The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 11 May 2006
Lamentablemente, no hay versión en español de este documento
Headline story.Portugal designates five varied new Ramsar sites. The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the government of Portugal has designated five new Wetlands of International Importance, effective 2 December 2005. They are: Bertiandos and S. Pedro of Arcos Lagoons (346 hectares, 41°45'N 008°39'W), a complex of permanent and temporary freshwater lakes on the right bank of the Lima River in the north of the country; Estrela Mountain upper Plateau and upper Zêzere River(5,075 ha, 40°21'N 007°37'W), the upper reaches and plateau region of Portugal's highest mountain (1993m); 'Fajãs' of Caldeira and Cubres Lagoons(87 ha, 38º38'N 027º57'W), two small coastal lagoon systems formed by landslide processes off steep coastal cliffs on S. Jorge Island in the Azores Autonomic Region; Mira Minde Polje and related Springs (662 ha, 39°29'N 008°38'W), an important, flat karstic depression and associated subterranean hydrological system, springs, and caves; and Mondego Estuary (1,581 ha, 40º08'N 008º50'W), the estuary of the largest river that is wholly within Portugal. Portugal now has 17 Ramsar sites covering a surface area of 73,784 hectares, and the Convention as a whole has 1,601 Ramsar sites, covering 134,701,820 hectares.
Brief site descriptions, prepared from the Ramsar Information Sheets with the help of Dorothea August, and a number of photographs of the new sites, can be found here. [11/05/06].
Headline story.New Ramsar MOC signed with SPREP. The Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, is visiting Samoa on 10 and 11 May 2006 and has participated in the signing of the new Memorandum of Cooperation between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia and the Ramsar Secretariat. The Memorandum of Cooperation, following on from the first MOC signed in 2002, covers a three-year period from 2006 to 2008 and agrees to a number of joint collaborative activities: these aim to promote and strengthen the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources in the Pacific Islands region. Peter is also meeting with Samoa's new environment minister, the Honourable Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, consulting with SPREP's Assistant Ramsar Officer, Vai Jungblut, and visiting Samoa's first Ramsar site, Lake Lanoto'o. Here is SPREP's press release on the signing ceremony, with a photo. [11/05/06]
Guatemala teachers' workshop on mangrove ecology. Educators from five countries came together in Tilapa from 18 to 21 April 2006 in a three-day workshop for Guatemala teachers on the importance of mangrove wetlands.Co-sponsored by the international non-profit organization the Mangrove Action Project (MAP), Guatemala's Amigos del Bosque, Colombia's San Andres-based CORALINA, The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and New England Biolabs, the workshop attracted more than 20 teachers from across the country and abroad. The workshop was held in Tilapa, a small island on the southwest Pacific coast of Guatemala. Martin Keeley, MAP's education director, provides this brief illustrated report on the workshop's aims and results. [11/05/06]
Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General, is in Apia, Samoa, 10-11 May 2006, to sign a new MOC with the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), consult with the Ramsar Officer there, Vainuupo Jungblut, and hold discussions with Samoa's Administrative Authority about Samoa's role as the Oceania representative on the Ramsar Standing Committee. [10/05/06]
Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General, is at the Ministry of Environment in Madrid, Spain, 10-11 May 2006, for an informal meeting of the major funding countries of the MedWet Initiative, in order to progress new terms of reference and discuss financial prospects in advance of the extraordinary MedWet/Com meeting in Albania next month. [10/05/06]
Margarita Astràlaga, Senior Advisor for the Americas, is in Iquique, Chile, 8-11 May 2006, for a meeting of the High Andean Strategy group. [02/06/06]
Now available. Guide to Czech wetlands. An English version of an attractive 36-page booklet on the Ramsar sites and other wetlands in the Czech Republic has been published by the Czech Ramsar Committee. Edited by Josef Chytil, Pavlína Hakrová, and Libuše Vlasáková, and translated by Marina Eiseltová and Steve Ridgill, Wetlands of the Czech Republic: The list of wetland sites of the Czech Republic presents the methodology and results of the thorough nationwide inventory of wetlands completed in 1999 and provides detailed descriptions of the country's 12 Ramsar sites (one of which is still in the designation pipeline), with a number of superb photographs to illustrate them.
