The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 14 July 2006
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline story.Chile publica su Estrategia Nacional de Humedales. Aprobada en diciembre de 2005 por el Consejo Directivo de CONAMA, la “Estrategia Nacional para la Conservación y Uso Racional de los Humedales en Chile” constituye un paso muy importante para Chile y la culminación de un esfuerzo multisectorial iniciado con el proyecto SGF/97/CHL/1 de la Convención de Ramsar. Partiendo del reconocimiento de estos ecosistemas como espacios que concentran la biodiversidad e influyen significativamente en la calidad de vida de la población, esta Estrategia establece una serie de objetivos específicos y líneas de acción que deberán promover un manejo sustentable y participativo de los humedales en todo el territorio nacional. Puede descargar una copia de este documento aquí. [14/07/06]
Chile issues its National Wetland Strategy. Approved in December 2005 by the Ministerial Council of CONAMA, the “National Strategy for the Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands in Chile” constitutes a very important step for Chile, and the culmination of the multisectoral effort initiated by Ramsar project SGF/97/CHL/1. Recognizing wetland ecosystems as critical in concentrating biodiversity and significantly influencing the quality of life of the population, this Strategy lays down a series of specific objectives and lines of action that should promote the sustainable and participatory management of wetlands within its territory. A copy of the document can be downloaded here.
Headline story.Future management of the Seine meanders and estuary: Seminar Grand'Mare II. "The Regional Nature Park Les Boucles de la Seine Normande hosted a seminar on the development and management of the Grand'Mare lake on the 28 June 2006. The Grand'Mare lies in the area of the Vernier marshes in an old meander and lowest curve of the Seine river before flowing into the English Channel. Fourteen years after a first international seminar discussing the conservation and management problems of the Vernier marshes and peatlands, including the Grand'Mare lake, this event was organised to look at the results of the activities carried out over the intervening period and to discuss further steps for the future development of the site." Ramsar's Dorothea August provides an illustrated report on the seminar and the future prospects for management of the site. [13/07/06]
Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General, is in in Cairns, Australia, 9-15 July 2006, participating in the Catchments to Coasts conference organised by the Society of Wetland Scientists and Australian Marine Sciences Association, chairing a symposium on “Implementing the Ramsar Convention: Priorities and Challenges". [05/07/06]
Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General, and Lei Guangchun, Senior Regional Advisor for Asia Pacific, are in China from 5-14 July visiting the Hanghzou and Ruorgai marshes Ramsar Sites, and meeting in Beijing with the Ramsar Administrative Authorities to look at their wetland conservation and restoration programme and to discuss various issues related to the future development of the Himalayan Initiative. [05/07/06]
From the Ramsar Forum.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. [13/07/06]
Argentina names High Andean Ramsar site. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that, effective World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2006, the Parque Provincial El Tromen (30,000 hectares, 37°05S 070°06'W) in Neuquén Province has become Argentina's 15th Wetland of International Importance. Ramsar's Adrián Ruiz-Caravajal summarizes the Ramsar Information Sheet -- Reaching an altitude of up to 3,978 above sea level, this wetland forms a complex hydrological system in which the snowmelt slips through cracks in the basaltic bedrock and rises again at the base of the mountains to create small water bodies that in turn feed a variety of High Andean Wetlands. Apart from being a high Andean wetland representative of the Patagonia region, containing a rich biodiversity and serving as a resting and feeding ground for several waterfowl species, the wetland also qualifies as a Ramsar site under the recently added Criterion 9, being the only site known to host the endemic lizard Liolaemus punmahuida. Although the approval of the management plan is still underway, park rangers enforce some protective measures such as a total ban on hunting. [12/07/06]
Parque Provincial El Tromen. 02/02/06; Provincia del Neuquén; 30,000 hectáreas; 37°05'S 070°06'W. Área Natural Protegida. Alcanzando una altura máxima de 3,978 msnm, este humedal forma un complejo sistema hidrológico en el cual el agua de deshielo se infiltra a través de grietas basálticas para volver a aflorar cerca del pie de los cerros y construir aguadas que alimentan a lagunas, bañados y mallines. Además de ser un humedal altoandino representativo de la región patagónica, contener una rica biodiversidad y servir como sitio de descanso y alimentación a diversas aves, este humedal también califica como sitio Ramsar bajo el recientemente adicionado Criterio 9 al ser el único sitio conocido donde se encuentra la lagartija Liolaemus punmahuida. Aunque el plan de manejo del sitio se encuentra en proceso de ser aprobado, guardaparques provinciales vigilan el cumplimiento de algunas medidas como una veda total de caza. Sitio Ramsar no. 1626.
