The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 3 April 2002

Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento

WWF TV Centre wins award. The World Wide Fund for Nature's International TV Centre has won a Certificate of Merit, in the category of Public Affairs/Video News Release, in the Chicago International Television Competition. The film "Niger - Bawa Ousmane Goah", produced by WWF's Joanna Benn (jbenn@wwfint.org) and colleagues in September 2001, highlights Mr Ousmane's work with the Programme for Local Development-Gaya in fostering community-based planning and management in Albarkaïzé in the Gaya region of the southwest of Niger, restoring life through sustainable management to the floodplains of the "Zone humide du moyen Niger" Ramsar site (designated June 2001). The film surveys the prevailing problems of deforestation and unorganized use of the flooding cycle of this important length of the River Niger, and then follows Bawa Ousmane Goah as he illustrates the planning meetings with villagers, drawing upon their traditional knowledge, reforestation projects, and sustainable use of the available water in a programme that has already produced significant results in terms of agricultural yields and vastly increased numbers of birds and fish. The work along the Middle Niger is part of an ongoing cooperative effort of WWF's Living Waters Programme, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), and the Government of Niger, based upon proposals by IUCN in 1992, and as a result of its success in using the wetlands as a starting point for village-based development, the SDC is supporting larger community-based development programmes in agriculture and other sectors. [A little more here.] [03/04/02]


Kenya Wildlife Service announces wetland management course. The Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute at Naivasha will hold a six-week "East Africa Wetland Management Course" from 16 September to 27 October 2002 at Lake Naivasha. A reprint of the brochure for the course, including objectives, details, and forms for application, is available here. [02/04/02]


Cooperation between Ramsar and the World Resources Institute. Carmen Revenga, Senior Associate, Information Programme, of the World Resources Institute (WRI) in the USA has arrived in the Ramsar secretariat in Switzerland to begin a five months' WRI secondment with Bureau staff. Her ambitious programme of work includes a number of projects of benefit, not only to Ramsar and WRI, but to CBD, IUCN, UNEP, and other bodies as well. Very briefly, these include: 1) fulfilment of a WRI contract from Ramsar/CBD to prepare a study of the status and trends of inland water biodiversity; 2) Ramsar liaison with other ongoing freshwater assessment work, such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Conservation International Freshwater Hot Spots study, the World Water Forum, and several others; 3) Ramsar liaison with the "Water Resources and Wetlands e-Atlas" led by IUCN's Water and Wetlands Programme and involving WRI, IWMI, UNEP GRID-Geneva, FAO, and the University of New Hampshire (USA); 4) representing WRI with the River Basin Initiative, in the context of the CBD and Ramsar Joint Work Plan; 5) advising Atlantis consultants, on behalf of WRI, on the Ramsar component of the European Space Agency's TESEO project; 6) serving as Ramsar liaison in efforts by IUCN, UNEP-WCMC, Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy to improve digitally available information on protected wetland areas around the world, in the context of the forthcoming World's Parks Congress; and 7) drafting a Memorandum of Understanding for future cooperation between Ramsar and the World Resources Institute. The Bureau heartily welcomes Carmen to the Bureau and IUCN HQ, just as spring begins to become really beautiful around Lake Geneva. [28/03/02] [français et/y español]


Andorra publishes new book and prepares to join Ramsar. On 15 March 2002 Olga Adellach Coma, La Ministra d'Agricultura i Medi Ambient of the Govern d'Andorra, wrote to say that her country had taken the occasion of World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2002, to launch a new book, Aigua i Natura (Water and Nature), and to announce the Government's intention of joining the Ramsar Convention. The preparations are already in hand and it is hoped that more concrete news can be announced by the time of Ramsar's COP8 in Valencia, Spain, in November 2002. Here are a few illustrations from the beautiful new book. [27/03/02]


Update on the Society for the Protection of Prespa. In May 1999, the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) in northwestern Greece was awarded one of the first Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards. The next year, closely assisted by the MedWet Initiative, it played a key role in the agreement of the governments of Albania, Greece and the FYR of Macedonia for the establishment of a transboundary park in the area, which was announced on World Wetlands Day 2000. The General Assembly of the SPP met on 9 March 2002 in Aghios Germanos to assess its current programme, and here is a brief report on the results. [27/03/02]


