The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 5 April 2000
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline story.Pablo Canevari. The Ramsar Convention Bureau was deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death of Pablo Canevari in Argentina, his home country, on 22nd March. He had recently returned to Argentina after spending three years as Technical Officer at the Convention on Migratory Species in Bonn, and had taken up the position of Director of the South America Programme of Wetlands International in Buenos Aires. His education and career reflected his passion for the protection of migratory birds and, as a researcher, teacher and project organiser, he made major advances in conservation. Through his work we had a long-standing contributor to the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in many ways, from COP4 in Montreux to COP7 in Costa Rica, as well as regional meetings in Bolivia in 1993, Panama in 1995 and Peru in 1998.
Pablo was always cheerful and funny and was able to make the people around him feel relaxed and optimistic. In his free time, which was not much, he painted beautiful water colours which have been used to illustrate many Argentine bird guides. Our thoughts and those of all his friends from Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and many others who have sent messages to us, are today with Maria Jose, his wife and his children Sofía, 21, Andrés, 17 and Valentina, 12, his brother Marcelo and the rest of his family. [3/4/00]
Headline story.Reorganization for Wetlands International - the Americas. Wetlands International - the Americas has announced some new interim arrangements for its administration, and the press release includes a tribute to the late Pablo Canevari, who had recently returned to Buenos Aires to lead the development of Wetlands International in that region. Here is the announcement. [5/4/00]
Headline story.The UK announces extension of Ramsar site. Valuable winter nesting and breeding sites on the coast of North-East England are to get extra protection, said Environment Minister, Chris Mullin. The Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar Site, which is used by more than 20,000 wintering waterfowl every year, is to be increased in size by nearly 33% (304 hectares). The site, which will now cover more than 1247 hectares, is also used by populations of Little Tern and by populations of internationally important migratory species. The whole of the Tees and Hartlepool Foreshore and Wetlands SSSI and a small part of the Durham Coast SSSI have also been included. Chris Mullin commented: "This newly expanded protected site will be a vital refuge for many species of waterfowl, both for wintering and breeding". [3/4/00]
Delmar Blasco, Secretary General, Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General, Anada Tiega and Tobias Salathé, Regional Coordinators, and Mireille Katz, Executive Assistant, have all gone off to the Isle of Djerba in Tunisia for the 3rd meeting of the MedWet Committee (MedWet/Com), which will last most of next week. [1/4/00]
Margarita Astrálaga, Regional Coordinator for the Americas, is in Coveñas, Colombia, 3 to 8 April, to participate in that country's first National Wetland Training Course. [3/4/00]
New on the Site: Brief report on Kenya's activities for World Wetlands Day, including a succinct summary of the state of Ramsar implementation in that country; Humedales para el Futuro, Lista Anotada de Proyectos Financiados, 1995-1999(English version to follow). [4/4/00]
Dig We Must! Serious superficial renovations are going on in the Resolutions and Recommendations texts on this Web site, and the Brisbane COP6 Recommendations (English and Spanish) are temporarily in disarray. It's all still there, but possibly well hidden. If you can't find what you want, seek help at email@example.com .
