The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 3 June 2002
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Headline story. English Heritage launches Wetlands Strategy. On 28 May 2002, English Heritage, the Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment (sponsored by the Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport - DCMS), organised in London a seminar on the historic environment in England's wetlands at the occasion of the launch of its Wetlands Strategy, introduced by Adrian Olivier. A handful of speakers, representing archeology and historical science, as well as ecology and the administrative bodies responsible for cultural and natural heritage management (English Heritage, English Nature), covered current issues, practice and policies for better integrated management decisions and debated what can be learnt from the past in shaping the future. The Ramsar Bureau was invited to present the new "Guiding principles for identifying the cultural aspects of wetlands and incorporating them into the effective management of sites", proposed to COP8 for adoption. Here is Tobias Salathé's report on the meeting and the significance of this new initiative. [03/06/02]
Headline story. Sweden designates 21 new Ramsar sites. At the 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in San José in 1999, Sweden pledged to add 21 new Ramsar sites before the next COP, and it has now fulfilled that promise. Twenty-one new Wetlands of International Importance, totaling 125,870 hectares, have been added to the List, and nine of the thirty existing Swedish Ramsar sites have had their boundaries extended, in some cases significantly. The new sites are located in nearly all parts of the country and embody a broad array of wetland types, values and functions, in hydrological as well as in biological terms. Sweden, now with 51 Wetlands of International Importance, has leapt past Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Canada, the Russian Federation, and Germany to third place in the total number of Ramsar sites (behind only the UK and Australia) - its total number of hectares under the umbrella of the Convention is now over half a million, at 514,500. The Convention itself, with its 131 Contracting Parties, now has 1171 Ramsar sites (with two more already approved and ready to be added to the List), totaling 96,454,325 hectares.
Brief descriptions of the 21 new Ramsar sites can be seen here, and a list of the previously-announced new site extensions is also available. [30/05/02]
Announcement.Standing Committee's Subgroup on COP8 meeting report available. The final report of the Subgroup's meeting of 15-17 May 2002 is now available (English only) and is being distributed to members and observers. The decisions themselves from within the report will soon be available in English, French, and Spanish. The report of the concurrent Subgroup on Finance meeting will also be available soon, as will photographs of both meetings. [31/05/02]
Headline story. Collaboration on the management of Polesie wetlands in Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine. On 22-24 May 2002, about 140 specialists from Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and other countries, including representatives of several international organisations and conservation NGOs, gathered in Minsk, the capital of the Republic of Belarus, for the second international conference on the ecology and conservation of floodplains and lowland mires in the Polesie region, exactly five years after the first conference on this topic in May 1997. The Polesie region is shared among Belarus, Poland and Ukraine - the Pripyat river forms its central artery, flowing eastwards to enter the Dniepr soon after crossing the Ukrainian border near ill-starred Tchernobyl. Tobias Salathé uses the occasion of a report on this conference to describe the fascinating region, its values, and its issues, with photos of the Pripyat Ramsar site. Click here now. [28/05/02]
Delmar Blasco, Secretary General, is in Indonesia 28 May to 6 June for the 4th Preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development set for Johannesburg, 2 - 11 September 2002. [30/05/02]
Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General, Anada Tiéga, Regional Coordinator for Africa, and his assistant Simon Rafanomezantsoa are headed for Cotonou, Benin, for the Ramsar Subregional Meeting for West Africa, Madagascar, and the Comores, 5-7 June 2002. [03/06/02]