Mediterranean meeting on water. An interesting regional conference on 'Effective water governance' was held in Athens on 19-20 March 2002. It was organised by the Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean (GWP-Med) and the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE), as part of the global dialogue on this sensitive issue. Here is Thymio Papayannis' brief report. [27/03/02]


Ramsar and the MAB Programme agree programme of joint work. Ramsar and UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) have much in common, particularly in the designation, management and monitoring of wetlands as protected areas (Ramsar's Wetlands of International Importance and MAB's Biosphere Reserves). Currently there are 75 sites in 41 countries that are designated both as Ramsar sites and Biosphere Reserves. To improve awareness of our common interests, a Ramsar/MAB Joint Web Site was established on World Wetlands Day 2001. To further develop collaboration between Ramsar and MAB, an innovative and practical Programme of Joint Work has been developed and approved by Ramsar's Standing Committee(Decision SC26-51, 7 December 2001) and MAB's International Coordinating Council (at its 17th session in Paris on 20 March 2002). The programme includes actions to review and further develop cooperation between Ramsar and UNESCO, including MAB and other relevant programmes such as World Heritage and the International Hydrological Programme, development of joint guidance for designation, management and monitoring of shared designated sites, using such sites as models for the promotion of better understanding and management of critical wetland ecosystems, and raising awareness of the benefits of involvement in both Ramsar and MAB. The Programme of Joint Work is available here, and other MEAs and organizations with which Ramsar has developed cooperative agreements can be viewed here. [22/03/02] [français et/y español]


Saint Lucia joins the Convention. The Bureau is very pleased to announce that UNESCO's Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs has notified the Secretary General that on 19 February Saint Lucia deposited with the Director-General its instrument of accession to the Convention as amended by the Paris Protocol (1982) and the Regina Amendments (1987). In accordance with Article 2, Saint Lucia has designated two wetlands - Savannes Bay and Mankoté Mangrove - as its first Ramsar sites and has provided the required maps; their Ramsar Information Sheets are expected in due course. The Convention will enter into force for Saint Lucia on 19 June 2002, and the Bureau welcomes Saint Lucia as its 131st Contracting Party. [20/03/02] [français et/y español]


Perú creeará primera facultad universitaria dedicada a humedales. Beatriz Torres, UNEP/CMS Secretariat (btorres@cms.unep.de), nos informa sobre el taller para el Dia Mundial de Humedales, en Peru. Durante la actividad, el Dr. Fenando Cabieses anunció la creación de la primera Facultad de Biología y Ecología de Humedales a nivel mundial, en la Universidad Científica del Sur. El Campus Universitario se hospedará en el humedal limeño Pantanos de Villa (Sitio Ramsar) desde donde se espera hacer una gran contribución a la protección de este y otros humedales mediante estudio e investigación. El subjefe del Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales, INRENA (Autoridad Administrativa Ramsar en el Perú) Ing. José Perea Cáceres hizo un recuento de los beneficios al ambiente que se han desarollado en el Perú en relación a la Convención de Ramsar. También subrayó la importancia de los humedales para aliviar el serio problema mundial de escasez de agua fresca. Finalmente, el Dr. Víctor Pulido Capurro aprovechó la ocasión para comunicar el mensaje del Secretario General de la Convención, Delmar Blasco, sobre el estrecho vínculo entre las culturas humanas y los humedales, y la necesidad de fomentar su uso racional." Nota de prensa. [21/03/02]


WISP's Discover European Wetlands brochure available from Ramsar. "Wetlands in Spatial Planning" (WISP) is an EU-funded project within the Interreg IIC North Sea Region Programme. The project aims to stimulate social and economical development in and around a number of bird-rich wetlands. One of the main objectives is the development of sustainable tourism, eco-tourism, in wetland areas. Now WISP's attractive and informative 36-page brochure "Discover European Wetlands: a Guide to 12 Wetland Areas in the North Sea Region" is available, not only from WISP directly, but for our Ramsar readership directly from the Bureau. Before you begin planning your next holidays, view more details here. [19/03/02]


