The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 5 November 1998
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline Story. EU's Water Framework Directive. Approximately 50 people representing national and European NGOs met in Brussels on 22 & 23 October to discuss progress with the European Union's proposed Water Framework Directive. Participants heard detailed presentations from the officials responsible in the European Commission, from a speaker on behalf of the Council of Ministers, and from a number of NGO and water industry representatives. The Directive, currently in draft form, was generally thought by those present to provide a useful framework for addressing water problems in Europe. In particular, the focus on river basin management, and the development of effective and enforceable strategies to secure progressive improvement in the biological and chemical quality of surface water, ground water, and coastal waters, were all welcomed. However, the draft Directive was also criticised as being too weak in relation to some of the goals, targets and timetables it proposes for improvement. Further information about the seminar can be obtained from WWF's European Freshwater Officer, Ms Jane Madgwick. [4/11/98]
Reading Alert:French fishponds! The latest issue of the newsletter Zones Humides Infos, published by the wetland expert group set up by the French Ministry of Land-use Planning and Environment, is dedicated to the conservation management of fish pond complexes in France. Find out a little more about here, then go read the mag. [4/11/98]
Recalibration note:Scott Frazier of Wetlands International, Keeper of the Sacred List, advises that recent updates from the Parties on the listed sites will require some changes in the Ramsar List totals, including a reduction of total sites from 957 to 956, alas. More details to follow. [4/11/98]
New on the Site: One more National Report this evening, once again in Asia: Bangladesh. [5/11/98]
Who's Where . . . . . . .
Delmar Blasco, the Secretary General, has gone off to Fontainebleau for festivities marking the 50th anniversary of IUCN-The World Conservation Union.
Anada Tiéga, RC for Africa, is off on a long mission that will take him to Botswana to advise on the formulation of a National Wetland Policy; to Nairobi, Kenya, for discussions concerning Tanzania's planned accession to the Convention; to Dakar, Senegal, for the 2nd International Conference on Wetlands and Development, along with others from the Bureau; and to "W" National Park for talks on a joint action plan for the "W" area of the Niger River Basin with Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo.
United Kingdom names two new sites on south coast. "Dorset Heathlands" and "Solent and Southampton Water" have been added to UK's list of 118 Ramsar sites, with eight more already announced and awaiting completion of the paperwork. Here's a brief description of the new ones. The Convention now covers some 70,429,156 hectares in 957 sites in 113 Contracting Parties. [30/10/98]
Headline Story. Madagascar joins the Convention, names first Resolution VI.5 Ramsar site. The Bureau is delighted to announce that as of 25 September 1998, Madagascar has become the 113th Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, so that the treaty will come into force for Madagascar on 25 January 1999. Two sites were named as initial Wetlands of International Importance, Complexe des lacs de Manambolomaty and Lac Tsimanampetsotsa, the latter of which is the first Ramsar site to be named under the new type added to the Ramsar Classificiation System by Resolution VI.5 (Brisbane COP6, 1996), "Subterranean karst and cave hydrological systems". Read more about them both, right here. [27/10/98]
Wrong! Scott Frazier corrects us by pointing out that the designation of Lake Kutubu in Papua New Guinea, announced here a few weeks ago, was actually the first subterranean karst designation, and we didn't notice! Well . . . [29/10/98]
International Environmental Law and Policy, text and reference book, has just been published by the Center for International Environmental Law. Here are a description, brief reviews, and the table of contents. [29/10/98]
INFO-COAST '99 1st European Symposium on Knowledge and Information for the Coastal Zone set for Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, 11-13 Feb, 1999 -- Details and Registration Form now available! [27/10/98]
2nd International Conference on Wetlands and Development.Simon Nash provides a last-minute teaser on the Dakar conference. [28/10/98]
Tidal Wetlands Impacts Data Home Page launched in the State of Virginia, USA; here's the announcement to the Ramsar Forum. [29/10/98]
Asian Anatidae Atlas Project -- call for information. Here's your chance to get in on the Asian Anatidae action, perhaps. Read this now! [28/10/98]
International Conference on Shallow Tropical Waters and Humans, 11-16 April 1999, Naivasha, Kenya. Here's the skinny. [28/10/98]
Standing Committee now withdrawing in an orderly fashion. Following an exhausting week (19-24 October) at the Convention's secretariat in Gland, Switzerland, the 21st Standing Committee meeting's members and observers have set off for home, probably in a daze. The longest agenda in bureaucratic history was successfully got through by Friday night, and since most of the minutes were approved during the meeting, the results will appear here soon. Decisions were taken on a host of conservation and wise use issues, and sadly, but probably necessarily, on a few political issues as well, all of it intended for presentation to the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in San José, Costa Rica, in May 1999. Some 75 participants (not counting the secretariat), representing 37 governments as Standing Committee and Observer States as well as the four Partner Organizations (BirdLife International, IUCN, Wetlands International, and WWF International), not only filled the IUCN HQ's main meeting hall but, with the partitions thrown back, filled both adjacent meeting halls as well and consumed 12,550 liters of coffee (rounded figure), gratefully. [26/10/98]
As usual, we will soon publish here the meeting's minutes in English and the summary, with all the decisions, in English, French, and Spanish, and with a lot of photographs into the bargain.
