The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 2 October 2002
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Announcement. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Fellowship Program. Habiba Gitay writes that the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) Fellowship Program provides an exciting and challenging opportunity for recently graduated scientists to become part of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment effort. The Fellowship Program is designed to increase the number of early career scientists with background in biophysical and social sciences (including economics) involved as authors in the MA reports due to be completed in late 2004. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reports are being written by teams of leading scientists from a range of disciplines and from many parts of the world; the selected MA Fellows will work and interact as full members of these teams. Here are all the details, with a description of the MA itself, and the application form as well.[link later removed] [02/10/02]
Delmar Blasco, Secretary General, is in Lelystad for the closing session of the international training wetland course and the subsequent board meeting. [02/10/02]
Tobias Salathé, Regional Coordinator for Europe, is leading a Ramsar Advisory Mission, supported by invited experts Francesc Giro and Luis Costa to Doñana, Spain. [02/10/02]
Alain Lambert, Senior Adviser on Environment and Development Cooperation, is in Brussels for the 5th meeting of the Multi-stakeholder Forum "EU Water Initiative", under the direction of the EC Directorate-General Environment. [02/10/02]
Announcement.Potential Ramsar sites in Mexico published. To the Ramsar Forum: "Hello, By suggestion of Montserrat Carbonell I am placing on the Forum the abstract of the following publication: Pérez-Arteaga, a., K.J. Gaston & M. Kershaw. 2002. Undesignated sites in Mexico qualifying as wetlands of international importance. Biological Conservation 107:47-57. Those sites designated under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat constitute the most important wetland conservation network at a global level, with more than 1000 sites of international importance. With only seven designated sites, waterfowl and wetlands in Mexico are evidently under-represented in the list. We identify 34 currently undesignated sites in Mexico that qualify as wetlands of international importance, based on waterfowl count data from 1991-1997, using the Ramsar Convention criteria based on waterfowl. Using a complementarity approach implemented by linear integer programming, the sites were prioritised into two categories on the basis of their importance for designation. Twelve sites were categorised as Priority 1 (higher), and 22 sites as Priority 2 (lower). The Priority 1 set has held a waterfowl count average of 1.2 million individuals, and between 1% (ruddy duck, Oxyura j. jamaicensis) and 51% (black brant, Branta bernicla nigricans) of the populations of 10 species of waterfowl, and includes sites from eight biogeographic regions. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.The paper is also available electronically (online or as a .pdf file) if your library has an active online subscription, or please feel free to contact me for a copy.
Regards, Alejandro Perez-Arteaga, Biodiversity and Macroecology Group, Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, United Kingdom, firstname.lastname@example.org, Web Page: http://www.shef.ac.uk/~bmg/ [26/09/02]
Ramsar contributes to GEF International Waters Conference. Anada Tiéga, Ramsar Regional Coordinator for Africa, is in China, 23-30 September 2002, invited along with Denis Landenbergue (WWF), Mr Muhamad Sani Adamu, Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), and Mr Muhammad Bello Tuga, Executive Secretary of the Niger Basin Authority (ABN) by the Global Environment Facility and its Implementing Agencies (UNDP, UNEP, and the World Bank) to participate in the second GEF Biennial International Waters Conference, to be held September 25-29, 2002 in Dalian, China. In particular, in the session on transboundary freshwater management, these participants will make a joint presentation on their collaborative work on the Lake Chad Basin to explain how river /lake basin organizations (Lake Chad and Niger River), GEF implementing agencies (World Bank and UNDP), an international NGO (WWF), and a Convention Secretariat (the Ramsar Convention Bureau) are working together to promote the integration of wetland conservation and wise use into river basin management. More detail here. [24/09/02]
