The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 6 November 2002
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Headline story.MAB Europe - Ramsar meeting in Czech Republic. "The Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves" was the theme of a EuroMAB workshop convened by the Czech National Committee for the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, the Czech National Ramsar Committee, and the Pálava Biosphere Reserve from 13-18 October in Mikulov Castle, Southern Moravia. About 70 participants from 19 European, Central Asian and North American countries presented papers and posters and debated the following themes: a) wetlands as sources of biodiversity in Biosphere Reserves, b) buffering effects of wetlands on water budget and water quality in Biosphere Reserves and the role of water resources (including groundwater) for wetland maintenance, c) management (including restoration) of wetlands for sustainable functioning in Biosphere Reserves, and d) resolution of conflicts between economic use and environmental quality of wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, towards the application of the "wise use" concept. Among them were many Ramsar national focal points and wetland and Ramsar site managers who contributed their specific experience to the interesting debates. The workshop conclusions are available at http://ramsar.org/mtg_czech_mab2.htm. Therein, eight action points listed for increased cooperation between MAB and Ramsar are most noteworthy. More about UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme and possible synergies to improve efficiency can be found on the joint Ramsar-MAB Web site at: www.unesco.org/mab/ramsarmab.htm. Tobias Salathé reports, with photos. [06/11/02]
Headline story. "Ramsar - has it made a difference?" The 2002/03 edition of the important Yearbook of International Cooperation on Environment and Development (Earthscan, 2002) has just been published and carries, amongst insightful summaries of all the major MEAs and NGOs presently working in the field (including Ramsar), a feature article by Michael J. Bowman, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Nottingham and Director of the University of Nottingham Treaty Centre, entitled "The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands: Has it Made a Difference?". Dr Bowman's paper supplies a thorough survey of the history and structure of the Convention, and a sophisticated assessment of its effectiveness so far. The fact that it's not quite the panegyric that I would have written for the same purpose makes it all the more valuable, coming as it does from an outside expert in the international environmental law community. With the kind permission of Michael Bowman and editor Oystein B. Thommessen of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, which prepares the Yearbooks (formerly called the Green Globe Yearbooks), we've reprinted this valuable article in Web and PDF formats for the edification of both students and experts alike. [31/10/02]
Announcement. On-line COP8 registration has been de-activated. With the passing of the deadline for registration for Ramsar COP8, 30 October 2002, the on-line registration forms have been de-activated. Delegates from Contracting Parties exclusively are requested to send their registration forms by fax/email before 10th November 2002, if not already done. Media registration should be made through the Press Department of the Ministry of Environment of Spain. You should fax a letter from your agency, newspaper or media outfit, with a copy of the registration form, requesting accreditation, and then send the original by post or special courier. Correspondence should be addressed to: Sra. Rosa Pradas, Gabinete de Comunicación, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, s/n, 28071, Madrid España, Tel: +34-91 597 68 00 / 67 07, Fax: +34 91 597 59 08, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. [31/10/02]
We're still here, registering late COP8 sleepyheads, preparing for workshops and side events, pumping out the last feeble docs, and heading off to COP8 in a matter of days. If your routine enquiries don't receive an immediate reply, be charitable. If you're coming to COP8, we'll see you there -- if not, talk to you in December. Or January.