Now available.STRP 13 report. The Ramsar Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) met for its 13th meeting in Gland, 30 May to 2 June 2006, in order to review its priorities and establish its work plan for 2006-2008, for the approval of the Standing Committee. Now available is the full report of the meeting, the summary of decisions in English (French and Spanish to follow), the list of participants, and the participants' contacts. Photos may follow later if we can find time to post them. [12/07/06]
Wetlands International's Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project. "As part of the on-going capacity development activities of the Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project – a project of Wetlands International funded by the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry (DGIS) - two stakeholder workshops were held in March 2006 in Dakar, Senegal and in Naivasha, Kenya. The purpose of these workshops were to undertake a training and skills need analysis for both West and East Africa to improve the mainstreaming of sustainable wetlands management principles into development agendas and such policy instruments as PRSPs (Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers)." Here is a report on the workshops from Tunde Ojei, WI's Capacity Building Coordinator, with a link to the Workshop Declaration and lists of the participants (PDF). [11/07/06]
Now available.Nueva Política Ambiental sobre Océanos y Costas en México. Ya se encuentra disponible la "Política Ambiental Nacional para el Desarrollo Sustentable de Océanos y Costas de México: Estrategias para su conservación y uso sustentable". Este documento detalla la situación de las zonas marinas y costeras del país desde las perspectivas política, legal, económica y social para establecer un marco estratégico y una política para su manejo. Gran parte de los sitios Ramsar de México son humedales costeros que serán beneficiados por la creación de esta política. Puede descargar este documento aquí (PDF, 2MB). [11/07/06]
Now available.UNEP's Africa Environment Outlook 2. The United Nations Environment Programme has launched Africa Environment Outlook 2 – Our Environment, Our Wealth (AEO-2), which "profiles Africa’s environmental resources as an asset for the region’s development. The report highlights the opportunities presented by the natural resource base to support development and the objectives of the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The report underscores the need for sustainable livelihoods, and the importance of environmental initiatives in supporting them. Emphasis is put on what should and can be done with existing (remaining) environmental assets, in the context of identified constraints (issues), rather than focusing on what has been already lost." Links to download the full text, chapters, annexes, and fact sheets can be found here. [11/07/06]
International conference on Danube cooperation. The conference Past and Future in Establishing Institutions on Danube Cooperation, held in Galati, Romania from 27-29 June, brought together river navigation specialists and environmental, water management and wetlands experts, thus recognizing that working together across sectoral interests and national boundaries is becoming more than ever a crucial imperative to find lasting solutions for sustainable development and human wellbeing in the lower Danube region. Alexandru Cucu, General Director in the Ministry of Transport, reported on the recently established cooperation between his Ministry and the Ministry of Environment to elaborate win-win solutions for improvement measures for both, inland navigation on the lower Danube between Braila and Calarasi, as well as for the management of the Ramsar Site Small Island of Braila and other wetland ecosystems of the Lower Danube Green Corridor.Oganized by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Ministries of Environment and Water and of Transport, the conference also provided the opportunity for two additional specialist groups to (a) discuss historical aspects of the institutional evolution since the establishment of the first Danube Commission, and (b) focus on the most recent political Danube Cooperation Process, initiated by the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, after the 1999 Kosovo war. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé attended this conference and has provided an illustrated report. [05/07/06]
Now available.Report of the CEPA Oversight Panel's 1st meeting. Through COP9 Resolution IX.18 and Decision 12 of Standing Committee's 34th meeting, a CEPA Oversight Panel was set up to (a) monitor and report on the implementation of the Convention's Communication, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA) Programme established by Resolution VIII.31, and (b) examine and set priorities for communication, education and capacity building in collaboration with the Wetlands International CEPA Specialist Group and the Ramsar Advisory Board on Capacity Building. The Panel met for the first time on May 29th, 2006, and the report of this meeting, along with background information on the structure and function of the Panel and the Advisory Board, is available here.[04/07/06]
Announcement. Ramsar opening for Intern for Africa.The Ramsar Secretariat welcomes applications for the position of Intern/Assistant Advisor for the Africa Region, a 12-month posting (possibly extendable to up to 24 months) at the Ramsar Secretariat in Switzerland to begin as soon as possible after 1 November 2006. 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 Africa and have lived most of their lives in the region. Full ability to work in both English and French, both written and spoken, is required for this post.
