The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 3 July 2001
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
3 July 2001
Headline story. Training for Asia-Pacific wetland managers. At the 6th Ramsar COP in Brisbane, Australia (1996), the host Government announced as part of its 25th anniversary pledge to the Convention that it would establish an Asia-Pacific Wetland Managers Training Program. The program has now been under way for nearly two years operating out of the Northern Territory University in Darwin and has supported training programs both in Darwin and 'on-site' in several countries of the region. The most recent course, "Successfully integrating wetlands into multiple land-use planning frameworks", was held from 3-10 June 2001 in Darwin with participants from Bangladesh, China, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, East Timor and Fiji. Bill Phillips, former Ramsar DSG, was the course leader and reported to the Ramsar Forum on the successful use of the Ramsar Handbooks as teaching materials. With rudimentary pix. [03/07/01]
Headline story (not a story exactly). STRP's 10th meeting has slowed to a halt. But there's not much to say about it yet. Twenty formal decisions so far, so that's good, that's progress!! -- though it will be a while before you get to know what was decided. Don't worry in the meantime, there's nothing here that will change your life -- nonetheless, STRP is developing some really substantial products that can be brought to Standing Committee in December, hopefully for transmission onward to the Conference of the Parties in Valencia in November 2002. Watch for results and -- especially -- candid but fairly chaste photos of the participants here soon. [03/07/01]
New report available. Use of the Swiss Grant for Africa fund for 2000. Read it here. Four exemplary projects funded by the Government of Switzerland through the Ramsar Bureau, totaling 140,000 Swiss francs: 1. Continuation of the work on the formulation of an integrated management plan for the Okavango Delta in Botswana. 2. Formulation of a management plan for the Manambolomaty Ramsar Site in Madagascar. 3. Coordinating mechanisms for a joint implementation of environment-related conventions. 4. Communication capacity in Sierra Leone. Excellent Africa wetlands information here! [03/07/01]
Headline story. International Association for Impact Assessment signs Memo with Ramsar. In recognition of the fact that the IAIA and the Ramsar Convention share many common objectives in ensuring that the ecological, social, and economic effects of development projects on wetlands are taken into account in the decision-making process and seeking to solidify the fruitful cooperation that has been growing between the two bodies, particularly because of IAIA participation in the work of Ramsars Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) the President of IAIA, Elvis Au, and the Secretary General of the Convention, Delmar Blasco, have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on 22 June 2001 which lays out those common objectives and formalizes future cooperation and a framework for joint activities. The text of the new agreement is available here. [27/06/01]
Everybody's home at the secretariat in Gland, each trying desperately to recover from the 10th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel in his or her own way. [03/07/01]
New on the Site: Swiss Grant for Africa report for 2000; Ramsar MOU with the International Association for Impact Assessment; The Korla Declaration on wetland conservation and wise use in China. [03/07/01]
Update on the revivification of Wetland Link International. A few years ago, Wetland Link International (WLI), a programme of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) based in the UK, operated a successful network of wetland education centres, encouraging the sharing of information and exchange of expertise, particularly through its exemplary newsletter. Budgetary difficulties forced a brief hiatus, but WLI is presently being revivified in the context of the Ramsar Conventions Outreach Programme. Ramsar Resolution VII.9 (San José, 1999) identified wetland education centres as key locations for promoting the principles of wetland conservation and wise use through CEPA activities, and it also identified WLI as the key organization to assist the Contracting Parties in this area of work. Here is Ramsars Sandra Hails briefing on WLI to the members of the Communication, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA) e-mail list, linking to a position paper by Doug Hulyer of WWT with a call for comments. These new developments will be interesting to everyone involved in the work of wetland interpretation and visitors centres. [27/06/01]
STRP converges upon Gland. The members and observers of the Conventions Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), and a number of invited experts, are descending upon Gland for the 10th meeting of the Panel. Yesterday, June 25th, the Expert Working Group on Climate Change huddled throughout the entire day, in discussions with a representative of IPCC amongst other things, and today, Tuesday the 26th, there are concurrent morning and afternoon sessions of many of the other Working Groups, in which group members assess their progress and plan their presentations to plenary. From Wednesday to Friday, the Panel will meet in plenary and work its way through an astonishingly bulky agenda, reviewing the draft guidance documents so far produced and reaching agreement on how best to finalize them for Standing Committees consideration and forwarding to the 8th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, if appropriate. The plenary agenda can be viewed here, and more news will follow during the week. [26/06/01]