New on the Site: COP8 Update:DOC. 6, the Secretary General's Article 8 report on changes to the Ramsar List;Oceania implementation report (DOC. 30) now available; Documents DR 26 on the Implementation of the Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and DOC. 7 on the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which were not included in the last official mailing of documents, are now available [28/10/02]. Select your format at cop8_docs_index_e.htm. [31/10/02]
Ecuador names rich new Ramsar site in the Galápagos Islands. The Bureau is very pleased to announce that Ecuador has designated its 9th Wetland of International Importance for the Ramsar List, as of 17 September. The Humedales del Sur de Isabela (872 hectares, 00°57'S 090°58'W) is an area of coastal and marine wetlands, including the Poza de Los Diablos and other small ponds as well as the beaches, mangroves, and shallow marine waters of the Bahía de Puerto Villamil on Isabel, the largest of the Galápagos islands. An extremely rich area in terms of its biodiversity, the site, on islands of recent volcanic formation, has a high number of endemic species, many of which are listed as vulnerable or endangered in the IUCN Red List: the Lava gull (Larus fuliginosus), for example, the Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) and Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus californianus wollebacki), the Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Green sea urchin (Lytechinus semituberculatus), the marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) and the sea cucumber (Stichopus fuscus). Moreover, the site sustains more than 22.5% of the endemic subspecies Galapagos flamingo and significant proportions of a number of native fish species. Nearly all of the site falls within the Parque Nacional Galápagos, and human uses include tourism, non-commercial fishing among the local population, and the raising of such introduced mammals as goats, pigs, and cattle. The potential proliferation of introduced species, particularly of rats, cats, the African kikuyu grasss, and the invasive tree frog Scinax quinquefasciata since 1998 (the first amphibians in the islands), is noted as a cause for concern. This is Ramsar site number 1202, so the Convention now has 1201 sites on the List. [30/10/02] [français et/y español]
Australian project tests way to describe ecological character. Bill Phillips, erstwhile Deputy Secretary General of the Convention, has announced the completion of a project to develop a methodology for assessing the baseline ecological character of a Ramsar site. He writes to the Ramsar Forum, "Forum members may be interested in a recently completed project by a team of scientists in Australia who set out to design a datasheet to standardise the collection of data for benchmarking the ecological character of Ramsar sites across the country. The drivers for this project were a desire to have this fundamental descriptor information gathered systematically to allow early warning of change and also to establish baselines for long-term monitoring and determining impacts." The project's Executive Summary (included here) continues: "The act of designating a wetland as a Ramsar site carries with it certain obligations, including to manage the site to retain its 'ecological character' and to have procedures in place to detect if any threatening process are likely to or have already altered the 'ecological character'. Therefore, describing the 'ecological character' of a Ramsar site is a fundamental management tool for Parties which should form the baseline or benchmark for management planning and action, including site monitoring to detect negative impacts." Bill's message provides the broad outlines of the methodology that has been developed, and the proposed datasheet itself is attached here in Word format. [30/10/02]
Bureau gets New Regional Coordinator for Asia. The Bureau is delighted to announce that, following interviews last week with five extraordinarily strong candidates, the position of Regional Coordinator for Asia has been accepted by Dr Guangchun Lei of China. He will be replacing Najam Khurshid, who returns to his native Pakistan following two and a half years of service with the Bureau. Following completion of his bachelor's and master's degrees in Forest Protection at Central South Forestry University in China, Dr Lei served from 1988 to 1993 as Chief of the Division of Nature Reserve Management in the Forest Department of Hunan Province, overseeing some 31 protected areas amongst which, the famous Dongting Lake, was one of China's first Ramsar sites upon its accession to the Convention in 1992. He earned his Ph.D in Ecology in 1997 after four years of study at the University of Helsinki in Finland, and since 1999 has served both as a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Environmental Biology in Peking University and as Yangtze Programme Leader with the WWF China Programme, and is now Director of the Freshwater & Marine Programme, WWF China Programme -- in the WWF post, he has been able to assist the Chinese government in formulating its ambitious Wetland Conservation Action Plan, advise on the national wetland survey, and serve as national focal point for the Mekong River Basin Initiatives. The Bureau staff welcomes Dr Lei warmly and looks forward to his joining us for COP8 in Valencia in a few weeks' time. [29/10/02]
Call for Southeast Asian case studies on integrating wetlands, biodiversity, and river basin management. As a contribution to the Ramsar-CBD River Basin Initiative (RBI), the Global Environment Centre (GEC) is preparing a guideline for Southeast Asian countries on "Integrating Wetlands, Biodiversity and River Basin Management". This will build on the Ramsar Handbook 4 on "Integrating wetland conservation and wise use into river basin management". It will be produced in English and four Asian languages: Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Malay. The project is funded by the ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (ARCBC). Here is Ms Chew Oi May's announcement, with specifications and a form for indicating your interest. [28/10/02]
Announcement. Maite Martín Crespo Muro (email@example.com) informa que el Programa de Cooperación Internacional de la Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza del Ministerio de Medio Ambiente de España está organizando unas JORNADAS IBEROAMERICANAS DE COOPERACIÓN INTERNACIONAL EN HUMEDALES en el marco de la VIII Conferencia de las Partes Contratantes de la Convención Mundial de Humedales.