Colloquium in honor of Cyrille de Klemm, Paris. "Biological Diversity and Environmental Law" is the subject of an international symposium sponsored by the Council of Europe and others in Paris, 30-31 March, one year after the death of renowned legal scholar and longtime legal adviser to the Ramsar Convention. Here is a brief description of the colloquium. [30/3/00]
Update.More news of the Tisza River. As András Böhm reports to the Ramsar Forum, it's not good. [30/3/00]
Announcement. 10th International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium, "Challenges to the Wadden Sea Area", Groningen, The Netherlands 31 October - 3 November 2000. Right here. [30/3/00]
Announcement. 21st Annual Society of Wetlands Scientists Meeting. Set for Québec, August 6-12, 2000, Dr Montserrat Carbonell announces a symposium: Science and Local Communities: Strengthening Partnerships for Effective Wetland Management. [30/3/00]
Ecuador designates 4th Ramsar site. Ecuador has named the Convention's 1023rd Ramsar site, Abras de Mantequilla (22,500 hectares) in Los Ríos province. A natural permanent swampy lagoon-lake system, the wetland plays an important role in the conservation of bird fauna biodiversity by supporting 3 migratory species: Anas discours, Chordeiles minor spp. and Catharus ustulatus; 3 rare species and 8 endemic species, including Furnarious cinnamomeus, Veniliornis callonotus callonotus, Glaucidium peruanum and Turdus maculirostris. It also supports a significant population of indigenous fish and at the same time is a source of food, a spawning site and a development area for those species of fish that depend upon the wetland. However, over-exploitation of water resources combined with the introduction of tilapia for fish-farming are resulting in a dramatic decline of the populations of indigenous species, not only in Abras, but in all coastal area watercourses. An assessment of the current state of the wetland is foreseen and should serve as a basis for development of a management plan for the area. [28/3/00]
Costa Rica names new Ramsar site. The Bureau is pleased to announce that Costa Rica has designated its 10th Ramsar site, as of 16 March 2000: Cuenca Embalse Arenal (50,050 hectares), in Guanacaste and Alajuela provinces, is a predominantly human-made lacustrine wilderness area which plays a significant hydrological, biological and ecological role in the natural functioning of the Embalse Arenal water catchment in the central part of the country. It holds special value for one or more endemic species or communities of flora and fauna in each of seven protected areas and contains 1,131 species of flora, 884 of them of potential ornamental use. It contains populations of endemic bromelia Pitcairnia funckiae and sustains threatened and endangered species of fauna, such as the mammals Tapirus bairdii (Baird’s tapir) and Leopardus pardalis (ocelot), and birds such as Cephalopterus glabricollis and the Amazilia boucardi hummingbird. The wetland provides benefits related to hydropower generation, irrigation, tourism (water sports), recreational fishing and consumption, grazing, domestic agriculture and irrigation, agriculture and aquaculture. A management plan was implemented in 1997. Approximately 80% of the existing legislation is being enforced to regulate activities in the wetland and other protected areas. Environmental education programs are being implemented to involve organized groups, farmers, community leaders, teachers and schoolchildren in the search for better opportunities for the wise use of natural resources. Cuenca Embalse Arenal is the world’s 1022th Wetland of International Importance. [27/3/00]
2nd World Water Forum and Ministerial Conference, 17-22 March.Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of the Convention on Wetlands, reports that the Water Forum was a "significant event" – both the Ministerial Declaration and the Framework for Action that came out of the sessions give recognition to the management and protection of freshwater ecosystems, though not as fully as Ramsar would have wished. In the final Ministerial Declaration, "protecting ecosystems" has been listed as only one of seven challenges, not as the basic challenge that underlies all others, since if freshwater ecosystems are not well managed, there will be no water for any of the other sectors. Mr Blasco notes that the issue has been given its due recognition in IUCN’s Water for Nature Vision, which was discussed during the Forum, but the question now is how well that will be integrated into the "center vision", the Vision for Water, Life, and the Environment, and into the Framework for Action. Mr Blasco feels that, although there has been real progress in the past few years in advancing ecosystem conservation in the World Water Vision process, it is unfortunately still considered as somehow separated from the central issue of water for people.