Another treat soon to come: "Wise Use of Wetlands", a rich article from UNESCO's Nature and Resources magazine, 1988 -- soon to be reprinted here (if we can get UNESCO's permission to reprint). Co-authored by Ed Maltby, Marge Holland, Joe Larson, and the late Ted Hollis, this seminal work explored all the implications of the wise use concept and illustrated them with case studies, and it helped to define the broadening of the Ramsar Convention's focus from waterbird habitats to human issues of sustainable use of water resources. Scanned from an old photocopy, the reprint will be missing the hugely ornamental photographs, but every golden word will be preserved. Soon . . . . . Let anticipation grow![21/10/98]
Ukraine completes designation process for 22 (!!) Ramsar sites. Ukraine set some sort of record for wholesale designations when paperwork was completed on 22 Ramsar sites, included in a decree of the Cabinet of Ministers dated 23 November 1995, covering a surface area of 716,250 hectares. Four Ramsar sites in the territory of Ukraine that were originally designated by the former Soviet Union (11 October 1976) as Kylijske Gyrlo, Karkinitski Bay, Sivash Bay, and Yagorlits & Tendrov Bays have been redesignated as six sites, with modified boundaries, and included amongst these 22 designations. There are too many new sites to describe them individually, but most of the new Wetlands of International Importance fall in the Danube Delta area in the Odeska Oblast, around the mouth of the Dnieper River (Europe's third largest), and along the shores of the Sea of Azov. Many of the sites were designated under the 1% and/or 20,000 waterbird criteria, but some cited the fish and uniqueness criteria as well. The beautiful maps included with the Ramsar Information Sheets are enough to start one thinking along the lines of a study mission in the near-term future. [16/10/98]
Directory of Wetland Management Training Opportunities is now available on this Web site. Promised some time ago as part of the Wise Use Resource Centre, the Directory has been developed over the past half-year by the Ramsar Interns and will hopefully be expanded and improved by your input. Here it is. [19/10/98]
Seminario Internacional sobre Biodiversidad, Propiedad Intelectual y Derechos Indigenas. La Universidad de las Regiones Autónomas de la Costa Caribe Nicaragüense/URACCAN y El Instituto de Recursos Naturales Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible/IREMADES Te invitan a participar en el Seminario Internacional sobre Biodiversidad, Propiedad Intelectual y Derechos Indigenas. Fecha: del 4 al 7 de Noviembre de 1998. [19/10/98]
6th Northeast Asia and North Pacific Environmental Forum Workshop is planned for Yueyang City, People's Republic of China, 17-20 December 1998. Read about it here. [18/10/98]
Biodiversity-related Conventions move towards info cooperation. A 6-7 October meeting in foggy Bonn, Germany, of technical staff from the five biodiversity-related Conventions was magno-fun for the delegates and may in the end prove helpful for you as well. The participants probed through the recently-completed WCMC study on harmonization of information management amongst the five conventions and ferreted out several good things that can be done soon and cheaply, and did them, or at least got a rolling start. The first product will be a common "Entry Page" to the Web sites of the five Convention secretariats, weblinked to a menu of analagous parts of each, and you can read more about the whole concept --right here -- if you dare. [9/10/98]
Vacancy announcement. BirdLife seeks 1-year consultant for Vietnam. BirdLife International's Vietnam Programme is offering a 1-year appointment as Project Officer. The project's objectives are: 1) to identify key wetland sites for biodiversity conservation, using indicator species and Ramsar criteria; 2) to conduct a preliminary assessment of current resource-use and of any future development plans at each site; 3) to produce a strategy prescription for the conservation of key biodiversity sites in the Mekong Delta; 4) to advocate the prescriptive measures, including need for protected area establishment and Ramsar designation, among relevant provincial and central government agencies; 5) to develop a project proposal to address the conservation of a priority site or sites identified by the project; and 6) to provide training in survey and conservation assessment for scientific staff. Here is the announcement. [10/10/98]
Announcement. Wetland management training opportunity in Karachi. Here's the text of the brochure explaining theInternational Course on Wetland Conservation and Management, 10-24 February 1999, set for Karachi, Pakistan. Looks like fun. [11/10/98]