Prospective candidates: please view the General Terms of Reference for Ramsar internships (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 both in English and French explaining your interest in an internship with the Ramsar Secretariat and your future career goals, your CV, as well as two letters of reference 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 18 August 2006. [04/07/06]
Ramsar/MedWet Ecofilms Award. Rain is falling by Holger Ernst earned the Ramsar/MedWet award for best film on water and wetlands in the sixth Rodos Ecofilms Festival on film and visual arts, Rodos 20-25 June 2006. The 3,500 Euro prize was awarded by Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention during the closing ceremony of the festival, on Saturday 24 June, in Rodos, Greece. The Jury also awarded two special mentions to Freshwater Lands,set in Venezuela, by Ana Cristina Henriquez and Cyanide Blues, set in Hungary, by Zoltan Torok.Read the full report here. [29/06/06]
Report of the Secretariat visit to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, Dubai, UAE.Invited by the Dubai Municipal Government, Ramsar's Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, and Senior Advisor for Asia, Mr Guangchun Lei, visited the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary from June 4-5th, 2006. They met representatives from the UAE Federal Environment Agency,Dubai Municipal Government, Sama Dubai (government developer), EIA consultants, and WWF UAE to discuss the current situation of the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and the potential for its designation as a Ramsar Site in the future. They also took the opportunity to encourage the accession of the United Arab Emirates to the Convention. Full report available here. [28/06/06]
The Secretariat launches its plans for WWD 2007. The theme for WWD 2007 will be on wetlands and fisheries - a topic that has relevance for everyone from consumer to fisher to decision-maker to conservationist. It's a timely theme for the Ramsar Convention since it adopted a fisheries resolution at COP9 in November 2005. The index page for WWD 2007 introduces the theme, presents some preliminary information on the materials that will be produced by the Secretariat, and a brief paper with some facts and figures on fisheries and wetlands to set the scene. Time to start thinking about WWD plans for February 2 2007! [26/06/06]
Ramsar and GTOS sign a Memorandum of Cooperation. The Secretary General visited FAO 13 - 14 June to sign an MoC with GTOS, the Global Terrestrial Observing System, of which FAO is a keystone member. GTOS, an international programme on global environmental change, sponsored by FAO, UNESCO, UNEP, WMO and the International Council for Science (ICSU), plays a major role in monitoring and assessing wetland ecosystems in order to address loss and degradation. A detailed report on the MOC signature is available here and the text of the MOC can be viewed here.
