The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 1 June 2004
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Headline story.Ramsar's Secretary General visits Japan. In late May 2004, the Secretary General, Dr Peter Bridgewater, visited Japan for a few days and participated in discussions with parliamentarians and the Ministry of the Environment about recent progress in implementing the Convention and the issues up for consideration in the forthcoming 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) in 2005. His discussions with the "Japanese Lawmakers' League for Increasing Ramsar Sites" covered a broad range of topics on Japan's wetlands, and his visit with Isao Matsumiya, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs [photo], provided a number of suggestions for improved funding and management of the Convention. The Minister of the Environment, Koike Yuriko, reiterated her support for the Convention and, amongst other topics, stressed the need for ensuring that the environment conventions are working closely together, especially Ramsar and the UNFCCC. Peter's (with some photos) is available here. [01/06/04]
Now available.The Ramsar Manual, 3d edition. This 100-page overview of the Ramsar Convention is now ready (actually, it was ready this time last year, but publication difficulties arose; never mind, it's been updated) -- the Convention's history and present structures, the services it provides, the workings of the Conference of the Parties, the Standing Committee, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and the Secretariat, along with a brief guide to further information, the guidance documents, and the Resolutions and Recommendations of the COP. The first edition was compiled by Tim Davis in 1993, and the 2nd edition came out in 1997; this 3rd edition is current as of April 2004 and includes the significant results of COPs 7 and 8. A PDF version will be included in English, French, and Spanish on the forthcoming CD-ROM publication of the 2nd edition of the Ramsar Toolkit and it's already available in both HTML and PDF versions on this Web site. [01/06/04]
Headline story. New face in the Ramsar Secretariat. The Secretariat is very pleased to welcome Michèle Stark, who will be joining the team for about six months as a volunteer research associate working on a MedWet analysis. A UK national with a Matura in mathematics from Thun, Switzerland, and a BSc Honours degree in marine biology from the University of Wales in Swansea, Michèle is pursuing an MSc at the University of Hull in estuarine and coastal science and management and has until recently been working with the University of Bern in Switzerland. Deputy Secretary General Nick Davidson writes, "I most warmly welcome Michèle Stark to the Ramsar team. She will be working on a project with the MedWet Coordination Unit, but based here in Gland, to develop a knowledge-based assessment of the status of Mediterranean wetlands. This will seek a wide range of views on how wetlands have fared in the region since the the establishment of the MedWet Initiative in 1991 and the pressures they currently face. It is planned that an initial analysis of the results of this survey will be presented to the 6th meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com6) anticipated for November 2004. These results of the status assessment will support the identification of the future priorities for the MedWet Initiative and the work of its Coordination Unit, and will be complementary to a planned synthesis of baseline wetland inventory data compiled by different Mediteranean countries." [29/05/04]
Dr Lei Guangchun, Senior Advisor for Asia, is attending the official launch of the Wetlands Ambassador Campaign, 28-30 May 2004, in Lijiang, China, a high mountain wetland and Ramsar candidate site. In the Wetlands Ambassador Campaign, ten selected university teams are to set up campaign centres to raise awareness amongst government officials, farmers and other stakeholders of the importance and benefits of conserving wetlands throughout the Mekong River Basin. The campaign is sponsored by WWF, the Ramsar Convention Bureau, and China's State Forestry Administration. Representatives from Mekong River Commission, the Government of China, students, and media will attend the launch ceremony. [27/05/04]
Abou Bamba, Senior Advisor for Africa, is in Kigali, Rwanda, 1-5 June 2004, to participate to the "National Workshop on the Ramsar Convention and the Management and Conservation of Wetlands". He will make a presentation on behalf of the Secretary General, and will lay down the foundations for the designation of Rwanda's first Ramsar site and the establishment of Rwanda's Ramsar National Committee, and discuss Rwanda's role in the preparation of COP9, November 2005, in Kampala. [01/06/04]
Estelle Gironnet, Assistant Advisor for Europe, is representing the Ramsar Convention at the 2nd Steering Committee meeting for the International Conference on Biodiversity, Paris, France, 1-2 June 2004. [01/06/04]
Sebastià Semene Guitart, Special Assistant, is in Rhodes, Greece, for the Ecocinema environmental film festival, 1-6 June 2004. [01/06/04]
Maria Anagnostopoulou, MedWet Communications Officer, is representing the Coordination Unit at the MedWet/Regions project technical seminar enitled “Inventory and mapping of wetlands”, in Ajaccio, Corsica, from 2 to 4 June 2004. Approximately 30 participants (3 from each partner region) involved in inventory issues will discuss the progress of the associated work of the project and will plan its final steps in view of the project’s closure at the end of October 2004. [01/06/04]
Alex de Sherbinin ofCIESIN is visiting the Ramsar Secretariat, 1 June 2004, to discuss further developments of Web-based mapping of information in relation to Ramsar Sites, the CIESIN Ramsar Data Gateway, and Wetlands International's Ramsar Sites Database Service. [01/06/04]
Highlights from World Wetlands Day. Bulgaria's sticker.
