The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 4 February 2002

Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento

West and Central Asian Subregional Meeting takes off. The Islamic Republic of Iran is convening and hosting the second Asian subregional meeting in preparation for Ramsar's 8th Conference of the Parties, with participation, from 3 to 5 February, by representatives of all or nearly all of the Contracting Parties and non-contracting parties in the subregion. On 3 February, Vice President and Head of the Department of the Environment, H. E. Dr Masoumeh Ebtekar, will assist in celebrations of World Wetlands Day and the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Convention in Ramsar, Iran. Topics for discussion include reports of achievements in the subregion, the COP8 National Report format, the draft Strategic Plan 2003-2008, preparations for the COP8 Technical Sessions, inter alia. Other featured participants include Taej Mundkur (Wetlands Int'l), Dave Pritchard (BirdLife Int'l), Zbig Karpowicz (Fauna & Flora Int'l), C. L. Trisal (Wetlands Int'l), Biksham Gujja (WWF Int'l), Hassan Partow (UNEP), and Abdu Al Assiri (SRAP/UNCCD). On 6-7 February an optional visit to the city of Ramsar on the Caspian shore will be organized by the hosts. A report of the meeting will arrive in due course. [03/02/02]

Nicaragua names 7 new sites for World Wetlands Day. The Ramsar Bureau is especially glad to announce that the Government of Nicaragua has designated seven new Wetlands of International Importance, effective 8 November 2001, to be announced in ceremonies on World Wetlands Day 2 February 2002, comprising a very impressive array of wetland types and values. An enormous effort has gone into the compilation of the very thorough, almost book-length Ramsar Information Sheets, totaling a coverage of 361,752 hectares in all parts of the country, carried out by MARENA (the Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) assisted by a large number of non-governmental organizations, namely the Asociación Ambientalista Audubon Nicaragua (ASAAN), the Fundación del Río, Amigos de la Tierra, PROGOLFO, the Coordinación Nacional del Corredor Biológico Mesoamericano, the Centro Inter Universitario Moravo de la Bluefields Indians & Caribbean University, and the Proyecto de Conservación y Desarrollo Forestal PROCODEFOR. In particular, very substantial financial and technical support was provided to the preparation for these designations by IUCN Mesoamerica and its Nicaraguan Wetlands Working Group. Nicaragua, which joined the Convention in 1997, now has eight Ramsar sites totaling 405,502 hectares. Here is a brief description of the seven new sites. [01/02/02]

EAC launches strategy for heritage management of wetlands. On the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2002, a pre-briefing cocktail event was organised on 22 January in the European Parliament building in Brussels (Belgium) by GLOBE and the European Archaeological Council (or Europae Archaeologiae Consilium, EAC). Central to the presentation on 22 January was EAC's paper presenting a strategy for the heritage management of wetlands in Europe, which was delivered by Dr Adrian Olivier, EAC's President. The further significance of the event is unveiled here, with reprints of the addresses by Dr Olivier and by Dr Tobias Salathé of Ramsar. [30/01/02]

Armenia completes SGF project. Armenia has successfully completed its SGF 2000 project "Regional training course on wetland management for technical staff of wetland conservation and management institutions in the new independent states of the European region". The project was carried out by the NGO Professional and Entrepreneurial Orientation Union (NGO Orientation) and additionally supported with funds by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kyiv (Ukraine), Office of Agricultural Counsellor, MOU Programme. The training course took place on the Lake Sevan from 9th to 23rd September 2001 and was based upon the subjects of the internationally recognized courses on Wetland Management and Wetland Restoration organized by Wetland Advisory and Training Centre of RIZA (the Netherlands). Significant contributions to the project were made by the NGO Stichting Flevolandschap (The Netherlands) and by the Department of Flora and Fauna and Especially Protected Natural Areas of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia. The course was attended by 19 participants from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. The core lectures staff comprised experts from Armenia, Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine. More info and some photos are available here. [30/01/02]

The application of Criterion 6 for Ramsar sites: Waterbird Population Estimates now online. Wetlands International, as a part of its key role as an International Organisation Partner (IOP) in providing scientific and technical support to the Ramsar Convention, periodically prepares a global summary of best available information of the status and trends of waterbird biogeographic populations, drawing on the data compiled through their International Waterbird Census and the expertise of their extensive waterbird Specialist Groups network. As the 3rd edition is still being prepared for publication in time for Ramsar COP8, the out-of-print 2nd edition has been made available on-line. Nick Davidson provides further detail and describes the operation of Criterion 6 for the identification of Wetlands of International Importance. [30/01/02]