A copy of the brochure can be obtained from Ms Libuše Vlasáková, Head, International Conservation of Biodiversity Unit, Ministry of Environment, Department of Nature Protection, Vrsovická 65, 100 10 Prague 10 (email@example.com). [09/05/06]
Ramsar sites news. Latvia extends boundaries of Lake Kanieris. Following a boundary extension, the Lake Kaneiris RS now covers not only the shallow lagoon, but also the unique Slocene River delta swamps with several islands, large reed beds and surrounding floodplain forests at the adjacent areas to the west of the lake. Besides the floating vegetation of the lake, there is a broad mosaic of large reed beds of Phragmitetum, Typhetum angustifoliae and Cladietum marisci as well as different habitats at the surrounding meadows, fens and floodplain forests. The total area covered is now 1,995 hectares instead of 1,200 ha., and Latvia's six Ramsar sites now cover 149,158 ha. See the site description in The Annotated List. [09/05/06]
MA Synthesis report on Wetlands and Water. In the coming days, the Secretariat will be mailing out printed copies of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment synthesis report on wetlands - Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Wetlands and Water: Synthesis - to our national focal points in the Administrative Authorities and the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP). Unfortunately, we don't have enough hard copies to make them available to the public, but the 68-page document is available in PDF format from the MA Web site, presently in English and Arabic and eventually in Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish as well. A more detailed description of the Wetlands Synthesis report, and background on the MA process and its products, can be found here. [04/05/06]
Fiji becomes the 152nd Party to Ramsar. The Secretariat is extremely pleased to welcome the Pacific state of Fiji to the Ramsar community. The instrument of accession to the Convention on Wetlands, as amended in 1982 and 1987, was received by the Director-General of UNESCO on 11 April, and thus the treaty comes into force for Fiji on 11 August 2006. The accession process has been facilitated over several years by a number of the Convention's partner organizations - BirdLife International, Wetlands International - Oceania, and WWF South Pacific - with the benefit of grants from the Wetlands International / Netherlands DGIS Partners for Wetlands Programme and the Ramsar SGF. The new Party has named the "Upper Navua Conservation Area" (615 hectares, 18°07'S 177°55'E) as its first Wetlands of International Importance - for a description, photo, and map of the new site, click here. [02/05/06]
Ramsar Visitors Centre opened in Schrems, Austria. "Arguably, one of the most innovative wetland centres - and certainly one of the very few providing the link to the Ramsar Convention in their name - is the new "UnderWaterWorld" Ramsar Centre in Schrems Nature Park which opened its doors on 28 April 2006. Schrems is a small town in Austria's most northern corner, in the "Waldviertel" (forest quarter), or the silent land of dark waters, as the tourist leaflet puts it." Ramsar's Tobias Salathédescribes the new Centre and the launch ceremony, and illustrates the story with a number of interesting photographs. [02/05/06]
Biodiversity is Life, Countdown 2010 workshop. On 29th April 06, the Parco Delta del Po, in association with Europarc Federation, the Italian Federation of Parks and Nature Reserves, and the Delta chiama Delta association organised a workshop called “Biodiversity is Life, Countdown 2010: Biodiversity Protection in Wetlands” near the Park’s headquarters in Comacchio, Italy. The workshop took place in the context of the 3rd International Po Delta Birdwatching Fair, which attracted up to 30,000 visitors last year, providing information stands, products as well as several activities, including visits to the varied habitats of the vast park, which includes several Ramsar sites. On the morning of the 29th, presentations included an introduction to the 2010 Countdown by Sebastian Winkler, head of IUCN’s Countdown 2010 secretariat; the role played by the Ramsar Convention in reducing biodiversity loss, by Lucia Scodanibbio; followed