Report on China Workshop and the "Korla Declaration". The International Workshop on Conservation of Wetlands and their Wise Use was held in Korla City, the capital of Bayangolin Prefecture of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, from 5-12 June 2001. The workshop adopted an important document, the Korla Declaration, and was attended by 134 participants from throughout China as well as overseas. International and overseas organizations participating included representatives from the Ramsar Bureau (Mr Najam Khurshid), Wetlands International, CBD-Ramsar River Basin Initiative/Global Environment Centre, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), IUCN-Netherlands Committee, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and Ramsar Centre-Japan. Here is a report from Li Lukang, with the text of the Korla Declaration, some photos of the speakers, and some excellent photos of the wetlands viewed during the participants' extensive field trip. [26/06/01]
IUCN names Jamie Skinner to head Med Centre. Achim Steiner, IUCN's Director General, has announced that Jamie Skinner has been appointed as Director of the new IUCN Mediterranean Coordination Centre in Malaga, Spain. Well known for his work on Mediterranean wetland issues, particularly in connection with IUCN and Tour du Valat, Jamie most recently served as Senior Environment Adviser with the secretariat of the World Commission on Dams, which has recently completed its mandate. The new IUCN regional programme is presently being established, under a framework agreement signed among IUCN and Spanish national and regional authorities last December. [26/06/01]
Vacancy announcement. Two openings in Hong Kong. Nathalie Stevenson reports that Ecoscope Applied Ecologists is seeking to employ a Technical Director (Southeast Asia) and a Wetland Habitat Creation Specialist for posting to Hong Kong. Read this posting to the Ramsar Forum for more details. [link later removed] [22/06/01]
Spain bans lead shot in protected wetlands. Andy Green of the Doñana Biological Station in Sevilla reports that "the Royal Decree 581/2001 banning lead shot in protected Spanish wetlands was published in the Boletin Oficial del Estado on 15.6.01. A copy of the decree (in Spanish) can be obtained from: http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2001-06-15/seccion1.html#00002 . The ban comes into force on 1 October 2001. It applies both to Ramsar sites and to other wetlands protected under regional or national legislation. This includes the great majority of key sites for marbled teal, white-headed duck and wintering waterbirds in general. Thus it is an excellent piece of news." [21/06/01]
Workshop on Ramsar implementation in Cuba. As part of the "III Congress on Environment and Development: 10 years after Rio" in Havana, Cuba, Ramsars Margarita Astrálaga, Denis Landenbergue of WWFs Living Waters Campaign, and Julia Langer of WWF Cuba are collaborating in a special session for Cuban professionals on "Wetland Conservation and Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Cuba", 21 June 2001. The primary objective of the session is to discuss future actions and management activities in the Ciénaga de Zapata (452,000 ha) in Matanzas province, Cubas first Ramsar site recently designated with assistance from WWFs Living Waters Campaign and WWF Canada. The second objective is to advance the process of Ramsar designation for the five other Cuban wetlands that are part of the Living Waters Campaigns project and, if possible, coordinate their designation with 12 August 2001 ceremonies to celebrate the Conventions entry into force for Cuba. The third objective is to sketch out priority needs beyond those six designations. [19/06/01]
Algeria places Oasis de Ouled Saïd on Montreux Record. The Government of Algeria has completed formalities for inscribing the Oasis de Ouled Saïd (brief description), newly designated for the Ramsar List on World Wetlands Day 2001, in the Montreux Record of sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference. Montreux listing was requested at the time of designation, as the need for a special intervention was perceived by the authorities as an urgent matter. Indeed, one of the chief reasons for the designation of this site was to raise awareness of its important values and to reach a consensus on the need to undertake a management programme that will include actions aimed at amelioriating or removing the threats to the site.
Reprint article. Ramsar in the Asia Pacific region.On World Wetlands Day 2001 (2 February), the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning of Thailand hosted a seminar in Bangkok for over 200 participants from government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Dr Taej Mundkur, interim executive director of Wetlands International - Asia Pacific, was invited by OEPP to participate as a guest speaker, and the Ramsar Bureau seized the opportunity to support his contribution to the meeting. His address, co-authored with Ms Ayu Rahayu, Communications Director at WI-AP, summarizes the Convention's contributions for the benefit of the Thai audience and then offers an assessment of Ramsar's present and future role in the Asia Pacific region. His remarks will soon be published by OEPP in the Proceedings of the seminar and are reprinted here with the kind permission of OEPP. [14/06/01]
Ramsar and environmental law: an update. "Oldest of the global conservation/ biodiversity conventions, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (a.k.a. the Ramsar Convention) is well reputed, not least for the quality and quantity of its substantive outputs", writes Tomme Young in the IUCN Environmental Law Programme Newsletter. "In 2000, Ramsars somewhat unique Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STRP), as well as its Standing Committee met to address a number of legal and institutional issues, as well as their customary full range of scientific and technical matters. The [Environmental Law Programme] has been active in working with Ramsar, addressing legal issues whose relevance may also extend to the other Multilateral Environmental Agreements." The ELP's article provides a brief account of some of the important law-related developments discerned in the Standing Committees and STRPs deliberations over the past year, and has been reprinted here, with the Environmental Law Centre's permission. [08/06/01].