WWF and Ramsar sign collaborative agreement. Throughout the 1960s, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) was instrumental in negotiations which led to the signing of the Convention on Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, and over the many years since that time WWF has been so vitally important in delivering the Ramsar objectives at global and local levels that the organization has long been formally recognized as one of the four official "International Organization Partners" of the Convention (with BirdLife International, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, and Wetlands International). Most particularly in recent years, amongst many other efforts across the whole organization, the WWF Living Waters Programme has been exceptionally forthcoming, in terms of expertise, labor, and funding support, in assisting new accessions of Parties, designations of new Ramsar sites, and management planning guidance in Africa, Asia, South America and the news pages of the Ramsar Web site are filled with tributes to this dedicated collaboration and convergence of goals. Thus it may seem odd that, in all these years, WWF has been the only Partner with which the Ramsar Bureau had not got round to concluding a formal collaborative agreement - but finally that oversight has been put right. On 16 May 2002, in the course of the Standing Committee's Subgroup meetings in Gland, Switzerland, Dr Claude Martin, Director General of WWF International, and Delmar Blasco, Ramsar's Secretary General, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that lays out plainly the areas of collaboration and joint commitment. The text of the MOC and photos of the signing are available here. [24/05/02] [français et/y español]
University students participate in wetlands and Ramsar awareness programme in China. WWF has launched its second annual Wetland Ambassadors Action campaign, calling for university students across China to submit proposals for raising awareness amongst government officials, farmers and other stakeholders on the importance and benefits of conserving China's rivers and lakes. The primary goal of the project, supported by WWF, the Ramsar Convention Implementing Office of the State Forestry Bureau (SFA), and China Youth Daily, is to reach out to stakeholders living in or around one of China's 21 Ramsar Sites to increase their support for wetland conservation and sustainable use issues. The project involves university students to implement the campaign. Zhang Yifei of WWF China has provided this summary of the project and its objectives. [24/05/02]
Photos available. Ramsar British evening and Highlands haggis hunt. Here at some remove of time from the original event, finally are revealing photos of haggis and other carefully-labeled Welsh, English, and Scottish traditional foods and other things they eat, presented to and consumed rapidly by Ramsar Bureau staff on British Night, October 2001, available for viewing just before Ramsar Swiss Night, 1 June 2002, which promises to be just as embarrassing. Photos of Ramsar staff and the haggis hunter wielding a great ugly knife upon the poor little haggises are available here. [24/05/02]
New Web site for MedWet.The MedWet Web site has now been renamed (from www.medwet.gr to www.medwet.org) and re-structured into a brand new site featuring the latest Web designing techniques. It has moreover started to be updated again, after a pause of nine months. Inevitably, the process will be gradual and it will take some time until the Web site is fully updated. Both your tolerance and your suggestions are requested in order to fulfil this task. Maria Anagnostopoulou, MedWet Communications Officer; Panayotis Vroustouris, MedWet webmaster. [23/05/02]
Two new publications from the Wetlands International Black Sea Programme. Wetlands International announces the appearance of two new publications on the Black Sea. Black Sea Wetlands Conservation Priorities, bearing the fruits of two international workshops, includes descriptions of the current status of the Black Sea wetlands and their conservation, and priorities for their conservation with recommended actions. The Directory of Azov-Black Sea Wetlands consists of an introduction and a series of national reports, followed by site descriptions of 94 wetlands in Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey, and Ukraine, 32 of which are already Ramsar sites. More details are available here. [23/05/02]
Prespa update. The Third Regular Meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Prespa Transboundary Park was held in the old Albanian city of Korça on 17-18 May 2002. Here is a brief report from Ramsar's representative there, Thymio Papayannis. [24/05/02]
Announcement.Pre-registration materials for Ramsar COP8. This week a packet of materials is going out to the Parties which provides information on registration for the COP, hotel books, visas, exhibit space, excursions, and lots more. The English and French versions of these documents are now available here as well, and Spanish should follow in the next few days. [23/05/02]
SPREP and Ramsar sign Memorandum of Cooperation. During the Oceania Ramsar Regional meeting last week, hosted by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa, a Memorandum of Cooperation was concluded between SPREP and the Ramsar Bureau, signed in a brief ceremony by SPREP Director Tamari'i Tutangata and Dr Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Bureau. The MOC provides the basis for increased support by SPREP and the Ramsar Bureau to the countries and territories of the region, support which will focus on promoting the sustainable use of wetlands, recognizing and managing wetlands of international importance, promoting international and regional cooperation, assisting with resourcing for capacity building and, where appropriate, promoting accession to the Ramsar Convention. The text of the MOC, with a photograph of the signing, is available here.