by different talks on specific aspects related to biodiversity concerns in the Italian context given by local experts. Although Italy has already made large advances in the field of conservation, challenging times lie ahead, especially with the current change in government. The workshop was useful in bringing the key issues to the fore, and in allowing exchange among the main actors in this field. The Park, which is rich in both natural and cultural attractions, including saltworks, marshes, pine forests, beaches, as well as antique churches, castles and monuments, coupled with the Italian hospitality and delicious cuisine, is definitely worth a visit! -- Lucia Scodanibbio, Ramsar. [02/05/06]
Belarus designates part of transboundary wetlands. The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Belarus has designated its eighth Wetland of International Importance, effective 18 October 2005. As summarized by Ramsar's Dorothea August from the Ramsar Information Sheet that accompanied the designation, Prostyr (6,800 hectares, 51°56 N 026°03 E), a National Landscape Reserve and Important Bird Area, is a complex of near-natural sedge and reed fen mires together with black alder groves and scrub formations along the banks and floodplain meadows between the rivers Pripyat, Prostyr and Styr, continuing as a transboundary wetland across the Ukrainian border. It is a breeding ground of the globally endangered Aquatic Warbler and generally one of the most important nesting sites during the migration season. Such eutrophic floodplain mires are typical of the Belarusian Polesie area, but they have become rare as a result of heavy drainage activities since the 1960s and have practically disappeared in Central Europe. Presently a system of old drainage canals is still draining fen mires, which has negative impacts particularly in the summer, when it causes the groundwater table to drop significantly. In general there are only small scale economic activities on the site, chiefly occasional haymaking and cattle grazing, with some hunting and non-commercial fishing. As there are no roads, boats are the only means of accessing the Prostyr Reserve.
Discussions with Ukrainian authorities are continuing towards uniting Prostyr in a Belarusian-Ukrainian transboundary Ramsar site, including Ukraine's Prypiat River Floodplains and Stokhid River Floodplains Ramsar sites, with development of a joint management plan. This project opens the potential for increasing international tourism in this region.[01/05/06]
Now available. STRP13 agenda. The Convention's subsidiary advisory body, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), will be meeting at the Secretariat facilities in Switzerland from 30 May to 2 June 2006, and the draft agenda is now available here. [27/04/06]
Romania names fifth Ramsar site. The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Waters Management has designated Lake Techirghiol (1,462 hectares, 44°03'N 028°38'E) as that Party's fifth Ramsar site, effective 23 March 2006. The new site is a lake situated near the Black Sea coast, divided into three parts by two dams constructed in the 1980s: the eastern part remained salty, between the dams the water became brackish, and the western end of the lake contains fresh water. In such diverse conditions the population of plants, such as Suaeda maritima and Puccinellia distans, as well as animals, e.g. the Danube Crested Newt Triturus dobrogicus and the Fire-bellied Toad Bombina bombina and several threatened bat species such as Miniopterus schreibersi, have developed continuously, and the coastal habitats and wetlands provide good conditions for a high variety of species. The site provides a very important roosting place for waterfowl, especially geese and ducks, and at the same time the reed beds offer ideal breeding grounds for many bird species. The marine salt characteristics of the lake support Artemia salina, a small crustacean which produces the biogenic silt sapropel that is used for medical therapeutic activities. Potential threats are perceived from disturbances by tourists and local people accessing the area with motor vehicles, as well as a garbage dump near Techirghiol village. A management plan is expected to be completed in 2006.
