The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 May 2003
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline story. Global Biodiversity Forum for Eastern Europe and the CIS. On 23-25 April 2003, the GBF held its first Regional Session for Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (of the former USSR) in Chisinau (Kishinev in Russian), the capital of the Republic of Moldova which joined the Ramsar Convention in 2000. The meeting was perfectly organized by IUCN-the World Conservation Union, through their Moscow-based office for Russia and the CIS, and by Biotica, the Ecological Society of Moldova. It brought together more than 150 participants from Moldova, Russia, most of the CIS states, Estonia, Lithuania, and Romania, as well as representatives of the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, GEF, UNESCO Man and Biosphere, the European Centre for Nature Conservation, the Ramsar Convention and others. Here Ramsar's Tobias Salathé supplies a brief report on the meeting and a subsequent field visit to the Prut River floodplain, with a few photos. [01/05/03]
Headline story. Estonia names 11th Ramsar site. The Ramsar Bureau is pleased to announce that the Government of Estonia has designated Laidevahe Nature Reserve (2,424 hectares, 58o18'N 022o49'E), a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Important Bird Area, for inclusion in the Ramsar List. A mosaic wetland complex with broad diversity of lagoons, shallow coastal lakes, more than 40 islets, coastal saltmarshes, and extensive reedbeds, the new site is part of the core area of the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve (1990). Among the wetlands occur patches of boreo-nemoral broadleaved forests, alvars and dry meadows. When water levels are low, mudflats are exposed and several islets connect with each other. The site preserves representative examples of several wetland types of the Boreal biogeographic region within one complex, and it is a refuge for many rare and endangered plant and bird species. Two migratory species - the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis and the Dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii - are present with more than 1% of their biogeographic populations, and the site is an important foraging, spawning and nursery ground for a long list of fish. Among the main human uses are small-scale farming and forestry, livestock grazing, reed harvesting, subsistence fishing and hunting. Famous cultural monuments situated nearby are Püha Church and Valjala Castle. An Estonian traditional, but threatened, race of horses is bred nearby. Overgrowing of meadows due to a decrease in grazing and mowing rates is seen as a potential threat, as are intensification of commercial and recreational activities and privatization of land. A master "green" plan for local municipalities, including references to Laidevahe, has been adopted by the authorities, and a separate management plan for the reserve is to be drafted by June 2003. The Estonian Native Horse Conservation Society and the Society for the Protection of Seminatural Communities have initiated restoration of coastal meadows and pastures within the site. (Site description by Sergei Dereliev, Ramsar.) Estonia now has 11 Ramsar sites covering 218,374 hectares. [30/04/03]
Now available.The National Planning Tool / COP9 National Report Form, as adopted by the 29th Meeting of the Standing Committee in February 2003, is now available in MS Word format, in a self-extracting ZIP file. Download the English version here. [30/04/03]
Headline story.Brazil chooses Pantanal site for the Ramsar List. The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands is delighted to announce that Brazil has designated a significant portion of the Pantanal in Mato Grosso State as a Wetland of International Importance, the Reserva Particular do Patrimonio Natural SESC Pantanal, to complement the related 135,000-hectare Pantanal Matogrossense Ramsar site. An extraordinarily interesting feature of Brazil's 8th site is the fact that it is an extensive privately owned protected area, with government authorization, and includes such management aids as 5 fire control towers, an airplane, 6 boats, 6 all-terrain vehicles, and 26 professional staff and 16 trained rangers, and 1 airplane pilot. The separately-managed hotel employs 100 people, a 500-square-meter visitors' centre is in construction, and a nearby social ecotourism lodge on the other side of the Cuiabá River has 120 beds -- currently, around 10,000 visitors come to enjoy the reserve per year. The Serviço Nacional do Comercio (SESC) is a non-profit organization created by law and funded through an annual contribution from private enterprises, with branches in every state in the country. As a reserva particular de partimônio natural (RPPN), its legal status is said to differ from a national park only in terms of ownership; the owner could legally sell the area but, under the RPPN law, only if the objective of nature protection would not be altered. Here is a brief description of the site, in English and Spanish, drawn from the Ramsar Information Sheet by Ramsar's Julio Montes de Oca. [30/04/03]
