The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 5 August 2002

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

Further workshop proceedings from the Dakar International Conference on Wetlands and Development. Two new books have newly been released as long-awaited products of the 2nd International Conference on Wetlands and Development, Dakar, Senegal, November 1998. These A4-format 116-page volumes contain the proceedings of two of the most substantial workshops of the conference and present the full texts of the presentations. Integrated Wetlands and Water Resources Management, edited by Ger Bergkamp, Jean-Yves Pirot, and Silvia Hostettler, contains 14 articles and the conclusions and recommendations of the workshop -- Strategies for Wise Use of Wetlands: Best Practices in Participatory Management, edited by Meg Gawler, includes 16 articles and an overview article by the editor. Further information can be sought from Wetlands International in Wageningen, The Netherlands, tel. +31 317 478854, e-mail wetlands@wetlands.agro.nl, and in the meantime more information, including the tables of contents, can be seen here. [05/08/02]


Field Guide to the Fish of Tasek Bera Ramsar Site, Pahang, Malaysia. Tasek Bera, a freshwater swamp system situated in Central Peninsular Malaysia, was declared a Ramsar Site in November 1994 when Malaysia became a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention. The lake has a range of conservation values, of which, it is important for its fish biodiversity. At least 94 species have been recorded so far including the endangered Asian Arowana Scleropages formosus and Silver Shark Balantocheilos melanopterus. The majority of fish species found at the site are indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia and the site meets Ramsar criteria 7 and 8 relating to fish conservation, amongst others. Recognising the importance of conserving this unique fish biodiversity in Tasek Bera, Wetlands International-Malaysia Programme has published A Field Guide to the Fish of Tasek Bera Ramsar Site, Pahang, Malaysia with funding from DGIS in July 2002. More detail is available here. [01/08/02]


The Cultural Heritage of Wetlands available in Macedonian. Metodija Velevski, secretary of the Macedonian National Ramsar Committee, writes that a new 25-page full-color illustrated translation of Ramsar's "Cultural Heritage of Wetlands" info pack has been published by the NRC and the Bird Study and Protection Society of Macedonia, including an additional two-page case study with text and photos detailing the ancient fishing techniques on Dojran Lake, a transboundary lake shared by the FYR of Macedonia and Greece. This attractive publication was funded by the IUCN Netherlands Committee under their Small Grants for Wetlands Programme and provides an excellent model for countries wishing to adapt Ramsar public-awareness materials into local languages with Bureau staff assistance and financial support from sympathetic sources. More information here. [31/07/02]


Bolivia names high-Andean Ramsar site. The Ramsar Bureau is delighted to announce that, effective 11 July 2002, Bolivia has designated its 8th Wetland of International Importance. "Lagos Poopó y Uru Uru" (Oruro department, 967,607 ha, 18°46'S 63°13'W), a National Ecological Reserve, are two associated brackish lakes at over 3,600m altitude which fulfil all eight of the Ramsar Criteria and are excellent representatives of the high-altitude Andean wetlands of the Puna ecoregion. Some 76 species of birds have been reported for the site, including about 120,000 individuals of flamingos Phoenicopterus chilensis, Phoenicoparrus andinus, and Phoenicoparrus jamesi. Endemic and endangered fauna and flora, such as vicuña and pumas, are supported, as well as the cactus Opuntia and Trichocereus. Two pre-Hispanic cultures, the Aymaras and Urus, the latter believed to be one of the oldest ethnic groups on the continent, dating from 2000-1500 before the common era, are present in the area and practice subsistence agriculture and fishing, with some mining and limited grazing and illegal bird hunting also in evidence.

Hectares sweepstakes. In terms of total area, Bolivia (6,471,995 ha) has now passed Brazil into 5th position in total Ramsar hectarage, behind Canada, the Russian Federation, Botswana, and Peru. There are presently 1180 Ramsar sites, covering 103,250,356 hectares, brought by the 133 Contracting Parties under the Ramsar designation. [30/07/02]


Ramsar Joint Work Plan with SPREP. At the Ramsar Oceania Regional meeting hosted by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa in May 2002, the participants reviewed a draft Joint Work Plan between the Ramsar Convention and SPREP, which will implement the Memorandum of Cooperation between the two organisations signed at the Samoa meeting. Here is the final JWP prepared by SPREP and the Ramsar Bureau with the assistance of former Bureau Deputy Secretary General Bill Phillips. The Plan is designed to help support strengthening capacity in Pacific Island States for wetland conservation and wise use throughout the Pacific Region. Click here please. [26/07/02]


