The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 3 November 2003

Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento

Peru designates two high altitude wetlands. The Ramsar Bureau is delighted to announce that the Government of Peru has named two High Andean wetlands in Arequipa for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, effective 28 October 2003, bringing that Party's total to 10 Ramsar sites covering 6,777,547 hectares. Both are parts of the Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca. As described by Ramsar's Iván Darío Valencia based on the Ramsar Information Sheets, Bofedales y Laguna de Salinas (17,657 ha., 16º22´S 71º08W) is a salt high Andean lake in the Puna at 4,300m altitude, lying at the bottom of an endorrheic basin with geothermal activities amidst snow-capped mountains and volcanoes. Laguna del Indio - Dique de los Españoles (502 ha., 15º46´S 71º03'W) is a natural high Andean seasonal pool at over 4440m in the Puna which became permanent with the building of a reservoir serving the water needs of the city of Arequipa and which is used for hydroelectric power generation downstream. More details and a map of their locations within the National Reserve can be seen here. [31/10/03]

7th Neotropical Ornithological Congress, Chile. Iván Darío Valencia, Ramsar Assistant for the Americas, attended the VII Neotropical Ornithological Congress in Termas de Puyehue, Chile, from 5 to 12 October 2003. The Neotropical Ornithological Congress is an event hosted every four years gathering ornithologists, birdwatchers and other people working with birds in the Neotropics. This year it was organized by UNORCH - Unión de Ornitólogos de Chile and the Neotropical Ornithological Society, in the vicinity of Puyehue National Park, in southern Chile, close to the border with Argentina, in a magnificent scenario. The event convened over 400 people from all of the Americas. Iván Darío's brief report of Ramsar's participation can be seen here in English and Español, with a handful of his excellent photos from the field trip to the nearby Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary Ramsar site. [31/10/03]

Ramsar Advisory Mission under way for the Danube Delta. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé is in Kyiv and the Danube Delta Ramsar site called "Kyliiske Mouth" in Ukraine as part of a Ramsar Advisory Mission, 27-31 October, conducted jointly with the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (Jan Kvets) to look at the proposed plans to construct a navigation channel through the Bistroye river arm in the core zone of the Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar site. More details to follow. [29/10/03]

Brazil names National Wetlands Committee. Created under a decree by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil's newly constituted National Wetlands Committee held its first meeting on 24 October 2003. Ramsar Secretary General Peter Bridgewater, who was in Brazil for discussions with the Ministries of Environment and Foreign Affairs, was able to participate and noted that the creation of the committee is a doubly significant step forward because of the natural difficulties of forming such a group in a federal state. The committee was presided over by João Paulo Ribeiro Capobianco, Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests, Ministry of the Environment, and in attendance were Joao Mauricio Cabral de Mello, Environmental Division, Itamaraty (Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Maurício Mercadante, Director of Protected Areas - Ramsar Focal Point, Ministry of the Environment; Raquel Breda, International Adviser, MoE; João Bosco Senra, Secretary of Water Resources, MoE; Valmir Ortega, Pantanal Program, Secretariat of Environmental Quality, MoE; Gilney Viana, Secretary of Sustainable Development; Rômulo Barreto Mello, Director of Fauna and Fisheries, IBAMA; Bernardo Brummer, UNESCO, and a number of NGOs. Maria Carolina Hazin, Ramsar's daily contact, made a short presentation on the Convention. The composition of the Committee means that there will be wide participation and discussion across a complex Ministry as well as with relevant external bodies and NGOs, which will significantly help to make the linkages between environmental conventions even more effective in Brazil and provides an excellent model for the future. [29/10/03]

Kapar Dedication ceremony on Waterbird Strategy Web site.Taej Mundkur, Regional Programme Director Asia and Asia-Pacific Waterbird Strategy Coordination Officer for Wetlands International, writes: "An informative and illustrated report has been posted on the 10 October dedication ceremony of the Kapar Ash Ponds to the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network. The site is the first for Malaysia. The event was organised excellently by the Tenaga Nasional Berhad, the national power generation company and owner of the site. Visit the Wetlands International Web site for more details." [29/10/03]