Society of Wetland Scientists awards its 2001 Ramsar grants. Eric Gilman reports that in 1999 the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) formed a SWS Ramsar Support Grant Program to advance Ramsar Convention on Wetlands objectives, including the selection, designation, management, and networking of Ramsar sites, and implementation of the Ramsar Convention's Wise Use guidelines. Projects are funded at a level of US $5,000 per year on a competitive basis as reviewed by a 5-member Committee of members of the SWS International Chapter, Ramsar Convention Bureau, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of International Conservation, and matched with additional funds from the US FWS. This year's awards have been made to Dr. Gleb Gavris, Kyiv Sozological Centre, Ukraine; Dr. Fátima Mereles of the Fundación Desdel Chaco (Foundation for the Sustainable Development of the South American Chaco), Paraguay;Mr. German I. Andrade, Fundación Humedales de Colombia; and Sabir Bin Muzaffar, Independent University of Bangladesh. Eric's summaries of the winning projects are available here. [28/01/02]

Argentina names its 10th Ramsar site. The secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Argentina has named, effective 18/01/02, the Lagunas y Esteros del Iberá (24,550 hectares, 28°31'S 057°09'W, Natural Reserve) as its 10th Wetland of International Importance. Located in Corrientes province in the northeast of the country, the site is centered about the Laguna del Iberá and is part of the macrosystem of Iberá, a catchment area of some 1.3 million hectares drained by the Río Corriente into the middle reaches of the Paraná, representative of wetland types found in Corrientes and southeastern Paraguay. Iberá Lake, at 5,500 hectares, is one of the largest and most characteristic components of the system - with an average depth of 3m, it is almost always clear with variations caused by seasonal growth of plankton. The site supports high biological diversity, including an appreciable number of endemic species. Among rare, vulnerable, and endangered species covered by CITES within the site are the yacaré overo, or Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), yacaré negro (C. Yacare), anaconda amarilla or curiyú (Eunectes notaeus), the pato crestudo (Sarkidiornis melanotos), the Neotropical otter "lobito de río" (Lontra longicaudis), and ciervo de los pantanos, or Marsh deer (Blastoceros dichotomus), among others. The surrounding marshlands of Esteros del Iberá support a sizable number of indigenous fish species and subspecies at key stages of their biological cycles, particularly Salminus maxillosus. Agriculture, particularly rice, and grazing are practiced in the area, and the development of ecotourism is foreseen. Ramsar site no. 1162.

The datasheets for this Ramsar designation were compiled by the Dirección de Recursos Naturales y Gestión Ambiental of the Province of Corrientes based upon work by Sr. Tomás Waller, of the Fundación Reserva del Iberá, and Sr. Guillermo Lingua of the Dirección de Recursos Ictícolas y Acuícolas de la Secretaría de Desarrollo Sustentable y Política Ambiental of Argentina. With this designation, the Government of Argentina has completed its pledge made during the 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in San José, Costa Rica. [28/01/02]

India names two new Ramsar sites as part of a large packet of designations. The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands is delighted to announce that the Government of India has designated two new Ramsar sites in Punjab state, the first instalments in quite a large package of new designations prepared with the support of WWF's Living Waters Programme. Eleven more of these have already been received at the secretariat and are presently being worked on by Bureau staff, and it is understood that as many as 25 may be added to the List in total. Kanjli (183 hectares, 31°25'N 075°22'E) is a permanent stream converted by construction of a small barrage in 1870 into a water storage area for irrigation purposes; in addition to its considerable conservation values, the site is considered to be the most significant in the state from the religious point of view, as it is associated with the first guru of the Sikhs, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Ropar (1,365 ha, 31°01'N 076°30'E) is similarly a humanmade wetland created in 1952 by construction of a small barrage, and presently supports a number of nationally protected species. More detail on these new sites is available here. [25/01/02]