Lithuania completes 1999 SGF project on GIS capacity-building. Ramsar's Sergey Dereliev reports on Lithuania's Small Grants Fund project to provide hardware, software, and training on GIS applications for the management staff of all five Ramsar sites in that country. Read it here before the wire services get hold of it and shape it to their own agendae. [25/07/02]


Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Strategy meeting. The Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee (MWCC), which is responsible for coordinating the development, monitoring and implementation of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005, held its 7th Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 19-20 June 2002. The MWCC comprises representation from seven governments (Australia, People's Republic of China, Japan, India, Russia, Indonesia and USA), the Ramsar and Bonn (CMS) Conventions, BirdLife International, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Chairs of Species Working Groups (Anatidae, cranes and shorebirds), UNDP/GEF and Wetlands International Specialist Groups. Here is a brief report of the meeting, with a few subtle photos. [24/07/02]


Restoration of Mediterranean Wetlands (2002). The Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY) in Thessaloniki and the Hellenic Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works have published, in conjunction with the MedWet Initiative, a new book on wetland restoration in the Mediterranean region. Edited by Ramsar STRP member George Zalidis of Aristotle University, T. L. Crisman of the University of Florida (USA), and P. A. Gerakis of EKBY, the 237-page softcover volume contains (in addition to a preface by the Ramsar Secretary General, Delmar Blasco) 15 essays on 1) physical, chemical, and biological aspects of restoration, 2) site selection, design, and monitoring of restoration, and 3) case studies of regional restoration experience, authored by a wide range of distinguished scholars, a number of whom are familiar to the Ramsar community, such as Mike Smart, Christian Perennou, Jan Pokorny, and Maria José Vinals. Further information can be sought directly from EKBY, ekby@ekby.gr. [18/07/02]


Ramsar and Akrotiri wetlands, Cyprus. The Akrotiri wetland complex in Cyprus is an important aquatic ecosystem of several interconnected parts: the Akrotiri salt lake, the Phasouri marshes (reedbeds and surrounding wet grasslands), flat open and shrub habitats, and salt marshes connecting the marshes and the salt lake. The Ramsar Bureau was contacted in 2001 by Cypriot individuals and NGOs concerned about construction works inside the ecosystem in the UK's Western Sovereign Base Area on the island's Akrotiri peninsula, for an additional large communications antenna. In August 2001, the British High Commission in Cyprus and the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a joint statement on the Akrotiri antenna, in which they agreed among other things to cooperate on resolving the question and work towards Ramsar designation for the site. On 19 June 2002, the Cyprus Green Party convened a seminar on issues related to Akrotiri, and the Ramsar Bureau was invited to participate, together with some 60 local stakeholders and local and national elected officials, NGOs, scientists, legal experts, Cypriot civil servants, and representatives of the Sovereign Base Administration Authority. Here Ramsar's Tobias Salathé reports on the meeting and provides the Bureau's mission report, which offers suggestions for the way forward based upon his discussions with the authorities on the scene. [12/07/02]


Report on Euro Med Ministerial Conference. The Euro Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on the Environment took place in Athens 8 to 10 July 2002, invited by the Greek Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, organized jointly by the Ministry and the EU Commission, and chaired jointly by the Greek Minister for the Environment and the Danish Minister for the Environment (who is currently the President of the European Council of Ministers). Spyros Kouvelis, the MedWet Coordinator, was present, and here are both his brief report of the conference and his presentation to the High-Level Forum portion of the proceedings. [12/07/02]


Germany extends Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea Ramsar site. The Waddensee, shared by the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark, is the largest coherent area of tidal flats in the world and of immense international ecological importance. The entire area is managed under a tri-national agreement overseen by the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, but in Ramsar terms many of the various parts of it are broken up in a number of designations of Wetlands of International Importance, for example, one large one in the Netherlands and five in Germany. Now Germany has significantly extended its Ramsar site called "Schleswig-Holsteinisches Wattenmeer" (first designated in 1991) from 299,000 hectares to 454,988 hectares, in a revised Ramsar Information Sheet that Nick Davidson calls a model of a well-compiled RIS, "a great example of how to present information for a large and complex site". As such, the RIS itself will be reproduced here in the coming days. [11/07/02]

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