The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 November 2001

Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.

 Uzbekistan joins the Ramsar Convention. The Bureau is delighted to announce that on 8 October 2001 the Director-General of UNESCO received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan its instrument of accession to the Convention on Wetlands, as amended by the Protocol of 1982 and the Amendments of 1987. Uzbekistan is welcomed as the Convention’s 130th Contracting Party, and the Convention in accordance with Article 10.2 will enter into force for Uzbekistan on 8 February 2002. The new Party has named Lake Dengizkul as its first Wetland of International Importance; more information about this new site will be forthcoming in due course. [01/11/01]


Tropical peatlands in the news. The importance of peatlands to national economies and the environment was highlighted 22-23 August 2001 at the International Symposium on Tropical Peatlands, entitled "Peatlands for People", which was attended by over 200 peatland scientists and managers from Indonesia and 10 other nations. During the meetings, the participants agreed the Jakarta Statement on the Importance of Tropical Peatlands, which is reprinted here. In another development, David Lee of the Global Environment Centre in Selangor, Malaysia, reports on the creation of SEA-PEAT, the Southeast Asia Peatland Action Plan and Management Initiative, which is being developed as a regional contribution to the Global Action Plan for Peatlands, which is presently working its way through the Ramsar STRP process towards COP8. [31/10/01]


Ramsar sub-regional meeting for South America - report available. Some 55 representatives of Ramsar Contracting Parties, intergovernmental institutions, and non-governmental organizations gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 10-12 September 2001, for a Ramsar subregional meeting in preparation for the 8th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties. The meeting was hosted and financially supported by Argentina’s Secretariat for Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy. One important decision of the meeting was to prepare a South American Strategy for the Implementation of the Ramsar Convention, which should be finalized for presentation by Argentina at the forthcoming meeting of the Standing Committee in December 2001. The conference report is available here (in Spanish only).

Unos 55 representantes de los países signatarios de la Convención Ramsar, organizaciones intergubernamentales y organizaciones no-gubernamentales se reunieron en Buenos Aires, Argentina, del 10 al 12 de septiembre, para discutir los asuntos de la sub-región en preparación para la Octava Conferencia de la Partes de Ramsar. La Secretaría de Desarrollo Sustentable y Política Ambiental de la República Argentina fue el anfitrión y patrocinador de la reunión. Una importante decisión del encuentro fue que se prepare una Estrategia Sudamericana para la Aplicación de la Convención de Ramsar, la que sería presentada por la Argentina al Comité Permanente de la Convención en su reunión del mes de diciembre de 2001. El informe final del evento esta disponible. [31/10/01]


Portugal names two new Ramsar sites. The Ramsar Bureau is very pleased to announce that Portugal has designated two new Wetlands of International Importance, effective 24 October 2001. Paúl de Tornada (Tornada Marsh) (50 hectares, 39°27’N 009°03’W) is a small freshwater permanently flooded marsh in a small alluvial plain, with extensive reed beds and numerous areas of open water, surrounded by agricultural and forest land. It fulfils the representativeness Criterion 1 and also supports a considerable diversity of species, particularly of migratory birds, as well as some threatened fish, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species. The site is presently located on private property that is rented to the environmental organizations GEOTA and PATO, with national and local government support, and a visitors’ centre and observatory are in place. Paúl do Taipal (Taipal Marsh) (233 ha, 40°11’N 008°41’W), an EU Birds Directive Special Protection Area, is a freshwater permanently flooded marsh in a small alluvial plain in the Mondego river valley, with extensive reed beds and some open water. The wetland is surrounded by agricultural land, with rice fields downstream. It has great bird diversity and habitats of major importance for migratory birds for wintering (including more than 1% of the Mediterranean population of Anas clypeata) and resting areas (for example, transaharan passerines and palearctic birds). It also supports a significant portion of the indigenous fish species Rutilus macrolepidotus, Barbus bacogei, and Cobitis maroccana in all life-cycle stages. The area is very important for local regulation of the underground water table and may also act as a buffer zone, contributing to increased protection of adjoining farmlands against erosion by winter floods. The marsh is publicly owned and managed, with educational activities and traditional fishing practiced within the site; conventional corn and rice cultivation takes place on private lands roundabout.