Now available. Nomination form for the Crane Bank Ramsar Award for the Wise Use of Wetlands. As promised last week, the nomination form is ready for the Crane Bank Ramsar Award to promote the wise use concept of wetlands in the Africa region. With the generous support of the Crane Bank, the prize will be awarded to African young professionals and support the costs for two young wetland managers to travel to Uganda and have a tour of duty for two weeks with Uganda's Wetlands Inspection Division. Further details on the Award are available here, and the nomination form, in Word format, is here. [26/04/06]
Now available. Report and Decisions of Standing Committee 34. The report of the 34th meeting of the Standing Committee is now available here, in English only, and the 26 decisions of the meeting can now be seen in English and French. The Spanish version is expected at the end of this week. Each of these files has links to PDF versions as well as the HTML, and there is a PDF list of participants and their contacts as well. [25/04/06]
Next Standing Committee dates. In Decision SC34-25, the Standing Committee set the dates of its 35th meeting for the week of 12-15 February 2007 and agreed to keep 16 February open until the development of a more detailed agenda of business can determine whether or not it will be needed. [25/04/06]
Workshop for Gabon's Parliamentarians. A one-day workshop on April 3rd, 2006 in Libreville, Gabon, brought together 50 Parliamentarians and Senators to discuss their role in the implementation of the Convention on Wetlands and other biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements. Rôle des parlementaires gabonais dans la mise en œuvre et le suivi des accords multilatéraux sur l'environnement was jointly organised by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the Division of Environmental Conventions (DEC) of UNEP and jointly funded through a Ramsar Swiss Grant for Africa project and UNEP. Ramsar's Abou Bamba reports on the meeting, as well as a Declaration agreed by the participants. [20/04/06]
Crane Bank Ramsar Award for the Wise Use of Wetlands. The Secretariat is extremely pleased to announce the creation of the Crane Bank Ramsar Award to promote the wise use concept of wetlands in the Africa region. With the generous support of the Crane Bank, the prize will be awarded to African young professionals and support the costs for two young wetland managers to travel to Uganda and have a tour of duty for two weeks with Uganda's Wetlands Inspection Division. The tour should allow the recipients to inspire themselves from the successful experience of Uganda in establishing institutional and technical support for wetlands management and bring their experiences back to their home institutions. Further details are available here, and nomination procedures and forms will be posted here on about 25 April 2006. [14/04/06]
Standing Committee's 34th meeting over.The Standing Committee has completed a very successful meeting in which the members and observers were able to come to some 25 decisions mostly concerning the establishment of the work, working procedures, and working bodies for the next triennium leading up to the 10th Conference of the Parties in the Republic of Korea in the autumn of 2008. The report and the decisions of the meeting should be available in about two weeks' time. [14/04/06]
SC picks COP10 dates. In a decision of the 34th meeting of the Standing Committee, firm dates were adopted, based on the recommendation of the government of the host country, the Republic of Korea, for the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, set for the city of Changwon in 2008. The COP will run from 28 October to 4 November 2008. More news of other SC decisions will follow in due course. [12/04/06]
Ramsar legal workshop for Africa. Yaounde, Cameroon, was the venue for a 27-28 March 2006 workshop on "legal support for the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in West and Central Africa". The Secretariat was represented by Abou Bamba, the Senior Advisor for Africa, who reports that the workshop, officially the "Seminaire d'Appui Juridique à la mise en oeuvre de la Convention Ramsar en Afrique Francophone de l'Ouest et Centrale", was sponsored by the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law (CEL), the International Center for Comparative Environmental Law, and the Centre pour l'Environnement et le Développement and funded by the Agence International de la Francophonie through the Québec-based Institut de l'énergie et de l'environnement de la Francophonie (IEPF), with the participation of the Ramsar Secretariat, the IUCN Central Africa Office, and UNEP. Here is Abou's report on the meeting and the discussions that took place there, as well as the Declaration agreed by the participants. [06/04/06]
Now available.MedWet Regions DVD. Sofia Spirou, Communications officer, MedWet Coordination Unit, writes: "A DVD containing results of the project entitled Action program for wetlands in the Mediterranean region, also known as MedWet Regions, was recently released. Produced by the Junta de Andalucia, Consejeria de Medio Ambiente, the Spanish-language DVD contains information and inventory data presented in an interactive format. Also included on the DVD are interactive maps allowing users to navigate through layers of data on wetlands and their surrounding areas. Presence and size of settlements, vegetation, hydrographic network and location of wetlands are among the data mapped and available for browsing. More information on the DVD is available here." [06/04/06]