STRP11 group photo, April 2003
|Ramsar Trivia: Where was the 1971 Ramsar conference meant to be held? Answer.|
Delmar Blasco, Secretary General, is participating in a roundtable on post-conflict environmental issues in Iraq at UNEP headquarters, Tuesday 29 April, in Geneva, Switzerland. [29/04/03]
Seminar set for Armenia. Karen Jenderedjian (email@example.com), Leading Specialist, Ministry of Nature Protection, writes that, with the help of a 2002 grant from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund, "The Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia, the Ramsar Convention Bureau, the Professional and Entrepreneurial Orientation Union, and LakeNet are pleased to announce the International Seminar Current Issues of Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands and Wetland Biodiversity in The European New Independent States to be held in Sevan, Armenia from 15 to 19 September, 2003. Information letter and application form in English and in Russian (Word format) are here." [29/04/03]
IV Simposio Internacional Humedales 2003. El Lic. Angel Alfonso Martínez, Director de la Unidad de Medio Ambiente CITMA, Matanzas (firstname.lastname@example.org) nos informa del IV Simposio Internacional Humedales 2003: "La Conservación y Uso Sostenible de los Humedales en el próximo milenio", a llevarse a cabo en Ciénaga de Zapata (sitio Ramsar), Matanzas, Cuba en Octubre del 2003. Sírvanse encontrar adjuntos los detalles del evento, incluyendo el llamado a contribución de trabajos y el formulario de inscripción.
Lic. Angel Alfonso Martínez, Director, CITMA Environment Unit, Matanzas, Cuba (email@example.com) has recently informed us of the upcoming "IV International Symposium on Wetlands - 2003: Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in the Next Millennium", to take place in Ciénaga de Zapata (Ramsar site), Matanzas, Cuba, October 2003. Please find attached a description of the event (Spanish), including the call for papers and registration form. [29/04/03]
Vacancy announcements. BirdLife International seeks Communications Manager andIndonesia Forests Campaign Coordinator. The Communications Manager - Campaigns and Media, based in the UK, will lead the press and media activities of BirdLife International, coordinate collation and redistribution of news from national Partner organizations, and manage press work for BirdLife public campaigns. The Indonesia Forests Campaign Coordinator, also based in the UK, will act as Coordinator of the BirdLife International campaign "Saving the Rainforests of Indonesia", an exciting new position requiring excellent campaigning experience, networking, lobbying and coordination skills. Further details of these positions and application information here. [link later removed] [25/04/03]
Now available. Socio-Economics of Wetlands. Launched at Ramsar's COP8 by Wetlands International and RIZA (Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment), The Socio-Economics of Wetlands, is now available in PDF format from Wetlands International's Web site. In the Foreword to this 34-page booklet, Ramsar's Delmar Blasco and RIZA'a Bart Fokkens write "Until it is widely accepted that wetland values can be significant and should be investigated prior to making development decisions, the world's wetland resources will continue to decrease despite many good intentions. The challenge now is to raise the awareness of these facts; a challenge that this booklet takes up. It explains the fundamentals of the socio-economic wetland values, their evaluation and role in decision making in a clear and accessible format." The booklet will soon be available for purchase on-line in hard copy through the Natural History Book Service, the distributors of Wetlands International titles (check the WI Web site under "Publications"). [23/04/03]
Vacancy announcement. Wetlands International: Technical Assistant (Ramsar Sites Database Service). Wetlands International provides services to the Bureau of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and now invites applications for the full time post of Technical Assistant supporting the Ramsar Sites Database Service. The Ramsar Sites Database Service holds official information about designated Ramsar Sites and manages this information on behalf of the Convention in a dedicated web-based database, as well as maintaining extensive paper records. The post of Technical Assistant (Ramsar Sites Database Service), part of WI's Inventory, Assessment and Monitoring Programme, contributes work on the Ramsar Sites Database and reports to the Senior Technical Officer (Wetland Inventory), and it is located within Wetlands International's offices in Wageningen, The Netherlands, where the global operations team is based. The post will be offered to the successful candidate for an initial period of one year, renewable by mutual consent. The announcement is reprinted here [link later removed] and is also available on Wetlands International's Web site. The deadline for applications is 30 April 2003. [Please do not contact the Ramsar Bureau directly about this post.] [17/04/03]