Ramsar and MedWet inaugurate Ecocinema film prize. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and its MedWet initiative are establishing an award of an annual prize for a film on water or related ecosystems (especially wetlands) that will be entered in the competition segment of the Ecocinema international film festival. The films entering the competition for the Ramsar/MedWet award will have water and/or aquatic ecosystems as their overall theme and will be judged by a specific jury. The winner will be awarded a prize of €4.000 (four thousand euro) provided by the Ramsar Convention and MedWet. At the 4th Ecocinema festival, which will be held in Rhodes, Greece, from 1 to 6 June 2004, the award will be presented by the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, Dr Peter Bridgewater. Here is the MedWet press release on this new endeavor. [27/05/04]
"Moving ahead on the cultural dimension". The Ramsar Secretary General, Dr Peter Bridgewater, has recently been in visiting Australia, and specifically Tasmania, for discussions aimed at developing COP9 case studies on the cultural values of wetlands in a follow-up to Resolution VIII.19, and here is his brief report and photo of how that has been progressing. [27/05/04]
Invitation.World Environment Day open house in Gland. Festivities planned for Environment Day at IUCN HQ in Gland, Switzerland, have already been reported here by Estelle Gironnet (see below), as Ramsar, IUCN, and WWF International will be cooperating on a 5 June programme of awareness-raising activities for everyone who lives here and anyone else who may be passing by. Here is a small PDF French-and-English invitation to the open house festivities from Achim Steiner (IUCN), Claude Martin (WWF), and Peter Bridgewater (Ramsar). Be there or be square. [27/05/04]
Two vacancies for Mekong River Basin Wetland Programme. The joint UNDP/ IUCN / MRC Mekong River Basin Wetland Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme is a five-year programme of activities in the four lower Mekong countries. The Programme will strengthen the mechanisms for conservation of wetland biodiversity and assist the four countries with testing sustainable use approaches in demonstration sites. The programme is being managed from a Programme Management Unit (PMU) in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The UNDP/IUCN/MRC Mekong River Basin Wetland Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme is seeking to recruit two new officers: a Regional Wetlands Training Coordinator, and a Regional Wetlands Communication and Networks Coordinator. Both of these positions will be based in the Programme Management Unit (PMU) in Vientiane, Lao PDR and both positions will initially be for a period of two years with possibility of extension for a further three years. Candidates from the four Lower Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam) will be given preference. The announcements are available here in PDF format, for Regional Wetlands Training Coordinator and Regional Wetlands Communication and Networks Coordinator. [links later removed][24/05/04]
Announcement.Deadline for National Reports announced.In diplomatic notifications of 22 April, the Ramsar Secretariat passed on the news that the Parties' National Reports for COP9 will be due by 28 February 2005, and stressed that it is important that the Parties meet that deadline so that the staff can complete its analyses of the status of implementation for circulation to the Parties with the agenda papers in advance of COP9. The National Report Forms were earlier distributed to the Administrative Authorities but can be requested from the Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) or downloaded from the Ramsar Web site in English, Français, or Español. [21/05/04]
RIS update for potential transboundary Ramsar Site in Austria. In Resolution 6.13, the Contracting Parties resolved to give priority to providing updated maps and completed Ramsar Information Sheets (RISs) and to revise Ramsar Site data at least every six years. This has been done for the Austrian Ramsar Site Stauseen am Unteren Inn (870 ha), one of central Europe's most important waterfowl habitats, contiguous with the German site Unterer Inn, Haiming-Neuhaus (1,955 ha). Ms Anita Matzinger, Ramsar Administrative Authority contact in Upper Austria, says about the collaboration between the persons in charge, in Austria and Germany (Bavaria), on its management: "The intention of both managements is to coordinate Ramsar-relevant data acquisition in order to describe the Lower Inn as one site without national borders (…), As soon as both managements have gained enough information they will try to bring the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS) of Bavaria in line with the sheet of Upper Austria. At the moment the managements are at an initial stage. Their last meeting was held on April 8th 2004 and the next will take place end of July." -- reported, with revised Annotated List site description, by Estelle Gironnet. [21/05/04]
