The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 30 October 2006
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline story.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]
Headline story.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]
Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General, is attending the Living Lakes Conference in Nanchang, China, 31 October - 2 November 2006. [30/10/06]
Abou Bamba, Senior Advisor for Africa, is participating in the Regional Parliamentary Committee on Lake Chad Basin, Abuja, Nigeria, 27-28 October 2006. [27/10/06]
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]
Announcement.Environmental flows conference, 2007. The Nature Conservancy is co-convening with the RiverSymposium an "International Conference on Environmental Flows" in Brisbane, Australia, 3-6 September 2007. The conference will bring together scientists, policy makers, water managers, engineers and others interested in the state of our world's freshwater resources to share knowledge and build bridges to sustainable solutions. The first call for papers can be seen here and further information can be found at http://www.riversymposium.com/index.php?page=Symposium2007. [18/10/06]
Chile places site on the Montreux Record. The government of Chile has placed the Ramsar site listed as the Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary on the Convention's Montreux Record of Ramsar sites "where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur", in effect, the list of Ramsar sites requiring urgent conservation attention, with effect from 6 October 2006. Listing a threatened site on the Record draws attention to the seriousness of its problems and potentially opens up further possibilities for international assistance and advice in resolving them, most notably under the Convention's mechanisms, including the possibility of a Ramsar Advisory Mission. There are presently 58 Wetlands of International Importance listed in the Montreux Record. Here is the government's press release (in Spanish) announcing this positive move. [17/10/06]
News from the SGF.Croatia completes wetland inventory project. The Croatian State Institute for Nature Protection (SINP) carried out a comprehensive wetland inventory to create a reference database for further planning and protected area designation use. This project accomplished for the first time a comprehensive overview of Croatian wetlands identifying 3883 individual sites. Altogether 390,885 hectares of wetland habitats and 56,516 km of watercourses and sea coastline were recorded to correspond to the Ramsar criteria. The biggest area concerns eight complex sites. These are large wetlands, mostly situated in floodplains of large rivers such as Sava, Drava, Danube, Kupa and Neretva. The biggest number of sites belongs to the categories of ponds and springs with an overall rather small area. The most important indicator is that wetlands cover about 6.9% of the Croatian territory. Ramsar's Dorothea August provides more detail here. [16/10/06]
CEPA news.First Wetland Link International Asia Symposium. "The Hong Kong Wetland Park and WWF are jointly organising the First Wetland Link International-Asia Symposium to be held at the Hong Kong Wetland Park from 24 to 26 January 2007. The 3-day symposium aims to promote communications among wetland centres in Asia and share experience on wetland park management and CEPA programmes. Brief details are provided by Sunny Chow from the Park, and the attached PDF includes more information and a form to return to express your interest in attending. You may remember that in May of this year that I sent out a message to the CEPA list on the opening of the Hong Kong Wetland Park - you can read that message here (19 May 2006). And to further jog your memories, this symposium is a follow-up to a meeting in July 2005 that launched the WLI-Asia regional network. Read more about it here." -- Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat. [16/10/06]
Armenian seminar on its implementation of international environmental treaties. Karen Jenderedjian, STRP member and Ramsar’s focal point in Armenia, forwards news of a successful seminar organized in cooperation between Armenian authorities and organizations and the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) on 25-29 September 2006. He notes that it was the first seminar in Armenia ever to systematically address the country's implementation of international environmental treaties. Here is a brief report of the meeting taken largely from the FNI press release, with photos of the Lake Sevan Ramsar site venue by Tobias Salathé. [12/10/06]