MedWet joined by Administrative Assistant. The MedWet Coordination Unit, the Convention's regional initiative for the Mediterranean based in Athens, has announced that Ms Efrossyni Mantziou has joined the now-five-member team at Villa Kazouli as of early April. Spyros Kouvelis, the MedWet Coordinator, says "Frosso will be responsible for all secretarial duties in the Medwet Coordination Unit, organising and updating the MedWet network databases, providing support for the organization of the MedWet/Com meetings, organising other office meetings and events, and undertaking as appropriate in-office and out-of-office tasks. Frosso speaks very good English and French, as well as her mother tongue of Greek." Previously she has worked with the Greek Deputy Minister for the Environment, the Ministry of Culture, Greenpeace-Greece, and as an archaeologist with the Department of Underwater Antiquities. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. [17/04/03]
Now available. Ramsar COP8 proceedings on CD-ROM. The CD-ROM version of the COP8 proceedings is available now. It has a language-choice starting page which leads to parallel French, English, and Spanish mini-Web sites, each of which has the Conference Report; the Resolutions in HTML, Word, and PDF; the other COP8 documents; the National Reports in PDF; and the participants lists in PDF. There is an autorun on it, so if you're using a Windows PC it should start up automatically. All of this material has been available on the Ramsar Web site for some time, but if you need the CD-ROM version please send your postal address to Valerie Higgins, email@example.com. [17/04/03]
Announcement. Foro Internacional de Humedales Urbanos / International Urban Wetlands Forum, Colombia, 28-30 May 2003. Conservación Internacional Colombia y el Acueducto de Bogotá han unido esfuerzos desde el año 1999 para la puesta en marcha de un proyecto de recuperación y rehabilitación de los humedales urbanos de la ciudad de Bogotá. En el marco de este proyecto se esta organizando un Foro sobre el manejo de humedales urbanos, con la participación de expertos internacionales que darán a conocer sus múltiples experiencias. Más. [16/04/03]
Conservation International of Colombia and the Aqueduct of Bogotá have joined efforts since 1999 to carry out a project for the recuperation and rehabilitation of the urban wetlands of Bogotá. One of the Project's objectives is to strengthen the knowledge about wetland management and conservation in the region. With this purpose, a Forum on the management of urban wetlands will be held, with the participation of international experts, who will share their vast experience on the subject. More details here. [16/04/03]
Society of Wetland Scientists announces Ramsar Grants for 2002. The Society of Wetland Scientists manages a Ramsar Support Grant Program, established in 1999, to advance Ramsar Convention objectives, including the selection, designation, management, and networking of Ramsar sites; and the promotion of Ramsar's Wise Use guidelines. Projects are funded at a level of US$5,000 per year on a competitive basis as reviewed by an evaluation team, which typically includes 3 SWS International Chapter members, a Ramsar Bureau representative, and a representative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of International Conservation. The following three projects received support by the grant program's 2002 round of grant-making. Two additional projects may also be funded pending the availability of matching funds. 1. Mr. Le Dien Duc, National University of Hanoi, Vietnam, is receiving a grant to establish a community-based bee keeping industry in the mangroves of the Xuan Thuy Ramsar Site, Red River Estuary, North Vietnam. 2. Dr. Enrique Bucher, Universidad de Cordoba, Argentina, is receiving a grant to develop a Management Plan for Mar Chiquita, Argentina, a Ramsar Site designated in 2002. 3. Dr. Vitalii Lobcenco, BIOTICA Ecological Society, Moldova, is receiving a grant to pursue designation of a new Ramsar Site at the middle Dniester River. Eric Gilman of the National Audubon Society and Chair of the International Chapter of the SWS here provides more background on the SWS and descriptions of the three successful proposals. [15/04/03]
