The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 3 June 2002

Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento

English Heritage launches Wetlands Strategy. On 28 May 2002, English Heritage, the Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment (sponsored by the Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport - DCMS), organised in London a seminar on the historic environment in England's wetlands at the occasion of the launch of its Wetlands Strategy, introduced by Adrian Olivier. A handful of speakers, representing archeology and historical science, as well as ecology and the administrative bodies responsible for cultural and natural heritage management (English Heritage, English Nature), covered current issues, practice and policies for better integrated management decisions and debated what can be learnt from the past in shaping the future. The Ramsar Bureau was invited to present the new "Guiding principles for identifying the cultural aspects of wetlands and incorporating them into the effective management of sites", proposed to COP8 for adoption. Here is Tobias Salathé's report on the meeting and the significance of this new initiative. [03/06/02]

Sweden designates 21 new Ramsar sites. At the 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in San José in 1999, Sweden pledged to add 21 new Ramsar sites before the next COP, and it has now fulfilled that promise. Twenty-one new Wetlands of International Importance, totaling 125,870 hectares, have been added to the List, and nine of the thirty existing Swedish Ramsar sites have had their boundaries extended, in some cases significantly. The new sites are located in nearly all parts of the country and embody a broad array of wetland types, values and functions, in hydrological as well as in biological terms. Sweden, now with 51 Wetlands of International Importance, has leapt past Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Canada, the Russian Federation, and Germany to third place in the total number of Ramsar sites (behind only the UK and Australia) - its total number of hectares under the umbrella of the Convention is now over half a million, at 514,500. The Convention itself, with its 131 Contracting Parties, now has 1171 Ramsar sites (with two more already approved and ready to be added to the List), totaling 96,454,325 hectares. Brief descriptions of the 21 new Ramsar sites can be seen here, and a list of the previously-announced new site extensions is also available. [30/05/02]

Collaboration on the management of Polesie wetlands in Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine. On 22-24 May 2002, about 140 specialists from Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and other countries, including representatives of several international organisations and conservation NGOs, gathered in Minsk, the capital of the Republic of Belarus, for the second international conference on the ecology and conservation of floodplains and lowland mires in the Polesie region, exactly five years after the first conference on this topic in May 1997. The Polesie region is shared among Belarus, Poland and Ukraine - the Pripyat river forms its central artery, flowing eastwards to enter the Dniepr soon after crossing the Ukrainian border near ill-starred Tchernobyl. Tobias Salathé uses the occasion of a report on this conference to describe the fascinating region, its values, and its issues, with photos of the Pripyat Ramsar site. Click here now. [28/05/02]

WWF and Ramsar sign collaborative agreement. Throughout the 1960s, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) was instrumental in negotiations which led to the signing of the Convention on Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, and over the many years since that time WWF has been so vitally important in delivering the Ramsar objectives at global and local levels that the organization has long been formally recognized as one of the four official "International Organization Partners" of the Convention (with BirdLife International, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, and Wetlands International). Most particularly in recent years, amongst many other efforts across the whole organization, the WWF Living Waters Programme has been exceptionally forthcoming, in terms of expertise, labor, and funding support, in assisting new accessions of Parties, designations of new Ramsar sites, and management planning guidance in Africa, Asia, South America and the news pages of the Ramsar Web site are filled with tributes to this dedicated collaboration and convergence of goals. Thus it may seem odd that, in all these years, WWF has been the only Partner with which the Ramsar Bureau had not got round to concluding a formal collaborative agreement - but finally that oversight has been put right. On 16 May 2002, in the course of the Standing Committee's Subgroup meetings in Gland, Switzerland, Dr Claude Martin, Director General of WWF International, and Delmar Blasco, Ramsar's Secretary General, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that lays out plainly the areas of collaboration and joint commitment. The text of the MOC and photos of the signing are available here. [24/05/02] [français et/y español]

University students participate in wetlands and Ramsar awareness programme in China. WWF has launched its second annual Wetland Ambassadors Action campaign, calling for university students across China to submit proposals for raising awareness amongst government officials, farmers and other stakeholders on the importance and benefits of conserving China's rivers and lakes. The primary goal of the project, supported by WWF, the Ramsar Convention Implementing Office of the State Forestry Bureau (SFA), and China Youth Daily, is to reach out to stakeholders living in or around one of China's 21 Ramsar Sites to increase their support for wetland conservation and sustainable use issues. The project involves university students to implement the campaign. Zhang Yifei of WWF China has provided this summary of the project and its objectives. [24/05/02]

New Web site for MedWet.The MedWet Web site has now been renamed (from to and re-structured into a brand new site featuring the latest Web designing techniques. It has moreover started to be updated again, after a pause of nine months. Inevitably, the process will be gradual and it will take some time until the Web site is fully updated. Both your tolerance and your suggestions are requested in order to fulfil this task. Maria Anagnostopoulou, MedWet Communications Officer; Panayotis Vroustouris, MedWet webmaster. [23/05/02]

Two new publications from the Wetlands International Black Sea Programme. Wetlands International announces the appearance of two new publications on the Black Sea. Black Sea Wetlands Conservation Priorities, bearing the fruits of two international workshops, includes descriptions of the current status of the Black Sea wetlands and their conservation, and priorities for their conservation with recommended actions. The Directory of Azov-Black Sea Wetlands consists of an introduction and a series of national reports, followed by site descriptions of 94 wetlands in Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey, and Ukraine, 32 of which are already Ramsar sites. More details are available here. [23/05/02]