Announcement.New book on wetland cooperation in northeast Asia. The proceedings have appeared of the international workshop on Wetland Conservation and Need for International Cooperation in Northeast Asia, held on 24-25 May 2002 at Pusan National University in Busan, Korea. The symposium, organized by Ramsar Center Japan, Pusan National University, Seoul National University, and the Korean Environmental Sciences Society, and sponsored by the Korea Research Foundation, began with addresses by Reiko Nakamura, Secretary General of Ramsar Center Japan, and Yoshihiko Miyabayashi of Wetlands International Japan, and included nine scientific and case study papers by a number of speakers, including Chen Kelin of Wetlands International China. More information about the softcover 120-page book is available from the Dept. of Biology, Pusan National University, email@example.com. [24/09/02]
CBD and Ramsar seek case studies on wetland and river basin management. The River Basin Initiative is a key element of the Joint Work Plan between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971), which was endorsed through decision V/2 of the fifth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). CBD's SBSTTA was requested by its COP "to compile case studies on watershed, catchment and river basin management experiences and practices, to synthesize the lessons emerging from these studies, and to disseminate that information through the clearing-house and other appropriate mechanisms". Now, as part of that process, Hamdallah Zedan, Executive Secretary of the CBD, and Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, have written to national focal points of both conventions: "the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Wetlands are pleased to invite your Government / Organization to submit case studies on topics listed in the attached form, at your earliest convenience but no later than 20 October 2002 to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity." Here's their notification, and here's the form. [23/09/02]
Australia reviews incentive measures for conserving freshwater ecosystems. In a recently completed study Australia has done a comprehensive stock-taking of 27 incentive measures operating, or which could be introduced, to promote the conservation and wise use of freshwater ecosystems by private landholders. Many of these measures are currently available in Australia, whilst others are in use in other countries but only now beginning to be considered there. Each incentive measure is considered against the criteria of ecological efficiency, economic efficiency, social impact, flexibility, accountability and potential for community involvement, and for each incentive option recommendations have been formulated that are designed to offer guidance to policymakers at all levels of government for making these measures more affective. The project was undertaken by three leading environmental economists and WWF personnel and was coordinated by Dr Bill Phillips (former DSG of the Ramsar Convention), and the report can be found at http://www.ea.gov.au/water/policy/incentive/index.html.
As a companion to this policy paper, which targets national and jurisdictional governments, the authors developed a series of fact sheets as an Information Kit called "Wetland management assistance for private landholders". These are being prepared for Web publication at present and should be available shortly. [20/09/02]
Reminder. Exhibition space at COP8. Please remember that the deadline for reserving free and paid exhibition space at Ramsar COP8 in Valencia is 30 September. The details of what can be reserved are available at http://ramsar.org/cop8_reg_4exhibit_e.htm (_f and _s for French and Spanish). [20/09/02] [These links have since been removed.]
Nanjing International Wetlands Symposium. The Nanjing International Wetlands Symposium (NIWS), which was sponsored by the Chinese State Forestry Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jiangsu Provincial Government, Society of Wetland Scientists, and organized by Nanjing Forestry University, was convened successfully in Nanjing, China, September 10-13, 2002. All the participants of NIWS were more than 100, including from China, US, UK, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, Australia, etc. The conference focused on Wetland Restoration and Management: Addressing Asian Issues through International Collaboration. The objective of NIWS was to provide a forum for synthesizing existing knowledge about ecosystem processes as a foundation for effective wetland restoration and management in Asia. Here is Bao Daming's brief report, with a few photos. [18/09/02]
Announcement.WWF Living Waters seeks river basin project manager. WWF seeks applications for the position of Manager - River Basin Management for its global Living Waters Programme based in Zeist, Netherlands. The successful applicant will lead the further development and implementation of actions required to achieve the WWF Living Waters Programme's target 2, for sustainable management of river basins internationally. Here's the announcement from Living Waters Director Jamie Pittock.[link later removed] [18/09/02]