The Secretary General also visited areas of FAO dealing with Fisheries and Forestry, with special reference to work on mangrove ecosystems and agricultural biodiversity. The Secretary General was also briefed on the work being undertaken by FAO on Avian Influenza, which is showing very positive results in most previously affected countries. A key focus remains on understanding the dynamics of the virus in the wild, and understanding where the key sources for the virus remain. [21/06/06]
Business opportunities and constraints for sustainable use of wetlands. What business opportunities hold wetlands, their products and biodiversity for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)? was the theme of a workshop funded by the European Commission in the framework of its Strategy for Sustainable Development, in particular the commitment to protect and restore habitats and natural systems and halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010. The workshop took place in Austria on 9-10 June 2006, in the National Park centre of Illmitz, in the transboundary National Park and Ramsar Site Neusiedlersee-Sewinkel (Austria) & Fertö-Hansag (Hungary). Organized by the EU project partners Fauna & Flora International, the European Bureau for Conservation & Development and the European Foundation for Management Development, the workshop brought together 50 persons presenting and debating a number of varied and interesting case studies. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé attended the meeting and provides a detailed report with links to further information. [19/06/06]
Sudan names Sudd marshes for the Ramsar List. The Secretariat is very pleased to report that, in ceremonies in Khartoum on 5 June 2006, World Environment Day, Sudan's Minister of Environment and Physical Development, Dr. Ahmed Babikar Nehar, announced the designation of the Sudd marshes as his country's second Wetland of International Importance, along with the Dinder National Park Ramsar site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. As summarized by Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio from the Ramsar Information Sheet that accompanied the designation, Sudd (5,700,000 hectares, 07°34'N 030°39'E) is one of the largest tropical wetlands in the world, located in Southern Sudan in the lower reaches of Bahr el Jebel, the name given to the White Nile as it flows northwards. The Ramsar Secretariat was represented at the World Environment Day ceremonies by Denis Landenbergue of WWF International, presenting the Minister with the Ramsar site certificate, and his address on behalf of Ramsar's Senior Advisor for Africa, Abou Bamba, is also available here. Description and photos of the Sudd Ramsar site. Address and photos of the WED ceremonies. [15/06/06]
Liberia reports on the civil crisis' consequences on wetlands. The Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to report on the finalization by Liberia of a project which took place in the framework of the Ramsar/ Swiss Grant for Africa initiative on post-conflict assessment of wetlands in selected West and Central African countries. The project, which also received funds from Ramsar's Small Grants Fund, had several objectives, among which are the production of a national report on the Impact of the Civil Conflict on Wetlands, the development of a national wetland policy, and the establishment of a National Wetlands Committee. Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio reports on the project and its report, with photos from Abou Bamba's visit to Monrovia during the course of the project and a link to the report itself in PDF format -- [15/06/06]
Upcoming events.Danube Day 2006 - Thirteen Countries to celebrate 3rd Danube Day. "A series of events have been planned for the celebration of the third Danube Day, 29 June, to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1994. Danube Day has been initiated by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), a Vienna-based organization composed of representatives of the countries of the Danube River Basin, represented by their ministries." Here is ICPDR's press release. [15/06/06]
'Don't desert wetlands' in Cyprus. The UNDP's initiative Action for Cooperation and Trust in Cyprus used this year's World Environment Day theme "Don't desert drylands" (www.unep.org/wed/2006) as an opportunity to organize an event on 5-6 June in the Nicosia Holiday Inn. The island of Cyprus, in the dryer part of the Mediterranean region, suffers from the global climate change process and is subject to desertification, which resulted in extreme losses in soil productivity and in the depletion of the quality of water resources. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé attended the WED "Eco-Forum" and reports on what went on there. [14/06/06]
Opportunity for comment. How to pay for water-related ecosystem services? Tobias Salathé writes that "Earlier this year, the Ramsar Secretariat actively participated in a drafting group, chaired by Switzerland (Ms Sibylle Vermont), preparing for the Parties to the UNECE Water Convention a Code of conduct on payments for ecosystem services in integrated water resources management to be adopted at their next COP on 20-22 November 2006 in Bonn, Germany. This represents another step in Ramsar's cooperation with the UNECE Water Convention's "Nature for Water" programme (cf. our earlier presentation of two brochures produced by the programme)." The draft Code of Conduct is now available for comment, and Tobias Salathé provides the background and the draft Code, with the reasons for which it will be useful for the Ramsar Parties. [14/06/06]
The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) is the UNEP flagship report series on the state-and-trends of the global environment first requested in a UNEP Governing Council decision of 1995. The peer review process of the first draft of the fourth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4) report is now underway by governments, experts, science institutions, international organizations and other stakeholders. Nick Davidson provides more detail here. [14/06/06]Opportunity for comment. The Fourth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4) Draft 1 Review Process Underway.
