:The famous RamsarSpeak glossary in French ("Ramsar Lingua"); an excellent paper on "Wetlands in the World's Arid Zones", soon to be presented to the 1st COP of the Convention to Combat Desertification in Rome--you can see it first right here in English, French, or Spanish, your choice; updated Lists of Contracting Parties and Ramsar sites; New list of upcoming Ramsar-related meetings (three languages); Report on the Bureau's trip to Russia, 1-7 September; Report on the Tallinn conference just completed; the Bureau's report on the succession of Montreal meetings on biodiversity of inland water systems, and the Summary Report of Wetlands International's Partnership Workshop. [25/9/97]
Spain names two new sites. And they are Embalse de Las Cañas (101 hectares) and Laguna de Pitillas (216 hectares), both in the Autonomous Region of Navarra, dated 18 November 1996 and only added now because of incomplete paperwork. Both have been designated for the List primarily because of their importance for nesting and wintering water birds. An EU LIFE project is under way at the Laguna de Pitillas, with the aim of improving habitat management of the site. Visitor centres have recently been constructed at both sites. [30/9/97]
Staff News. Mr Stefan Niederberger (Swiss/French) has been recruited to the Bureau as Assistant to the Deputy Secretary General, Bill Phillips, and will take up his new duties during this week. Stefan has worked on projects in Thailand, Cambodia, China, Viet Nam, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Mali -- inter alia! A native French speaker, he is also fluent in English and conversant in German and Chinese. He replaces Maria Rodriguez, who will be sadly missed. [29/9/97]
1997 World Disaster Reduction Campaign. The United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction Secretariat announces the 1997 Internet Conference on the "socio-economic impact of water-related disasters". The conference is part of the 1997 World Disaster Reduction Campaign on "Water: too much ... too little ... leading cause of natural disasters." The "conference" is taking place between 22 September and 24 October 1997, and interested readers can participate in this new e-mail discussion group by sending a message to <firstname.lastname@example.org> with the message <subscribe risk [firstname][lastname]>. The Conference Web site can be found at http://www.quipu.net:1997/. (Communicated to the Bureau by Nicole Appel for Natalie Domeisen, IDNDR Secretariat, 25/9/97).
Monaco becomes the 103rd Contracting Party! Monaco has acceded to the Convention, as amended by the Paris Protocol and the Regina Amendments, dated 20 August 1997, so that the treaty will come into force for Monaco on 20 December 1997. The principality's first Ramsar site, as yet unnamed, covers about 10 hectares of coastline and shallow marine water stretching eastward from the casino, and accounts for more than 5% of the total area of the country (192 hectares). Welcome to the people of Monaco! [24/9/97]
Workshop on legal aspects proposed. The Conference of the Contracting Parties has frequently drawn attention to the importance of understanding the national legal frameworks within which implementation of the Convention must be carried out. In order to further that goal, the IUCN Environmental Law Programme has proposed holding a "Workshop on Legal and Institutional Aspects of Wetland Conservation and Wise Use" prior to the San José COP7, at which technical recommendations would be developed to lay the foundation for a possible resolution by the COP. Further details on the project will be posted here as they develop. [22/9/97]
Moratorium on Internship Applications. The Ramsar Internship Program has turned out to be fabulously successful, and the interns recruited so far have been making enormous contributions to the work of the Convention. But responding to applications has been occupying nearly as much staff time as we've gained, and the Bureau has to ask that interested parties hold back on inquiries until a couple of months before the next opening date for their region. The great danger is that staff will spend more time pushing paper back at people than saving wetlands, we don't want that. [25/9/97]
New Wetland Policy for Western Australia. Western Australia has come up with a new wetland policy for that jurisdiction in harmony with the National Wetland Policy announced earlier this year at federal level. Bill Phillips, the Bureau's Senior Coordinator for Policy and Technical Affairs, assesses its significance in this brief report. [18/9/97]
Eurosite annual meeting. The Annual Meeting of Eurosite is being held this week on the Ile de Ré, off the French Atlantic Coast near La Rochelle. The theme this year is "The role of managers and the impact of protected areas on the surrounding natural environment". The organization of the meeting is in the hands of the Eurosite secretariat, located with the "Conservatoire du Littoral", with which the Ramsar Bureau has a very close relationship. Eurosite brings together the managers of a number of outstanding protected areas in Europe, some of them Ramsar sites. There will also be discussion of twinning of similar sites, a major item in the Ramsar Strategic Plan. Because of the close concordance of interest, the Ramsar Bureau will be represented by Senior Policy Advisor, Michael Smart. [17/9/97]
Staff News. Dr Bill Phillips of Australia has arrived to take up his post as Senior Coordinator for Policy and Technical Affairs and will spend two weeks of overlap time with Michael Smart, who leaves the Bureau at the end of the month. Two Ramsar interns, Raquel Sigüenza de Micheo and Ms Ahoua Traore, arrived today and will begin working productively as soon as we can get their computers set up. Jamshed Kazi, the next intern for Asia, spent several days in the Bureau getting used to things, and will join the team, first at the Kuala Lumpur meeting next month and then back here in Gland on the first of November. [17/9/97]
Bienvenidos to the Web site of the Parque Natural de la Albufera, a Ramsar site near Valencia in Spain; an excellent site with up-to-date information and good pictures. Recommended for a long look; dial it up at http://www.civila.com/albufera/panatu.html. [17/9/97]
