WWF Gifts to the Earth for marine zones in Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, and Senegal

13/03/2001

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Mr Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of the Convention on Wetlands, will be visiting Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, and Senegal to assist in the dedication of WWF Gifts to the Earth of the Banc d'Arguin Ramsar site and other coastal wetlands. WWF Director General Claude Martin's invitation conveys more detail.

Dear Mr Blasco,

panda.gif (879 bytes)It gives me great pleasure to inform you about three major conservation initiatives in Mauritania, Guinea Bissau and Senegal, which will help protect the biologically diverse and increasingly threatened marine resources along the West African coast.

The Government of Mauritania recently passed a new law, which is designed to protect the fisheries in the Banc d'Arguin National Park and Ramsar site, Africa's largest marine park. This law will help halt illegal fishing within the park's borders and consequently play a significant role in sustainable fisheries management. In addition, the governments of Guinea Bissau and Senegal plan to announce their commitment to creating new marine protected areas, which will safeguard valuable fisheries and endangered marine wildlife, while contributing to a network of vital marine reserves in this region.

On behalf of the three organisations closely involved with these initiatives -- the International Foundation for the Banc d'Arguin (FIBA), IUCN-the World Conservation Union, and WWF International, I would like to invite you to attend a series of events in these three countries to recognise each of their specific achievements. Ceremonies and field visits will take place between the 14th and 18th of March 2001. A more detailed programme is attached.

FIBA, IUCN and WWF will recognise these exemplary actions by Mauritania and Guinea Bissau as "Gifts to the Earth." We will also celebrate Senegal's declaration to expand their network of marine reserves and mark the beginning of a new regional approach to marine conservation.

I hope you will be able to join us. With warm regards,

Dr Claude Martin
Director General
WWF International

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