The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 29 November 2006
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Vacancy announcement.Ramsar Secretary General. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is seeking to appoint a new Secretary General. Applications are invited from all interested and suitably qualified persons. The deadline for applications is 12 January 2007. The position is currently occupied by Peter Bridgewater, whose contract finishes on 31 July 2007. Dr Bridgewater has indicated that, as he wishes to pursue other activities, he will not be seeking a further contract. Full details of the position vacancy and the application procedures are available here in and. [29/11/06]
Now available.Valuing wetlands - a Ramsar Technical Report. The Ramsar Convention has long recognized the importance of wetland economic valuation in contributing to well-informed planning and decision-making, and in 1997 the Secretariat published Economic valuation of wetlands: A guide for policy makers and planners by Barbier, Acreman, and Knowler. But economic valuation of ecosystems is a rapidly developing discipline, and there are now many different methods available for undertaking different aspects and purposes of wetland valuation. In order to assist Contracting Parties in having economic valuation information better available for decision-making on wetlands, Ramsar's COP8 (Valencia, 2002) requested the STRP to prepare guidance on practical methods for wetland valuation. The resulting report, the preparation of which has been led by Rudolf de Groot and Mishka Stuip of Wageningen University and the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) in the Netherlands, provides this guidance and updates information on available methodologies from those in the 1997 book. Valuing wetlands: Guidance for valuing the benefits derived from wetland ecosystem services is now available in PDF format (1.6MB), published jointly as Ramsar Technical Report No. 3 and as No. 27 in the Convention on Biological Diversity's CBD Technical Series. [28/11/06]
Margarita Astrálaga, Senior Advisor for the Americas, and Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General, are conducting an official visit to Chile, 26 November to 2 December 2006, for discussions about the listing of the Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary on the lower Río Cruces on the Montreux Record of Ramsar sites at which changes to the ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of human activities. [27/11/06]
Lei Guangchun, Senior Advisor for the Asia/Pacific, is in the Republic of Korea, 28 November to 4 December, for the International Symposium on Asian Regional Issues in wetland management and preparation for COP10, followed by Biodiversity conservation in the DMZ (demilitarized zone). [28/11/06]
Lucia Scodanibbio, Assistant Advisor for Africa, is participating in the Wetlands International Anglophone Training of Trainers (ToT) for East and West Africa at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute in Naivasha, Kenya, 27-30 November 2006. The course runs to the 15th of December. [28/11/06]
Vacancy announcement. Wetlands International WOW Project. Wetlands International is looking for a Site Network Technical Officer at its Headquarters in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The job holder will play an instrumental role in the implementation of the Site Network Component of the Wings Over Wetlands Project. The project aims to identify and protect the most important sites for migratory waterbirds in 117 countries covered the Africa-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement area. The post holder will work in a multicultural environment and will be responsible for collecting, preparing, analysing and disseminating information about key sites based on the the databases held by Wetlands International and in collaboration with other data holders such as BirdLife International, the UNEP-WCMC and sub-regional subcontractors in Central-Asia, the Middle East, Western and Eastern Africa. Prospective candidates should have a university degree in biology or other subject relevant for waterbird conservation, at least five years working experience in waterbird conservation, good communication skills in English and preferably in either of Arabic, French or Russian. Ability to use databases and GIS effectively is necessary. Monthly gross salary: € 2,160.52 - € 2,925.31 for full time (36 hours) employment. Applications with a detailed curriculum vitae and a motivation letter to be sent to Szabolcs Nagy, Senior Biodiversity Officer, Wetlands International (PO Box 471, 6700 AL Wageningen, The Netherlands, Tel. +31 317 486040, Fax +31 317 478850, email@example.com) before 8 December 2006. The Terms of Reference are reproduced here. [28/11/06]
Forum: The Fishing Industry, Tools for a Sustainable Future. Representatives from the Panamanian fishing industry, environmental NGOs and international organizations met on 20 November 2006 in Panama City to discuss new paths to improve the environmental and social performance of the fishing business in the Central American country. The Forum: The Fishing Industry, Tools for a sustainable future was organized by the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO) with the support of the Global Compact-Panama. Here is the informative brief report from Carolina Hoyos of CREHO.