Maite Martín Crespo Muro (firstname.lastname@example.org) informs that the International Cooperation Program of the General Directorate on Nature Conservation of the Ministry of Environment of Spain is organizing the IBEROAMERICAN DAYS OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION in the framework of the VII meeting of the Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Announcement.CYTED Wetlands Network monograph. Dr. Lucas Fernández, coordinator of the XVII CYTED Wetlands Network (email@example.com) informs that the Iberoamerican Network is preparing a monograph on Latin American and Caribbean wetlands. Specialists from the region are invited to contribute to this work. Types of works to be accepted include: research results from regional wetlands studies; conference presentations from professors having participated in the Network's recent training course; and presentations from course students. Please contact Mr. Fernández for more details.
Dr. Lucas Fernández, Coordinador Red Humedales Subprograma XVII CYTED (firstname.lastname@example.org) informa que la Red Iberoamericana de Humedales del Programa CYTED está preparando una monografía sobre los humedales de América Latina y el Caribe. La monografía será publicada en dos volúmenes que contendrán tres categorías de trabajos: a) resultados de investigaciones o trabajos sobre humedales de la región, b) conferencias de los profesores del recién concluido curso de capacitación de la Red y c) trabajos presentados por los alumnos del curso. [28/10/02]
First of two Ramsar Advisory Missions to Doñana. Doñana National Park in southwest Spain is one of Europe's greatest wetlands and one of its most prestigious protected areas. It was designated as a Wetland of International Importance in 1982, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, a Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO MAB programme, and an EU Special Protection Area. However, human pressures have had their effects, and in 1990, Doñana was included on the Montreux Record of Ramsar sites requiring priority attention because of fears that excessive water abstraction, mainly for tourist developments along the coast and irrigated cultures in the immediate vicinity of the National Park, would irrevocably degrade the ecological character of the site. Problems were compounded by a disastrous toxic spill upstream in 1998. Both the Spanish and the Andalusian governments have been making considerable progress, however, and in early October 2002, the end of the dry season, Ramsar's Tobias Salathé and Ramsar consultants Luis Costa and Francesc Giró undertook the first of two planned Ramsar Advisory Missions to the site, in cooperation with national and regional officials; a wet season follow-up mission is planned for early spring 2002. Here is a brief report by Dr Salathé and a few photographs of the scene -- the full mission report will appear in due time. [23/10/02]
Announcement.Standing Committee 27 docs available here. Standing Committee next meets on the day prior to the opening of the 8th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, 17 November 2002, where it will conduct some quick business and transform itself into the Conference Committee for the duration of the COP, thereafter to be displaced by a newly-elected Standing Committee for 2003-2005. There are three documents needed for the SC27 meeting, and they are being posted to Standing Committee members today. One is the draft agenda. The second concerns the Small Grants Fund and includes the Bureau's recommendations for SC approval (only the highest rank proposals are included in this public version of the document). The third concerns the Convention's audited accounts for FY2001. Here they are. [24/10/02]
Japan names two new Ramsar sites. The Government of Japan has designated two new Wetlands of International Importance, both chiefly because of their great value for migratory shorebirds. Fujimae-higata (323 hectares), a tidal flat near the port city of Nagoya, is an important staging site along the East Asia-Australia Flyway with one of the highest shorebird counts in Japan. It is said that, when plans to "reclaim" the tidal flat entirely for a dumping site were abandoned by the City Council, "the site became a symbol of the wetland conservation movement in Japan". Miyajima-numa (41 ha) is a small, open, shallow freshwater lake left by the nearby Ishikari river, and one of the most important staging sites for migratory Anatidae species, especially large ones, that winter in Japan. Japan presently has 13 Ramsar sites, totaling 84,089 hectares, and these two new designations bring the Convention's global total to 1200 sites. More details on the new sites can be found here. [22/10/02]