The ministers divided their work into seven sessions for discussion of each of the seven challenges mentioned in their Declaration. The Thematic Session on Protecting Ecosystems, chaired by the Minister of Environment of Colombia, with the Minister of Environment of Sweden acting as rapporteur, inter alia, agreed that "ecosystems must be conserved and restored in order to ensure sustainable water resources for humanity", and concluded that "transboundary cooperation through regional bodies is vital for shared waters; regional accords, consistent with international conventions, will facilitate this cooperation". [23/3/00]
Announcement: 15th Global Biodiversity Forum set for Nairobi, May 2000. Ms Laurence Christen of IUCN (firstname.lastname@example.org) has forwarded the final announcement and call for papers for the 15th session of the GBF, scheduled for Nairobi just prior to the 5th COP of the Convention on Biological Diversity in May. Three special workshops are currently planned: Biodiversity for Poverty Alleviation, Instruments for Access and Benefit-Sharing from Genetic Resources, and Agricultural Biodiversity and Sustainable Livelihoods in Dryland Ecosystems. A reprint of the announcement and call for papers is available on this Web site. (22/3/00)
Ramsar at the World Water Congress, Melbourne. Dr Bill Phillips, until recently Deputy Secretary General of the Convention on Wetlands, now returned to Environment Australia, represented the Convention at the World Water Congress, Melbourne, Australia, and briefed the participants on the upcoming World Water Forum in the Hague, 17-22 March. Here is the text accompanying his PowerPoint presentation for the meeting. [Photo: Bill Phillips and Stephen Hunter, Chair of the Ramsar Standing Committee, Melbourne]. [22/3/00]
News from the SGF.1997 SGF project completed in Eastern Europe. The Small Grants Fund project "Establishing a Transboundary Ramsar Wetland Area in the Upper Tisza Region" was successfully accomplished by a cooperative effort of Hungarian, Romanian, Slovakian and Ukranian NGOs at the end of the last year. The project dealt with the Upper Tisza River Valley, recently the site of a devastating cyanide spill. The Tisza is the largest tributary of Danube, with a catchment area 1.5 times bigger than the area of Hungary. The studied upper reaches of the Tisza are 400 km long and pass through four countries. The project was implemented in close cooperation with the following national NGOs: Ruthenia EcoClub, Uzghorod, Ukraine; Ecological society of Maramures, Baia Mare, Romania; Water and People, Kosice, Slovakia; Upper Tisza Foundation, Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. The Tisza Klub for Environment and Nature from Hungary was responsible for the project coordination. The cooperating NGOs have studied the ecological conditions, water quality and natural values of the region and compiled a preliminary proposal for Ramsar site designation. This information was published in the book entitled "The Upper Tisza Valley", which can be ordered from the Authority for Nature Conservation (Dr Janos Tardy, Ministry for the Environment, Költo u. 21, H-1121 Budapest) in Hungary (e-mail: email@example.com ). -- reported by Alexander Belokurov. (21/3/00)
Ramsar and the World Water Forum. The 2nd World Water Forum, 17-22 March, is under way in The Hague, Netherlands – it’s potentially a very important meeting, and Ramsar has sent both the Secretary General, Delmar Blasco, and the Deputy Secretary General, Nick Davidson, to take part in it. Ramsar is pleased that its concerns about sustainable use of water at the ecosystem level have been incorporated into the Draft Ministerial Declaration that will be agreed at the Ministerial Conference on Wednesday, 22 March -- concerned, however, that the Draft Declaration makes no mention of the role of the environment-related conventions, Ramsar is suggesting two small additions to the text, and Environment Ministers of several nations have agreed to put those changes forward during the Ministerial Conference. Mr Blasco will also participate as a panel member in the special event on Water for Nature (19 March), sponsored by IUCN and chaired by Queen Noor of Jordan, and Messrs Blasco and Davidson are both slated to participate in the adjunct meeting of the International Network of River Basin Organizations and a consultative meeting, 20 March, on the joint Ramsar Convention/Convention on Biological Diversity project under the GEF called the River Basins Initiative. If all goes well, more news will follow soon. (18/3/00)
Visit from Luc Hoffmann on Banc d’Arguin. The Ramsar Bureau enjoyed a visit on 15 March from Dr Luc Hoffmann, one of the Convention’s "Founding Fathers", Mr Mohamed Ould Bouceif, Director of the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, and Mr Pierre Campredon, Executive Secretary of the International Foundation for the Banc d’Arguin (still another foundation of which Dr Hoffmann is also one of the Founding Fathers). Dr Hoffmann introduced his colleagues to the Secretary General, Delmar Blasco, and they spent the day in discussion of a number of positive developments in the management of the Park. First, a national law of December 1999 has formally established a management structure for the Park and an "organogram" (or staff chart) has been determined by law, and second, there have been two fruitful donors/partners meeting about the Park since the law was promulgated. Dr Hoffmann and his colleagues reported on the Ramsar Small Grants Fund project which established the groundwork for a GEF-funded development project to advance ecotourism in the Banc d’Arguin and for implementation of the AEWA (African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement, CMS) there, which is now in the PDF stage. Dr Hoffmann also invited the Secretary General to participate in a ceremony, tentatively set for the latter months of 2000, to donate the extensive Banc d’Arguin coastal area of Mauritania under the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)’s Gifts to the Earth programme. (19/3/00)