New Assistant to the Regional Coordinator for the Americas. The Bureau is very pleased to announce that Iván Darío Valencia Rodríguez from Colombia has been chosen to replace the irreplaceable Julio Montes de Oca in the Bureau's post of intern/assistant to the Regional Coordinator for the Americas, to begin in mid-June depending upon Swiss permit processes. Iván Darío studied geography and graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá in December 2002, with a thesis on the habitat and geographical distribution of the lark Eremophila alpestris peregrine on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in Colombia. Through the Asociación Bogotana de Ornitología (ABO), one of the leading birdwatcher associations in Colombia, Iván Darío has been involved in environmental education activities including bird surveys, celebrating World Wetlands Day, writing articles, designing an educational programme for teachers working near urban wetlands, and currently he is coordinating the aquatic bird censuses in the region. Spanish is his mother tongue and besides being fluent in English, he also has a good knowledge of Norwegian and Portuguese and some French and German. The secretariat is very pleased to be able to welcome Iván Darío to our team. [15/04/03]
Ramsar and LakeNet sign MOC. The LakeNet NGO (based in Annapolis, Maryland, USA), with its global initiative to protect and restore the health of the world's lakes, is making an active contribution to the protection of lake ecosystems and the human communities that depend on them by promoting the wise use of the wetland resources and, through its online information services and stakeholder and expert networks, providing a source of information and expertise. LakeNet and the Ramsar Convention share a common goal in the conservation and wise use of lake ecosystems for people and nature, and the conservation aims of LakeNet and the aims expressed in the text of the Ramsar Convention and its Strategic Plan 2003-2008 are fully synergistic. Both LakeNet and Ramsar, in order to formalize the cooperation between their secretariats, seized the occasion of Ramsar's 11th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation to run the duration of the Strategic Plan 2003-2008, with Delmar Blasco, Ramsar's SG, and David Read Barker, President of LakeNet, applying ink to the parchment on 11 April 2003 in the Ramsar facilities in IUCN HQ in Switzerland. View the brief text of the MOC and photos of the signing right here. And then view LakeNet's brilliant Web site at http://www.worldlakes.org/. [14/04/03]
Further results from the STRP. The 11th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel has completed its third day with thankfully few casualties, and closes its agenda and lightens its heavy brows today with the final adoption of its work plan for 2003-2005 for transmittal to the Standing Committee. The Expert Working Groups have been established for the six priority areas of work mandated by the Standing Committee, and each of them has worked through its own work plan and timelines, and there have been sparkling debates on the other, lower priority areas and "cross-cutting issues", and then a nice dinner in Nyon on the penultimate evening. Today, Friday, the whole thing will be finalized and everybody will go home, if the airlines are still operating. In the meantime, the best news is still the Marsh Toads' victory over the Swamp Rats, truly something for the annals of trivia quizzing, and the Guinness book is rumored to be interested in securing rights to the photo just below. [10/04/03]
Early results of the 11th meeting of the STRP: Marsh Toads 63, Swamp Rats 52. In the Grand Battle of the IOPs, the Swamp Rats squandered a sizable early lead of 42 to 34 and were roundly buffeted by the Marsh Toads -- "humiliated" would not be too strong a word -- in the 45 Ramsar quiz questions. At the end of day one of STRP11 (results of which will be announced in due course), two of the Ramsar Convention's International Organization Partners (Wetlands International and IUCN-The World Conservation Union), going by the name of the Swamp Rats, squared off against the other two (WWF International and BirdLife International), the Marsh Toads, and gave new meaning to the words "apparently rendered helpless by a demonstration of greater knowledge and preparation and some help from the judges". Contestants strove earnestly to name the Convention's four Founding Fathers, identify the smallest Ramsar site and the largest, unscramble the letters of stork varieties, identify a sitatunga and the Ramsar hotel where the Convention was signed in 1971, and name the future Chair of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel pictured left in 1974. More details here. [09/04/03]