Ramsar Advisory Mission to the Sumava Peat Bogs, Czech Republic. The Ramsar Convention gives special attention to assisting Contracting Parties in the management and conservation of listed sites whose ecological character is changing or likely to change as a result of technological development, pollution or other human interference. This is carried out through a technical assistance mechanism called the Ramsar Advisory Missions (RAM), formally established in 1990. Presently Ramsars Regional Coordinator for Europe, Dr Tobias Salathé, is leading a RAM mission to the Sumava Peat Bogs in the Czech Republic, 5-8 June 2001, to provide guidance on how best to deal with specific management problems related to recent outbreaks of bark beetle (Ips typographus) populations. Informative background on the site, the problem, and the missions objectives is available here. [06/06/01]
Wetlands International publishes new Web site for South America. Scott Frazier, Senior Wetland Inventory Officer for Wetlands International - AEME in The Netherlands, has announced to the Ramsar Forum (in English and Español) the launch of a new Web site about "Wetlands of South America: an agenda for biodiversity conservation and policy development", which grows out of the South American Wetland Assessment presented to Ramsar COP7 in San José, Costa Rica, in 1999. First developed in partnership with US AID and several public and private foundations, now the Assessment has been redesigned for presentation on the Web, at http://www.wetlands.org/SAA/, and the full story can now be told [06/06/01]
Note. Wetlands International Annual Review 2000. We've been informed that the annual review can now be downloaded from http://www.wetlands.org. [07/06/01]
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment launch on World Environment Day. "The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is the most extensive study of the worlds ecosystems thus far. The four-year effort, costing $21 million, will examine the processes that support life on earth. The study will provide decision-makers with authoritative scientific knowledge concerning the impact of changes to the worlds ecosystems on human livelihoods and the environment. Pilot studies conducted by the World Resources Institute indicate that in many regions of the world, the capacity of ecosystems to meet human needs is being diminished, threats to biodiversity and human health are growing, and vulnerability to environmental disasters is increasing." On 5 June at UN HQ in New York City (USA), Secretary General Kofi Annan will officially launch the MEA, in ceremonies including Angela Cropper (MEA Assessment Panel), Mohamed El-Ashry (Global Environment Facility), Jonathan Lash (World Resources Institute), Hamdallah Zedan (Convention on Biological Diversity), and Timothy Wirth (United Nations Foundation). A day earlier, 4 June, Klaus Töpfer (UNEP) and Delmar Blasco (Ramsar Convention) will hold a press conference on the Assessment launch in Torino, Italy. Here, for a limited time only, is a smorgasbord of brief documents in PDF format (youll need to get out your Adobe Acrobats), none larger than 40kb: the UN media advisory, an MEA fact sheet, a good FAQs, and a list of MEA Board members, featuring Ramsars Delmar Blasco and Jorge Jiménez, chair of Ramsars STRP, amongst others. [links later removed] [04/06/01]
MedWet assists Libya with wetland inventory. In a memo of cooperation signed in El Bayda on 26 May 2001, MedWet has committed to assisting the Environment General Authority of Libya in carrying out an inventory of Libyan wetlands using the MedWet Inventory System. UNEP, IUCN, and WWF are also involved, and more detail has been provided here by Thymio Papayannis. [05/06/01]
Ramsar opening for Intern for Asia. The Ramsar Bureau welcomes applications for the position of Intern for the Asian Region / Assistant to the Regional Coordinator for Asia, a one-year posting (possibly extendable to 18 months) to begin 5 November 2001. With an 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 Asia and have lived most of their lives in the region. Full ability to work in English is required for this post, while a practical knowledge of French would be an asset -- the ability to communicate in at least one Asian language would also be of value. Candidates should view the General Terms of Reference for Ramsar internships (also available from the Bureau), which includes conditions of service and salary structure, and send a curriculum vitae with a covering letter, both in English, with two letters of reference, to the Bureaus Administration Coordinator, Ms Annette Keller, firstname.lastname@example.org . The deadline for applications is 30 June 2001. [01/06/01]
WWF-Auen-Institut publishes atlas of the Oder. The Floodplains Institute of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Auen-Institut) in Rastatt (a small German town in the floodplain of the Upper Rhine) has published a stunning, A3-sized, 3 kg-heavy atlas of the entire Oder/Odra floodplain from the Czech Republic downstream through Poland and Germany to the Baltic Sea. Background and description are available here. [01/06/01]
More to follow. Watch this space. Feedback and suggestions are welcome 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 Bureau.