Now available.Recommendations of the FAO workshop on coastal protection. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization convened a workshop, 28-31 August 2006 in Khao Lak, Thailand, on "Coastal protection in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami: what role for forests and trees?". The sessions "represented a unique opportunity for foresters, oceanographers, coastal planners and engineers, social scientists, and development practitioners to meet and discuss the role of forests and trees in coastal protection. The results of the discussions helped highlight the value of multidisciplinary collaboration for designing effective measures for coastal protection, based on solid scientific knowledge and practical experience." The Conclusions and Recommendations of the meeting, which are relevant to implementation of Ramsar Resolution IX.9, can be read here in PDF format, and much more information can be sought on the FAO Web site at http://www.fao.org/forestry/tsunami/coastalprotection. [12/10/06]
Lagoons of Essaouira, Morocco. In September 2006, the Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, and representatives of the Fondation d'Enterprise Total pour la biodiversité et la Mer and the Total company in Morocco visited the Ramsar site known as Archipel et dunes d'Essawira (or Essaouira) in order to view the progress of a project being undertaken by the city and province of Essaouira, with support from the national and provincial departments of water and forests, to rehabilitate the urban lagoon system in the neighborhood of Essaouira town on Morocco's central Atlantic coast. His brief illustrated report can be seen here. [11/10/06]
Wetland education in Colombia. A recently completed Wetlands for the Future project has developed an innovative pedagogic proposal on wetlands in Latin America, stressing the role of Ramsar in the region. The result of a joint effort involving the education communities around Fuquene lake, Colombia (students, teachers and parents), the approach followed has focused on the formal educative atmosphere in elementary schools, using the principles of active pedagogy for children. Further details and photos can be seen here. [11/10/06]
El proyecto WFF/03-2/CO/1 "Plan Educativo - Divulgativo Ramsar - Desde la Laguna de Fúquene - Fase 1: Formulación Plan y producción de piezas didácticas" ha desarrollado una propuesta pedagógica innovadora sobre los humedales en América Latina, con énfasis en el papel que desempeña Ramsar en la región. Al ser el resultado de un esfuerzo conjunto entre la comunidad educativa aledaña a la Laguna de Fúquene, Colombia (estudiantes, maestros y padres de familia), el enfoque seguido se ha dirigido al ambiente del salón de clases en escuelas primarias, utilizando los principios de pedagogía activa para niños.
“Pantanos de Villa” Ramsar site declared a National Wildlife Reserve. On 31 August 2006, the Zona Reservada Los Pantanos de Villa (Ramsar site no. 884) was declared the second Wildlife Reserve in Peru following the issue of the Supreme Decree Nº 055-2006-AG. This long-awaited declaration is a great step forward in the implementation of the Convention, as it grants permanent status to a site where the conservation of a rich biodiversity has been successfully combined with the direct, wise use of its resources. In addition to this, the September 2006 waterfowl census for this site identified for the first time the presence in Peru of the ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys), the only known species of the genus Callonetta. A complete note (in Spanish) is available here in PDF format. [10/10/06]
Workshop In Panama: Management Of Marine-Coastal Wetlands. The workshop “Coastal Wetlands and Environmental Impact Assessment in the Ramsar Convention’s framework and its Applications for Hydrocarbon Fuel Spills” was held in Panama City, Panama, from September 25 to 27, 2006. The workshop was organized by the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO) and the Panamanian Marine Authority (AMP for its initials in Spanish) with the support of Ocean Pollution Control.[09/10/06]
Taller para la Gestión de Humedales Marino-Costeros en Panamá. Del 25 al 27 de septiembre se realizó, en Ciudad de Panamá, el taller “Humedales Costeros y la Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental en el Marco de la Convención Ramsar y su Aplicación en el Derrame de Hidrocarburos”. El taller fue organizado por el Centro Regional Ramsar para la Capacitación e Investigación sobre Humedales para el Hemisferio Occidental (CREHO) y la Autoridad Marítima de Panamá con el apoyo de Ocean Pollution Control.
