The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 3 August 1998
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline Story:Excellent new data from Greece. In conformity with Resolution VI.13 from the Brisbane COP, and a Bureau notification sent to all Contracting Parties last year, Greece has supplied detailed Ramsar Information Sheets for its 10 Listed sites. These have been compiled by the Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, in conjunction with the Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Each RIS is completed to a high standard, and the data series as a whole is amongst the best available for any Contracting Party in the Western European Region. It is especially good to see that the 'Fish Criteria', adopted at the Brisbane COP, have been applied, and that all 10 sites are reported to meet both criteria 4a and 4b. The RISs also clearly show the pressure which many Greek wetlands are under; currently all of the Ramsar sites are inlcuded in the Montreux Record. The conservation management measures being implemented to address site pressures are detailed in the RISs, and the Ramsar Bureau is currently working with the Greek Government on a mechanism to establish which sites might be removed from the Montreux Record.
Another Headline Story:Four new interns for the Ramsar Bureau. The Ramsar internship programme, after its first year of operation, has proved to be an enormous success. The four young interns, assisting the Regional Coordinators for Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Neotropics respectively, have contributed significantly to the work of the Convention, presumably learned a good deal about the operations of an international environmental treaty secretariat, and enlivened the office with their presence. But now it is time for a changing of the guard, as one by one the first generation of interns complete their duty tours and make way for their successors. Here is a little background on the four incoming interns. [29/7/98]
Another Headline Story:Brazilian Web site created with WFF assistance. Wetlands for the Future is a capacity-building funding programme for the Neotropical region administered by the Ramsar Bureau, the United States Department of State, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. One of its key objectives is encouraging modern mechanisms for disseminating information on wetland conservation and management, and so it's a notable event that what seems to be the first Web site created with Wetlands for the Future support has just come on line. The brainchild of Profa. Dra. Yara Schaeffer-Novelli, with webmaster assistance from Elena Carvalho and Adriana Brito, the site presents Portuguese-language material on the Bioma programme (Laboratório de Bioecologia de Manguezais) and on the Ramsar Convention in Brazil. It's an excellent site and we hope the first of many: http://www.io.usp.br/~bioma/index.html. [28/7/98]
Rebecca D'Cruz, Regional Coordinator for Asia, is off on an ambitious summer cruise for much of August and will 1) take in discussions in London with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) on a joint proposal for the Mekong subregion; 2) shuffle on to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for meetings with the Administrative Authority there, with DANCED, Wetlands International, WWF, and the Malaysian Wetland Foundation, and with a visit to Tasek Bera Ramsar site; 3) leap over to Manila for talks about the prospective Asian Regional Meeting with government officials there; 4) limp gamely on towards Bangkok, Thailand, to meet the Administrative Authority and the National Wetland Committee there and talk with IUCN SEA regional officers; and 5) then take a deep breath, and begin again.
Tim Jones, Regional Coordinator for Europe, will be visiting the Czech Republic, 6-11 August, to visit the Ministry of Environment, check on a Small Grants Fund project site, and view sites on the Montreux Record.
Dwight Peck, the Web Editor, will be on hols during August, so there may be somewhat fewer fireworks on this Web site for a while, but after mid-month Valerie Higgins of the Ramsar Bureau will try to get the hottest news promptly up on this page. [31/7/98]
New on the Site:Diplomatic Notification 1998/7, in three languages, right here in front of your very eyes. An important notification for Standing Committee members, but possibly not for you. -- A key concept index to the Ramsar treaty, the Strategic Plan 1997-2002, and all the Decisions of the Conferences of the Parties, in partial fulfilment of Resolution VI.11; it's a draft and not ready for the public [i.e., you] yet, but if you push on this little cyan star , you can get a sneaky preview of the unfinished version. [31/7/98]
Reefs at Risk published.. "Although they occupy less than one quarter of 1 percent of the marine environment, coral reefs are home to more than a quarter of all known marine fish species. These habitats have been called the rainforests of the marine world." So begins the introduction to an excellent new book from the World Resources Institute, co-published by the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and the UN Environment Programme. Entitled Reefs at Risk: a Map-Based Indicator of Threats to the World’s Coral Reefs, the 56-page softcover full-color report presents a detailed analysis of threats to and pressures upon the world’s coral reefs, with informative maps and decorative photographs on almost every page. Read more about it here. [24/7/98]