River basin task force for China's Yangtze River. Top-level government officials and international development organizations together launched a task force aimed at providing policy recommendations to top leaders of China's State Council on how to implement an integrated approach to solve river basin issues and restore the balance of nature and people in the Yangtze. CCICED (China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development) is a high-level consultative body providing strategic consultation to China's State Council concerning the environment and development issues. Its Task Force on Integrated River Basin Management (IBRM) was officially launched in Beijing on 27-28 March 2003, and consists of twelve prominent experts, six from China and six international experts from the Netherlands, UK, US, Japan, the Ramsar Convention Bureau, and WWF International -- Alain Lambert will be representing the Ramsar Bureau. Here is WWF's press release with further details. [08/04/03]
Southwestern Switzerland girding loins for STRP's 11th meeting. The 11th meeting of the Convention's advisory subsidiary body, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), will be taking place in Gland in the Suisse Romande area of Switzerland, where civil defense units are leaping to orange alert. [Thumbnail left: New STRP chair Max Finlayson at STRP10, with George Zalidis and Mike Alexander.] The 15 expert members, newly-elected by COP8 in Valencia in November, are already joining the airport security queues all over the world on a regionally proportionate basis, and will be joined in Gland by representatives of the Convention's four International Organization Partners (BirdLife International, IUCN-the World Conservation Union, Wetlands International, and the Worldwide Fund for Nature International), as well as still more expert representatives of a large number of observer scientific organizations and of some of the other global Multilateral Environment Agreements, some 70 participants in all (not counting the hired help). STRP VIPs are arriving today, Monday, for preliminary planning meetings, and the ponderous plenaries get underway tomorrow, under Max Finlayson's hopefully able chairmanship. The chief purpose of this meeting is to sort through all of the many tasks requested of the STRP by the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and the 46 Resolutions adopted by the COP in Valencia, cogitate upon the priorities suggested by the Standing Committee at its 29th meeting, February 2003, and then develop its own work plan for this triennium 2003-2005, with Expert Working Group assignments and their planned outputs and timelines and what not else. A very busy week for a lot of people, but, for many more people in this world, enviable nonetheless. Reports and, eventually, photos will be available here as these historic events unfold. [07/04/03]
From the Ramsar Forum. Advice on golf courses. "Dear Forum members - I am interested to make contact with anyone who has experience or knows of resource materials relating to artificial wetlands created in a golf course setting and that are designed to provide broader waste water (meaning storm water runoff here) benefits within a local catchment as well as biodiversity and amenity improvements. I have a situation where a golf course manager is seeking to link up (if you'll excuse the pun!) with others that are trying to make the 'water hazards' on their course perform other functions like water polishing, biodiversity conservation etc. Any feedback would be appreciated." Dr Bill Phillips, Director, MainStream Environmental Consulting, 8 Huon Place, Lyons, ACT, 2606, Australia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web site: www.mainstream.com.au. [07/04/03]
A new publication on páramos and high mountain ecosystems for Latin America. The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) of Colombia has recently published the title Páramos y Ecosistemas Alto Andinos de Colombia en Condición HotSpot y Global Climatic Tensor (Páramos and High Andean Ecosystems in Colombia Under HotSpot and Global Climatic Tensor Conditions), in the framework of the World Congress on Páramos, which took place in Paipa, Colombia, 13-18 of May, 2002, with financial support from the Ramsar's Wetlands for the Future Fund (WFF) and Conservation International - Colombia. Julio Montes de Oca provides more detail on the book, in English and Español, and some photos.
El Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales (IDEAM) publicó recientemente el libro Páramos y Ecosistemas Alto Andinos de Colombia en Condición HotSpot y Global Climatic Tensor en el marco del Congreso Mundial de Páramos, llevado a cabo en Paipa, Colombia, del 13 al 18 de mayo del 2002. Cabe mencionar que la organización del Congreso recibió el apoyo financiero del Fondo Humedales para el Futuro (FHF) de la Convención de Ramsar, así como de Conservación Internacional - Colombia.