Ramsar mission to Caribbean island states. As requested by the Pan-American Meeting of the Ramsar Convention, held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 1-5 July 2002, a Ramsar Mission to key Caribbean Island States is taking place from 16-19 September 2002 to encourage them to accede to the Convention on Wetlands before its next COP to be held in Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2202. The participants an official from Trinidad and Tobago, as the Party which acts as Regional Representative in the Ramsar Standing Committee; an official from the Bahamas, as the first Caribbean Island State that joined the Convention; an official from the United States of America, as the main donor for projects in the region; and Ms. Margarita Astrálaga, Regional Coordinator for the Americas at the Ramsar Bureau. More detail is available here. [16/09/02]
Ramsar site extensions in the Americas. As of 5 September, Mexico has extended the boundaries of the Ramsar site Ría Lagartos, now to be called Humedal de Importancia Especialmente para la Conservación de Aves Acuáticas Reserva Ría Lagartos, from an area of 47,840 to 60,348 hectares. Costa Rica has extended the Palo Verde Ramsar site from 19,800 hectares to 24,519, as of 13 September 2002. [17/09/02]
Delta chiama Delta ("Delta calls Delta") founded in Comacchio, Italy. On 6 September 2002, the first official international network of Ramsar Sites came into being in the Italian town of Comacchio with the constitution of the Association "Delta chiama Delta" for the conservation and sustainable development of costal and delta areas. Its statutes, finalised with the help of legal experts during the morning's meeting, make special reference to the Ramsar Convention and to the need to take into account environmental, social, historical, cultural, and economical values of wetlands. Here is Ramsar's Tobias Salathé's brief, illustrated report of the launch, of its meaning for the Convention and for deltas everywhere, and of the surrounding countryside. [13/09/02]
Symposium on financial instruments for European Biosphere Reserves. A symposium entitled "Financial Instruments for Biosphere Reserves in EU-Accession Countries" was held 2-7 September 2002 on the Island of Vilm in the Baltic Sea, hosted by the German Bundesamt für Naturschutz (Federal Agency for Nature Conservation) and the International Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm. The secretariat of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme, in opening statements, expressed its wish to look seriously at the possibility of promoting the sustainable trade of Biosphere Reserve products and at the possibility of establishing more environmental funds as a sustainable financing instrument for Biosphere Reserves. The Ramsar Bureau's Alain Lambert made presentations on several financial/economic instruments and options (such as bilateral donors, re-insurance schemes, debt swaps, campaigns, biorights, water-related fees, sustainable trade, market-based instruments, tourism-related fees, NGOs, foundations, and research programmes) and on the elaboration of financial strategies for protected areas. Other speakers included Mihály Végh of the European Centre for Nature Conservation in Budapest on the European Biodiversity Resourcing Initiative. Mr Lambert and MAB secretariat and regional personnel have agreed to pursue bilateral discussions further, and Alain considers this to be "an excellent opportunity to collaborate with Biosphere Reserve managers from EU-Accession countries and to implement the existing MOU with MAB. Excellent prospects ahead !!!" [12/09/02]
WWF / Ramsar / Switzerland partnership with southern African states.Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania announced a partnership with WWF, the Ramsar Secretariat, and the Swiss Agency for the Environment on 31 August in Johannesburg. They will be working on joint conservation of Lake Malawi/Niassa/Nyasa, as the lake is variously known, on a transboundary basis. The three countries will be supported in designating their respective parts of the lake as Ramsar sites. The project starts immediately in Tanzania, and similar support will be provided in 2003 to Malawi and Mozambique. The lake boasts up to 800 unique fish species found nowhere else in the world. The partnership illustrates the objectives of the Swiss/Ramsar/WWF policy paper that was presented in Johannesburg and will be a model for the collaborative management of transboundary rivers and lakes. [text and photo from WWF]. [11/09/02]