Ramsar signs MOC with Congo Basin Commission. On 20 March 2006, on the peripheries of the IV World Water Forum in Mexico, Secretaries General Peter Bridgewater and Benjamin Ndala signed a memorandum of cooperation between the Ramsar Secretariat and the International Commission of the Congo-Oubangui-Sangha Basin. The Commission Internationale du Bassin Congo-Oubangui-Sangha (CICOS) was created in November 1999 in an accord signed by the heads of state of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It's an intergovernmental organization charged with managing the navigable waterways of the region sustainably and promoting integrated water resources management for the Congo-Oubangui-Sangha Basin. Its objectives are to support sustainable development, reduce poverty, and reinforce regional integration in the countries of the basin. The MOC provides for increased exchange of information about activities and work programmes and for the possibility of joint activities between CICOS and the Convention and its International Organization Partners; it will also help to keep wetland values high on the very full CICOS agenda of concerns. The text of the MOC and photos of the signing can be seen here. [05/04/06]
WHSRN site assessment tool released. The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network is proud to announce the launch of its “WHSRN Site Assessment Tool”, for conservation planning at each of the 64 member sites. The Tool, an Excel workbook with both English and Spanish versions, adapts and incorporates methods developed by IUCN–The World Conservation Union, BirdLife International, The Nature Conservancy and WWF. [05/04/06]
Cameroon joins the Convention on Wetlands. The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Cameroon has joined the Ramsar family as the 151st Party to the Convention, as amended in 1982 and 1987 - the treaty will come into force for Cameroon four months after the deposit of its instrument of accession with UNESCO, i.e., on 20 July 2006. The new Party's obligatory first Wetland of International Importance is the well-known Waza Logone Floodplain (600,000 hectares, 11°38'N 014°37'E), which includes two National Parks and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The site comprises the whole of the floodplain of the lower Logone River in the extreme north of the country, between Nigeria and Chad, within the Lake Chad basin between Lake Maga and Lake Chad. Said to represent 10% of the surface area of major inland wetlands in the West African Sahel, the area is home to more than 100,000 people who depend upon wetland products for fishing, seasonal grazing, and agriculture. A 2001 census counted more than 320,000 waterbirds from 104 species, and there is a huge concentration of wildlife, particularly in the parks, including large mammals such as elephant, ostrich, giraffe, lion, and many others. Two decades of poor rainfall and the construction of the Maga Dam in 1981 for rice irrigation caused severe disruption to the ecological character of the floodplain, but an important rehabilitation project, begun in 1988 and a collaboration among IUCN, the governments of Cameroon and the Netherlands, and the CML of Leiden University, with contributions from other institutions such as WWF and the EC, has shown good results in demonstrating the feasibility of the partial rehabilitation of the floodplain.
WWF's Global Freshwater Programme and a grant from the Ramsar Swiss Grant for Africa have been of great assistance to the government of Cameroon in preparing the site data required for accession. On the restoration project, see also Paul Loth, ed., The return of the water: restoring the Waza Logone floodplain in Cameroon. IUCN Wetlands and Water Resources Programme, Blue Series. IUCN, 2004. [04/04/06]
Now available.Ramsar presentation on wetlands and livelihoods. At a CBD COP8 side event on “Wetlands, Water and Livelihoods” organized by Wetlands International on 23 March, the Deputy Secretary General made a presentation on The Ramsar Convention: wetlands and livelihoods. The text of his presentation is available here. Other presentations were made by David Coates (CBD Secretariat) on CBD’s approach to sustainable use of inland water biodiversity and human well-being, Kemi Awoyinka (Wetlands International) on WI’s Wetlands and Poverty Reduction project, and Henk Simons (IUCN-Netherlands) on the Green Coast project, which concerns Indian Ocean post-tsunami work responding to the needs of people and biodiversity. A full report of the event will appear soon on Wetlands International’s Web site (www.wetlands.org). [31/03/06]