Announcement. International Course on Wetlands Management in Panama. The International Course on Wetlands Management will be held in the Republic of Panamá from October 8 to 18, 2006. The course is organized by the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO), and sponsored by the Fish and Wildlife Service, Norwegian Royal Ministry of the Environment and the Ramsar Convention. The course is directed to Ramsar Technical Focal Points from English-speaking Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention in the Western Hemisphere and has the objective to provide participants with the knowledge and necessary skills to formulate wetlands management plans. The course will be based on the methodologies for management plans described in the Ramsar Resolution VIII.14. New Guidelines for management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands and other related guidelines of Ramsar Convention. For more information: Maria Rivera, firstname.lastname@example.org. [09/10/06]
Curso Internacional de Manejo de Humedales en Panamá. Del 8 al 18 de Octubre, 2006, se llevará a cabo en la República de Panamá el Curso Internacional para el Manejo de Humedales. El curso es organizado por el Centro Regional Ramsar para la Capacitación e Investigación sobre Humedales para el Hemisferio Occidental (CREHO) con el apoyo del Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de Estados Unidos, el Ministerio Real de Ambiente de Noruega y la Secretaría de la Convención Ramsar. El curso está dirigido a los Puntos Focales Técnicos de habla inglesa de la Convención Ramsar en el hemisferio occidental y tiene como objetivo proporcionar a los participantes conocimientos y habilidades necesarias para la formulación de planes de manejo para humedales en el marco de la Resolución Ramsar VIII. 14. Nuevos Lineamientos para la Planificación del Manejo de los Sitios Ramsar y otros Humedales de la Convención Ramsar.Para mayor información: María Rivera, email@example.com.
Announcement.Ramsar seeks Intern for Europe. The Ramsar Secretariat welcomes applications for the position of Intern / Assistant Advisor for Europe, a 12-month posting (possibly extendable up to 24 months) in the Ramsar Secretariat in Switzerland to begin in mid-February 2007. With an upper age limit for applicants of 30 years old, the post offers an opportunity for young graduates to become acquainted with the workings of an intergovernmental treaty dealing with the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Candidates for this internship should be nationals of countries in Europe and have lived most of their lives in the region. Full ability to work in English is required for this post, and knowledge of either French and/or Spanish would be a definite advantage. Prospective candidates: please view the General Terms of Reference for Ramsar internships on the Ramsar Convention Web site (also available from the Secretariat), which includes conditions of service and salary structure, and send the application form (Word, PDF) attached to the General Terms of Reference, a covering letter in English, explaining your interest in an internship with the Ramsar Secretariat and your future career goals, your CV, as well as the contact details of two referees from your previous supervisors or dean of the faculty where you carried out your studies, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is 3 November 2006. [06/10/06]
Hungary designates three new Ramsar sites."H.E. Miklós Persány, the Hungarian Minister for Environment and Water Management, hosted a special ceremony on 29 September 2006 at the new Ramsar site Nyirkai-Hany, part of the Fertö-Hanság National Park. This new site is remarkable for the fact that, where the public can now enjoy rich wetland wildlife and scenery, only a few years ago a monotone agricultural polder was all that remained from the, until the early 19th century, regularly inundated extensive Hanság floodplain, before the intensive drainage works started. With Dutch support, a wetland restoration project was able to create a spectacular new wetland area which provides a net contribution to maintaining and restoring biodiversity. Hungary therefore used the Ramsar ceremony, providing international recognition to its efforts for wetland conservation and restoration, for the signature of its 'Countdown 2010 Declaration'to contribute to the UN millennium target to halt or significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss by the year 2010, signed by the Environment Minister and Tamás Marghescu, IUCN’s regional director for Europe." On the same occasion, the government designated Rába valley (Rába-völgy) and Felsö-Kiskunsági szikes puszták (Upper Kiskunság alkaline steppes) Ramsar sites and significantly extended the existing site now renamed as Lakes of Tata. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé participated and provides this brief report with photographs. [04/10/06]
New Intern for Africa chosen for Ramsar Secretariat. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that Moloko Evelyn Parh from Cameroon has been selected as the next Intern/Assistant Advisor for Africa, to replace Lucia Scodanibbio from South Africa. Evelyn holds a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Dschang in Cameroon, and has just completed a Masters degree in Natural Resources Management at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. With a developing interest in water issues, Evelyn hopes to gain experience of the role of wetlands in natural resources management from an international perspective during her internship with Ramsar. The Ramsar Secretariat looks forward to welcoming Evelyn in January 2007. [03/10/06]