Bureau's EPA Workshop reported. The Ramsar Bureau recently hosted a 2-day workshop, 24-25 September, on Education and Public Awareness programmes for wetland conservation and wise use, with financial assistance from the Evian Project. Distressed by the disjunction between global efforts to coordinate EPA efforts and, on the other hand, the wonderful work being done all the time here and there, by government agencies and NGOs all over the world, all the time, the Bureau invited representatives of a number of energetic programmes to stare at one another across our tables and explain to one another what they're doing - and arrange to share and cooperate and liaise and get to know one another better in future. Participants included representatives of GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network), Water Watch Asia and Waterwatch Australia, the Ghana Wildlife Society, the IUCN Commission on Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Wetlands International's Specialist Group on E/PA, the Watercourse Program/Project WET in the USA, the People and Conservation Unit of WWF International, Water Planet of Sweden. Here's a brief report on the meeting. [10/10/98]
New intern joins the Ramsar Bureau. Ms Musonda Mumba arrived in the Bureau today and got dragged round the Grand Tour of the IUCN HQ. Ms Mumba has a BSc from the University of Zambia and has completed a number of specialist post-grad training programmes, including the UNEP/UNESCO International Postgraduate Course in Environmental Management for Developing Countries in Dresden, Germany. She is employed by the Environmental Council of Zambia in Lusaka, the Ramsar administrative authority in the country, and she represented Zambia as an observer state at the 20th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee, October 1997. She has special expertise in invasive species of aquatic weeds and has recently been coordinating a project for the biological control of water hyacinth on the Kafue River and part of the Kafue Flats Ramsar site. It is envisaged that part of her work in the Bureau will have to do with beginning an assessment of National Wetland Policies and related instruments in Africa. Musonda is succeeding Ahoua Traore of Côte d’Ivoire, who plans to stay on in Geneva for studies at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies. Nonetheless, all Bureau personnel were in tears throughout the day about Ahoua's departure. [6/10/98]
Ramsar and RIZA visit Armenia. Like most right-thinking citizens, you've learned to yawn promptly at the bureaucracy's long and ubiquitous "trip reports". But Ramsar's trip reports are different. For example, take this report of the Bureau's recent trip to Armenia -- it's got nearly everything you could wish for: succinct background on Armenia's Ramsar history, a quick but penetrating look at both of its Ramsar sites, a synopsis of the problems yet to be faced, a capsule itinerary that will make you wish you'd been there, a lean set of recommendations and action points for follow-up, and some well-chosen scenic and people photos that will bring the whole thing to life for you, or almost. Tim Jones of the Bureau and Frank Alberts, Head of RIZA's Land Use Planning Division, made the trip, 3-11 September of this year, and this is the result. [29/9/98]
Wetlands Conference set for Russian Federation. An important conference on "A Strategy for wetland conservation in the Russian Federation" is scheduled for 24-26 February 1999 in Moscow, Russia. Organized by the State Committee of the Russian Federation on Environmental Protection and the Wetlands International - Russia Programme, the conference is intended to bring together representatives from key government agencies, NGOs, scientific institutions and other stakeholders to review the current state of wetland conservation in Russia, and to develop A National Strategy and Action Plan for Wetland Conservation in the Russian Federation. Here's the announcement. [27/9/98]
This may be the book for you. The Bureau has received a couple of boxes of the new book, Mediterranean Wetlands: Socioeconomic Aspects, edited by Nejib Benessaiah and published by DG XI of the European Commission for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Very attractively presented and featuring both a wide coverage of key topics and close looks at five well-known "pilot" wetlands in the Med Basin, this 165-page book is surely available elsewhere, too, but we have a number that we can give away to people who will appreciate them and treat them well and give them a good home. Write to Valerie Higgins in the Bureau and specify whether you'd like the English, French, or Arabic edition. [28/9/98]
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.