Wetlands in Europe. A major international conference "Nature Conservation in a Europe of Unification" is being hosted in Tallinn by the Estonian Ministry of Environment from 11-13 September. Tim Jones, the Ramsar Regional Coordinator for Europe, has been invited to make a presentation (Sneak Preview: here's an abstract). Other invited speakers include representatives of the European Union, WWF International, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, IUCN 'Parks for Life' and technical specialists from many countries in Western and Eastern Europe. One of the main aims of the conference is to share experience and to identify common conservation opportunities in the still-evolving "new Europe". [10/9/97]
News from China. Reprint of a very brief front-page article from the English-language China Science and Technology Newsletter, 30 August 1997, on the P.R. of China's progress in wetland conservation. [12/9/97]
Position vacancy at Wetlands International - AEME: Waterbird Conservation Officer. This could be you! Read the announcement here. [11/9/97]
Good book, cheap at the price. Wetlands International-Asia Pacific is making the ca.250-page book Community Involvement in Wetland Management: Lessons from the Field (ed. Gordon Claridge and Bernard O'Callaghan) available for free download from their Web site (http://ngo.asiapac.net/wetlands). Conceived as a complement to Ramsar's Towards the Wise Use of Wetlands (1993), the new book is a manual of guidelines for practitioners based on case studies presented at the International Conference on Wetlands and Development, held in Kuala Lumpur in October 1995, which provided a wide-ranging survey of many practical aspects of community involvement, and it includes 14 detailed case studies. The file is 927kb self-extracting Adobe Acrobat PDF file, so those who do not already have the free Acrobat Reader on their own computers will also need to grab that from the Adobe Web site. This book is worth the trouble! [5/9/97]
Papua New Guinea visit. Roger Jaensch of Wetlands International - Oceania, in conjunction with Job Opu, DEC Wetlands Officer, and John Aruga, Assistant (Southern Region) to the DEC Director of Field Services, recently led a mission, 30 July-2 August, to visit Lake Kutubu, Papua New Guinea, to assess landowner attitudes to Ramsar-listing, check and add to the draft Ramsar Information Sheet, and identify actions to support the listing process. The mission was funded by a grant of 2,000 Swiss francs from the Ramsar Bureau.
Lake Kutubu is a freshwater lake in limestone karst country in PNG's Southern Highlands. It supports at least 10 fishes that are endemic to the lake and a significant subsistence fishery. A major oil and gas development is situated in the vicinity and will shortly begin extraction from the lake's catchment. The lake and catchment are in the customary ownership of about 2,500 people who obtain subsistence livelihood from the lake and surrounding rainforest.
The principal achievements of the visit were the confirmation of suitability, landowner interest/ agreement, locally-based support (WWF), and accuracy of the draft Ramsar datasheet; the collection of new data (7 new waterbird species; several new aquatic plants) for the lake; and the identification of landowner and sponsor (WWF) concerns and necessary actions to progress listing as PNG's second Ramsar site. (reported by Wetlands International-Asia Pacific's Keep in Touch (http://ngo.asiapac.net/wetlands) [4/9/97]
Ramsar at SBSTTA3. Michael Smart has been in Montreal representing Ramsar at the "biodiversity of inland water systems workshop" at Global Biodiversity Forum 8, and the successful outcome of that meeting is to be presented by Edward Maltby on 2 September to the 3rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is preparing its input on inland water systems to the 4th COP of the CBD slated for Bratislava in May 1998. Mike is serving as a panelist at SBSTTA3 and presented an opening statement on the Ramsar Convention on 1 September -- here's the text of his brief speech. [3/9/97]
New head in Australia. A new director has been named for the Wetlands, Waterways, and Waterbirds Unit of Environment Australia, Mr Brendan Edgar, formerly Director of the Natural Heritage Trust Section of Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group. He will be replacing Bill Phillips, who has just arrived at the Bureau in Switzerland to take the post of Ramsar's Senior Coordinator for Policy and Technical Affairs. [3/9/97]
Sweden studies its Ramsar sites. Sweden's Environmental Protection Agency, the Stockholm-based Administrative Authority for the Convention, has recently produced a 21-page report reviewing the protection status of the country's 30 Ramsar Sites, which together cover 382,750 hectares. Compiled by Mr Torsten Larsson, the EPA's focal point on Ramsar issues, the report provides up-to-date information on national and EU protected area designations, land ownership, and implementation of management plans at Swedish Wetlands of International Importance. Amongst the report's conclusions:
- there are 56 nationally protected areas within the 30 Ramsar site boundaries, covering two-thirds of the Ramsar-designated surface area;
- 41 of the 56 nationally protected areas have approved management plans;
- 71% of the surface area of Swedish Ramsar sites is State owned. [29/8/97]
Vacancy at Wetlands International - Asia Pacific. The Wetlands International - Asia Pacific office in Kuala Lumpur has an immediate vacancy for the following new key post. Technical Programme Director: Required to enhance, lead, and monitor the organization's well established technical and training activities throughout the Asia Pacific region; seeking a recognized technical specialist (minimum 10 years' experience) from the natural resources/environment sector with a thorough understanding of wetland issues.
Reply to: Administration Manager, Wetlands International - Asia Pacific, IPSR, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA (e-mail: email@example.com, URL: http://ngo.asiapac.net/wetlands, fax : +60 3-7571225). [27/8/97 from the Ramsar Forum] [The position has since been filled.]
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 ). Updated regularly by Dwight Peck, Ramsar.