International Symposium on mangrove conservation."The International Symposium on Conservation and Wise Use of Mangroves in Southeast Asia", jointly organised by the Forestry Department of Brunei Darussalam, University Brunei Darussalam and the Ramsar Center Japan, was held on the 6th-8th of October 2003 in Bander Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Attended by more than 80 participants and experts from Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Viet Nam, the symposium set out to present the results of a joint project on the wise use of mangroves by the three organising institutions, to receive comments and suggestions from the experts, and also to establish information networks for mangroves in Southeast Asian countries. Ramsar’s Lei Guangchun, Regional Advisor for Asia, gave a presentation on "The Ramsar Convention as an International Instrument for Mangrove Conservation and Wise Use" and strongly encouraged Brunei Darussalam to accede to the Ramsar Convention in the near future.Here's a brief report by Reiko Nakamura, Ramsar Centre Japan, with photos. [24/10/2003]

Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation celebrates its 25th anniversary. During the celebration, held on 22 October 2003 in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Ramsar's Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, delivered a keynote address where he said, Historically your three countries have been world leaders in promoting the need to establish and manage protected areas in a wider context.” The Wadden Sea area includes 8 Ramsar sites, collectively covering over 1,000,000 hectares. From a Ramsar perspective he urged the three countries “to remain vigilant” in their efforts to avoid the further loss and degradation of their wetland habitats as well as the negative consequences of the intensification of agriculture “and increase the degree to which your national boundaries become blurred in the management strategies pursued in the Wadden Sea.” Dr Bridgewater used the opportunity to launch the Durban Link, a 10-point action plan towards achieving more sustainable protected areas while solving other pressing social and environmental issues, agreed at the recently concluded World Parks Congress in  South Africa. Read Peter's keynote address here. The Durban Link is available in PDF format in Danish, Dutch, English and German here. [22/10/2003]

International seminar on the shores of Lake Sevan Ramsar site.Current issues of conservation and wise use of wetlands and wetland biodiversity in the European New Independent States was the subject of a seminar organized 15-19 September 2003 by the Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection and the NGO “Professional and Entrepreneurial Orientation Union”, with financial support from Ramsar’s Small Grants Fund and USAID (via Lakenet). The audience, including 64 wetland and Ramsar experts from western countries, central European EU accession countries and Central Asian states as well as a number of key international organisations, heard a presentation about Ramsar challenges as well as several case studies highlighting ongoing major programmes, such as the conservation of biodiversity in the Caucasus region, global action on peatlands, the trilateral Ramsar initiative in the Morava-Dyie floodplains and presentations of different national projects and plans. Ramsar’s Tobias Salathé attended this meeting and noted that the seminar “provided a useful test for subregional meetings to exchange and discuss current Ramsar topics and their relationship to the socio-economic reality of countries in transition”. Here's his report. [17/10/03]

Climate change and deltas seminar. Climatic change and foreseeable impacts on deltas: a new challenge for the conservation of protected areas was the title of a seminar organized 8-9 October 2003 by the Ramsar site managers network Delta chiama Delta the small lagoon town of Comacchio, seat of the administration of the Po Delta Regional Park of Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. The seminar was followed by a short boat trip to the Valli di Comacchio, the coastal lagoons transformed for fish farming and waterfowl hunting since ancient times, including a visit of the former eel harvesting and canning facilities at Serilla Casone, now turned into a historical museum and visitor centre evoking the many cultural and natural heritage values of the Comacchio lagoon Ramsar Site. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé reports on these and related events and concludes that "these gatherings are a sign of the many bottom-up activities generated in the Po Delta area by the Emilia-Romagna Regional Park and its many partners nearby and abroad. They present encouraging signs for the establishment of very active networks of wetlands (and Ramsar Sites) managers to exchange experience and lessons to be learned." Here is his brief report. [15/10/03]

Moldova designates the Lower Dniester. The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Moldova, which joined the Convention in 2000, has designated its second Wetland of International Importance, effective 20 August 2003. Lower Dniester (Nistru de Jos) lies on both sides of the Dniester in Tighina and Slodozia districts and covers a surface area of 60,000 hectares. As Ramsar's Estelle Gironnet makes clear in her description of the site, based on the extraordinarily well-made Ramsar Information Sheets, the riverine habitats support a number of endangered and threatened bird and fish species and have an exceptional archaeological importance as well. Moreover, they help to complete the Ramsar status of the transboundary Dniester Delta, with two existing Ramsar sites in Ukraine. Here you will find Estelle's site description, and here you will find a page of nice photographs of the site, and here you will find a reprint of the exemplary RIS datasheets that accompanied this newest commitment by the Republic of Moldova to the well-being of its wetland resources. [14/10/03] [Français] [Español]