Le grand public privé de nature en Camargue. Dans la nuit du jeudi 14 au vendredi 15 mars 2002, l'observatoire du marais du Grenouillet a été entièrement détruit par le feu. Les restes d'un pneu brûlé trouvés sur place indiquent que l'incendie est volontaire. [The public deprived of nature in the Camargue. During the night of 14-15 March 2002, the nature observation station of the Grenouillet marsh, placed there for the public's use by the Biological Station of Tour du Valat, was completely destroyed by fire. The remains of a burnt automobile tire at the scene indicated that the fire was deliberately set.]  "Suite à l'incendie volontaire de l'Observatoire de Grenouillet, appartenant à la Tour du Valat, vous trouverez ci-après un communiqué de presse (et des photos), que nous souhaiterions voir diffuser le plus rapidement possible. Vous en remerciant par avance, et restant à votre disposition pour tout renseignement complémentaire, je vous prie d'agréer mes sincères salutations." Here is the Tour du Valat's press release (in French) about this sad incident in a continuing sad drama. [19/03/02]


Guinea names six large Ramsar sites in upper Niger Basin. On 16 February at the summit meeting of the Heads of State of the Niger Basin Authority in Abuja, Nigeria, the Prime Minister of Guinea announced the designation of six new Wetlands of International Importance, all located in the headwaters of the Niger River. Totaling over 4.5 million hectares in area, these new sites are of extraordinarily great significance because they represent Guinea's recognition of the vital importance of sustainable management of the entire vast catchment of the Niger Basin and help to ensure adequate water supply downstream. For the past two years, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Ramsar Convention Bureau, and the Niger Basin Authority have been developing a remarkable Niger River Basin initiative for freshwater conservation in the West African subregion, and now, in efforts supported materially by the Living Waters Programme of WWF, the designation of this suite of Ramsar sites can be seen in the context of a basin-wide effort for the wise use and sustainable management of the entire system, similar to ongoing Living Waters/Ramsar work in cooperation with the Lake Chad Basin Commission reported elsewhere on this Web site. Brief Annotated Ramsar List entries for the six new sites, drawn from their Ramsar Information Sheets, can be viewed here. [français et/y español disponible] [15/03/02]


Progress in the transboundary management of the lower Neretva valley. A workshop on the transboundary management of the lower Neretva valley took place on 7-8 March 2002 in Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Metkovic (Croatia), the culminating event of the Ramsar SGF project on "Preparations for a transboundary management plan for the lower Neretva valley". The workshop provided therefore a first opportunity to show synergies, based on the active cooperation between the coordinators of the Ramsar SGF project and the local managers of the REReP project (international "Stability Pact" Regional Environmental Reconstruction Programme). It became clear that the respective project activities are indeed complementary, and that they should be pursued in an even more collaborative and integrated way. This thorough summary of the meeting lays out the issues involved, and the attached background paper supplies succinct and useful information on the importance of the site. [14/03/02]


West and Central Asian Subregional Meeting results now available. On 3-5 February 2002, the Islamic Republic of Iran hosted a successful Ramsar subregional meeting, with lively discussions and strong consensus on matters of common concern throughout the region, notably the severe impact on many wetlands of the persistent drought in the region, and the priority for international cooperation throughout the region, especially in relation to action on transboundary wetlands and river basins and on capacity-building. The meeting, attended by some 60 participants from Parties, non-Parties, International Organization Partners and other regional and national NGOs, international organizations and staff of the Department of the Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was a success in no small part because of the excellent local organizing of venue and arrangements, and received considerable media attention. Thanks to generous funding support from the Government of Japan and the Government of Belgium through the Ministère de la Région Wallonne, delegates from western and central Asia will be particularly well positioned to contribute to the 8th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties next November. The meeting's report and photos are available here. [12/03/02]


Exploración Petrolera Rechazada en Costa Rica. Luego de una disputa de casi 5 años entre grupos ambientalistas y dos empresas petroleras, el Gobierno de Costa Rica desaprobó la exploración de 4 sitios terrestres y marinos en la zona Atlántica del país. Dos Sitios Ramsar de Importancia Internacional, el Humedal Caribe Noreste y Gandoca-Manzanillo, se encuentran en esta zona. La Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental (SETENA), ente gubernamental encargada de emitir el permiso correspondiente, rechazó la solicitud de las empresas. SETENA indicó que el estudio de impacto ambiental presentado por la compañía Harken Energy Corporation presentaba "lagunas técnicas" que no garantizaban una exploración limpia, añadiendo que la propuesta de búsqueda en el Caribe costarricense "no es viable ambientalmente". Grupos ambientalistas como la Red Oilwatch y la ONG local Asociación de Lucha Antipetrolera (ADELA) mostraron satisfacción con la decisión pero prometieron continuar buscando la derogación de la Ley de hidrocarburos (1996) de Costa Rica. Las empresas petroleras afectadas, Harken y MKJ Exploration, emitirán sus criterios próximamente y se cree apelarán la decisión. [07/03/02] [English: Costa Rica petroleum exploration rejected near Ramsar sites]