Job announcement. BirdLife seeks Cambodia Programme Manager.Rosina Abudulai, Human Resources/Training Officer, BirdLife International, announces that BirdLife in Indochina is seeking a Cambodia Programme Manager, an initially 3-year posting to be based in Phnom Penh. The overall purpose of the job is to initiate, manage, develop and strengthen the BirdLife Cambodia Programme so that it can play an ever more effective role in conservation in Cambodia. Here are the terms of reference and the contact details. [link later removed] [03/04/03]
South Australia launches landmark Wetland Strategy. Bill Phillips writes: "The state government of South Australia chose World Wetlands Day this year to launch what is now considered the benchmark wetland strategy in Australia. Why a benchmark ? This is the first time one of our state governments has deliberately positioned such a policy document under its State Water Plan, meaning that the primary delivery mechanism will be through what are called the Catchment Water Management Boards. As the name suggests these are catchment-based multistakeholder bodies that are responsible for developing and implementing integrated water resource management. The wetland strategy sits beside and is designed to work in an integrated way with the actions being taken to manage riparian zones, floodplains, water-dependent ecosystems and the allocations of water for the environment. Also important is the fact that the strategy sets out a range of actions to promote local actions, institutional and resourcing arrangements, community awareness, the recognition and management of Ramsar sites, wetland inventory and data management and priority research directed at guiding future management." Photos of the strategy development team are available here.[02/04/03]
New publication for Argentina's Laguna Iberá.Dr. Jorge Casciotta (email@example.com), of the Museum of La Plata, La Plata National University, Argentina, informs us about the presentation of the new Spanish language publication "Los peces de la Laguna Iberá" (Fishes of Laguna Iberá) produced in the framework of the Ramsar Wetlands for the Future-sponsored project, "Ichtyofauna of Laguna Iberá and its importance in the Reserve's designation as a Ramsar site". / El Dr. Jorge Casciotta (firstname.lastname@example.org), del Museo de la Plata en la Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, nos informa de la presentación de la nueva publicación "Los peces de la Laguna Iberá", la cual ha sido desarrollada en el marco del proyecto "La ictiofauna de la laguna Iberá y su importancia en la designación de la reserva como sitio Ramsar" apoyado por el Fondo Humedales para el Futuro de la Convención de Ramsar. [01/04/03]
Club Pantanal Otuquis and the Puppets of the Pantanal. During the week of March 24 through the 31, the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is hosting a Puppet Festival organized by the "Duendes de la Caverna" (Cave Goblins) and the Municipal Cultural authority. Among its participants are a group of 9 children known as "Club Pantanal Otuquis" from the city of Puerto Suarez, located in the Bolivian Pantanal. Ana Alicia Eid, Communications Coordinator, WWF Bolivia in Santa Cruz, provides more details and two photos. [01/04/03]
MedWet/Regions' first meeting held in Palma. The kick off meeting (first meeting of its Steering Commitee) was held in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on 6 and 7 March. In that meeting, the programme partners discussed and agreed on administrative and technical aspects of the project. This is a project that was prepared by Tour du Valat on behalf of Ramsar's MedWet Initiative and approved by the EU INTERREG MEDOC funding programme. It brings together 11 Regions from Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Morocco, and includes activities for wetlands management, inventory and public awareness. The approval of this project is a great success and big news for MedWet. For comprehensive information on the programme objectives, partners, sites and activities (and some photos too) see: http://www.medwet.org/news/MWRegions.htm.
Progress on the Prespa Park. On 29 March 2003, the Prespa Park Coordination Committee, bringing together representatives of Albania, Greece and the FYR of Macedonia, as well as Ramsar / MedWet, held a special meeting in the Greek village of Aghios Germanos. This extraordinary session had as a purpose to evaluate the proposed structure and management of a project development phase (PDF B) for a large (close to € 15 million) GEF programme, which will address biodiversity and sustainability issues in the Prespa Lakes region. Already the German government, through KfW - the Bank for Reconstruction, has committed a considerable part of the necessary funds. Here is Senior MedWet Advisor Thymio Papayannis' brief report of the outcomes. [01/04/03]
