The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 2 April 2004

Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento

Ramsar visit to Uganda to scope out COP9 preparations. In mid-March 2004, a Ramsar team of three -- Peter Bridgewater, the Secretary General, Abou Bamba, the Senior Advisor for Africa, and Sebastià Semene -- visited Kampala in order to liaison with Ugandan government officials and wetlands staff on the progress of the preparations for the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, scheduled for mid-November 2005, and to assess the planned facilities in light of the past COP exigencies, which are many and varied. The Ramsar team came away profoundly cheered by the level of COP-enthusiasm in all the people they met and confident that suitable facilities will be readied for the occasion. With the help and prior planning of Paul Mafabi, Assistant Commissioner for Wetlands and for many years our 'daily contact' in the Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, Dr Bridgewater's team had the opportunity to view the prospective facilities, take part in delayed World Wetlands Day celebrations, meet ministers, hold press conferences, and liaison with the in-country COP team, and promulgate a "media release". It's all here. [31/03/04]


Spotlight on the Evian Project. Since early 1998, the private-sector Danone Group has devoted considerable sums of money to assisting the Ramsar Convention in achieving our common goals for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and water resources. Dedicated principally to capacity-building and outreach activities, Evian Project funds have been instrumental in holding training and awareness workshops all over the world, facilitating the setting up of Ramsar information centres, producing communications and CEPA materials for the Convention (including our leaflets, our magnificent exhibition, and most of our World Wetlands Day materials provided free to the public), and ... and ... and too many more things to mention here. An additional protocol signed in Paris on 22 March 2004 will provide matching funds for the WWF Living Waters Programme in the pursuit of Ramsar objectives in the Andean paramos region, the Niger River Basin, the wetlands of the Himalayas, and the Mekong River Basin. For the occasion of that ceremonial signing, Christophe Lefebvre produced a succinct PowerPoint summarizing the achievements of the Evian Project over the past six years, and you may view that here (in French, English to follow) as a Web page. And further to honor the occasion, we've revised our introductory page on the Evian Project to gather as much of our disparate material into one place as can conveniently be done without having to hire a consultant. [30/03/04]


Mangroves and the Ramsar Convention. In the burgeoning series of indexes -- "burgeoning" is not too strong a word! -- to Ramsar and other materials on "under-represented wetland types in the Ramsar List", another bud, leaf, or sprout has newly emerged, to wit, mangroves. Mangrove swamps are forested intertidal ecosystems that occupy sediment-rich sheltered tropical coastal environments, occurring from about 32ºN (Bermuda) to almost 39ºS (Victoria, Australia), and are represented in the Ramsar Classification Scheme chiefly by Wetland Type I ("Intertidal forested wetlands; includes mangrove swamps, nipah swamps and tidal freshwater swamp forests"). Mangroves join coral reefs and peatlands in our under-represented indexes, and may soon be followed by wet grasslands, seagrasses, mountain wetlands, temporary pools, and what not else. Each index page provides links to 1) relevant Ramsar Resolutions, Recommendations, and guidance documents; 2) pertinent and up-to-date external Web resources; 3) related news stories and background materials on the Ramsar Web site; 4) up-to-date lists of Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance that have that wetland type as its dominant wetland type or significantly present within the site (in PDF format, exported from the Ramsar Sites Database at Wetlands International); and 5) related Ramsar background documents on our Web site. These index pages are meant to be dynamic and we earnestly solicit readers' suggestions for additional links, especially to high-quality external Web resources. Here is the new mangrove page and here is the general under-represented wetland types index. [28/03/04]


"NigerWet" recommendations from the Mopti workshop.A Ramsar Network for Niger River Basin: "Atelier sur l'Établissement d'un Réseau de Sites Ramsar dans le Bassin du fleuve Niger", a workshop supported by local and national authorities of Mali, the Ramsar Convention, WWF's Living Waters Programme, and the Danone Evian Project, took place in late January 2004 in Mopti, Mali, on the shores of the Niger River. Amongst the significant conclusions of the meeting was a recommendation to begin work on creating a NigerWet regional wetland initiative for the Niger Basin nations, modeled on the Ramsar Convention's MedWet regional initiative. Here you may see the Report of the workshop (in French only), the Recommendations (in French so far, but English to follow, we're told), the List of Participants (in PDF), and a page of photos of the participants with and without fish and stranded on the associated field trip with an overheated automobile engine. [26/03/04]


UNESCO's list of Ramsar Party accessions and ratifications.John Donaldson of UNESCO's Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs writes: "We now have the list of the States parties to the UNESCO-deposited treaties on Unesco's website. Anyone wishing to know the latest status can go to www.unesco.org and click on legal instruments in the right column, then click on conventions in the left column, then on the Ramsar Convention, then on States parties." [26/03/04]


Ramsar pre-COP9 European meeting set for Yerevan in December 2004. "We informed you about Armenia's invitation to host a regional meeting on the Implementation and Efficiency of the Ramsar Convention in Europe in the capital Yerevan. We are now pleased to tell you that the dates for this meeting have been set for the week 4-10 December 2004. The exact dates within this time bracket (including time for international travel) of the three-day conference plus one excursion day will be announced as soon as the meeting hall availability will have been confirmed, at which time invitations and a programme outline will be circulated. We hope to meet you in Yerevan in early December and will keep you updated regularly on the preparations of this meeting. Sincerely yours, Estelle Gironnet & Tobias Salathé, Ramsar Secretariat - European Team." [25/03/04]