New National Wetland Centre in Spain. The Council of Ministers of Spain, at its meeting on 4 October 2002, agreed to authorize the establishment of a State Foundation for a "National Wetland Centre" to be located in the city of Valencia (venue of Ramsar COP8), although the Centre may have branches in other places in the country. According to the Council's announcement, the objectives of the Centre are "to increase, spread and divulge the scientific and technical knowledge on wetlands, to promote their sustainable use, and to encourage collaboration among government authorities, academia, and public and private entities for the conservation of these ecosystems". [21/10/02]
Orderly progression of events.Second mailing of COP8 documents now going out. The first mailing of documents for the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Valencia, 18-26 November 2002) went out to the Parties by diplomatic channels in mid-August, and now the second and (more or less) last mailing is going up the same pipe. All of the Draft Resolutions and Recommendations (43 of them!!), as well as all of the administrative and supplementary information documents (35 of them!!) are now going out to the Parties, and will soon be shipped off to registered participants as well, in hardcopy or on CD-ROM according to their stated predilections. It's all available on this Web site as well -- visit the Docs page and bring your wheelbarrow along with you. [18/10/02]
Czech Ramsar site successfully removed from the Montreux Record. The Czech Republic has accomplished the measures needed for removal of the Ramsar site Novozámecky a Brehynsky rybník from the Montreux Record, the list of Wetlands of International Importance requiring urgent conservation attention, as of 26 September 2002. The fishponds, created in the 14th century, were placed upon the MR in 1994 as a result of considerable adverse ecological change resulting from mismanagement of the site and surrounding areas; following a Ramsar visit and some emergency Small Grants Fund assistance in 1997 in the construction of damaged works, support from the national government, and an enormous amount of work by concerned officials at the scene, the situation has been turned round and the future seems promising for the site. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé has supplied an instructive summary of the situation, and additionally we include a reprint of the "Montreux Record Questionnaire" submitted as part of the removal process and some excellent photos of the site. So go here next. [15/10/02]
Wetland Functional Analysis Research Programme users meeting. At the eve of launching the Sixth EU Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development, the partners of long-standing research consortia across Europe gathered for a European User Forum in Brussels on 25 September 2002 to confer with users of their research results, such as the UK Environment Agency, the German Federal Institute of Hydrology, the Romanian national company Apele Romane, the European Topic Centre for Inland Waters (of the European Environment Agency), the European Environmental Bureau, WWF, the Environment Directorate General of the European Commission and the Ramsar Bureau, about their needs. The Wetland Functional Analysis research programme is coordinated by Edward Maltby at Royal Holloway Institute for Environmental Research in London with research partners in France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. A brief report on the significance of the meeting is available here. [14/10/02]
Wetland Management Workshop in Mexico.José María Reyes (email@example.com) informa que la Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales de México (SEMARNAT), en cooperación con diversas organizaciones nacionales e internacionales está llevando a cabo el 5° Curso-Taller Sobre Manejo y Conservación de Humedales, del 7 al 20 de Octubre, en San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. El objetivo del taller es capacitar personal en la identificación, planificación, manejo y conservación de los humedales de México y promover los objetivos del Plan Norteamericano de Aves Acuáticas, Acta de Conservación de Humedales de Norteamérica y Convención Ramsar. Para mayor información favor visitar la página web: http://www.semarnat.gob.mx:16080/vs/programa_humedales.shtml y seguir este espacio proximamente para un informe sobre el taller. [13/10/02]
José María Reyes (firstname.lastname@example.org) informs that the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales of México (SEMARNAT), in cooperation with several national and international organizations is hosting the 5th Course-Workshop on Management and Wetlands Conservation from October 7-20, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The objective of the workshop is to train personnel en the identification, planning, management and conservation of the Mexican wetlands, as well as to promote the objectives of the North American Waterbird Plan, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the Ramsar Convention. For more information go to the following webpage: http://www.semarnat.gob.mx:16080/vs/programa_humedales.shtml and watch this space in the near future for a report from the workshop.