United Kingdom's 164th Ramsar site. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the UK has designated a new Wetland of International Importance, effective 1 March 2006. Lihou Island and L'Erée Headland, Guernsey (427 hectares, 49°28'N 002°40'W) comprises several coastal areas on the west coast of the Channel island of Guernsey, including the shingle bank Les Anguillieres and the western end of L'Erée Headland as well as the small northwestern Lihou Island and surrounding marine coastal areas. Within a relatively small area there is an amazing variety of interesting habitat types including rocky, gravelly and sandy shoreline, the sublittoral zone, coastal grassland, saltmarsh, reedbed and saline lagoon, as well as vegetated shingle banks, seagrass Zostera beds, and wet grassland, altogether supporting a rich diversity of animals and plants such as 214 different species of seaweed on the tiny shore around Lihou Island. The area also has a rich cultural heritage, with many important archaeological and historical remains. In summer the site offers very popular beaches for sunbathing and bathing at high tide as well as surfing and rockpooling at some places. Birdwatching is another well-liked activity which is supported by two bird hides at La Claire Mare. Integrated management plans are under development for different areas of the site. [30/03/06]
IWMI publication on water productivity and security. The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), one of the Ramsar Convention's partner organizations, took the occasion of the IV World Water Forum earlier this month to launch a very useful 20-page brochure entitled "Beyond more crop per drop: water management for food and the environment". Written by IWMI Director General Frank Rijsberman and Nadia Manning, with input from a number of others and based on information from the Ramsar Convention, SEI, IUCN, SIWI, and others, the pamphlet draws on the emerging results of IWMI's Comprehensive Assessment of Water in Agriculture (CA) sponsored by CGIAR, FAO, Ramsar, and the CBD. The publication "highlights various key areas for action including: increasing blue and green water productivity and access to water resources; balancing water for food and other ecosystem services; and investing in water security to aid poverty alleviation. It also identifies cross-cutting actions such as integrated water resources management, capacity building and continued research" (quoted from the IISD's MEA Bulletin no. 3). The brochure can be downloaded in PDF format from the IWMI Web site:[30/03/06]
New Intern for Asia chosen for Ramsar Secretariat. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that Ms Pragati Tuladhar from Nepal has been selected as the next Intern/Assistant Advisor for Asia, taking over from Ms Shahzia Khan from Bangladesh. Pragati graduated with a B.Sc. Hons in Environmental Science and Biology from Kathmandu University and is currently completing a Masters degree in Ecology and Environmental Management at Liverpool Hope University in the UK. In 2003 Pragati was awarded the UNEP-WCMC Chevening Scholarship at Cambridge University, where she undertook research in biodiversity and gained some GIS skills. She also acquired experience of providing maps and other information for Ramsar Information Sheets in her home country while working for IUCN Nepal in 2002-3, updating their biodiversity database. The Ramsar Secretariat looks forward to welcoming Pragati in May 2006. [29/03/06]
Now available. Proceedings of Ramsar COP9 on CD-ROM. The outcomes from the Convention's 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held in Kampala in November 2005, have been available on the Ramsar Web site for some time, but now the full COP9 Proceedings can also be seen on CD-ROM. The CDs, which cover English, French, and Spanish versions of all documents, include the Conference Report, the Resolutions adopted by the COP, the list of participants, the National Reports submitted by the Parties prior to the COP, the Wetland Conservation Award winners, results of the pre-COP regional meetings, and the background information documents provided in advance of the COP itself. Readers are encouraged to use the same materials as found on the Ramsar Web site, but those who require the CD-ROM, which is free of charge, can contact Montse Riera in the Secretariat, firstname.lastname@example.org. [28/03/06]
News from the SGF. Exploring ecotourism potential for Lake Nakuru. The Secretariat is pleased to report on the results of a Ramsar Small Grants Fund (SGF) project that was carried out by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and co-funded by Australia's Banrock Station, which donated its Evian Special Prize of $10,000 from the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award in 2002. The purpose of the project was to study the ecotourism potential for Lake Nakuru, a Ramsar site inKenya, within the framework of the Lake Nakuru Integrated Management Plan and the Nakuru Strategic Structure Plan developed under Agenda 21. As the final report on the SGF report explains, the area covered by the project consists of the catchment of Lake Nakuru National Park (LNNP) (approx. 1,800 km2), a region rich in culture and important for biodiversity conservation, both at a national and international level, located in Kenya's Rift Valley Province. It includes a gazetted wildlife protected area, gazetted government forests (Mau, Eburru, Dondori), and private and public land. Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio provides a description of the project and its outcomes, based upon the project final report, with photographs. [28/03/06]
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 ).