New Protocol of Cooperation with the Danone Group. At a signing ceremony in Paris timed to celebrate the UN World Water Day, 22 March 2004, a new agreement was signed between Ramsar and the private-sector Danone Group to collaborate in a new programme over 2004-2006, in collaboration with WWF's Living Waters Programme. In the broader context of the highly successful Evian Initiative, whereby Danone has generously supported Ramsar capacity-building and public awareness activities since 1998, the new programme will be co-funded by Danone and Living Waters and will focus on four geographical areas: the South American paramos region, West Africa and specifically the Niger River Basin, Central Asia and in particular the Himalayan wetlands, and Southeast Asia and the Mekong River Basin. The protocol was signed by Franck Riboud, President Director General of Danone, Peter Bridgewater, Ramsar Secretary General, and Mr Jamie Pittock, head of WWF Living Waters -- the text (in French) is available here, and Peter Bridgewater's address to the meeting can be seen here. [24/03/04]


First ICWRP project: Mexico's Sian Ka'an Ramsar Site. The International Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership (ICWRP) is an innovative voluntary public-private global initiative to restore impaired but ecologically important wetlands and other aquatic habitat in watersheds around the world. The ICWRP partnership -- a combined effort of several partners, including The Gillette Company, the United Nations Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Coastal America Foundation -- will engage the private sector and develop cohesive partnerships that join technical, financial, and administrative resources to help reverse the disappearance of wetlands. The ICWRP was launched yesterday, 22 March 2003, in Miami, Florida, USA, with Ramsar's Margarita Astrálaga participating, and it was announced that the ICWRP's inaugural project will focus on Mexico's Sian Ka'an World Heritage site, Biosphere Reserve, and (since November 2003) Ramsar Site. The US$750,000 project seeks to protect Sian Ka'an's critical coastal habitats and ensure the viability of the region's freshwater and marine systems against threats from coastal development, unregulated tourism, and unsustainable farming and fishing practices, and the project is being implemented by the Mexican environmental organization Amigos de Sian Ka'an. Here is a press release on this important development, reprinted from the Web site of The Nature Conservancy. [23/03/04]


Photo essay on Costa Rica's Caño Negro.Julio Montes de Oca, former Ramsar staff member and now with IUCN-ORMA, writes that "El Refugio de Vida Silvestre Caño Negro fue el primer sitio designado como Humedal de Importancia Internacional (junto con Palo Verde) en Costa Rica, el 27 de diciembre de 1991 [The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge was the first designated Ramsar Site (together with Palo Verde) in Costa Rica, on December 27, 1991]". Here is Julio's contribution of 23 photos of the site, its attractions, and a few of its problems, with English translations by his successor at Ramsar, Iván Dario Valencia. [18/03/04]


Under-represented wetland types and the Ramsar Convention. For the past 32 years, the Ramsar Convention has been the principal instrument for international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Parties to the Convention have committed themselves to designating all of their "suitable wetlands", based upon criteria developed over the years, for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (the "Ramsar List") and maintaining their ecological character through management planning for their conservation and sustainable use. As the Ramsar List has grown (presently to about 1,400 recognized sites of International Importance), certain types of wetlands, as loosely defined in the Ramsar Classification System for Wetland Type, have been identified by the Contracting Parties as having been neglected in favor of other, more common and obvious types (e.g., swamps). Numerous Resolutions and Recommendations over the years have called for greater attention to these under-reported wetland types, and in Resolution VIII.11 (2002) the Parties provided guidelines for the designation of peatlands [photo left], wet grasslands, mangroves, and coral reefs in particular, and others include mountain and Andean wetlands, seagrass beds, and temporary pools. A new index page is intended to provide an up-to-date entry into Ramsar and related materials on the Convention's progress in bringing renewed conservation attention to these so-far under-represented wetland types. Readers with knowledge of additional fruitful links of Ramsar-related significance are heartily invited to bring them to our attention (ramsar@ramsar.org). Go here when you're ready. [16/03/04]


Revive Our Wetlands renewed till 2006. Conservation Volunteers Australia and the private-sector company BHP Billiton have renewed their successful community-business partnership for the period 2004-2006, Revive Our Wetlands, the largest wetland conservation partnership in Australia. "Over the next three years, Revive will continue to help local communities address the degraded state of their wetlands by providing an additional AUS$ 1.5 million in practical assistance at ten significant and threatened wetlands around Australia. A target of 15,000 volunteer days at the sites has been set and CVA will employ a national coordinator and a network of project officers. They will work directly with the community to revegetate the wetlands, build new walking tracks, control feral animals, monitor and improve water quality and bird life and raise public awareness about these priceless national assets." Thus far, Revive has contributed more than $2.5 million worth of assistance and more than 15,000 volunteer days in revitalizing 100 of Australia most significant wetlands, including a number of Ramsar Sites. More information is available at http://www.reviveourwetlands.net/. [12/03/04]


River Basin Management guidelines for Southeast Asia. In Resolution VII.18 (1999), the Conference of the Parties adopted the Guidelines for integrating wetland conservation and wise use into river basin management, and these were published in 2000, with case studies and other illustrative material, as Handbook 4 in the Ramsar Toolkit. Now the Global Environment Centre has prepared a suite of new versions of Handbook 4 to meet the needs of the Southeast Asian region. With financial support from the ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, GEC has produced language versions in English, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, and Vietnamese, with 13 all new case studies from Southeast Asia, and is making these available as a 36-page softcover brochure and in PDF format both on CD-ROM and downloadable from the "RBI Portal". Here are the details from GEC's Oi May Chew. [01/03/04]

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