World Environment Day approaching. A l'occasion de la Journée mondiale de l'environnement, toute l'équipe de l'UICN, WWF et Ramsar vous invite à une journée portes ouvertes: Samedi 5 juin 2004 de 13:00 à 17:00 au siège mondial de l'UICN à Gland. La Journée mondiale de l'environnement, célébrée chaque année le 5 juin, nous concerne tous directement. C'est, pour les Nations Unies, l'un des principaux moyens pour susciter une plus grande prise de conscience envers l'environnement et promouvoir l'intérêt et l'action politique. Le thème de la Journée mondiale de l'environnement retenu pour 2004 "Avis de Recherche! Mers et Océans: Morts ou Vivants?", est une invitation afin que chacun d'entre nous prenne position une fois pour toute sur la manière dont sont traités les mers et océans de la planète. Le thème nous appelle à l'action. Voulons-nous des mers et des océans sains et vivants ou pollués et morts? Pour plus d'informations consultez http://www.iucn.org/wed2004/.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, IUCN, WWF and Ramsar welcome you to an openhouse: Saturday, 5 June 2004 from 13:00 to 17:00 at IUCN Headquarters in Gland. World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The World Environment Day theme selected for 2004 is Wanted! Seas and Oceans - Dead or Alive? The theme asks that we make a choice as to how we want to treat the Earth's seas and oceans. It also calls on each and every one of us to act. Do we want to keep seas and oceans healthy and alive or polluted and dead?
The programme: Exhibition on the theme of seas and oceans; Games and competitions for children in association with Kiddie Club; Tasting of local food and wine; Music (piano and cello); Tombola, A lot of prizes to be won!; Tour of the IUCN Natural Garden by Florian Meier; Presentation: "Rice Paddies - Wetlands of International Importance"; Theatrical improvization on the theme of water by the Ligue Improvisation Neuchâteloise; Expedition Quiz "Discovering the Blue Planet"; Wine and refreshments. Announcement and programme in PDF. -- contributed by Estelle Gironnet. [20/05/04]
Carpathian Wetland Initiative Workshop. A workshop on the possible development of the Carpathian Wetland Initiative was held in Brezovica, Oravsky dvor, Slovakia from 28 to 30 April 2004. It was organised by the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic and attended by most of the countries sharing a part of the Carpathian mountains as well as a number of representatives from international conventions and NGOs (see attached list of participants). The objective was to investigate the possibility of launching a regional wetland initiative along the lines of Resolution VIII.30 of the Ramsar Convention, and also within the context of the Carpathian Convention. Spyros Kouvelis, MedWet Coordinator, was invited to participate on behalf of the Ramsar Convention, in order to explain Resolution VIII.30 and transfer the experience and lessons learned from the case of MedWet-the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative. The meeting adopted a number of recommendations for undertaking further steps in the direction of developing a knowledge base and a regional collaboration for the protection of Carpathian Wetlands. Here is the report of the meeting, with related documents in PDF format. [19/05/04]
Now available.Report and photos of the Nordic Wetlands Conference. In early May 2004, the Nordic Council of Ministers - representing the governments of Denmark and Greenland, Finland and Åland, Iceland, Norway and Svalbard, and Sweden - and the Directorate for Nature Management (the Ramsar administrative authority in Norway) organised a Nordic Wetland Conference and Ramsar Meeting in Brekstad, a coastal village situated on the flat peninsula at the entrance of Trondheim fjord. Some 50 participants from 10 countries, including invited delegations from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Russian Federation, representing national Ramsar authorities, nature conservation agencies, local authorities and managers of protected areas, gathered to discuss how to improve wetland conservation and awareness and possibilities for strengthening Nordic wetland cooperation. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé, at the invitation of the Norwegian government, participated heartily, followed along with his camera on the excursion to Ørlandet Ramsar Site, did his very best on the ceremonial lunch, then came home and wrote a succinct report on the meeting and the issues involved, and the way forward from here, and provided some stunning photographs of the intertidal Norwegian landscape on a fine day in May. His report is here, and the Closing Statement of the Conference is here. [18/05/04]
Ramsar subregional office slated for Oceania. In ceremonies in Cairns, Australia, on 13 May 2004, the Ramsar Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, announced the creation of a new outposted office of the Convention's Secretariat to be based in Apia, Samoa, and hosted by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). This new post will provide the Small Island States and Territories of the Oceania region with support for wetland conservation and management, as well as help in joining and implementing the Ramsar Convention. Of the 138 countries that have joined the Ramsar Convention, only four of Oceania's 29 states are presently members, though three more countries are said to be in the process of joining the Convention soon. An Assistant Programme Officer will soon be appointed to start building this new regional initiative, to be funded jointly by Ramsar, the governments of Australia and the USA, WWF International, and SPREP itself. Here's the story, here's a more thorough press release by Sebastià Semene (PDF format), and here's the joint work plan between Ramsar and SPREP, by way of deep background. [17/05/04]