Upcoming meetings."Looking at wetlands from space". The GlobWetland Symposium "on new earth observation technologies for meeting global and local needs in wetland inventorying, assessment and monitoring", sponsored by the European Space Agency and the Ramsar Convention, will take place 19-20 October 2006 on the ESA premises in Frascati/Rome, Italy, and the deadline for submission of abstracts is 30 June 2006. More information here. [14/06/06]
Upcoming meetings . Wetland CEPA forum set for China. "In order to share lessons and experiences in the development and management of wetland parks around the world, to maximize the role of wetland park in wetland communication, education and public awareness, to promote wise use of wetlands through effective management of wetland parks, the State Forestry Administration of People's Republic of China will host the 2nd Wetland Forum in Xixi National Wetland Park in Hangzhou city, the capital of Zhejiang Province from Oct. 19 to 22, 2006. And the local authorities, Hangzhou Municipal Government and Zhejiang Provincial Forestry Department will be the co-organizers of the Forum. The theme of this forum is "Wetland Parks and Wetland CEPA", which will include at least the following three aspects: - Planning and designing of wetland parks; - Development and management of wetland parks; - Education and public dissemination on wetland parks." . [31/05/06]
Instrumento legal para el pago por servicios ambientales en Costa Rica. El 30 de enero de 2006 entró en vigor el Canon por Concepto de Aprovechamiento de Aguas para todo usuario de este recurso en Costa Rica. El Canon es un instrumento económico innovador que tiene como finalidad internalizar la totalidad de los costos ambientales derivados de la explotación y suministro del recurso hídrico a través del pago por este servicio ambiental. Ajustando los costos del suministro en función de la fuente del agua (superficial o subterránea) y de 8 tipos de usuarios finales, este esquema será instrumentado gradualmente durante un período de 7 años, introduciéndose un ajuste por inflación a partir del octavo año. Los ingresos generados por este concepto se destinarán en un 50% a la gestión nacional del agua (incluyendo infraestructura e investigación, entre otros), siendo el 50% restante invertido directamente en la conservación, mantenimiento y recuperación de la cuenca hidrográfica y ecosistemas que proveen dicho recurso, tanto en áreas protegidas del estado como privadas. El Canon contempla adicionalmente subsidios para el manejo de las Áreas Silvestres Protegidas, para los propietarios de tierras privadas, y otros incentivos para facilitar su implementación. (PDF). [29/05/06]
Guatemala’s National Wetland Policy was published in January 2006 by the National Protected Areas Council (Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas -CONAP) with the support of the Ramsar Convention’s Small Grant Fund project SGF/03/GT/1. This Policy, applicable to all wetlands in the country, including groundwater, beaches and seas, defines the general guidelines, vision, objectives and lines of action that will be followed to achieve the conservation and wise use of these ecosystems in the present and future. The National Policy also lays out arrangements regarding its implementation, the National Wetlands Committe and the recognition of the important role played by social actors in this process. A PDF copy of the National Wetlands Policy can be downloaded here (Spanish only).
Now available. Wetland conservation in Latin America: an interview with Margarita Astrálaga. An interview by Katiana Murillo of the Rainforest Alliance with Ramsar's Senior Advisor for the Americas, Margarita Astrálaga, April 2006, reprinted from the Alliance's site Eco-Index. Here. [29/05/06]
Conservación de Humedales en América Latina - una entrevista con Margarita Astrálaga. Aquí.
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 ).