Global Biodiversity Forum set for Ramsar COP. A session of the Global Biodiversity Forum will be convened in San José, Costa Rica, on 7-9 May 1999, immediately prior to the 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetland (Ramsar, Iran, 1971), which meets 10-19 May. Themes currently proposed by the NGO organizers for GBF Ramsar presently include: 1) Defining a "vision" for the Ramsar List; 2) Responding to the threat of invasive species to wetland ecosystems; 3) The private sector and wetlands; 4) Restoration of wetlands, protect or repair? 5) Global action to conserve peatlands and mires. Here is a somewhat more detailed prospectus, and we will reprint further announcements here as they become available. [16/7/98]
Tidal Marshes of Long Island Sound (USA). Ron Rozsa (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports that the Connecticut College Arboretum, with assistance from his office, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection - Office of Long Island Sound Programs, applied for and received funding from that agency’s Long Island Sound license plate program to produce a new bulletin on the Living Resources and Their Habitats of the lower Connecticut River (a Ramsar Site). The bulletin is intended to educate the public, public officials and managers/regulators about the ecological importance of this Ramsar site, and it is being produced through a collaboration of scientists at Connecticut College, DEP staff (OLISP, Wildlife and Fisheries) and the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Southern New England - New York Bight coastal program located in Charlestown, Rhode Island. The anticipated publication date is circa August 1999. The Web version of the document will be created by DEP-OLISP and will likely be found at the Connecticut College Arboretum web site (http://camel2.conncoll.edu/ccrec/greennet/arbo/). The web address for the LIS license plate program is http://dep.state.ct.us/lis/licplate/licplate.htm The license plate program is used to fund activities in four areas, one of which is education.[23/7/98]
Position opening in Guatemala. Nature Conservancy announces a position opening for a Team Leader in Guatemala, with an application deadline of 31 July 1998. Here are the terms of reference in Spanish and English. [20/7/98]
Coastal Ramsar sites. In response to a routine data request from the Bureau, Edith Hubert of Wetlands International has provided a one-page overview of coastal Ramsar sites and the distribution of wetland types found within them. We include it incidentally here as a kind of a up-to-date snapshot of an important part of the Ramsar List. [17/7/98]
Ramsar "Hot Topic" no. 1 reports in. Launched on World Wetlands Day last February, the "Hot Topics" section of the Wise Use Resource Centre called for information on the issue of canal estates and their effects on wetlands. The final report on the experiences and references received by the Bureau, prepared by Robin Reilly and Bill Phillips, is now ready, and here it is. Simultaneously, the Bureau is opening the floor for comments and data on a second "hot topic", that of buffer zones and their role in wetland management. Take a moment to read over the call for information, and see if you can help. [15/7/98]
Announcement: The Centre for Tropical Wetlands Management at the Northern Territory University, Darwin, Australia, will hold a workshop on "Wise Use of Wetlands by Indigenous People in Northern Australia" on 29-30 September 1998 at Batchelor, approx 100 km south of Darwin. Find out more here. [16/7/98]
Ecuador names a new Ramsar site. The Government of Ecuador has designated Reserva Biológica Limoncocha (4,613 hectares) for the List of Wetlands of International Importance. The new site is a system of swamps and marshes along the floodplain of the Napo River, in the tropical rain forest; it is very rich in biodiversity, especially in blue-green algae and diatoms. Several indigenous communities live in the area and are dependent upon traditional fishing. A biological research station was established in the site last year, but as yet there is no management plan. The main threat to the ecological character of the site comes from oil extraction by a foreign company. At the same time, Ecuador also nominated a second site, Laguna de Cube, and the Bureau is only awaiting submission of a map to accompany the Ramsar Information Sheet before including this designation in the Ramsar List. [14/7/98]
Colombia becomes the Convention’s 112th Contracting Party. The Ramsar Bureau is delighted to welcome Colombia as the 112th Contracting Party. Colombia's instrument of ratification reached UNESCO on 18 June, so the treaty will come into force for that country on 18 October 1998. Colombia's first Wetland of International Importance is "Sistema Delta Estuarino del Río Magdalena, Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta" (ca. 400,000 hectares) in Magdalena province, comprising 20 lagoons of different water salinity, of which Ciénaga Grande (45,000 ha) is the largest. The mangroves are of special relevance as this is the largest area of mangrove ecosystem on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Fishing is very important for the local economy, and the biodiversity of the area is especially high. Colombia's accession to the Convention leaves only Guyana on the South American continent still to become a member. [10/7/98].
