The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 25 September 2006
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
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.
Headline story.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 email@example.com." -- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org." -- David Trouba, Stockholm International Water Institute. 14/09/06]
From the Wetlands Forum. Info on Wetland monitoring. "Dear all, Does anyone know of any concrete, "model" wetland in the world which would have a comprehensive, integrated monitoring system (e.g., a wetland observatory), of not only its natural heritage but also human activities/pressures, land-use, etc... whose indicators/ parameters would not just be a haphazard collection of "what has been collected so far - by chance - by various persons/ institutions", but result from a real planning based on indicators addressing key management issues at that wetland; ...and which would not be purely research-oriented, but a real management tool, used by local managers? Any synthetic reference, providing indications especially on the selection process used for defining the indicators, the number & nature of parameters, the role-sharing between all those involved, etc. would be most gratefully received!
NOTE: We have started to compile all the monitoring programmes existing for a test wetland (the Camargue, southern France) and arrive at 1600+ parameters monitored by over 40 organisations - 80% of them being water quality data for the delta's major river. This is the "haphazard collection" mentioned above... but we aim at moving beyond that! Thank you in anticipation, Christian." -- Dr Christian Perennou, Chef de Projet / Project Leader, Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles - France. email@example.com Site Web : http://www.tourduvalat.org. [14/09/06]
Announcements. "Dear colleagues, I’d like to bring to your attention two upcoming conferences that will include panels devoted to Ramsar issues. Best regards, Roy." -- Royal C. Gardner, Professor of Law and Director, Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida, USA (http://www.law.stetson.edu/international/biodiversity/).
Restore America’s Estuaries is holding its 3rd National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration - Forging the National Imperative in New Orleans, Louisiana, from December 9-13, 2006. The Ramsar panel will include Maria Rivera (CREHO), Clayton Rubec (Environment Canada and Canada-Iraq Marshlands Initiative), and Mike McCoy (Tijuana River Estuary). For more information, please contact Kristin Hoelting at (206) 624-9100, ext. 3#, or visit www.estuaries.org/conference.
Stetson University College of Law will be hosting the Ninth International Wildlife Law Conference in Gulfport/St. Petersburg, Florida, from January 26-27, 2007. The Ramsar Panel will include Dave Pritchard (BirdLife International), Svitlana Kravchenko (University of Oregon School of Law), and Joseph Dellapenna (Villanova University School of Law). For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.law.stetson.edu/international/biodiversity/speakers.asp or http://www.law.stetson.edu/international/biodiversity/IWLC.pdf. [13/09/06]
Celebration on the Isle of Man. The Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, participated in a ceremony on the Isle of Man, a UK Crown Dependency in the Irish Sea, on 6 September 2006, to celebrate the addition of Ballaugh Curragh to the Ramsar List. Here is his brief report on the event, with some photographs and the press release from the Manx Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. [12/09/06]
International workshop on education for marine and coastal wetlands. IUCN and the Vietnam Ministry of Fisheries co-sponsored the International Workshop on Marine and Coastal Wetlands: Education Network, Capacity Building, and Training, 30 August to 1 September 2006, with the purpose of bringing together wetland practitioners from across the country and region and to discuss the possible creation of a network of marine and coastal wetland educators. Nearly 100 participants from Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Philippines came together in the beautiful seaside town of Nha Trang, across from the stunningly beautiful Hon Mun Marine Protected Area (MPA) - Vietnam's first MPA. Rebecca D'Cruz provides this illustrated report on the outcomes. [12/09/06]
Ramsar and the SWS annual meeting, Cairns. The Catchments to Coasts conference was held in Cairns, Australia, from 10-14 July 2006, as a joint conference of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) and the Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA). As part of the proceedings, Ramsar's Administrative Authority, the Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH), organized a symposium on "Implementation of the Ramsar Convention: strategic priorities and challenges for the 21st century", which was chaired at their invitation by the Convention's Deputy Secretary General, Nick Davidson. The symposium reviewed the overall global changes for wetland conservation and wise use and discussed a number of innovative approaches to different aspects of this underway in Australia. During the conference, the SWS conferred its International Fellow Award upon Max Finlayson of IWMI, long-time chair and member of the Convention's STRP. Here is Nick Davidson's brief report, with a photo. [04/09/06]
Stockholm Water Week. The World Water Week took place in Stockholm, Sweden, 20-26 August 2006. The Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, attended some of the sessions, and he has provided a brief report on two important workshops that took place during that time, one on the idea of payment for ecosystem services and the other on the results of IWMI's Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. Here it is. [04/09/06]
Symposium on transboundary wetlands in Europe, Eger, 2006. On the occasion of the first European Congress of Conservation Biology, held in the historic Hungarian city of Eger 23-26 August 2006, one of the major events was the Symposium on 'Diversity of important transboundary wetlands in Europe' convened by Saulius Svazas (Lithuania), who co-chaired the meeting with Thymio Papayannis, with financial support provided by OMPO. Thymio provides a brief report on the conclusions here. [01/09/06]
Sao Tome and Principe joins the Ramsar Convention. The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Sao Tome and Principe has become the 153rd Contracting Party to the Convention on Wetlands - the instrument of accession was received by the Director-General of UNESCO, the depositary for the Ramsar Convention, on 21 August 2006, and so the treaty will enter into force for the new Party on 21 December 2006. The nation of Sao Tome and Principe, Africa's smallest country, comprises two small, volcanic islands in the Gulf of Guinea straddling the equator about 250km northwest of the coast of Gabon, with an overall human population of something like 170,000.