Poignant Photos available. Ramsar Bureau celebrates Switzerland's entry into the United Nations four months early. Having already enthusiastically tested out the culinary traditions of Spain and the UK, Ramsar Bureau staff decided to do the Swiss thing and in June 2002 went the whole hog with a disreputable general pig-out of every traditional Swiss dish except the tourist biggies (fondue and raclette, which may have been deeply missed by some), but no one was complaining at the end of the extraordinarily folkloric and caloric evening. Lamentably, Bureau staff, once they'd heard the lunch whistle blow, couldn't be slowed down for memorial photographs, so all we've got here, by the time they'd filled up to the point of slowing down, are photos of the elbowing all round the dessert table. Let that suffice for the moment. [11/09/02]
Reminder and update.Ramsar CEPA workshop in November. Most readers are already aware that a workshop on wetland communication, education, and public awareness (CEPA) will be held under the auspices of the Global Biodiversity Forum just prior to Ramsar's 8th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in Valencia in November. Here the workshop organizer, Sandra Hails, provides a reminder and an update on the preparations to the members of the CEPA e-mail discussion list. [11/09/02]
Announcement. New book on sustainable livelihoods available. TERI, the Tata Energy Research Institute, has just published the proceedings of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2002, which was held in New Delhi, India, 8-11 February 2002. Entitled Ensuring sustainable livelihoods: challenges for governments, corporates and civil society at Rio+10, and edited by R. K. Pachauri, the 400-page softcover volume includes over 100 addresses and papers by such speakers as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jan Pronk, Maritta Bieberstein Koch-Weser, Claude Martin, Margaret Beckett, James Gustave Speth, Lester Brown, Nitin Desai, and Ramsar's Alain Lambert. Further purchasing information is available directly from firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please do not contact the Ramsar Bureau.) [11/09/02]
Norway names 14 new Ramsar sites. The Ramsar Bureau is absolutely delighted to announce that the Government of Norway has designated 14 new Wetlands of International Importance, to be dated as of 6 August 2002. Senior Adviser Øystein Størkersen of the Directorate for Nature Management in Trondheim notes that all of these new Ramsar sites, which extend from the populous and more developed regions of the south to the sparsely developed regions of the north, are presently protected as Nature Reserves, and most are being designated for their importance for migratory birds, though many other functions and values (such as flood control and water cleansing) have been listed as well. In addition, Norway is considerably extending the Ramsar site formerly known as Jæren (designated in 1985), now renamed Jæren Wetland System, with the addition of 18 new "units", bringing the area encompassed from 400 to 3256 hectares. Here's a bit more detail on the lot of them. [09/09/02] [français et/y español]
United Nations University publishes the Ramsar Wise Use Handbooks on CD-ROM. The Global Environment Information Centre of the United Nations University (UNU/GEIC) in Tokyo, Japan, has recently published the Ramsar Wise Use Handbooks in a CD-ROM version that is now available to the public free of charge. The print version of the boxed set of nine pamphlets, edited by Sandra Hails, was published by the Ramsar Bureau in May 2000 (http://ramsar.org/wurc_handbook_index.htm), but readers have long expressed a wish to have the whole set available in a handier and more cost-effective format. The new CD-ROM includes the English, French, and Spanish Handbooks in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, with a Web browser interface to facilitate the reader's journey through this wealth of Ramsar lore. More info and ordering details are available here. [09/09/02] [français, español]
Announcement. Mangrove conference set for Brazil."International Conference -- Mangrove 2003: Connecting research and participative management of estuaries and mangroves" is the name of a conference set for Salvador, Bahia [Brazil] - May 20-24, 2003. The call for papers is available here in English and Portuguese. [09/09/02]