Representantes de la industria pesquera panameña, ONG ambientales y organizaciones internacionales se reunieron el 20 de noviembre en Ciudad de Panamá, para discutir nuevos caminos para mejorar el desempeño ambiental y social de los negocios dedicados a la pesca en este país centroamericano. El Foro: La Industria Pesquera, Herramientas para un Futuro Sostenible fue organizado por el Centro Regional Ramsar para la Capacitación e Investigación sobre Humedales para el Hemisferio Occidental (CREHO) con el apoyo de la Red del Pacto Global-Panamá. [PDF] [27/11/06]
Wetlands International begins first WPRP training sessions. The Anglophone Training of Trainers (ToT) for East and West Africa will be held in the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute in Naivasha, Kenya, from the 27th of November until the 15th of December 2006. Wetlands International is a non-governmental organisation with 16 offices all over the world. Its aim is to sustain and restore wetlands, their resources and biodiversity for future generations. Their Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project aims to reduce poverty in wetland areas, among others by improving the cooperation between development organisations and conservation organisations. By the end of 2007 the capacity building part of the project intends to have trained over 120 policy makers and over 150 practitioners of wetland management. [27/11/06]
Announcement. World Wetlands Day conference in London. The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) in London is organizing its sixth annual World Wetlands Day conference, to be held this year in London on 31 January and 1 February 2007. The title of this edition is "Developing Practice on the Ground", and there will be a very full schedule including sessions led by Ramsar STRP members David Stroud and Mike Acreman - the sponsors promise that "it will be an amazing opportunity to network, learn and share good practice." The programme, with further details, is reproduced here in PDF format. [27/11/06]
Two new Ramsar sites in Comoros. The Secretariat is delighted to be able to announce that the Direction nationale de l'Environnement et des Forêts (DNEF) of the government of Comoros has designated two volcanic mountain wetlands on the largest and second-largest islands. As described by Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio, based on the Ramsar Information Sheets, Le Karthala (13,000 hectares, 11°46'S 043°21'E), located in the southern part of Grande Comore (Ngazidja), is a well-known active volcano with its 3km-wide caldera. Le Mont Ntringui (3,000 hectares, 12°11'S 044°25'E), located on Anjouan, Comoros' second biggest island, comprises Mt. Ntringui, the island's highest point, and the crater lake Dzialandzé, which is the largest freshwater body on the island. Both sites are extraordinarily important as habitat for endangered and endemic species. Descriptions of both sites, an excellent photograph, and some maps can be seen here.
Comoros now has three Wetlands of International Importance, covering a surface area of 16,030 hectares. [24/11/06]
New Intern for Europe chosen for Ramsar Secretariat. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that Monica Zavagli from Italy has been selected as the next Intern/Assistant Advisor for Europe, to take over from Dorothea August from Germany. Monica graduated in Natural Sciences and Nature Conservation from the University of Bologna. She has recently concluded a one-year work project in Jordan sponsored by the European Community, which is aimed at promoting sustainable management of marine resources in the Gulf of Aqaba. Monica has also worked as an environmental educator for WWF Italy, has visited Ramsar sites in Senegal, and has volunteered in national parks in Costa Rica. In 2004, when she was working as an intern at the Italian Permanent Mission in Geneva, she had the opportunity to study international agreements and environmental policy issues - and also met some of the Ramsar Secretariat staff at one of our briefing sessions for Permanent Mission environmental attachés. The Ramsar Secretariat looks forward to welcoming Monica in February 2007. [24/11/06]
Reprinted here.Ramsar and the IOPs. The guest article from the IISD's MEA Bulletin 15 (6 November 2006), "Ramsar's unique 'partners' system keeps pace with the times" by Dave Pritchard of BirdLife International, provides an excellent overview of the Convention's fruitful relationship with its five International Organization Partners, or IOPs -- it's reprinted here with the kind permission of Dave and the IISD Reporting Services team. [24/11/06]
Republic of Korea names mountain lake Ramsar site. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea has designated Mulyeongari-oreum (31 hectares, 33°22'N 126°42'E), a 'Wetland Conservation Area' on the island of Jeju some 100 kilometres south of the Korean Peninsula, as its fifth Wetland of International Importance. As described by Ramsar's Pragati Tuladhar, based on the Ramsar Information Sheet, the site comprises a small crater lake located on top of an "oreum", or secondary volcano, around Halla mountain formed from volcanic eruptions between 100 and 2.5 thousand years ago. The site, with seasonally varying water levels, provides habitat for two endangered species, the giant water bug (Lethocerus deyrollei) and Narrow-mouth frog (Kaloula borealis). It is also known as "Su-ryeong-ak" which means a hill with holy water. All development activities have been prohibited since the site was designated as the country's first wetland conservation area in 2000 and public access will be prohibited through July 2007 to allow building of a visitors' centre and nature trails. A comprehensive wetland conservation plan has been prepared by the Ministry of Environment. A map and some photographs of the new site are available here. [23/11/06]