The new Party's obligatory first Wetland of International Importance has been named as Ilots Tinhosas (23 hectares, 01°22'N 007°18'E), two small rocky islands, Tinhosa Grande (20 ha) and Tinhosa Pequena (3 ha), unvegetated and uninhabited by humans, lying between Sao Tome and Principe about 22km south-southwest of the latter. The site supports an important community of seabirds and serves as a breeding site for more than 300,000 migratory waterbirds, including Brown Gannet (Sula fusca), Sooty Tern (Sterna fuliginosa), Brown and Black Noddy, and in lesser numbers, Yellow-billed tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus).
Considerable assistance to the accession procedure was provided through small grants from the Ramsar Secretariat and from a Wetlands International project funded by the government of The Netherlands, including a field mission in September 2005 to survey potential Ramsar sites. Some photographs by Tim Dodman from that mission to some of Sao Tome's wetlands can be seen here. [31/08/06]
Ramsar stamps for the Bailiwick of Guernsey.Guernsey celebrates Lihou Island Ramsar designation. The Guernsey Philatelic Bureau has announced the issue of a series of postage stamps celebrating the designation on 1 March 2006 of Lihou Island and L'Erée Headland as a Wetland of International Importance. As the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the Channel Islands is a crown dependency of the United Kingdom, the Ramsar site designation was made through the UK. Here are some photos and excerpts from the accompanying materials. [25/08/06]
Crane Bank Ramsar Awards for 2006. The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is pleased to announce that Mr. Herizo Tiana Andrianandrasana and Mr. Osiman Mabhachi are the two winners of the first Ramsar Crane Bank Awards to promote the wise use concept of wetlands in the Africa region. With the support of the Crane Bank, the prize was awarded to these two African young professionals and will support their costs to travel to, and have a tour of duty for two weeks, in Uganda. The Wetlands Inspection Division of Uganda is the technical partner of this project. Read the details here. [22/08/06]
Liberia names four new Ramsar sites. The Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to announce that Liberia has designated four new Wetlands of International Importance, bringing its total of designated sites to five. From a small rice-dominated site to a large mangrove forest along three rivers, to an important mangrove area associated with the capital city, Monrovia, the sites bring an interesting variety to the Ramsar List, and all are important for the wildlife they support and the services they provide for the population of Liberia. A Ramsar Small Grants Fund contribution was helpful in the preparation of the data for these listings, and the sites are designated as of 24 August 2006, which is Flag Day in Liberia. Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio has prepared brief descriptions of the new sites, based upon the Ramsar Information Sheets, and these can be seen here. [16/08/06]
Equator Prize 2006 - call for nominations. "Awarded biennially, the Equator Prize recognizes five community-based projects that demonstrate extraordinary achievement in reducing poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the equatorial belt. Prize winners receive international recognition for their work and an opportunity to help shape international policy and practice in the field, as well as a monetary award of US$30,000 each." The UNDP has put out a call for nominations for the 2006 edition of the Prize, which can be seen here in English, Français, and Español. [16/08/06]
GlobWetland Symposium: "Looking at Wetlands from Space". Full details, preliminary programme and registration forms for this important symposium, organized by the European Space Agency (ESA) in association with the Ramsar Convention, are now available on-line at http://www.congrex.nl/06a11/. The sessions take place on 19-20 October 2006 at ESA ESRIN in Frascati, Italy. Participation is invited from all those involved in the use of Earth Observation for wetland inventory, assessment, management and monitoring, from EO experts to end-users such as wetland managers and decision-makers.