Kenya designates freshwater lake in Great Rift Valley. The Bureau is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Kenya has named Lake Baringo (31,469 hectares, 00°32'N 036°05'E) as its 4th Wetland of International Importance. This National Reserve consists of one of the two important freshwater (less-alkaline) lakes in the primarily arid Kenyan Rift Valley and its surrounding riparian zones; the central island Ol Kokwe embodies the remains of a small volcano. It is part of the Great Rift Valley system of faults and cliffs and is fed by several freshwater inflows from the Mau and Tugen hills. The lake provides critical habitat and refuge for nearly 500 bird species, and some of the migratory waterbird species are of regional and global conservation significance, with more than 20,000 individuals reported. The lake is an invaluable habitat for seven freshwater fish species, of which one (the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus baringoensis) is endemic to the lake. Local fisheries are particularly important for sustainable development of the local communities, for both economic and sport fishing. In addition, the site is a habitat for many species of animals, such as hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious), crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and a wide range of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrate communities. Four ethnic communities around the lake depend upon it for food, through fishing, and for water supply, and a diversity of traditional religious functions are served by the lake and surrounding escarpments. Longterm overgrazing and deforestation and diversion for irrigation of water from one of the inflowing rivers are seen as potential pressures, as are alien invasive species, such as Pistia (Nile cabbage), and the use of motor boats by water sports, but the site's rich natural and cultural attractions, if well-managed, promise sound ecotourism development. A visitors' centre is in place and a management plan in preparation; a GEF project for biodiversity conservation is under way. Ramsar site no. 1159.[24/01/02]

Peru completes management plans for all its Ramsar sites. The Peruvian National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA) has completed the Master Plan for the Conservation of biological diversity and sustainable development of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Pacaya Samiria is the largest of Peru's Ramsar sites and covers more than 2 million hectares. With the completion of this project, all seven Ramsar sites in Peru now have management plans . The project was made possible by the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana, the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation, Servicio Holandes de Cooperación, International Resources Group, Pro Naturaleza, Junglevat for Amazonas, The Nature Conservancy, and WWF-Peru. INRENA has also produced a Plan for Tourism and Recreational Use of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. [24/01/02]

Ecuador names two new Ramsar sites. The Bureau is delighted to announce that the Government of Ecuador has designated two new Wetlands of International Importance, effective 2 February 2002 and to be officially announced on World Wetlands Day. They are the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Isla Santa Clara in the Provincia de El Oro (46 hectares, 03º10'S 080º 26'W), a small island with rocky shores in the Gulf of Guayaquil, and the Laguna de Cube in the Provincia de Esmeraldas (113 hectares, 00°24'N 079°39' W), a permanent lake at the southeastern edge of the Mache-Chindul mountains in the Chaco biogeographical region. More detail is available here [22/01/02]

The UK names a new site in the Inner Hebrides. An exceptionally beautiful Ramsar site, a small island west of the Isle of Mull in Scotland's Inner Hebrides, has been designated effective 16 November 2001 as a Wetland of International Importance by the United Kingdom, bringing its Ramsar total to 167 sites. Sleibhtean agus Cladach Thiriodh (Tiree Wetlands and Coast) (1939 hectares, 56°30'N 006°52'W), also designated at the same time as an SSSI and SPA, includes significant portions of the Isle of Tiree, consisting of two zones: an intertidal sector comprising rocky shore, sandy bays, and shingle shore, and an inland sector comprising "machair" (sandy coastal) plain, marsh, and wet moorland with one large and several small lochs and numerous pools. The inland areas provide roost sites for internationally important numbers of wintering geese from Greenland and breeding sites for a variety of wader species, whilst the intertidal sectors support similarly significant numbers of wintering wader populations. Several of the lochs support rich aquatic plant communities including a range of nationally scarce and rare species, and the site provides an excellent representative of dune and machair habitats. Sheep and cattle grazing is the main land use of the site; disturbance from ditching and clearance by local crofters is being addressed by management agreements. Features of archaeological and historical interest are mentioned in the datasheets but no details have been provided. Ramsar site no. 1158. [22/01/02]

Trinidad and Tobago adopts National Wetland Policy. Nadra Nathai-Gyan of the National Wetlands Committee and the Ministry of the Environment, writes: "The National Wetlands Committee takes great pleasure in announcing that the National Wetland Policy on Wetland Conservationhas been approved by the Cabinet of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on 2001 July 12. This policy was finalised through a consultative process, which sought views at both national and community levels. . . . Trinidad and Tobago is very pleased to join with the other countries in the Ramsar Family which have national wetland policies. Please be assured that every step will be taken to implement the programmes identified for effecting the policy." [21/01/02] [Text]

China names 14 new Ramsar sites. The Government of the People's Republic of China has tripled its number of Wetlands of International Importance by designating, effective 11 January 2002, 14 provincial and national Nature Reserves for the Ramsar List, an addition of 1,959,383 hectares. The new sites range from vast wetlands in the semi-arid steppes of Inner Mongolia to mangrove forests in the extreme southwest of the country; from two more parts of Dongting Lake on the plains of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River to intertidal mudflats at the river's mouth near Shanghai; from reserves dedicated to the Spotted Seal in the Bohai Sea to reserves for the endangered Green Turtle on a gently sloping beach in the south, and still another for the Pere David's Deer, known here as the "Milu". Here is the administrative announcement of the Ramsar Bureau's listing of the new sites - at ceremonies on World Wetlands Day, the Ramsar Implementing Office of the State Forestry Administration, together with WWF China and the WWF Living Waters Programme, will make the official announcement of the new designations, bringing China's total Ramsar coverage to 21 sites with 2,547,763 hectares included. Here are brief descriptions of the new sites. [19/01/02]