Pre-COP8 -- International Forum on Youth and Wetlands / Foro Internacional de Jóvenes y Humedales / Forum International de la Jeunesse et des Zones Humides. Raúl Urquiaga, Amigos de la Tierra / Friends of the Earth Spain, writes to the Ramsar Forum: "In conjunction with the Eighth Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Agreement on Wetlands, also known as the Agreement on Ramsar, to be held in Valencia next November, we at Amigos de la Tierra España (Friends of the Earth Spain, a member of Friends of the Earth International) are organizing an International Youth Forum regarding the Ramsar wetlands. This forum has as its aim to debate the rational use and the future of these important ecosystems from the ecological, social, economic, and cultural points of view, valuing especially the contributions that youth can make with sustainable use." Here is a full description and pre-registration questionnaire in English, Français, and Español. [06/03/02]


Wader Study Group's evaluation of migratory wader populations in Africa and Eurasia. "For the last few years, the WSG has been undertaking a major project to review and update population size estimates for all migratory wader species in the African-Eurasian region. The project has grown from an early focus on updating 1980s estimates for the East Atlantic Flyway populations to a more comprehensive assessment of all migratory species within the area covered by the Africa-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). The new edition is intended for publication later in 2002 so that the conclusions (revised population estimates and trend information, and new or revised 1% thresholds) can be used to inform the 2nd Meeting of Parties of AEWA (September) and the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (November). The re-assessment will have significant implications for other issues being discussed at those inter-governmental meetings and contribute to the third edition of Wetlands International's Waterbird Population Estimates due to be published this autumn for Ramsar's COP8." Here is David Stroud's appeal for comment on the review text. [06/03/02]


Review of national wetland inventory in Europe. As part of the on-going review of national wetland inventory information in Europe (being conducted under the RIZA-funded project "Pilot Study Towards a Pan-European Wetland Inventory"), Scott Frazier and Claire Nivet of Wetlands International have posted draft "country chapters" on the www.wetlands.org Web site and have appealed via the Ramsar Forum for comments and corrections. Here is their message and the links to the European chapters. [02/03/02]


Mauritania places Diawling on the Montreux Record. The Government of Mauritania has completed the procedure for placing the Parc National du Diawling Ramsar site onto the Montreux Record, effective 28 February 2002, with the intention of drawing national and international attention to changes in the ecological character of the site. Plagued in recent years by infestations of alien invasive species, particuarly Salvinia molesta and Typha australis, this extremely important site has seen a loss of biodiversity and diminution of open water. Following a joint Ramsar Advisory Mission in September 2000 (see ram_rpt_42e) to Diawling and the nearby World Heritage and Ramsar site in Senegal, the Djoudj National Bird Park, undertaken by Ramsar, the World Heritage Convention, and IUCN-The World Conservation Union, financial assistance has been forthcoming to address many of the Mission's recommendations, and it is thought that the problems with Salvinia molesta are on the way to resolution. There is a considerable hope that, with the added attention to be brought to bear upon the Diawling site as a result of its Montreux Record listing, the Typha australis and related problems can be solved satisfactorily and the site removed from the Record in not too long a time. [français et/y español] [01/03/02]


Sri Lanka publishes guide to Bundala National Park. In coordination with its final Ramsar Small Grants Fund project report, in early 2002 IUCN-Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, has published an attractive 54-page book entitled Guide to Bundala: a guide to the biodiversity of Bundala National Park, a Ramsar wetland in Sri Lanka (ISBN 955-8177-12-1), compiled and edited by Channa N. B. Bambaradeniya, with financial support from the Ramsar Bureau. Nicely illustrated with maps and photos, this small book will be useful, not only as a visitors' guide, but also for researchers interested in Sri Lanka's wealth of wetland flora and fauna. A few more details here. [28/02/02]

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