Ninth Regular Meeting of the Prespa Park Coordination Committee. The Ninth Regular Meeting of the Prespa Park Coordination Commitee took place in Korcha, Albania, on 20-21 November. Established in 2000 under the aegis of the Ramsar Convention, the Coordination Committee is tasked with facilitating the management of the transboundary Ramsar site of Prespa shared between Albania, FYR of Macedonia, and Greece. The participants discussed progress on current projects undertaken in the area, including work on reducing environmental impacts of agriculture in the Albanian and FYR of Macedonia parts of the lakes; solid waste management in FYR of Macedonia; sustaining transborder cooperation and local sustainable development in protected areas of the lake region of Ohrid and Prespa. Side meetings took place during the event among others on transboundary coordination of the forest services of Korcha and Florina for combating illegal logging in the Albania-Greece border and development of national spatial plans in the Prespa Park region. MedWet Secretariat Coordinator Spyros Kouvelis participated in the meeting representing the Ramsar Convention and MedWet. For more information on the Transboundary Park of Prespa you can view the Web site of the Park here. (Source: Vivi Roumeliotou, Prespa Park Coordination Commitee Secretariat - Society for the Protection of Prespa). [23/11/06]
"Wings Over Wetlands" launched, 20 November. A major GEF project on sustainable wetland networks for migratory waterbirds in Africa and Eurasia was launched on 20 November 2006 in Bonn, Germany, by an expert panel which included Tobias Salathé, the Ramsar Secretariat's Senior Advisor for Europe (photo). The US$12 million Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project is the largest international wetland and waterbird conservation initiative ever undertaken in the African-Eurasian region and is intended to conserve the critical areas needed by waterbirds migrating across these continents. The Project was designed and is being implemented as a collaborative effort between Wetlands International and BirdLife International, with support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and UNEP/GEF.
Nick Davidson, Ramsar's Deputy Secretary General, stressed the importance of the project: "WOW is particularly significant as it will help countries to simultaneously deliver their commitments under a number of key Multilateral Environmental Agreements through one set of coordinated actions". These directly include the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), as well as the Convention on Migratory Species and the CBD. He explained that WOW activities will support implementation of the Ramsar Convention in a number of ways, including through wetland sustainable management demonstration projects in a number of designated and candidate Ramsar sites; exchange of knowledge, training and capacity building, with assistance of the Ramsar Secretariat's regional teams; translation of the Ramsar toolkit of guidelines for the wise use of wetlands into Russian and Arabic in order to increase their accessibility for wetland managers and decision-makers in the region; and identification of the key sites network for waterbirds throughout the flyways in the region, which will support Ramsar Contracting Parties in their identification and designation of Ramsar sites. The official press release and fact sheet are here. [22/11/06]
New Web site on avian influenza. The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), together with the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), has launched a new Web site on Avian Influenza (www.aiweb.info). AIWeb is the information dissemination centre of the "Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds", upon which Ramsar is represented in the person of STRP member David Stroud of the JNCC -- it provides a public platform for information exchange and communication on current and emerging topics relating to Avian Influenza (AI) and migratory birds. The goals of the AIWeb are to: Distribute and disseminate substantive information on avian influenza and the environment with a particular focus on migratory birds; Offer a global and comprehensive perspective (involving input from several organisations/experts) on AI and migratory birds; Raise awareness and educate different stakeholders on the role of migratory birds in the current spread of AI (including the media, policy makers, and the general public among others); and Provide a medium through which to maintain and consolidate UNEP/CMS's effort in bringing together the Task Force and sharing its specialized knowledge with the global community. [22/11/06]
