Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 August 1997
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Headline Story: Asian Regional Meeting set. The dates are firm now, you can write this into your datebooks in laundry ink. The Ramsar Regional Meeting for Asia will convene in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 20-24 October 1997. The purpose of the meeting is to promote national and regional actions in accordance with national commitments made for the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002. The participants will review progress on national implementation of the Plan, develop a Regional Action Plan with agreement on how this will be implemented and monitored, and identify actions for international cooperation and finance. The four-and-a-half day meeting will incorporate a one-day workshop on two issues: "water and wetlands" and "donor policy and practice". You won't want to miss this one! For info, contact Rebecca D'Cruz. [19/7/97]
Brief hiatus -- Off again! There won't be much action on this site until 8 or 9 August, as the editor takes still more holidays. But then, when he returns, it will be like a dam bursting hot Ramsar news all over the floodplain. Tune in then! [19/7/97]
- Delmar Blasco, the Secretary General, returned from holidays today, so it's time to get serious.
- The Regional Coordinator for the Neotropics, Montserrat Carbonell, is visiting the region through to 6 August, applying the Management Guidance Procedure at Laguna del Tigre in Guatemala and holding discussions in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Aruba. A detailed agenda is posted here. [18/7/97]
New on the Site:A poster page describing Wetlands International, filling a gap on our Ramsar Links page until Wetl~ Int~ completes work on its own Web site [back out of these frames and go to the Links section to view it properly on a full screen]; updated versions of the Contracting Parties and Ramsar Sites lists, including the shift of Hong Kong's Mai Po to the P.R. of China and the UN-approved name change from Zaire to Congo, Democratic Republic of. [16/7/97]
Coming Soon: A full-text search engine for the whole Ramsar Web site. Just type in a keyword and you'll get far too many links ever to be useful! [Not quite as soon as foreseen, but right after hols, for sure!]
Malaysia's National Wetland Policy, almost. With support from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund, Malaysia is in the process of finalizing its National Wetland Policy document, which has been developed following extensive consultations with various stakeholders at national and state levels. This policy is closely linked to the recently finalized National Biodiversity Policy and Action Plan. [19/7/97]
ISAR - Central Asia (International Clearinghouse on the Environment). ISAR is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that supports the development of NGOs working on environmental issues in the Newly Independent States (NIS). It has offices in Almaty (since 1993), Kiev, Moscow, Nizhny-Novgorod, Vladivostok, Tbilisi, and Baku. The ISAR Central Asian Program is active in all five Central Asian countries: Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In addition to providing environmental NGOs with technical, informational, and moral support, it provides financial support in the form of small grants (US$ 300-5,000 per grant), which are made possible by a grant from the US Agency for International Development.
For more info, contact Meghan Falvey, Director, Central Asian Programs, ISAR, at tel/fax (3272) 330294, e-mail email@example.com.[19/7/97]
Subregional Meeting for Central Asia. Kazakstan will play host to a Ramsar subregional workshop to identify priorities for wetland and waterbird conservation in the Central Asian-Indian region, slated for April 1998. [19/7/97]
Workshop on Biodiversity of Inland Water Systems. The Convention on Biological Diversity, with which the Bureau has a Memorandum of Cooperation, has designated Ramsar as its lead partner on wetlands issues, and in fulfillment of that responsibility Bureau staff are working to provide input to the upcoming meeting of SBSTTA, the CBD's subsidiary scientific body. Two weeks ago we posted here a description of a forthcoming workshop on that theme, and now we have Michael Smart's preliminary report on how it went down. [16/7/97]
Syria coming on board. Mr Iyad Orfi from the Syrian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva has advised the Bureau that Syria's parliament has approved accession to the Convention on Wetlands and that a presidential decree to that effect has been issued. It remains only to convey the instrument of accession to UNESCO with details of the obligatory first designation of a Wetland of International Importance. Mr Orfi also signified that Syria would be joining the MedWet Committee. [14/7/97]