News from the SGF.Black storks in Africa -- final report of the project. For the past few years the Government of the Walloon Region of Belgium has been contributing SFR 20,000 annually to the Small Grants Fund for earmarked studies on the situation of the Black Stork Ciconia nigra in Africa. The project is being executed by the Wetlands International West Africa Programme -- the goals are to determine the status of and threats to these birds in Africa, initiate actions for their conservation, and build awareness of this "charismatic" migratory species. The specific objectives are to determine the conservation status of the species in West Africa; identify key sites; identify threats; develop a conservation strategy/action plan; and increase awareness of the Black Stork and the importance of wetlands in West Africa. The report of the project segment for 2000 is entitled Situation de la Cigogne noire Ciconia nigra en Afrique - Synthèse des données des dénombrements des oiseaux d'eau (1991-2000), by Cheikh Hamallah Diagana and Seydina Issa Syllah, and is now available here (French only). [06/09/02]
News from WSSD. "In the last two activities in the framework of the Summit, the Secretary General attended the launch of the European Union partnership on water with Africa and with the Eastern European and Central Asian States. Ramsar is listed as one of the partners in the EU Water Initiative and hopes to play a role in ensuring that ecosystem conservation and sound management is not forgotten. Finally, the SG attended the launch of a partnership among Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama for the conservation and sustainable use of the marine corridor that involves the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), the Isla del Coco Ramsar site (Costa Rica), and other islands along the Pacific coast of Colombia and Panama. The partnership is supported by UNEP's Regional Office based in Mexico, IUCN, and Conservation International, with Ramsar as another supporting institution. The Presidents of Costa Rica and Ecuador, the Vice President of Panama, and the Vice Minister of Environment of Colombia were in attendance at the event held at the IUCN Centre for the Summit.The Secretary General reports on the end of the Summit.
The Summit is now over. The Secretary General will prepare a report highlighting the points of interest for Ramsar in the outputs of the Summit, which are many, and this will be circulated as a Ramsar COP8 document. In addition, the Minister of Environment and Tourism of South Africa, H.E. M. Valli Moosa, has confirmed to the Secretary General that he has accepted the Convention's invitation to come to Valencia to address the COP on the opening day on the results of the Johannesburg Summit." [05/09/02]
Thailand names four new coastal Ramsar sites. The Government of Thailand, which joined the Convention on Wetlands just four years ago, has yet again increased its number of Wetlands of International Importance by designating four very interesting new coastal Ramsar sites, all of them including Marine National Parks at least partially and one of them already a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. All include mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass beds, many of them are lively ecotourism destinations, and all of them provide support for threatened or endangered species of flora or fauna or both. Thailand now has 10 Ramsar sites, covering a surface area of 370,600 hectares, and the Convention's 133 Contracting Parties have designated 1184 sites in all, covering 103,330,803 hectares. Here's a brief description of the four new Thai sites, drawn from information included in the "Ramsar Information Sheets" provided with the designation documents. [04/09/02] [français, español]
Staff news.Lali Caballé joins the Bureau for COP8. Ms Eulalia Caballé from Tarragona, Spain, an honors graduate of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, has received a grant from the Catalonian government for a 3-months' training period in the Ramsar Bureau, from 1 September through the end of Ramsar COP8 in Valencia. She will be working chiefly with Sandra Hails in developing Spanish-language pages for the Ramsar Outreach mini-Web site and helping to organize and prepare documentation for the CEPA [Communications, Education, and Public Awareness] Workshop that will take place just prior to the COP. Lali will also participate in COP8 itself as a member of the Ramsar team. She's already here and settling down to work, and she's very welcome in the Bureau. [04/09/02]
News from WSSD. Summit events of 1 September and Ramsar MOU with UNCTAD. Secretary General Delmar Blasco reports from Johannesburg on a busy Sunday, 1 September, from the Ramsar perspective, in which Ramsar chaired a session on "Water - Responsibility for security" at the IUCN Centre and participated in the kick-off meeting of the Ministerial Conference on Water to be held in conjunction with the Third World Water Forum in Japan in March 2003. In still another significant event, Mr Blasco and Dr Rubens Ricupero, Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining future cooperation between the secretariats on the BIOTRADE Initiative. See his brief report here and the text of the new MOU here. [03/09/02]