Now available. Progress report from CREHO. Now, for a limited time only, this PDF report is downloadable here in English and Spanish -- it details the activities of the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO) in Panamá (Centro Regional Ramsar para la Capacitación e Investigación sobre Humedales para el Hemisferio Occidental) for the period January to September 2006. [04/10/06]
Announcement. Melina Mercouri International Prize for Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes. "The Melina Mercouri International Prize (UNESCO-Greece) rewards outstanding examples of action to safeguard and enhance the world's major cultural landscapes by either individuals or groups working in a personal capacity or as staff member(s) of a private or public institution with a certificate and the sum of US$20,000 (for 2007). The landscapes proposed must fit the definition of at least one of the three categories of cultural landscapes decided on by the World Heritage Committee at its sixteenth session (Santa Fe, 1992). Candidates for the prize may be nominated either by the governments of Member States, preferably in consultation with their National Commissions, or by relevant NGOs having official relations with UNESCO. Only one candidate may be nominated in each case. The nomination papers shall include a biographical statement for each candidate in the case of private individuals, or a description of the organization responsible in the case of a legal entity. They shall also include a detailed and illustrated statement justifying the proposal of the cultural landscape in respect of which the candidate is being nominated, and an assessment of achievements. For more information, please visit http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/282 or contact email@example.com." The deadline for nominations is 1 November 2006. -- Dr. Mechtild Rössler, Chief, Europe & North America, UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Mediterre – The Mediterranean Parks Fair took place in Bari, Italy, 27 September to 1 October 2006, organized by Federparchi and Regione Puglia. Ramsar's Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, and provides this brief report from the Ramsar perspective. [02/10/06]
Update. Guidance for culture in wetlands. "Taking seriously into account the cultural values of wetlands has been adopted by the Conference of the Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention in Resolution VIII.21 in 2002 and confirmed three years later in Kampala by Resolution IX.19. In accordance with these two Resolutions, the Ramsar Secretariat established this year a working group on culture (Ramsar CWG) to provide the necessary guidance for incorporating cultural values in both the management of wetlands and in their designation under the Ramsar Convention. The outputs expected include the further development and refinement of the technical guidelines presented during COP8, as well as the proposal of a new Resolution for consideration by the COP10, to be held in South Korea in 2008.
"The CWG consists of seven regional representatives, namely Ammar Boumezbeur (Mediterranean), Sansanee Choowaew (Asia), Ernesto Enkerlin (North America), Maman-Sani Issa (Africa), Sergio Lasso (Neotropics), Pati Liu (Oceania) and María José Viñals (Europe), as well as Alexandre Otte and Khin Ni Ni Thein from UNESCO and David Pritchard from BirdLife. Convenor of the CWG is Peter Bridgewater, Ramsar Secretary General, while Thymio Papayannis acts as its Secretary. The group is currently considering a draft paper which will go to SC35 for feedback and further guidance for the group.
"The issue of better integration of cultural and biological diversity is ever higher on the international agenda, and it is expected that the work of the Ramsar CWG will contribute to a greater integration of human activities with the Ramsar agenda, especially wetland conservation and the wise use of wetland and water resources. Updates of the group's activities will be posted from time to time." -- Thymio Papayannis and Peter Bridgewater. [02/10/06]
World Water Monitoring Day, 18 October 2006. "On October 18th 2006, tens of thousands of people in more than 50 countries will celebrate World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD). The event, which is organized jointly by the Water Environment Federation (www.wef.org) and the International Water Association (www.iwahq.org) aims to bring public attention to the role that the world's citizens must play in ensuring a sustainable supply of clean, usable water in each and every country. Participants will test the quality of rivers, lakes and other water bodies using a simple monitoring kit. All the water quality data from around the world is collected in the WWMD database, which provides a unique snapshot of the state of the world's water. You can take part by registering one or more monitoring sites in your area on the World Water Monitoring Day web site: www.worldwatermonitoringday.org. IWA has a limited number of free water monitoring kits available for participants in low income countries. If you would like more information about World Water Monitoring Day, or if you are interested in receiving free monitoring kits for WWMD activities in your country, please email Darren.firstname.lastname@example.org." -- Dr. Darren Saywell, International Water Association, E-Mail: email@example.com, http://www.iwahq.org.uk. [29/09/06]
Rain is Falling by Holger Ernst has now been twice nominated within Mediterranean film events this season. Produced in Morocco the film earned the Ramsar MedWet award offered at the Ecofilms Festival, 20-25 June, Rodos, Greece. It also shared first prize with Delivery by Till Novak at the BLUEweek-MEDday where it was screened on 17-19 September in Antalya, Turkey. Held within the framework of the Barcelona Convention, BLUEweek-MEDday was a cultural event organised by among others three Activity Centres (RACs) of the Convention, SPA/RAC, CP/RAC and INFO/RAC. [29/09/96]Ramsar MedWet award-winning film gets first prize at BLUEweek-MEDday event.