National Planning Tool / National Reports format - now ready. For each meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Ramsar and other Conventions, countries prepare and submit a National Report detailing their progress in implementing the Convention during the period since the previous meeting. Ramsar's Contracting Parties at COP7 (1999), in Resolution VII.27 (paragraphs 13-14), asked the Standing Committee to adopt a national reporting form for COP8 (2002) that could be distributed to the Parties early in the triennium and used as a "national planning tool" to guide national efforts toward wetland conservation and implementation of the Convention, and which could also be used to quantify progress against specific global and national goals for the period. Accordingly, the Standing Committee, at its 24th meeting (December 1999), did adopt such a National Planning Tool and National Report format, and the English and Spanish versions have now gone out to the Parties (the French should be ready in about one week). Here are the diplomatic notifications that communicated the new forms to the Parties (English, Español), with further links the forms themselves. (14/3/00)
News from the SGF.1997 SGF project completed in Russia. The Small Grants Fund project "Development and implementation of management plans for three wetlands of international importance (Volga and Kuban Deltas)" has been successfully accomplished in the Russian Federation. Russia possesses the richest wetland resources in the world, and the present system of Russian Wetlands of International Importance includes 35 Ramsar sites. Elaboration of management plans for three Ramsar sites in the Volga and Kuban Deltas became possible due to financial support from the SGF. These three wetlands served as model areas for wetlands management planning in Russia. A large amount of information on physical and geographical conditions, biological and habitat resources, land-use characteristics, and pollution sources was collected and summarised in the extensive report and accompanying CD-ROM. Management plans for the wise use of wetlands resources were developed on the basis of a system of economic incentives to promote sustainable use of wetlands (payments for the use of resources, compensation for damage to ecosystems, etc.). Dissemination and replication of results will be provided to other wetlands in Russia. -- reported by Alexander Belokurov. (15/3/00)
Workshop on Greek wetlands. The Greek Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, in collaboration with EKBY (The Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre), organised on 7-8 March 2000 in Thessaloniki a workshop dedicated to the dissemination of the MedWet methods and tools in Greece. Here's a brief report from Thymio Papayannis, MedWet Coordinator. (13/3/00)
Announcement: EPCEM course announcement for September. The European Postgraduate Course in Environmental Management (EPCEM), organized by universities in Amsterdam, Leiden and Wageningen (The Netherlands), Paris (France), and Debrecen (Hungary), in cooperation with other universities in Eastern and Western Europe, provides an advanced (at MA/MSc level) international training in environmental policy and management. The deadline for applications for September's course is 15 March, but apparently it's still worth inquiring. Here is the course announcement. (15/3/00)
Community action clean-up at Namibian Ramsar site.HolgerKolberg writes of a clean-up day around the Orange River Mouth Ramsar site, organized by the Desert Femme women's group and supported by the Namdeb Diamond Corp. and Spar supermarket, with participation by Mr Philemon Malima, the Minister of Environment and Tourism. Here's his brief report and a few photographs. (10/3/00)
Habemus accountantem. With the Policy side sound as ever, the Ramsar Bureau is reorganizing the Administration side of things, adding a Development Assistance Officer (still to be chosen) and an Accountant in support. The Secretary General, Delmar Blasco, has announced a recent new development: "I am pleased to inform you that we have offered the position of Accountant in the Ramsar Bureau to Mr. Ibrahim Shaame (Tanzanian, 41 years old). He will start on 1st May. Mr. Shaame is currently working in the Finance Department of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva. Apart from his training in accountancy, Mr. Shaame has a sound knowledge of computer hardware and software packages. He is fluent in Arabic, English, French and Swahili, with familiarity with German as well. I look forward to having him on board." (10/3/00)
Brazil designates two new Ramsar sites. Brazil has designated its 6th and 7th Wetlands of International Importance, one of them a very extensive and complex coastal area in Maranhão state - Baixada Maranhense Environmental Protection Area (1,775,036 hectares) - the other a collection of three coral banks off the coast of the same state - Parque Estadual Marinho do Parcel Manoel Luís including the Baixios do Mestre Álvaro and Tarol (45,237 ha). Here are brief descriptions.(8/3/00)
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 Bureau.