Announcement.Society of Wetland Scientists' Ramsar Support Grant Program -- Request for Proposals. The Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) is soliciting proposals for their Ramsar Support Grant Program. The grant program was established to advance Ramsar Convention objectives, including the selection, designation, management, and networking of Ramsar sites; and the promotion of Ramsar's Wise Use guidelines. Two to four projects are funded each year at a level of US $5,000 on a competitive basis as reviewed by an evaluation committee. Only applicants working on Ramsar-related activities in less-developed countries are eligible to receive grants under this program, and priority is given to applicants from countries that are on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) List of Aid Recipients (www.oecd.org).Grant guidelines, an application form, and a description of previous grant awards can be found on the SWS Web site or you can request these materials from: Eric Gilman, Society of Wetland Scientists International Chapter, 2718 Napuaa Place, Honolulu, HI 96822 USA E-mail: email@example.com. Applications must be received by 1 November 2002. [03/09/02]
Announcement. Side event on wetlands training set for Ramsar COP8. Every year since 1994, the Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment (RIZA), part of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management in The Netherlands, has hosted the International Course on Wetland Management at the Wetlands Advisory and Training Centre (WATC) in Lelystad. Over the past few years, RIZA has also hosted a separate International Course on Wetland Restoration. Frank Alberts writes that RIZA and Wetlands International will be hosting a side event (a "diploma granting" side event!) at Ramsar's 8th Conference of the Parties on wetland training opportunities and the Wetlands International "Ramsar Training Service", and his brief announcement, with a few poignant photos of past training courses, are available here. [03/09/02]
News from the SGF.Armenia completes SGF project on wetland valuation. Armenia successfully completed its SGF 1999 project "Ecological and economic valuation of Armenian wetlands: a step towards elaboration of the National Wetland Policy". The project was carried out by the NGO Professional and Entrepreneurial Orientation Union (NGO Orientation) and it was financed solely by a grant provided from the Ramsar Convention Bureau. As a result the project delivered the most comprehensive list of Armenian wetlands worked out so far, a wetland database, the first nationwide economic valuation of wetlands, outputs of seasonal ecological and economic surveys at 6 typical wetland areas in different regions of the country and at different altitude, impact assessment analysis of infliction of harms on wetlands by various human activities, promotion of public awareness of sustainable (wise) use of wetland products, values and functions, and last but not least during the project implementation have been identified 4 more wetlands of international importance to be inscribed on the Ramsar List. A brief report by Ramsar's Sergey Dereliev is available here. [03/09/02]
News from WSSD. Secretary General Delmar Blasco reports that Ramsar has been active in a number of events at the Summit in Johannesburg, namely in a dialogue on the EU Water Initiative, a launch event by UNEP's Collaboration Centre of Water and Environment, and a panel discussion sponsored by IUCN on water management and nature. He also describes the side event on Saturday evening, organized by the Swiss Agency for the Environment, WWF International, and the Ramsar Convention during which a policy paper was launched on "Sustainable management of water resources: the need for a holistic ecosystem approach". See his brief report here. [02/09/02]The Secretary General's update on events of 30-31 August.
News from WSSD. Ramsar's man at the Summit, Secretary General Delmar Blasco, supplies this progress report on events at the World Summit on Sustainable Development that are of most interest to the Ramsar community. In anticipation of a more ample report to follow, he indicates that the WWF/Ramsar side event (27 August) honoring nine nations for their recent extraordinary commitments to wetland conservation and the Ramsar List was very well attended and drew encouraging media attention. He reports on two partnership initiatives with which Ramsar will be involved, and offers a somewhat less heartening summary of the plenary session on water issues, 28 August. Finally, Mr Blasco fills us in on how the famous Ramsar Exhibit is doing so far. See his brief report here. [30/08/02]Ramsar/WWF side event, partnerships, plenary session on water (28 August), Ramsar exhibition.