Seminar on Multilateral Environmental Agreements and their relevance to the Arctic, 21-22 September 2006 in Arendal, Norway. Rapid environmental changes are taking place in the Arctic, threatening the livelihoods of people of the far North and endangering Arctic flora and fauna - and these changes will have global effects. The seminar organizers point out that, while there are several global and regional Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) relevant to the Arctic, none have an exclusive Arctic scope. On 21-22 September, a seminar was co-organized by UNEP/GRID-Arendal and the Standing Committee for Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR), and co-sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers, with the aim of identifying gaps, challenges, and steps that can be taken to make the global MEAs more relevant to the Arctic region and more useful in ensuring good governance and sustainable development. Ramsar's Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, participated in the meeting and has made thison the proceedings. [26/09/06]
Now available.La Provincia del Chaco Argentina publica su Política Ambiental. En junio de 2005 el gobierno de la Provincia del Chaco (Argentina) publicó su Política Ambiental, la cual describe en forma accesible los antecedentes, las iniciativas y los instrumentos legislativos –tanto existentes como previstos- que se espera conformen un marco normativo para la gestión y protección de los principales recursos naturales de la Provincia. Dentro de las áreas protegidas cubiertas por esta legislación se encuentra el sitio Ramsar “Humedales Chaco”, uno de los tres biomas más ricos en biodiversidad en Argentina y área de confluencia de los ríos Paraná y Paraguay. La publicación de este instrumento constituye un gran avance para lograr la conservación y uso racional de los humedales, y facilitar la resolución de los conflictos existentes en la Provincia. Puede descargar la versión electrónica de este documento aquí. [25/09/06]
Province of Chaco publishes its Environment Policy. In June 2005 the government of the Chaco (Argentina) published its Environmental Policy, which describes in an accessible manner the background, initiatives and legal instruments – both existing and envisaged – which are to constitute the legislative framework for the management and protection of the main natural resources in the Province. Among the protected areas covered by this legislation is the “Humedales Chaco” Ramsar site, one of the three richest in biodiveristy in Argentina, and an area where the Paraná and Paraguay rivers meet. The publication of this instrument constitutes a great leap forward in achieving the conservation and wise use of these wetlands, and facilitating the resolution of the existing coflicts in the Province. An electronic copy of this document (in Spanish) can be downloaded here.
Launch of the Third "Ramsar Toolkit". The Ramsar Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands (the "Ramsar Toolkit") were first published in 2000 to embody all of the guidelines on various matters that had been officially adopted by the Contracting Parties up to COP7 in San José, presented in a handy format with additional explanatory and illustrative material to make them more accessible to practitioners. The 2nd edition, under Sandra Hails' editorship, was published in 2004 to include all of the guidance adopted by the Parties at COP8 in Valencia and to update the illustrative material for the older ones. Now COP9 in November 2005, in Kampala, Uganda, has come and gone, and the 3rd edition of the Handbooks is coming along very nicely. In the end, there will be 17 volumes of guidance grouped under the "three pillars" of the Convention (Wise Use of Wetlands, Ramsar Sites, and International Cooperation), and, with five completed volumes in hand, we are launching the series today and will add to it as quickly as we can over the next few months. This time, for budgetary reasons, there will be no printed hard-copy edition of the Handbooks - they are being made available for download and eventually on CD-ROM in PDF format in colorful, illustrated editions that can be printed out, in color or B+W, and bound in any way the reader chooses or left lying about in loose sheets.