Opportunity for comment.Ramsar and protected areas. "On 9-13 October 2006, 33 experts from government and non-government organizations, with particular expertise from Australia, South Africa and the USA, gathered in Skukuza, South Africa, to identify solutions for freshwater conservation, especially through improved establishment and management of protected areas for freshwater conservation." So begins the "Skukuza symposium statement" (here in PDF format), which goes on to identify a number of important issues in the conservation of freshwater biodiversity and ends with a number of recommendations. Ramsar's Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, considers the significance of this ongoing work on protected area categories for the Ramsar Convention and invites comments on the proposed recommendations -- here is his brief essay on the subject. [22/1/06]
Slovak Republic designates 35-km long cave system. The Ramsar Secretariat is delighted to announce that the Slovak Republic has designated as its 14th Wetland of International Importance, as of 17 November 2006, a remarkable karst cave system that is part of the Low Tatra National Park, near the city of Liptovský Mikulas. The Caves of the Demanova Valley (Jaskyne Demänovskej doliny) (1,448 hectares, 48°59'N, 019°35'E) is part of the longest cave system in the country with a total measured length of 35,044 meters. The system consists of nine speleologically interconnected caves and further associated smaller caves. A description of the site by Ramsar's Dorothea August, with some stunning photographs and a map, is available here. There are presently 153 Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention, and 1631 wetlands have been designated as Ramsar sites, covering an area of 145,622,310 hectares. [16/11/06]
Now available.Ramsar report to the ICRI meeting.Margarita Astrálaga, Ramsar's Senior Advisor for the Americas and focal point on marine and coastal issues, presented her "member's report on activities" to the general meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) in Cozumel, Mexico, 22-23 October 2006. The six-page document provides a succinct update on Ramsar's work with coral reefs, as well as with mangroves and seagrass beds, and includes table and charts showing the distributions of coral reefs and Ramsar sites with coral reefs throughout the world. The report is available here in PDF format. [14/11/06]
Tropical Marine Symposium in Cozumel, Mexico.Margarita Astrálaga and Adrián Ruiz from the Ramsar Americas team represented the Convention at the III International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium (ITMEMS3), held in Cozumel, Mexico on the 16-20 October 2006. Intended to serve as a forum where marine protected area managers could learn and share their experiences, some of the main events within the Symposium were the regional workshops and caucuses. Together with the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Ramsar co-chaired the Disaster & Restoration workshop. Here is their report. [14/11/06]
Call for papers.3rd regional workshop on water management, March 2007, Zaragoza, Spain. "Within the framework of a regional workshop on Water for Sustainable Development, organised jointly by the UNEP - Mediterranean Action Plan, Blue Plan Regional Activity Center and MedWet – the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative of the Ramsar Convention, scheduled to take place in Zaragoza, Spain, March 2007, we invite you to submit papers." Here is the full announcement from Sofia Spirou of the MedWet Coordination Unit. [14/11/06]
Cameroon designates volcanic crater lake. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the government of Cameroon has designated as its second Wetland of International Importance the Barombi Mbo Crater Lake (415 hectares, 04°40'N 009°23'E). According to Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio, based on the Ramsar Information Sheet provided with the site designation, the site forms with three other crater lakes in the Southwest Province of Cameroon the so-called "Afrotropical Cameroon Crater Lakes Ecoregion". It is famous among biologists for the occurrence of 12 endemic fish species, rendering it one of the places with the highest densities of endemic species per area in the world. For evolutionary biologists, the lake represents one of the few examples where new species have evolved within the confines of a small area by "sympatric speciation". Lake Barombi Mbo is also important due to the presence of freshwater sponges, one of which (Corvospongilla thysi) is also endemic. It is an important sacred site to the Barombi tribe: the social and cultural life of the Barombi Mbo People is intimately linked to the use of the resources of the lake through fishing, mythology and transport, and to the surrounding land through farming. It is also a source of clean water for the metropolis of Kumba and its environs. Over-fishing, introduction of foreign fish to the ecosystem, pesticide spraying of cocoa-trees within the catchment area and deforestation on the crater rim are the main (potential and actual) threats to the site. The elaboration and implementation of a management plan needs to occur. Support from WWF Cameroon, the WWF Global Freshwater Programme, and Ramsar's Swiss Grant for Africa was helpful to the authorities in making this important designation.