News from WSSD.WWF and Ramsar applaud nine nations at WSSD. So far in 2002, nine nations -- Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Chad, China, Guinea, Peru, Tanzania andZambia -- have each designated more than a half million hectares of freshwater areas as Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. The commitments of these nine countries add up to 22 million hectares, over 1/4 of the total area of wetlands recognized by Ramsar in the previous 30 years, and they have put the total area of wetlands now under the Ramsar umbrella at over 100 million hectares. At a "press conference and ministerial announcement" in Johannesburg, 27 August, WWF International and the Ramsar Bureau, with the assistance of a number of high-level speakers, are presenting these nine countries with certificates recognizing their foresight and commitment. According to the programme, "the Ramsar Bureau and WWF plan to use this announcement to inspire other countries to follow the example to also protect their freshwater ecosystems, and will take this opportunity to emphasize to the international donor community the importance of these commitments and the related need to contribute greatly increased financial resources for sustainable management of freshwater". A report of the event will follow, but here in the meantime is the programme, as well as WWF's press release for the event, with background papers on the issues involves, and a press release from WWF Bolivia into the bargain. [28/08/02]
News from WSSD. Secretary General participates in panel on WEHAB in the first day plenary of WSSD.Delmar Blasco, Ramsar's Secretary General, reports from Johannesburg: "The first day's afternoon plenary of the world summit in Johannesburg was dedicated to another one of the WEHAB issues: biodiversity. (WEHAB stands for water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity, the five issues identified by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as the mega issues that the Summit should address as a priority - thus two of the WEHAB issues are Ramsar issues: water and biodiversity. A UNDP-based group led by Peter Schei (Norway) has produced a WEHAB-biodiversity report distributed at yesterday's plenary, to which the Ramsar Bureau has contributed substantively.) Yesterday's plenary was introduced by Peter Schei and CBD's Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan. A 15-member panel representing the UN system, major groups, and other institutions (including Ramsar) was questioned during 70 minutes by Minister Jan Pronk of the Netherlands, in order to try to understand what are the real issues about biodiversity and ecosystem management. Governments then had another 90 minutes to express their views. Overall it was a interesting debate, with governments (many represented by Ministers) accepting the rules of not reading pre-prepared statements but really engaging in discussion. It is hoped that some of the substance of this plenary will be injected in the Plan of Implementation that continued to be discussed in a separate room at the Sandton Conference Centre in Johannesburg." [27/08/02]
Side event at WSSD on water resources.Switzerland's Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape, WWF-the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the Ramsar Bureau are sponsoring at side event at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, 31 August, on "Sustainable Management of Water Resources: The Need for a Holistic Ecosystem Approach -- Running out of Freshwater or Maintaining Freshwater Through an Ecosystem Based Approach - An Easy Choice". The announcement, with the place and time of the event, and the background policy paper for discussion are both available here. [26/08/02]
Announcement. Deadline for applications for the post of Regional Coordinator for Asia extended. The Ramsar Bureau wishes to inform Contracting Parties in Asia that, upon demand, the deadline for applications for the post of Regional Coordinator for Asia is being extended until 11 October 2002. The interviews of short-listed candidates will be carried out, in principle, on 25 October 2002. [23/08/02]
WWF briefing paper on WSSD and Ramsar.Jamie Pittock of the Living Waters Programme of the World Wide Fund for Nature has released a WWF briefing paper calling upon the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development to enhance support for the Ramsar Convention's work with wetland and water resources. In his message to the Ramsar Forum, Jamie says: "WWF asks national government officers who receive this e-mail to pass it on to your government's World Summit delegation (usually led by your first minister or foreign affairs department) with your agency's endorsement. In WWF's view, the Convention has been undervalued in the Summit's draft Plan of Implementation text and deserves equal recognition to such treaties as the Convention to Combat Desertification. WWF is particularly concerned that the historical position of this particularly effective Convention outside the UN environment treaty system means that an effective tool for sustainable wetland management has not been fully included in multilateral coordination and funding mechanisms." Here is his message and a reprint of the position paper. [23/08/02]
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.