The menu of both completed and awaited volumes can be found here. For those volumes that are not yet ready, there are two possibilities. If they embody guidance up to and including COP8, readers may wish to continue to rely upon the 2nd Edition for the time being, since though the additional material and presentation will be updated the basic approved guidance will be unchanged. For guidance documents adopted by COP9 in 2005, readers will still find those guidelines, with no additional material, elsewhere on the Ramsar Web site. We expect to be able at least to begin adding the French and Spanish versions of the Handbooks over the next few weeks, and the Ramsar Manual, the 100-page introduction to the Convention's history and workings, is also now being updated from its 2004 3rd edition to account for progress since COP8. When it's all finished, perhaps by the end of 2006, the entire lot of them in the three Ramsar languages, and including the Manual, will be published in PDF on a CD-ROM that will be freely available to the public. So we all have something to look forward to as the northern winter closes in upon us.
PS We'll have a new volume in the Ramsar Technical Reports series, on valuation of wetlands' ecosystem services, published in collaboration with the CBD, coming along in PDF format very soon as well. [23/09/06]
Nordic and Baltic countries swing the NorBalWet Initiative into action. During a preparatory meeting in March 2005, the Ramsar administrative authorities of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and the regions around the Baltic Sea of the Russian Federation agreed to embark on a regional initiative, the Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet), under the Ramsar Convention, confirmed later that year in Resolution IX.7. This intention was fast turned into action in 2006 with the help of two major events - a seminar on mire restoration in Sweden in May 2006 and a conference on wetland restoration in Norway in September 2006. Ramsar's Senior Advisor for Europe, Tobias Salathé, participated in those meetings and reports on both, with photos, here. [20/09/06]
World Wetlands Day update - at last! "We wrote in June about our early plans for World Wetlands Day 2007 and you will be relieved, no doubt, to hear that we have made progress since then and can fill in a few more details on what we are doing. We hope our Fish for Tomorrow? slogan will appeal to almost all of our WWD actors since there is surely not one country that does not have issues to deal with in fisheries. And of course maintaining the health ofinland and coastal wetlands is essential to ensure that they continue to support sustainable fisheries.
Our webmaster has been busy updating the WWD 2007 Web page so please go there right now and you will see what we are producing -- http://ramsar.org/wwd/7/wwd2007_index.htm. The poster and sticker design are thre for you to see (and I hope enjoy) and these are being printed right now. The other materials – fisheries leaflet, web animation, and a do-it-yourself fish – are being finalised. Our goal is to begin the mailing process at the end of the first week in October. Please visit the Web page to find out more details on this.We look forward to your support for our annual wetland celebration! With best wishes, Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat." [19/09/06]
Third GEF Assembly, Cape Town, South Africa. The Third Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and associated meetings took place in Cape Town, South Africa, 28-30 August 2006. The GEF Assembly is a pre-eminent forum of environment and development experts and it attracted high-level representatives from the GEF's 176 member countries, as well as environmentalists, leading development practitioners, the private sector and civil society. The Ramsar Convention is an invited observer to the GEF Council and was represented at the Third Assembly by Paul Mafabi, Assistant Commissioner for Wetlands in Uganda and Chair of the Ramsar Standing Committee. His brief report outlines the main outcomes of the meeting, the next steps, and implications for the Ramsar Convention. [19/09/06]
Uganda names nine new Wetlands of International Importance. The Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to announce that Uganda has added nine new sites to the List of Wetlands of International Importance. Spread around the country, the sites contribute a variety of wetland types to the total area of Ramsar sites, going from Uganda's largest tract of swamp forest to extensive papyrus tracts and an impressive waterfall system. Thanks to the new designations, the country can now afford extra protection to the habitats of endangered species such as the globally vulnerable Shoebill, the Papyrus Gonolek, and the Sitatunga, which constitute important tourist attractions. The cultural and socio-economic value of these wetlands should also be emphasized, as local communities depend on them for their survival in terms of fish, construction material, medicines, flood protection, water filtration, grazing and much more. Brief descriptions of the new sites, with photographs, can be seen here.