Ramsar Information Centre inaugurated in France. On 25 September 2002, the Ramsar Information Centre and the Pré Curieux Water Gardens were formally opened in Evian, France, with a tour of the premises, ample explanations and a few speeches, and semi-re-frozen canapés in the gardens in a bitter north wind. The estate of Pré Curieux on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) -- almost visible from the Ramsar Bureau on the Swiss side of the lake -- has been purchased and renovated by the town of Evian, the department of Haute Savoie, and the region of Rhône-Alpes with the semi-governmental French organization Conservatoire du Littoral, in the context of the Ramsar Evian Project financed since 1998 by the private-sector Groupe Danone and its Evian Waters subsidiary and the government of France. Please find here more details on the project and the inauguration, and quite a few low-res photos. [11/10/02]
Announcement. Wetlands International posts two vacancy notices. Wetlands International is presently a Wetlands and Poverty Alleviation Programme Officer, a 3-year position to be based in Wageningen, The Netherlands, and a Capacity Building Programme Officer, to be based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The vacancy announcements are reprinted here. [link later removed] [10/10/02]
Danube expert group meeting. On 9-10 September the 5th meeting of the Ecological Expert Group, set up by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), took place at Orth, a small historical town hosting the headquarters of Austria's Danube Floodplain National Park (Nationalpark Donau-Auen). The Expert Group shows how synergies between multilateral agreements and other institutions can work. The main policy instrument guiding the Experts' work, besides the Danube and Ramsar Conventions, is the European Union Water Framework Directive that introduces the river basin approach for integrated water management and requires EU member and accession states to make comprehensive assessments and inventories of wetland ecosystems in river floodplains, mainly in view of their water purification, flood retention and biodiversity preservation capacities. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé here supplies a brief report on the meeting and a number of photos of the workgang at their labors. [09/10/02]
Ramsar Subregional Meeting for the Middle East is under way. Huddling virtually under the eaves of the looming COP8 in November, the last of the preparatory regional and subregional meetings is presently under way in Beirut, Lebanon. Here is the Secretary General's welcoming address to the meeting, and here is a menu of the outputs of all the other regional and subregional Ramsar meetings that have led us to the present state of intense and anticipatory readiness for the COP. [08/10/02]
Headline story. Ramsar and WWF contribution to GEF International Waters Conference. The 2nd GEF International Waters Conference (IWC) was held in Dalian, China, from 25th to 29th September 2002. A total of 186 participants attended the meeting, representing 55 different GEF-IW projects. The Dalian Conference was the follow-up to the 1st GEF International Waters Conference, held in Budapest in 2000 and attended by Mr. Alain Lambert from the Ramsar Bureau. Anada Tiéga of the Ramsar Bureau and Denis Landenbergue of WWF's Living Waters Programme report on the Global Environment Facility's IW:LEARN programme and briefly summarize their own participation in the sessions on "Freshwater Basin Management", joining Mr M. S. Adamu, Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in briefing the participants on the ongoing LCBC-GEF (World Bank/UNDP) Ramsar and WWF collaborative work over the past two and half years. More detail here. [03/10/02]
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]
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, email@example.com, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org. [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 [no longer] available at http://ramsar.org/cop8_reg_4exhibit_e.htm (_f and _s for French and Spanish). [20/09/02]
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. Updated regularly by Dwight Peck, Ramsar Bureau.