Congo becomes the Convention’s 111th Contracting Party. UNESCO has informed the Bureau that the Republic of the Congo has joined the Convention as of 18 June 1998, so that the treaty comes into force for Congo on 18 October 1998. La Réserve Communautaire du Lac Télé/Likouala-aux-Herbes has been designated as its first Ramsar site, an immense 438,960-hectare expanse of swamp forest and floating prairie along the Likouala-aux-Herbes and its tributaries, located in the north of the country about 85 km west of Impfondo. The reserve is part of the vast wetland area described in the Hughes’ Directory of African Wetlands (IUCN, 1992) as the Cuvette Congolaise, or Congolese Basin (p. 494). Lac Télé is the legendary home of the giant dinosaur-like animal called Mokele Mbembe. [8/7/98]
Oceania regional meeting set for NZ. The Government of New Zealand has offered to host the Ramsar regional meeting for the Oceania region, with the endorsement of the Standing Committee's Oceania representative, Papua New Guinea. It will probably be held in early December in the Waikato region of the country, where there are presently three Ramsar sites. All Pacific Island nations are expected to participate, as well as the region's three Contracting Parties, and a key feature of the agenda will be the question of harmonizing the implementation of the Ramsar Convention with the CBD, Climate Change, and other conventions. Final venue and dates will be announced soon. With the recent Pan-European and Pan-American regional meetings, and the Pan-African meeting going on now in Kampala, most Ramsar Parties are now assured of having the benefit of a regional gathering before the 7th Conference of the Parties in May 1999, and the Bureau is very hopeful that firm plans for an Asian meeting will be announced quite soon. [8/7/98]
South Africa names its 16th site. The Republic of South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Z. Pallo Jordan, has designated Nylsvley Nature Reserve (3,970 ha) as his country’s 16th Ramsar site. Part of the largest floodplain "vlei" in South Africa, the reserve hosts over 370 bird species and 102 waterbird species, as well as the endangered Roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) and the rare Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus). Land use on the reserve is primarily conservation-oriented with tourism and environmental education also being important activities. Minister Jordan noted that he was "honoured to be able to put forward the proposed site for designation to the List, and in so doing reinforce South Africa’s commitments to the international effort to protect wetlands". The Friends of Nylsvlei and Nyl Floodplain NGO has established a Web site for the reserve: http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Canopy/6590/. [8/7/98]
News from the far north. Finland has recently submitted updated information sheets for the 11 Ramsar sites which have been included in the Ramsar List since 1975. It is hoped that additional Ramsar sites in Finland may be designated prior to COP7. The Bureau has also learned of the retirement of Dr Antti Haapanen, who has been the Convention's focal point in the Finnish Ministry of Environment for the past quarter century! Dr Haapanen attended the 1st COP in 1980, and has since been a regular participant at Ramsar meetings. On behalf of the Convention, we thank Dr Haapanen for his commitment to wetland conservation over the years, and send our best wishes for many long summers in the field. [8/7/98]
Ramsar Management Planning Questionnaire; survey concluded. The Bureau wishes to thank all those who contributed responses to the Follow-up on the Questionnaire on Management Planning for Ramsar Sites and Other Wetlands. Respondents from 29 Contracting Parties returned completed questionnaires covering about 100 Ramsar sites and other wetlands -- although a somewhat greater response had been hoped for, these proved adequate for drawing solid conclusions concerning the suitability of the Ramsar Management Planning Guidelines to the purposes for which they are intended. After thorough analysis of the responses, Ramsar’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel will make its report to the 7th Conference of the Parties in May 1999. Analysis has begun, and no further responses can be included.
The general consensus of the responses seems to be that the Management Planning Guidelines are adequate for their purpose, but that additional guidance might be in order to reflect lessons learned since their adoption at Kushiro in 1993. Contracting Parties that responded to the Questionnaire were Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, India, Israel, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Sweden, The FYR of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Zambia. [8/7/98]
News from Hungary. The Bureau has recently received the English version of the 1996 Hungarian Act on Nature Conservation, which entered into force on 1 January 1997. The Act makes several notable references to wetlands. For example, Article 18 requires that 'In natural or near-natural wetland habitats, the water reserve ecologically necessary for the subsistence of natural values as well as for the conservation and maintenance of natural systems shall not be artificially abstracted'. In relation to specific wetland types, Article 23 provides for protection of all springs, bogs, sink-holes and salt lakes. For further information, contact the National Authority for Nature Conservation at the Ministry of Environment and Regional Policy. Fax: +36-1-75.74.57. [8/7/98]
Announcement: An international conference entitled 'Ponds and Pond Landscapes of Europe: appreciation, conservation, management' will take place in Maastricht, The Netherlands, from 30 August to 2 September 1998. For further details, contact Dr John Boothby at Liverpool John Moores University, UK: email@example.com [8/7/98]
Mongolia names three new sites. Despite the fact that Mongolia joined the Convention only a few months ago, the Ministry of Nature and the Environment has already submitted three additional nominations to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, bringing the total number of Ramsar sites in Mongolia to four (264,220 hectares) and the number of Ramsar sites in all the 110 Contracting Parties to 927 (68,203,343 ha). Here's a brief description of the new designations. [6/7/98]
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.