Prespa update. The Third Regular Meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Prespa Transboundary Park was held in the old Albanian city of Korça on 17-18 May 2002. Here is a brief report from Ramsar's representative there, Thymio Papayannis. [24/05/02]

SPREP and Ramsar sign Memorandum of Cooperation. During the Oceania Ramsar Regional meeting last week, hosted by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa, a Memorandum of Cooperation was concluded between SPREP and the Ramsar Bureau, signed in a brief ceremony by SPREP Director Tamari'i Tutangata and Dr Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Bureau. The MOC provides the basis for increased support by SPREP and the Ramsar Bureau to the countries and territories of the region, support which will focus on promoting the sustainable use of wetlands, recognizing and managing wetlands of international importance, promoting international and regional cooperation, assisting with resourcing for capacity building and, where appropriate, promoting accession to the Ramsar Convention. The text of the MOC, with a photograph of the signing, is available here.

Extracto del Mensaje Inaugural de la Toma de Posesion del Presidente de la Republica de Costa Rica, el Dr. Abel Pacheco de la Espriella periodo constitucional Mayo 2002-Mayo 2006. El texto en negrita, marcado por nosotros, es de particular interés para Ramsar. "COSTA RICA DECLARA LA PAZ PARA LA NATURALEZA". [14/05/02]

MedWet/Regions holds 3rd meeting. On 2-4 May 2002, the 3rd meeting of the MedWet/Regions network was hosted in Sevilla, Spain, by the regional Ministry of Environment of Andalucia, Spain, with the objective to finalise the discussion and preparation of the proposal that will be submitted by the Regions participating in this network to the INTERREG IIIb MedOC (Mediterranee Occidentale) programme. Find out more about MedWet/Regions and about this meeting in this brief report (with photos) from Spyros Kouvelis, the MedWet Coordinator. [07/05/02]

CBD and Ramsar Third Joint Work Plan gets under way. Following the successful completion of the 2nd Joint Work Plan (2000-2001) between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the 3rd JWP, this one for a longer period of time (2002-2006), has been endorsed by the Ramsar Standing Committee and by the CBD's 6th Conference of the Parties, meeting in The Hague, April 2002. The text, subject to minor editorial improvements, is now available here. [06/05/02]

Advisory Mission to lake Srebarna, Bulgaria, now available. The Convention gives special attention to assisting Contracting Parties in the management and conservation of listed sites whose ecological character is changing or likely to change as a result of technological development, pollution or other human interference. This is carried out through the Ramsar Advisory Missions (RAM), a technical assistance mechanism formally adopted by Recommendation 4.7 (1990), and it has once before been applied to lake Srebarna in Bulgaria (in 1992), a Ramsar site presently on the Montreux Record. The World Heritage Committee, at its 24th session in 2000, after receipt of the "Srebarna Biosphere Reserve Report 2000" by the Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Water at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, thanked and commended Bulgaria for submitting a comprehensive report and for its efforts to fully rehabilitate the site. The Committee then requested the Centre and IUCN to cooperate with the Ramsar Convention Bureau and other suitable partners to field a mission to the site to undertake a thorough evaluation of the successes of the rehabilitation efforts reported and their sustainability. This joint World Heritage/Ramsar/IUCN mission took place in October 2001, and here is the final report. [07/05/02]

Sweden enlarges nine Ramsar sites. Effective 19 November 2001, the Government of Sweden designated 21 new Wetlands of International Importance and expanded the boundaries of nine previously-designated Ramsar sites. Descriptions of the newly-named sites will appear here soon, but in the meantime, here is a brief listing of the new extensions. [02/05/02]

Dojran Lake - first meeting of the ad hoc working group, 17 April 2002. Dojran is shared between Greece and FYR Macedonia, and in the past few years it has suffered a significant fall in the water level, coupled with increased pollution concentration due to the reduced water volume and increased agricultural run off. Under the initiative of MedWet, supported by the Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY) and Skopje office of the Germany's aid agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), a first meeting was held on 11 and 12 December 2001, hosted by EKBY in Thessaloniki and chaired by MedWet. The ad hoc working group established by that meeting has now had its own first meeting, and the MedWet Coordinator, Spyros Kouvelis, describes its outcomes here. [01/05/02]

Ramsar Pan-American Pre-COP8 Regional Meeting set for Ecuador. Representatives of Ramsar Contracting Parties, non-contracting parties, intergovernmental institutions, and non-governmental organisations will gather in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 1-5 July 2002, for the 2nd Ramsar Pan-American Meeting. The meeting will serve as final preparation for the Neotropics and North American regions' position before the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to be held in Valencia, España, 18-26 November 2002. It will be hosted by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Ecuador and the Ramsar Convention Bureau, with the generous financial assistance of the governments of Canada, Spain, and the United States of America. Further information, registration forms, and documents are available here. [18/04/02]

Los representantes de los Países Partes de la Convención de Ramsar, Países no-Parte, organizaciones intergubernamentales y no-gubernamentales se darán cita en Guayaquil, Ecuador, del 1-5 de julio de 2002 para la II Reunión Regional Panamericana. La Reunión servirá como preparación final de la posición de las regiones de Norte América y el Neotrópico para la 8va Conferencia de Partes, a realizarse en Valencia, España, del 18-26 de noviembre de 2002. El anfitrión de la Reunión será el Ministerio del Ambiente del Gobierno del Ecuador, quién se encargará de la organización conjuntamente con la Oficina de la Convención de Ramsar, y con la generosa ayuda financiera de los gobiernos de Canadá, España y los Estados Unidos de América.

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