Ramsar visit to Australia and China. During the week of 30 October - 3 November 2006, Peter Bridgewater, the Secretary General, paid a visit to the Port Phillip Bay Ramsar site in the state of Victoria in Australia, and here he has provided a brief, illustrated report on the site. Following that, he was able to participated in the 11th Living Lakes Conference in Nanchang, China, and then visited the new Hong Kong Wetland Centre and the Mai Po Ramsar site -- and here is his brief report on that as well, with a number of photographs. [09/11/06]
International synergy for the Pantanal. Recently, a meeting in Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) was held seeking a greater synergy among the NGOs that work for the Pantanal, a wetland of international importance shared by Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. A central goal of the meeting was to maximize efforts among these three countries in favour of the conservation of this valuable ecosystem. The meeting allowed updating information on the context and development tendencies from a tri-national perspective. In addition, joint activities were strategically identified for the next four years, which include the construction of local capacities and support for the development of policies and for sustainable development planning in the Pantanal region. The following organizations participated in the meeting: Ecology in Action (ECOA) from Brazil, Sobrevivencia (meaning Survival in English) from Paraguay, Regional Studies Center for Tarija's Development (CERDET) from Bolivia, Friends of the Earth from the Netherlands and WWF, with its programs in Bolivia, Brazil and the Netherlands. For the full article, CREHO's InfoWetland no. 2, page 2. [08/11/06]
Now available.INFOWETLAND no. 2: an information service from CREHO. The Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO) launched its newsletter, INFOWETLAND, on 26 July 2006. The newsletter is an information service from CREHO directed to organizations, networks and the general public interested in wetlands, and is produced quarterly in English and Spanish. For more information and to subscribe to INFOWETLAND send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The 12-page second issue focuses largely upon the special topic of High-Andean Wetlands, with news and articles on ecological, economic, cultural and other aspects, and includes additional news from Ramsar sites in the region. The second issue is available here in PDF format. [02/11/06]
UNEP workshop in Sudan. At a three-day UNEP-sponsored workshop in Juba, southern Sudan, on 31 October Ramsar's Abou Bamba presented a Ramsar site certificate for the newly-designated Sudd Ramsar site to government authorities. UNEP is supporting the workshop together with the two environmental administrations of Sudan, the European Commission, and the Nile Basin Initiative as one part of its new focus on capacity building the environmental sector in developing countries. Here is the press release on the event from the UN News Centre. [01/11/06]
Ramsar Small Grants Fund 2006. We are pleased to announce that the Ramsar Standing Committee has approved the following projects submitted to the Secretariat for the 2006 funding cycle of the Small Grants Fund. The Standing Committee has approved six projects for immediate finding (category A1):
Benin & Togo (SGF/06/BJTG/01), Kyrgyz Republic (SG/06/KG/01), Vietnam (SGF/06/VN/01), Republic of Moldova (SGF/06/MD/01), Antigua & Barbuda (SGF/06/AG/1), Kiribati (SGF/06/KI/01)
And a further three projects have been approved as the priority should further funding become available (A2):
Burkina Faso (SGF/06/BF/01), Nepal (SGF/06//NP/01), Ecuador (SGF/06/EC/01)
Project descriptions can be seen on the attached document (PDF), including those proposals approved for funding should further funds become available for this project cycle (A2-rated projects) -- that paper also outlines the assessment and approvals process followed by the Secretariat and Standing Committee. The Standing Committee has also approved one amendment to the Operational Guidelines for the Small Grants Fund, which will apply to proposals for the 2007 funding cycle.