Photos available.Ramsar Bureau views Swiss Ramsar sites in the rain. OOoff, bring your slickers and wellies. In a fit of dread over imminent Standing Committee meetings, the staff of the Ramsar Bureau motored off on Saturday, 11 May, for a study tour of two Ramsar sites on Lac de Neuchâtel in Switzerland, expertly organized as usual byTobias Salathé and with superb explanations from Christophe Le Nédic and Werner Müller on management challenges at each of the sites and a very nice lunch, with a remarkable salad bar, at the Hotel du Port of the historical lakeside village of Estavayer-le-lac. For those of you unable to participate in our Ramsar Study Tour of the Camargue in France, June 2001, here's still another one you've missed. But the photos remain. [20/05/02]
Subgroups gather now! The 26th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee, meeting late last year, empowered its Subgroup on COP8 and Subgroup on Finance to reconvene in May and make final dispositions on its behalf for the 8th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties. And, now, here they are. The meeting agendae are available here: Subgroup on COP8, Subgroup on Finance, and the agenda papers are also available here (COP8, Finance). Very likely we'll all be pretty busy for the next few days (receptions, testimonial dinners, etc.), but we'll let you know what happened as soon as the smoke clears. [15/05/02]
WWT Darwin project in eastern Africa seeks project officer. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the largest international wetland conservation charity in the UK, have been awarded a grant from the UK Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species for a new 3-year project entitled 'Monitoring biodiversity for site management planning in eastern African wetlands'. This project involves collaboration with conservation organizations in nine eastern African countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti, and Eritrea; as well as Wetlands International. Dr Seb Buckton has announced that WWT is presently seeking to employ a Darwin Project Officer - Eastern Africa, a qualified citizen of the region, to develop this project and work with organizations in the region. Here is a brief description of the project and the terms of reference for the position. [link later removed] [14/05/02]
Extracto del Mensaje Inaugural de la Toma de Posesion del Presidente de la Republica de Costa Rica, el Dr. Abel Pacheco de la Espriella periodo constitucional Mayo 2002-Mayo 2006. El texto en negrita, marcado por nosotros, es de particular interés para Ramsar. "COSTA RICA DECLARA LA PAZ PARA LA NATURALEZA". [14/05/02]
SAP-Bio meeting. On 6-7 May the MedWet Coordinator, Mr Spyros Kouvelis, attended the Advisory Committee meeting of the SAP-Bio project organised by RAC/SPA in Tunis. MedWet is a permanent member of the Advisory Committee of the project and was elected chair of the group until the next meeting. SAP-Bio is a project co-financed by the GEF for developing a regional Strategic Action Plan for the conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity, for the implementation of the new Protected Areas Protocol of the Barcelona Convention. Twenty Mediterranean countries participated in the project, while the Advisory Committee had representations from, besides MedWet, IUCN (WESCANA and Med offices), Council of Europe, FAO, ACCOBAMS, ETC/NC, WWF MedPO, and a represenative of the Fisheries Cooperative of Italy (Federcopesca). The meeting reviewed the progress of the project and the proposed guidelines for the development of national action plans on coastal birds, fisheries, and the overall national action plans themselves. Most importantly, the meeting reviewed the guidelines for the development of the Strategic Action Plan itself. It is expected to be a quite important document, as it will be presented to the meeting of the CPs of the Barcelona Convention in 2003, and will be a major input for deciding the priorities for action and funding by various organisations on the conservation of coastal biodiversity in the Mediterranean. [13/05/02]
Vacancy announcement. BirdLife International seeks Agricultural Campaign Coordinator. "BirdLife International is a global Partnership of NGOs working to conserve birds, their habitats and global diversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. Inside Europe 40 organizations work as part of this alliance. You are invited to join our small team of committed staff that strives to serve the European BirdLife Partnership and its goals. This position will be based in the European Community Office in Brussels." Here is the announcement and terms of reference[link later removed] for the new position. [08/05/02]
MedWet/Regions holds 3rd meeting. On 2-4 May 2002, the 3rd meeting of the MedWet/Regions network was hosted in Sevilla, Spain, by the regional Ministry of Environment of Andalucia, Spain, with the objective to finalise the discussion and preparation of the proposal that will be submitted by the Regions participating in this network to the INTERREG IIIb MedOC (Mediterranee Occidentale) programme. Find out more about MedWet/Regions and about this meeting in this brief report (with photos) from Spyros Kouvelis, the MedWet Coordinator. [07/05/02]