Now available. Ramsar and the Small Island Developing States. "Since 1994, when the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States was adopted, the Ramsar Convention Bureau has supported a number of activities to assist these States in its implementation.Within the 14 agreed priority areas and actions related to environmental and development planning that should be undertaken by SIDS with the cooperation and assistance of the international community, Ramsar concentrated its support on activities related to providing support for developing and implementing integrated coastal zone management plans and strategies; design of monitoring programmes for coastal and marine resources, and support for accession to the Ramsar Convention and the United Nations Environment Programme Specially Protected Areas Protocol for the Wider Caribbean." Here Ramsar's Margarita Astrálaga provides an overview of Ramsar's work with the SIDS, complete with annexes showing Ramsar sites located in those states and Ramsar SGF and WFF financial support for projects for their benefit. [28/03/03] [Left: Lake Pangua on the Fly River floodplain, Papua New Guinea (Photo: Roger Jaensch)]
In memoriam. Jan Rooth. "With the recent death of Jan Rooth, a man who had been involved in the Convention since its earliest days, Ramsar has lost another of its oldest supporters and warmest advocates." Mike Smartremembers the man who was involved in the evolution of the Convention from the MAR Conference in the Camargue in 1962, through the Noordwijk Conference in his native Netherlands in 1966, to the inaugural conference in Ramsar in 1971 and subsequent meetings of the Conference of the Parties. Here is Mike's brief tribute to the life and career of Jan Rooth. [27/03/03]
New member of the Ramsar Asia team announced. The Ramsar Bureau is delighted to announce that Ms Liazzat Rabbiosi of Kazakhstan has accepted the position of Intern/Assistant to the Regional Coordinator for Asia, to begin in late April 2003 and to replace, as if that were possible, Ms Jia Ma of China. Liazzat has a BA in English and French languages (1996) from Kazakh State University of World Languages, Almaty; in addition, her native language is Russian, she has a good knowledge of Kazakh, and some basic knowledge of Italian. She has worked as an interpreter in Almaty and as a assistant on the project "Water Resources of the Aral Sea" under the direction of the Kazakh State Academy of Architecture and Construction. In 2000, she obtained a master's degree in environmental studies from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK (Graduate School of Environmental Studies), with a thesis on environmental problems related to the Caspian Sea. Since October 2001 she has been working as a researcher with an environmental management consultancy firm in Edinburgh, Scotland, particularly in the field of oil and gas industry experience. Liazzat's experiences and language skills will assist the Bureau in spreading the Ramsar message in Central Asia. [27/03/03]
New Ramsar Assistant for Europe named. The Bureau is also very pleased to announce that Ms Estelle Gironnet of France has been selected to replace Sergei Dereliev of Bulgaria as our Intern/Assistant to the Regional Coordinator for Europe, to begin in May. Estelle has a master's in biology from the Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, having focused on the functioning of a water treatment station. Her work experiences are diverse: In 2000, she worked briefly in the Nature Park of Luberon in southern France, assisting the manager of this wildlife rescue centre. In 2001, she spent nine months at the Doñana research station (Spain) to study the impact on birds of the Aznalcollar mine spill, followed by six months in Greece with the Katelios Association for Research and Protection of Wildlife, where she worked in the field of environmental education for the conservation and reproduction of marine turtles. Besides her native language, French, Estelle is fluent in English and Spanish and has some knowledge of Italian and Greek. In providing the information for this announcement, Ramsar's Administrator Annette Keller points out that Estelle, from Western Europe, will be succeeding four Ramsar interns in a row from Eastern Europe. [27/03/03]
Now available. Turkey's National Wetlands Strategy for 2003-2008. Turkey has been accepted as one of the most important countries of both Europe and the Middle East as regards wetlands. The two main reasons for this are 1) the rich and widespread wetland habitats (71 wetlands of international importance have been determined according to Ramsar's fish and waterfowl criteria. Following the evaluations which will be realized according to vegetation and other animal species this amount will be increased), and the geographical characteristics which give rise to the passage of two main migratory routes of the west palearctic region. Since becoming party to the convention, 4 sites in 1994 and 5 sites in 1998 have been designated as Ramsar site in Turkey. In 2002, the Regulation on Conservation of Wetlands was put into force, and became an instrument for improving the conservation of these wetlands - the "National Wetlands Committee" which was established through this regulation became an important tool to develop coordination and collaboration between relevant institutions. "2003-2008 National Wetlands Strategic Plan for Turkey" was prepared with the participation of delegates from all relevant governmental institutions, NGOs, and stakeholders based on Ramsar 2003-2008 Strategic Plan approved by COP8, and will become an important guidebook for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. [text adapted from the introduction] Turkey's English version of its new strategy has been reproduced here. [26/03/03]
More to follow. Watch this space. Feedback and suggestions are welcome 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.