Vietnam adopts Decree on the conservation and development of wetlands. Pham Dinh Viet Hong, Ramsar Vietnam, reports that "a decision on the approval of a decree on the conservation and development of wetlands was signed by the Prime Minister Phan Van Khai on 23 September 2003", thus providing an important legal basis for promoting sustainable management of wetlands in Vietnam. Following this decree, she says, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will issue the "Strategic Action Plan on the Conservation and Sustainable Exploitation of Wetlands to 2010" and will make strong efforts to designate three new Ramsar sites over the next two years. Here is her brief report on the decree and planned follow-up. [13/10/03]

Ramsar-related Recommendations from the World Parks Congress. The Vth IUCN World Parks Congress was held in Durban, South Africa, from 8 to 17 September 2003, and Ramsar's Secretary General Peter Bridgewater participated as leader of the "stream" on Linkages in the Landscape and Seascape. All of the WPC's 32 Recommendations are available on the IUCN Web site, but those from the Linkages stream bear a particularly strong relevance to the Ramsar community, and those six have been reprinted here. The full report and other outputs of the WPC stream on Linkages in the Landscape and Seascape are also available on the Web site of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM). [10/10/03]

France joins AEWA. On 30 September 2003 France deposited its instruments of ratification of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). France will become as of 1 of December 2003 the 43rd Contracting Party to the Agreement. France covers 551,600 km2 and is in particular important to congregatory waterbirds. So are the coastal wetlands of importance for waders migrating to and from breeding and wintering grounds. This country is also of importance to wintering waterbirds e.g. Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber (40 % of the total European population), Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla, Gadwall Anas strepera and Pied Avoset Recurvirostra avosetta. Over the last few months several countries of the EU joined. The last four EU countries are finalizing the internal process to join the Agreement in due course. The Secretariat hopes that this might be a clear signal of the value of AEWA regarding conservation of migratory waterbirds to Ranges States in other regions and that this will lead to more accessions in the nearby future. Finally on behalf of the Contracting Parties the UNEP/ AEWA Secretariat welcomes France to the 'AEWA family'. -- reported by Bert Lenten, Executive Secretary of AEWA. [09/10/03]

Wetland restoration in its legal context. At the Global Biodiversity Forum 17 preceding the Ramsar COP8 in Valencia, November 2002, Prof Roy Gardner of the Stetson University College of Law in Florida, USA, presented a very-well-received talk on the legal aspects of wetland restoration, especially in the Ramsar context, now supplemented by his comprehensive article in the Catholic University Law Review (Washington, D.C., USA), vol. 52, no. 3 (spring 2003), pages 573-620, entitled "Rehabilitating nature: a comparative review of legal mechanisms that encourage wetland restoration efforts". Prof Gardner's article first discusses the definition of the term "wetland restoration" and then began its analysis with "Restoration incentives in international law" (with a strong emphasis upon Ramsar but with due attention to the CBD, the CMS and its AEWA, and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, as well as the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol). Following which, he considers "Non-regulatory financial incentives to restore wetlands", then "Non-cash incentives outside of traditional, permit-based regulatory programs" and then "Restoration incentives in regulatory programs", including consideration of 'wetland mitigation banking' in the USA. With as much text in the footnotes as in the article, Prof Gardner's article offers not only a substantial review of the subject but a fine entry-point into the literature as well. Bill Streever (BP Exploration, Alaska), who created the Ramsar mini-Web site on wetland restoration for the Ramsar STRP, has successfully besought Prof Gardner to permit the re-publication of this important Catholic University Law Review article on this Web site in PDF format. Here is the enabling correspondence from Drs Streever and Gardner, and here too is the 2.1MB PDF article itself (you'll need Adobe's free Acrobat PDF Reader in order to view this file). [08/10/03]

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