Wetlands International wins award for Asia. Alvin Lopez, Regional Technical Officer (Asia) for Wetlands International in Selangor, Malaysia, wrote to the Ramsar Forum: "I am pleased to inform you that Wetlands International was recently awarded the "Asia Water Management Excellence Award 2002" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 26 March 2002 for its work in promoting the conservation of water resources and wetlands." More detail is available here. [08/05/02]
CBD and Ramsar Third Joint Work Plan gets under way. Following the successful completion of the 2nd Joint Work Plan (2000-2001) between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the 3rd JWP, this one for a longer period of time (2002-2006), has been endorsed by the Ramsar Standing Committee and by the CBD's 6th Conference of the Parties, meeting in The Hague, April 2002. The text, subject to minor editorial improvements, is now available here. [06/05/02]
Advisory Mission to lake Srebarna, Bulgaria, now available. The 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 the Ramsar Advisory Missions (RAM), a technical assistance mechanism formally adopted by Recommendation 4.7 (1990), and it has once before been applied to lake Srebarna in Bulgaria (in 1992), a Ramsar site presently on the Montreux Record. The World Heritage Committee, at its 24th session in 2000, after receipt of the "Srebarna Biosphere Reserve Report 2000" by the Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Water at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, thanked and commended Bulgaria for submitting a comprehensive report and for its efforts to fully rehabilitate the site. The Committee then requested the Centre and IUCN to cooperate with the Ramsar Convention Bureau and other suitable partners to field a mission to the site to undertake a thorough evaluation of the successes of the rehabilitation efforts reported and their sustainability. This joint World Heritage/Ramsar/IUCN mission took place in October 2001, and here is the final report. [07/05/02]
Sweden enlarges nine Ramsar sites. Effective 19 November 2001, the Government of Sweden designated 21 new Wetlands of International Importance and expanded the boundaries of nine previously-designated Ramsar sites. Descriptions of the newly-named sites will appear here soon, but in the meantime, here is a brief listing of the new extensions. [02/05/02]
Dojran Lake - first meeting of the ad hoc working group, 17 April 2002. Dojran is shared between Greece and FYR Macedonia, and in the past few years it has suffered a significant fall in the water level, coupled with increased pollution concentration due to the reduced water volume and increased agricultural run off. Under the initiative of MedWet, supported by the Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY) and Skopje office of the Germany's aid agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), a first meeting was held on 11 and 12 December 2001, hosted by EKBY in Thessaloniki and chaired by MedWet. The ad hoc working group established by that meeting has now had its own first meeting, and the MedWet Coordinator, Spyros Kouvelis, describes its outcomes here. [01/05/02]
Announcement.Waterbird Population Estimates 3rd Edition Consultation Draft. Scott Frazier writes, "Wetlands International periodically prepares a global summary of best available information of the status and trends of waterbird biogeographic populations. Our last published estimates were contained in Waterfowl Population Estimates 2nd edition (WPE). The Ramsar Convention's Resolution VI.4 (Brisbane 1996) calls on Contracting Parties to use the estimates and thresholds in WPE as a basis for designating Ramsar sites under Criterion 6. Now the CONSULTATION DRAFT of 3rd Edition Waterbird Population Estimates is available on-line. As always, these estimates have drawn on data compiled through the International Waterbird Census coordinated by Wetlands International, and the expertise of our extensive waterbird Specialist Groups network. The consultation period lasts for 9 weeks, from 26 April to 30 June 2002. Expert opinion, judgement and amendment are sought! Please see http://www.wetlands.org/news&/NewsItems/WPE3announce.htm. For additional information on the application of Ramsar Criterion 6 for the designation of Wetlands of International Importance, see: http://www.ramsar.org/w.n.waterbird_estimates_online.htm." [30/04/02]