Global H2O Partnership Initiative, Cairns (Australia). The Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, has been participating in the Global H2O Partnership meetings in Cairns, 11-14 May 2004, and here is Sebastià Semene's very brief, but illustrated, report on the proceedings. [17/05/04]
La República Dominica reduciría sus estándares ambientales - Una nueva ley aprobada por los diputados amenaza las áreas protegidas, incluyendo un Sitio Ramsar. La Secretaría de la Convención de Ramsar ha expresado su honda preocupación al Presidente de la República Dominicana, S.E. Dr. Hipólito Mejía, acerca de la nueva ley de áreas protegidas aprobada por la Cámara de Diputados. Una de las áreas que podría verse afectada por este proyecto es el Lago Enriquillo, incluido en la Lista Ramsar de Humedales de Importancia Internacional por el Gobierno de la República Dominicana el 15 de mayo de 2002. El Lago Enriquillo es uno de los mayores lagos del Caribe y una de las áreas más importantes para la conservación de la biodiversidad en la República Dominicana. Más detalles aquí. [14/05/04]
Dominican Republic to lower its conservation standards- A new law approved by the deputies may threaten protected areas, including a Ramsar Site.The Ramsar Secretariat expressed its deepest concern about this protected areas law to the President of the Dominican Republic, H.E. Dr. Hipólito Mejía. One of the areas which may be affected by this law is Lake Enriquillo, listed on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance by the Government of the Dominican Republic on 15 May 2002. Lake Enriquillo is the biggest lake in the Caribbean region and one of the most important areas for the conservation of biodiversity in the Dominican Republic. More details here.
Latvia names three new boggy sites for the Ramsar List. The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Latvia has designated three new wetlands for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, effective 31 October 2002, bringing that Party's total number of Ramsar Sites to six. Two of the new sites are at the national frontiers and at least one of them has the potential to become part of a Transboundary Ramsar Site, i.e., a single transboundary wetland system managed collaboratively by the Parties concerned, in this case between Latvia's Northern Bogs and Estonia's Nigula Nature Reserve. All three valuable sites exhibit a range of Ramsar Criteria for international importance but all are united in meeting the waterbird Criteria, particularly Criterion 6 by regularly supporting 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbird. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Europe Estelle Gironnet has prepared brief summaries of the new sites, which are the Lubana Wetland Complex west of Riga, Northern Bogs (Ziemelu purvi) near Estonia, and Pape Wetland Complex on the southern coastal border.[14/05/04]
Headline story.Inventory workshop set for Park "W" in Africa. The Ramsar Convention, together with the Wetlands International Regional Office of West Africa and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, is presently setting up a workshop to be held next week from 17 to 22 May on the Methodologies of Inventories of Natural Resources, UNESCO/World Heritage Sites and Ramsar Sites. The workshop will be held on the site of the Park of "W", a transboundary protected area shared by Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger, a Ramsar and World Heritage site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is targeting the WH and Ramsar site managers as well as Ramsar Focal Points and some other candidates. Participants are mainly from: Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal. IUCN and WWF's experts are also giving talks in this workshop, which is generously financed by UNESCO. Ramsar's Senior Advisor for Africa, Abou Bamba, is presently passing through Niamey in order to set things up at the venue for the impending festivities. A brief report will follow. - reported by Ahmed El-Sabban, Ramsar. [14/05/04]
WWF International press release on Danube Delta's Bystroye canal.WWF International's Danube-Carpathian Programme has issued a press release, 10 May 2004, on the projected Bystroye canal in the Ukraine's Danube Delta (the Kyliiske Mouth Ramsar Site) and it has been reproduced here. See also related story here. [12/05/04]
Transboundary wetlands and Ramsar Sites. On 28-29 April 2004, a seminar on transboundary wetland sites took place in the town of Lida (Republic of Belarus), organized by the Environment Ministries of Belarus and Lithuania. This was the culmination of work undertaken under the coordination of Saulius Svazas of "OMPO", the non-governmental organization working for "Migratory Birds of the Western Palearctic", with support of Ramsar's Small Grants Fund. The second day was devoted by the 30 participants to the preparation of a specific project for joint management activities for one of the first transboundary Ramsar Sites: the Cepkeliai-Kotra wetland complex, situated on both sides of Kotra (Katra) river that forms the border between Lithuania and Belarus. A very well-illustrated report by Tobias Salathé explains the issues and views the relevant sites in the area, and shows why transborder management cooperation can be so productive here and elsewhere. Here is Tobias' . [12/05/04]