Waterlines - the CD-ROM. A classy educational CD-ROM on the Barmah Forest Ramsar site, part of the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia, gets a favorable review on this site. [14/7/97]
4th International Course graduates 20. The 4th edition of the annual International Training Course in Wetland Management, operated by the Wetland Advisory and Training Centre in Lelystad, Netherlands, graduated 20 participants on 2 July 1997. A number of Ramsar staff assisted in various parts of the 7-week programme, and the Secretary General and the Regional Coordinator for Europe participated in the closing ceremonies. Next year's course, set for 14 May-24 June 1998, is already being planned for 20 candidates from developing/transition countries. Applicants must have a first degree or equivalent experience, at least 3 years of wetland/environmental management experience, and functional English. Competition is tough and arranging financial sponsorship can take time, so potential applicants should contact the WATC soon: P.O.Box 17, 8200 AA Lelystad, the Netherlands (fax +31 320 29 83 39, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). [8/7/97]
Slovenia aims for a first. In a letter received this morning, Dr Pavel Gantar, Slovenia's Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, expressed his hope that, through further planned designations for the Ramsar List, "Slovenia could set a worldwide lead in becoming the first Contracting Party to designate a site including underground wetlands." He also expressed his commitment to continuing work on a National Wetland Inventory, now under SGF project review, and noted the state's allocation of funds for development of a long-term management plan for the Secoveljske soline Ramsar site. [7/7/97]
Improving the data on Ramsar sites. Pursuing Resolution VI.13 wherever it may lead, the Bureau is urging Contracting Parties to bring the data on Wetlands of International Importance up to date and up to standard. The revised Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS) is being communicated to the Parties via diplomatic channels; draft RISs for sites with none on file have been developed by the Bureau and the Ramsar/Wetland Sites Officer (Wetlands International) and are being sent to the Parties for correcting and approval; and the Parties are being asked to update RISs for all sites designated prior to 31 December 1990. Get more detail here! [29/6/97]
World Wetlands Day -- no time like the present to start sewing your costumes. The second annual WWD will hurtle in upon us on 2 February 1998, seems like a long way off now but before you know it, WWD will be tomorrow and you won't have anything to do unless you start planning now. Whether you are the head of state of a Large Nation, the Social Coordinator for a medium-size NGO, the warden of an attractive but small and possibly under-rated Ramsar site, or a concerned citizen -- now is the time to start planning. The Bureau has produced a slender brochure with suggestions for things to do on 2 February 1998 (most, unfortunately, assume that you'll be able to go outdoors at least briefly, which in some countries won't be the case in February), and Valerie Higgins of the Bureau's Communications Unit will send you one if you ask politely. [29/6/97]
No Point Lillias Facility. The Government of Victoria, Australia, has issued a press release today to the effect that, despite the Federal Cabinet's mid-March decision to permit the relocation of a Hazardous Chemical Storage Facility to Point Lillias in the Port Phillip Bay and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar site, Victoria has decided NOT to proceed with the relocation. The Bureau has received a copy of the press release and here it is. [25/6/97]
Estonia picks nine new sites. Thereby increasing the number of Estonian Wetlands of International Importance by a factor of 10, to 10. Some of them are very interesting places, from both the ecological and the socio-cultural points of view. Here is a brief report drawn from the Environment Ministry's RISs (Ramsar Information Sheets). [24/6/97]
Austrian National Ramsar Committee meets. The annual meeting of the Austrian Ramsar Committee was held on 12-13 June 1997 in Fusch, Province of Salzburg, near the Ramsar site of Rotmoos ("Red Bog"). Read all about it. [23/6/97]
More to follow. Watch this space. Feedback and suggestions to: the Ramsar Convention Bureau, Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland (tel +41 22 999 0170, fax +41 22 999 0169, e-mail ). Updated regularly by Dwight Peck, Ramsar.