Over the past few decades, EO images, with increasing capabilities in terms of spatial, temporal and spectral resolution, have become more accessible to a larger community of users, allowing day-by-day a more affordable, efficient and reliable monitoring of the environment over time at global, regional and local scales. In this context, the European Space Agency in collaboration with the Ramsar Convention has launched a number of projects aimed at exploring and demonstrating the benefits of EO technology for achieving the objectives of the Ramsar Convention. The GlobWetland project has been addressing this issue by using satellite imagery to provide detailed wide-area views of individual wetlands to aid national and local conservation efforts across 50 sites in 21 countries worldwide.
The "Looking at Wetlands from Space" symposium will review the outcomes of the GlobWetland project and many other activities and initiatives worldwide which are generating remotely-sensed information products for wetlands, and it will assess what can and cannot be done to support Ramsar implementation with existing technology and identify future challenges for the Earth Observation community. It is planned to publish a proceedings volume from the symposium as a special issue of a relevant scientific journal. [14/08/06]
Swiss Grant for Africa. Congo outlines its National Wetland Policy. In the framework of the Ramsar Swiss Grant for Africa, the Congolese government received a subvention from the Ramsar Secretariat to reactivate the Convention implementation in the country and prepare the outline for its National Wetlands Policy. The Administrative Authority of the Convention in the country, the General Directorate of the Environment, has set up a multidisciplinary team to outline the NWP together with a National Action Plan to facilitate its implementation. Ramsar's Abou Bamba describes the process. [10/08/06]
Position vacancy. Wetlands International seeks Programme Officer. The Wetlands International Africa Programme is seeking applications for a Programme Development Officer, to be based in Dakar, Senegal. The application deadline is 23 August 2006, and the terms of references can be seen here. [10/08/06]
Now available. Report on Ramsar visit to China. The Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, and the Senior Advisor for Asia and the Pacific, Guangchun Lei, visited China between 5 and 13 July. "Four wetland sites in China were visited to learn their conservation issues and solutions, and to exchange views on future directions for wetland conservation, with all levels of governmental officials." Their report is now available here (PDF). [07/08/06]
Perú names another high Andean wetlands. The Secretariat is pleased to report that the government of Perú has designated Humedal Lucre - Huacarpay (1,979 hectares, 13°37'S 071°44'W) as its eleventh Wetland of International Importance, effective 23 September 2006. As summarized by Adrián Ruiz-Carvajal from the RIS, the new site is situated at an altitude of 3,020 meters and comprises four permanent and one temporary lagoons, two swamps and two rivers, and is part of the Pikillaqta Archaeological Park and the National Tourist Reserve. The wetland provides considerable food and refuge to various threatened (Falco femoralis, Falco peregrinus, Jabiru mycteria) and endemic (Oreonympha nobilis, Asthenes ottonis, Poospiza caesar) avian species, making it possible to identify over 70 such species throughout the year. Among the most representative flora are various species of cacti and the "Algarrobo" tree (Prosopis laevigata), which at 3,100 meters AMSL probably has the highest altitude of its distribution in South America. The overexploitation of resources constitutes an important threat to the site, which is in turn facilitated by uncertainty about the ownership of the land. [04/08/06]
Ramsar Technical Reports series launched. The Ramsar Technical Report series is designed to publish, chiefly through electronic media, technical notes, reviews and reports on wetland ecology, conservation, wise use and management, as an enhanced information support service to Contracting Parties and the wider wetland community in support of implementation of the Convention. In particular, the series includes the detailed technical background reviews and reports prepared by the Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) at the request of Contracting Parties, which would previously have been made available in most instances only as "Information Papers" for a meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP). Other reports not originating from COP requests to the STRP, but which are considered by the STRP to provide information relevant to supporting implementation of the Convention, may be proposed for inclusion in the series. All Ramsar Technical Reports are peer-reviewed by the members and observers appointed to the STRP.
Ramsar Technical Reports are chiefly published in English in electronic (PDF) format - when resources permit, the reports may also be published in French and Spanish (the other official languages of the Convention) and/or in printed form. The first RTR report, Guidelines for the rapid assessment of inland, coastal and marine wetland biodiversity, was published jointly in May 2006 with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The second, Low-cost GIS software and data for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring, by John Lowry, is now ready, and a number of additional papers are presently in preparation. Download either or both RTR reports here. [03/08/06]
Announcement.Coastal protection - what role for forests and trees?. The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific plans to convene a four-day regional technical workshop on “Coastal protection in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami: what role for forests and trees?”. The workshop will be held in Khao Lak, Thailand, from 28 through 31 August 2006 with the main objective of improving the understanding of the role of mangroves and other kind of coastal forests and trees in protecting populations and assets from natural hazards, including not only tsunamis but also cyclones, erosion, wind and salt spray. For more information please visit www.fao.org/forestry/tsunami/coastalprotection or contact Ms. Serena Fortuna (email@example.com). [01/08/06]
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 ).