The deadline for the submission of project proposals for the 2007 cycle will be 30 June 2007. Contracting Parties requiring the advice of the Secretariat on the preparation of the project proposal through the SGF Advisory Service should submit a draft no later than 30 April 2007. [31/10/06]
Forum on management of wetland centres, China, 2006. Jointly organised by the State Forestry Administration of China (the Ramsar Administrative Authority) and the Hangzhou Municipal Government, the 2nd Wetland Forum, Xixi, Hangzhou, China, 20-22 October 2006, brought together 160 people to discuss the creation, utilisation and management of wetland parks. Participants came from a range of backgrounds, including key members of China's Administrative Authority, wetland managers within China, managers and educators from wetland education centres, predominantly from Asia and Oceania, but also from other regions, representatives from the Hangzhoug municipality, and the Xixi Wetland Park management team, as well as wetland restoration experts. Two members of the Ramsar Secretariat attended and made presentations, Lei Guangchun, the Senior Advisor for Asia, and Sandra Hails, the CEPA Programme Officer. Here is their well-illustrated report on the workshops. [30/10/06]
Dave Pritchard completes further period of secondment in the Secretariat. As part of a continuing arrangement, Dave Pritchard (RSPB/BirdLife International) has just completed a three-week period of secondment to the Ramsar Secretariat. During that time, he has been helping the Secretariat by further progressing the review of decisions adopted by Ramsar's Conference of Parties since COP1 in 1980, a review called for by COP9 Resolution IX.17; the first findings and recommendations of this review will be reported to the 35th meeting of the Standing Committee. During this secondment, Dave has also contributed to the further development of the work of the Convention’s Culture Working Group and the STRP’s further development of ecological outcome-oriented indicators of the effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention. He also participated in the European Space Agency’s “Globwetland Symposium” and chaired its sessions on wetland wise use. The Secretariat is extremely grateful to the RSPB and BirdLife International for their continuing support for this arrangement, which provides a powerful example of the mutual benefits of the support to the Convention provided by its International Organisation Partners (IOPs). [30/10/06]
Announcement. UNITAR course in environmental law. Beginning in February 2007, the United Nations Institute of Training and Research will offer an on-line Basic Course on International Environmental Law. Over the past 9 years, UNITAR's Environmental Law Programme (ELP) has been contributing to make the complex range of environmental agreements comprehensible to stakeholders concerned with the implementation of environmental law. To respond to requests from various parties and participants of its training activities on sustainable development and to increase the outreach of its main training activity on environmental law, UNITAR will be offering, free of charge, through its e-Learning platform, a Basic Course on International Environmental Law. The course provides a general overview of international environmental law, introducing its fundamental principles, law making process, implementation and compliance procedures, and negotiations of environmental agreements. Its completion will enable participants to achieve a basic knowledge of environmental agreements, raising their awareness of techniques and procedures to further improve compliance and enforcement of environmental obligations at the national level. Here is a one-page PDF announcement and prospectus. [26/10/06]
From the Wetlands Forum.2nd Asian Waterbird Census Coordinators Meeting. Dear all, The 2nd Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) Coordinators Meeting, Manila, The Philippines, 8-10 October 2006, organized by Wetlands International, with the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Philippines, brought together 50 people from 20 countries to develop a Strategy to move this important regional volunteer-based waterbird monitoring programme. For more information visit Wetlands International website and download the report in pdf file with pictures. Best regards, David Li, Waterbird Conservation Officer & AWC International Coordinator, Wetlands International, Petaling Jaya, Selangor State, Malaysia. [26/10/06]
Czech training seminar in fishpond management. The training seminar "Fishpond management, restoration and nature conservation", the third in the new programme "Wetland Training Seminars in the Czech Republic", launched in 2004 jointly by the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic and the Wetland Training Centre operating as part of the NGO ENKI, took place 16-18 October 2006 in the Trebon Basin Landscape Protected Area where two Czech Ramsar sites are located - RS Trebon fishponds and RS Trebon peatlands. The main aim of the seminar was to bring together two sectors concerned with fishpond management - that of nature conservation and fishpond managers - and enhance communication between them. Fishponds are man-made, shallow water bodies that would cease to exist without effective fish production, but at the same time there are many interests in these sites within nature conservation bodies. The interests of these two sides often seem to be contradictory and result in conflicts. Libuse Vlasakova, Martina Eiseltova and Jan Pokorny provide this brief illustrated report of the workshop and field excursion. [25/10/06]
Peatlands, climate change, and UNFCCC COP12. The upcoming 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Nairobi, Kenya, 6-17 November 2006 provides the opportunity to report on the outputs of a recent UNEP/GEF project on the integrated management of peatlands for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, based on field studies in the Russian Federation, China, Indonesia and other places. Wetlands International and the Global Environment Centre are presenting an interesting suite of side events and exhibitions on peatlands and climate change and they are listed here. [25/10/06]
Now available.Draft agenda for SC35. The 35th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee will take place in the Secretariat facilities in Switzerland on 14-16 February 2007, with meetings of the Subgroups on Finance, COP10, and the Strategic Plan, as well as of the Management Working Group, beginning on 12 February. The draft agenda for the meeting is now available, as is the diplomatic notification describing the preparations. [25/10/06]
MedWet CODDE project at GlobWetland Symposium. The work of the MedWet CODDE project - MedWet information and knowledge network for the sustainable development of wetland ecosystems - was presented at the Globwetland Symposium, 19-20 October, Rome, Italy. Delivered by Iphigenia Keramitsoglou, Researcher at the Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, Greece, the presentation looked at developing a standardised methodology for inventorying and monitoring Mediterranean wetlands using Earth observation tools and drew on the MedWet CODDE project as a case study in this context. The symposium was also attended by Pere Tomas-Vives, Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, and Charis Kontoes, National Observatory of Athens, Greece, as well as Joao Carlos Farinha, Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICN) Centro de Zonas Húmidas, who participated in a training course organised within the event.