The Secretariat would like to congratulate Uganda, and particularly the Wetlands Inspection Division, for this new achievement and for its continual efforts in the implementation of the Convention at both national and international levels. We also recognize the contributions of WWF's Global Freshwater Programme, BirdLife International, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Royal Danish Embassy in Kampala, and NatureUganda to the designation of these new sites. Uganda, which joined the Convention in 1988, now has 11 Ramsar sites covering a surface area of 354,803 hectares. Globally, the Convention's 153 Contracting Parties have designated 1626 Ramsar sites, covering 145,594,013 hectares. -- Lucia Scodanibbio, Assistant Advisor for Africa. [15/09/06]
New Ramsar site on the Isle of Man. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the United Kingdom's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra) has designated a new Wetland of International Importance located on the Isle of Man, a UK crown dependency in the Irish Sea. Ballaugh Curragh (193 hectares, 54°19'N 004°31'W) is a complex mosaic of interrelated peatland habitats dominated by grey willow and birch scrub locally known as 'curragh'. Of particular significance is the presence of wet bog woodland, natural dystrophic ponds, Molinia meadows on peaty soils, and especially the purple moor-grass-dominated fen pastures with good populations of marsh orchids. Amongst the high diversity of breeding birds the site also supports the threatened Corncrake Crex crex, which is ascribed to the continuing presence of traditionally managed farmland. The biodiversity of the site is known to have contributed to its cultural importance as an early settlement, and hence to its considerable value as an archaeological resource. Thus Ballaugh Curragh forms a culturally-defined area of the Isle of Man as well as a distinct wetland, and as such it has provided valuable archaeological and palynological (spores and pollen) records. The presence of impressive numbers of winter hen harrier Circus cyaneus and traditionally-managed meadows with summer displays of thousands of orchids attracts visitors for both bird-watching and the popular 'orchid tours' run by the Manx Wildlife Trust.
In ceremonies on 6 September 2006, the Manx Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Phil Gawne, and Ramsar Secretary General Peter Bridgewater celebrated the new designation with local officials, and the Secretary General's illustrated report on that, with the government's press release, can be seen here. [14/09/06]
Announcements.Call for Application to the Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund (Oct 06). "The 'Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund' has been established to provide financial support to projects at site of importance for migratory waterbirds in the East Asia - Australasian Flyway. Cathay Pacific placed an initial donation of HK$500,000 (approx. US$65,000) into the Fund which is administered by WWF Hong Kong, and further donations are actively being sought to increase the amount in the Fund so that a greater number of worthwhile projects can be supported in future. Each year, up to 25% of the amount in the Fund will be earmarked for disbursement to support approved projects. At present, the maximum amount that can be applied for each project shall not exceed US$4,000. Three projects has been funded in the first round of application in June 2006 -- you may visit http://www.wwf.org.hk/eng/maipo/awcf/projects.html for details. There will be a single call for applications to the Fund each year with the deadline currently being 31 October 2006. For further information, please check http://www.wwf.org.hk/eng/maipo/awcf/ or contact the AWCF Administrator by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org." -- Katherine Leung, AWCF Administrator. [14/09/06]
Announcements.Deadline for nominations for Stockholm Water Prize. "September 30, 2006, is the nomination deadline for the 2007 Stockholm Water Prize, and nominations are welcome from around the world. The Stockholm Water Prize is presented annually to an individual, institution or organisation for outstanding achievements within water-related fields such as education and awareness raising, human and international relations, research, water management, water-related aid and development activities in developing countries. Any activity or actor which contributes broadly to the availability, conservation and protection of the world's water resources, and to improved water conditions which contribute to the health of the planet's inhabitants and ecosystems, is eligible to be nominated. The Stockholm Water Prize enjoys Royal Patronage and includes a USD 150,000 award and a crystal Orrefors sculpture. Visit www.siwi.org for more information or request the nominating material via e-mail at email@example.com." -- David Trouba, Stockholm International Water Institute. [14/09/06]
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 ).