Portugal now has 12 Ramsar sites, totaling 66,096 hectares, bringing the Convention’s global total to 1106 sites covering 87,231,079 hectares (872,311 square km). [30/10/01]


'Declaration of the Central American People and Wetlands', belatedly. At Ramsar's 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in San José, Costa Rica, in May 1999, representatives of Central American peoples met and created a Declaration of recommendations to the COP concerning community participation in the sustainable development of wetlands in the region. Now, however, as the Bureau prepares to announce the imminent publication of our new information pack on the cultural heritage of wetlands, which draws upon the aforesaid Declaration -- and as we prepare to unveil JPG versions of the enormous painting that was created on-site during the COP by artists from the Solentiname region of Nicaragua, and which was presented to the COP concurrently with the Declaration, and which now hangs in the Secretary General's office -- belated notice has been taken that the Declaration itself was never published with the COP proceedings . . . {a small oversight, perhaps, no names mentioned} . . . so here it is, in English and in Spanish, reprinted from Humedales de Mesoamerica: Sitios Ramsar de Centroamérica y México / Mesoamerican Wetlands: Ramsar Sites in Central American and Mexico, published 1999 by the IUCN-Mesoamerica Wetlands and Coastal Zones Program with financial support from the Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD) and the IUCN Wetlands Programme, pages 36-37. [22/10/01]


Ramsar subregional meeting for Central America, the Caribbean, and North America - report available. Some 60 representatives of Ramsar Contracting Parties and observer states in the subregion, intergovernmental institutions, and non-governmental organizations gathered in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, 26-28 September 2001, for a Ramsar subregional meeting in preparation for the 8th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Environment of Honduras and financially supported by the Ministry of Environment of Canada, Swedish Sida, and the Department of State of the United States. The conference report is available here in English and Spanish. [19/10/01]


Ramsar East Asian meeting reported.Regional Coordinator Najam Khurshid reports that "the Government of Thailand hosted the East Asian Subregional Meeting from 1-3 October 2001 in Bangkok, one of a series of regional and subregional meetings around the world to assist in preparations for the next meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP8). More than 70 people attended, including representatives of 8 Contracting Parties, 2 observer states, environment-related organizations of the United Nations, the Convention on Migratory Species, international, regional and local non-governmental organizations, and development assistance agencies. Each Contracting Party provided an update on the implementation of the Ramsar Convention within its territory and highlighted some constraints they faced in the process. The Parties expressed their concerns about the National Report Format and provided belated suggestions for its improvement. Lively discussion unfolded on the draft Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and about how to approach issues involving the cultural heritage of wetlands. Reporting and compliance issues received particularly thorough scrutiny, and these portions of the report (paragraphs 79-87) merit special attention. The Bureau received excellent feedback from the participants on its performance and on the agenda of the next COP, including the technical sessions. This meeting also provided an opportunity for the participants to exchange their ideas and experiences. Presentation of other Conventions, international NGOs, and development assistance agencies provided an additional benefit for all the CPs and non-CPs to discuss their projects and areas of support with them directly." Financial support for the meeting was generously provided by the Government of Japan and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).  The formal report of the meeting, with the list of participants, is available here. [18/10/01]


The Ramsar European regional meeting begins. Delmar Blasco, Nick Davidson, Tobias Salathé, Inga Racinska, and Carlos Villalba from the Bureau are in Bled, Slovenia, for the European Ramsar Regional Meeting, 13-18 October, 2001. The agenda papers, presentations, and abstracts for the meeting are available here for download in Word format. [14/10/01]


Ramsar stresses cooperation with Desertification Convention. During the 5th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, 1-12 October 2001, Ramsar's Anada Tiéga addressed the COP and took the opportunity to highlight the many areas of fruitful cooperation presently under way between the two conventions and pledged Ramsar's further collaboration in a number of key issues of common concern. Read his brief speech right here. [11/10/01]


Ramsar Advisory Mission to Mühlenberger Loch Ramsar site, Germany. On 23 January 2001 the Federal Republic of Germany informed the Ramsar Bureau of its wish to restrict the boundary of the Mühlenberger Loch Ramsar site, an extensive area of tidal mudflats on the Elbe River near Hamburg, in accordance with Article 2.5 of the Convention, and proposed compensatory measures as indicated in Article 4.2. In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, the Ramsar Bureau is visiting the area 24-26 September in order, briefly put, to examine the manner in which the “urgent national interest” clause in Article 2.5 was invoked and study the compensation measures proposed. Accompanying Ramsar’s Dr Tobias Salathé on this 45th Ramsar Advisory Mission are an international legal expert, David Pritchard of BirdLife International, and an expert on mudflats ecology, Dr Mike Pienkowski, in addition to Dr Fritz Dieterich from the Federal Ministry, officials of the Hamburg Environment Authority, and representatives of the NABU/BUND NGO. The mission's terms of reference are available here, and the resulting report will be available in due course. [26/09/01]

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