Organised by the European Space Agency and Ramsar Convention Secretariat, the symposium focused on new earth observation technologies that can meet global and local needs in wetlands inventorying, assessment and monitoring. Visit the Web site of MedWet CODDE to download the paper 'Towards a standardised methodology for inventorying and monitoring Mediterranean wetlands using Earth observation by Keramitsoglou I., Kontoes C., Sifakis N., Haffner-Sifakis Chr., Fitoka E., Christian R.R., Serebryakova A., Tomas-Vives P. , Kouvelis S., Dimiza A. Click here to browse the Web site of the Globwetland Symposium. -- Sofia Spirou, Communications Officer, MedWet Secretariat. [23/10/06]
Now available.Avian Influenza and Wild Birds. The International Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza has produced an 8-page brochure, Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, aimed at the public on the state of scientific information about the spread of avian flu, particularly with regards to wild birds and wetland habitats. It's available here in PDF format. The Task Force is composed of AEWA, the UNEP African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement; BirdLife International; CBD, the Convention on Biological Diversity; CIC, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation; CMS, the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals; the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; Wetlands International; WCS, the Wildlife Conservation Society; and the Zoological Society of London -- observers to the Task Force are the FAO; OIE, the World Organization for Animal Health; UNEP; and the WHO. The Task Force will be unveiling a new Web site on Avian Influenza, Wildlife, and the Environment (http://www.aiweb.info) at the 11th international Living Lakes Conference in Nanchang City, near the Poyang Lake Ramsar site, on 2 November 2006. [19/10/06]
Now available. Recommendations of the Arendal Seminar. The Arendal Seminar on multilateral environmental agreements and their relevance to the Arctic, organized by UNEP/GRID-Arendal and the Standing Committee for Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (Arctic Parliamentarians) and co-funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, was held in Arendal, Norway, 21-22 September 2006. Participants included parliamentarians and representatives of secretariats of 13 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), UNEP, environmental non-government organizations, national governments, private sector, indigenous peoples' organizations, and research institutions. The seminar examined opportunities for improving the effectiveness of MEAs for addressing issues of Arctic sustainable development and conservation. The objective was to identify gaps, challenges, and steps that can be taken to make the global MEAs more relevant to the Arctic and more useful in ensuring sound environmental governance and sustainable development. The recommendations that were agreed by the seminar participants can be found here in Word format. [19/10/06]
Now available. Recommendations on "Knowledge-Policy Interface for Biodiversity Governance". A workshop on "International Science-Policy Interfaces for Biodiversity Governance" was held at the UFZ-Centre for Environmental Research, 2-4 October 2006, in Leipzig, Germany, "as a contribution to the international consultative process on IMoSEB (International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity)", and Ramsar's Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, participated. The Leipzig workshop recommendations for a "Knowledge-Policy Interface for Biodiversity Governance" are now available in PDF format on the UFZ Web site, http://www.ufz.de/data/leipzig_recom_final4614.pdf. The IMoSEB Web site can be found at http://www.imoseb.net/forums/public/index.php and the results of workshop can also be seen there, http://www.imoseb.net/events/liepzig_workshop. [19/10/06]
Ramsar signs memoranda with UNEP-GPA and IOI. At the 2nd Intergovernmental Review of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities, meeting in Beijing, China, the Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, signed a memorandum of cooperation between the UNEP-GPA coordination office and the Ramsar Secretariat, designed to promote common objectives, and in particular to use Ramsar frameworks to advances the objectives of the GPA. At the same time, the GPA secretariat signed an MoU with the International Ocean Institute (IOI), headquartered in Malta, followed by the Ramsar Secretariat also signing an MoC with IOI. Peter Bridgewater provides this brief report, with photos, andIISD Linkages' illustrated coverage of the signings, which took place on 17 October 2006, can be found at http://www.iisd.ca/oceans/igr2/oct17.html. [16/10/06]
Feedback and suggestions are welcome to the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland (tel +41 22 999 0170, fax +41 22 999 0169, e-mail ).