Niger Basin Authority marks progress in Ramsar designations. A Regional Workshop of the GEF - Niger Basin Authority (NBA) project on "Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends in the Niger River Basin" was held 15-18 April 2002 in Niamey, Niger, attended by all the NBA member countries representatives except those from Mali, as well as representatives of inter-African and international institutions. Its objectives related to issues including the improvement of the GEF-Niger Basin Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and the approval of 10 pilot demonstration projects to be undertaken in the Niger Basin. In ceremonies associated with the workshop, M. Mohammed Bello Tuga (left), Executive Secretary of the Niger Basin Authority, signed a letter from the NBA (co-signed with the Director General of WWF International and the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention) to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan, reporting Guinea's designation of six new Ramsar sites in the Niger Basin, as called for by Decision 6 of NBA Heads of State and Government on 16 February 2002. A summary of the meeting, a few photos, and reprints of some of the documents, including the letter to Secretary General Annan, are available here, with assistance from Mr Denis Landenbergue of the WWF Living Waters Programme, who represented the Ramsar Convention in the meetings. [30/04/02]
European conference on transboundary waters. "Sustainable management of transboundary waters in Europe" was the theme of the international conference convened by the Environment Ministries of Poland, Finland, and Germany and the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management of the Netherlands in the Polish coastal resort Miedzyzdroje, from 21-24 April 2002 in honour of the 10th Anniversary of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, also known as the UN-ECE Water Convention (Helsinki, 1992). Tobias Salathé reports on the objectives and results of the conference and provides photos of the accompanying Vikings. [26/04/02]
Management guide for Mediterranean Lagoons. Recently, after three years of intensive work, the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Directorate (DIREN) of the French Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment published a handbook "Guide méthodologique de gestion des lagunes méditerranéennes" (in French). This is the impressive result of collaboration of many university specialists, private scientists, public authorities, consultancy firms, private institutions and NGOs, working together under a European Union co-funded LIFE project for the conservation of the coastal lagoons in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé supplies further detail here. [23/04/02]
Ramsar Pan-American Pre-COP8 Regional Meeting set for Ecuador. Representatives of Ramsar Contracting Parties, non-contracting parties, intergovernmental institutions, and non-governmental organisations will gather in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 1-5 July 2002, for the 2nd Ramsar Pan-American Meeting. The meeting will serve as final preparation for the Neotropics and North American regions' position before the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to be held in Valencia, España, 18-26 November 2002. It will be hosted by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Ecuador and the Ramsar Convention Bureau, with the generous financial assistance of the governments of Canada, Spain, and the United States of America. Further information, registration forms, and documents are available here. [18/04/02]
Los representantes de los Países Partes de la Convención de Ramsar, Países no-Parte, organizaciones intergubernamentales y no-gubernamentales se darán cita en Guayaquil, Ecuador, del 1-5 de julio de 2002 para la II Reunión Regional Panamericana. La Reunión servirá como preparación final de la posición de las regiones de Norte América y el Neotrópico para la 8va Conferencia de Partes, a realizarse en Valencia, España, del 18-26 de noviembre de 2002. El anfitrión de la Reunión será el Ministerio del Ambiente del Gobierno del Ecuador, quién se encargará de la organización conjuntamente con la Oficina de la Convención de Ramsar, y con la generosa ayuda financiera de los gobiernos de Canadá, España y los Estados Unidos de América.
Announcement. Standing Committee Subgroup documents bobbing to the surface. The 26th Meeting of the Standing Committee, 3-7 December 2002, gave its approval to many of the Draft Resolutions and Recommendations to be carefully weighed (and hopefully approved) by the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in Valencia, Spain, in November 2002 -- quite a few of these are already available on our COP8 index page. At that time, however, many other documents were sent back to the Bureau, the STRP, and others for further work, and the Standing Committee's Subgroup on COP8 was authorized to give final approval to these at its meeting 15-17 May 2002, for transmittal with the COP documentation to the Contracting Parties and other registrants for COP8. Quite a few of these documents for the Subgroup's consideration are now available on this site and more will be arriving in the next few days, in HTML, PDF, and Word formats. Don't miss this opportunity to wade through yards of Resolution-English (French and Spanish versions will be prepared for COP8 following the Subgroup's approval) and see where international wetland conservation efforts are headed for the next few years. [18/04/02]
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.