Lake Chad Basin Commission lauds Ramsar designations. Ramsar's Anada Tiéga and WWF's Denis Landenbergue report from Yaoundé, Cameroon, that the 49th ministerial meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, at its closing session 15 January 2002, adopted a recommendation on the continuing progress of the LCBC states towards Ramsar accession and designation of their portions of the basin for the Ramsar List. "The adoption of this recommendation is a direct follow-up of the designation of Chad's part of Lake Chad, which was officially announced last Monday here in Yaounde. This was, by the way, a big success, with lots of radio reports and even a few Cameroon TV news showing the ceremony." The recommendation is available here in English and French. [29/01/02]

China reports on wetlands and Ramsar progress 2001. The Ramsar Administrative Authority, or implementing agency, in the People's Republic of China has provided a report on its Ramsar-related activities for 2001, an impressive array of policy instruments and projects for wetland conservation and restoration in general and a large number of specifically Ramsar accomplishments, such as the translation and distribution of the Ramsar Toolkit, or "Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands", into the Chinese language. Read this brief report here. [18/01/02]

Chad designates its portion of Lake Chad as part of ongoing project. The Ramsar Bureau is delighted to announce the designation by Chad of its very large portion of Lake Chad, effective 11/01/02. This long-sought designation, officially named "Partie tchadienne du lac Tchad" (1,648,168 hectares, 14°20’N 013°37’E), comes within the framework of ongoing close cooperation among the Government of Chad, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Ramsar Bureau, WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), IUCN-The World Conservation Union, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Read more here about this impressive new site and about the project that will eventually bring all parts of the Lake Chad Basin under the Ramsar umbrella.[14/01/02]

Danube expert group launched. The Danube River Protection Convention DRPC (Sofia,1994) promotes cooperation for the protection and sustainable use of the Danube River and its tributaries. Thirteen Danubian states, all of them Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention, as well as the European Union, are Contracting Parties of the DRPC as well and have a vote in the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River ICPDR. The 4th Plenary Session of the ICPDR, held 29-30 November 2001 in Vienna, added a fifth expert group to its existing four, the so-called "Ecological Expert Group" ECO/EG, thus responding to the requirements of wetland restoration and management within the Danube Basin. Dr Gerhard Sigmund of Austria has provided further details here. [15/01/02]

Publication of the Handbook of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The final version of the official "Handbook of the Convention on Biological Diversity", compiled by the CBD Secretariat, was published in late 2001. The 690pp handbook contains the full texts of the Convention, the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety, and the Decisions of the Conference of the Parties from 1994 (COP1) to 2000 (COP5). The Handbook is indexed and presents all the most important information about the Convention and the Protocol, including a description of the background to the Convention and its institutional arrangements, a guide to the decisions adopted, and a guide to ongoing activities in relation to each Article of the Convention and thematic areas. The printed Handbook is accompanied by a CD-Rom which contains its text in electronic format and is indexed and cross-referenced with full search facilities. The Handbook is available from Earthscan ( ), normal published price £24.95, on-line discount price £21.21. It can also be downloaded in PDF format from the CBD Web site ( ). In the context of the development of joint activities and synergies at national and international levels between Ramsar and CBD, the Handbook provides an invaluable and comprehensive source of reference on the operations of the CBD, and the joint promotion of the sustainable use of biological diversity through CBD and Ramsar's Wise Use concept. -- reported by Nick Davidson, Ramsar. [14/01/02]

Peat wastage and archaeology in the Somerset wetlands. Richard Brunning, Somerset Levels and Moors Archaeologist, Somerset County Council in the UK, reports that "the evidence suggests that the rate of peat wastage in the Somerset moors is fast enough to destroy all the known nationally important waterlogged archaeological remains within the current century. This includes part of the Neolithic Sweet Track which is featured on your [World Wetlands Day] poster. Many sites are known to be already suffering from desiccation. The good news is that a partnership is being developed with many organisations to assess the threat to individual sites and take measures to provide them with a more sustainable future and also to present more information to the general public on the cultural heritage of the Somerset wetlands." Here is a brief feature story on this UK Ramsar site with further detail and references. [10/01/02]

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