Council of Europe seminar on "Landscape and spatial planning". Thymio Papayannis, MedWet Senior Advisor, participated in the recent seminar on ‘Landscape and Spatial Planning’ organised in Tulcea by the Council of Europe and the government of Romania. Here he gives a positive account of the background and substance of the meeting, but notes that "The meeting ended in a tense mood, as information obtained indicated that dredging would start at once for a navigation channel to be built in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta through the core of the wetland, in spite of strong reservations by both UNESCO and the Ramsar Bureau. It is hoped that the Ukrainian authorities will re-examine this project and at least proceed with the preparation of an objective and broad impact study." Here is Thymio's . [11/05/04]
Danube estuary threatened by a waterway project in Ukraine. The Ramsar Convention Secretariat expressed again today its concern to Ukraine's President, H.E. Mr. Leonid Kuchma, about the Government's project to build a navigable waterway through the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta. The course currently chosen for this waterway appears likely to affect seriously and irreversibly the ecological character of the Kyliiske Mouth, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and one of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Reserves, and subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in October 2003. The Secretariat called upon Ukraine to ensure that it will adhere to the international agreements it has signed, in particular the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. [08/05/04]
Ramsar outing to the Lac de Tanay. "On the occasion of the 2004 World Wetland Day inspiring theme "From the Mountains to the Sea, Wetlands at work for us", the Ramsar Convention, IUCN, and BUWAL (Swiss Environment Ministry) staff, Pro Natura and Swiss Alpine Club members, and their friends - 30 people in total - met on the 1st of May to chat about wetlands and the Labour Day and hike in the Lac Tanay Nature Reserve (above the eastern part of Lac Léman, or Lake Geneva). Even though the clouds and fog hampered the vision three meters ahead during most of the trip, we had eventually the chance to get an overall view of the lovely alpine wetland lying at the bottom of Grammont Mountain." Here is Estelle Gironnet'sand seven photos. [10/05/04]
Draft Ramsar Infopack in Russian, for comment. [out-of-date file]The official working languages of the Ramsar Convention are English, French, and Spanish, and seldom does the Secretariat have the resources to produce the needed information materials about the Convention in additional languages, however useful they would be. (Earlier editions of the info pack have been produced in Chinese, Arabic, and perhaps other languages with the help of Parties and NGOs.) Now, however, Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Asia, Ms Liazzat Rabbiosi, has made a draft translation into Russian of the latest edition of the basic Ramsar Information Pack, and before it is finalized and made available in the Russian-speaking regions of Asia and Europe, she would welcome comments on her draft text from anyone who is able to offer advice. The 19 information sheets are available on this Web site in PDF format, and the index to them can be found at http://ramsar.org/about_infopack_russian.pdf - may we ask anyone who would like to suggest improvements to their content and style to e-mail Liazzat directly at email@example.com. The English version, for comparison, can be found at http://ramsar.org/index_about_ramsar.htm#info. [08/05/04]
Nuevo libro sobre bioindicadores de calidad del agua.Bioindicación de la calidad del agua en Colombia: Uso del método BMWP/Col. Gabriel Alfonso Roldán Pérez, Editorial Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia. De forma tradicional, la determinación de la calidad del agua se fundamentó principalmente en análisis fisicoquímicos y bacteriológicos. Hoy en día se han venido implementando sistemas de evaluación de la calidad del agua con base en la investigación biológica de los macroinvertebrados en el agua, los cuales han demostrado su utilidad para establecer los niveles de contaminación de las fuentes acuáticas y planear, entonces, estrategias para la recuperación de las mismas. El texto está dirigido principalmente a biólogos, estudiantes y profesores de las áreas biológicas. También es de gran utilidad para a todos los profesionales responsables de la planificación, evaluación, uso y manejo de los recursos acuáticos del país. El texto se puede ordenar por Internet: www.editorialudea.com/novedades/bioindicacion.html, firstname.lastname@example.org.
New book about biologic indicators of water quality. New techniques of assessing water quality with macroinvertebrates have shown to be very useful. A new book on the subject published in Spanish by a Colombian university, can be ordered through the Internet. [07/05/04]
Biodiversity of inland water ecosystems. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity has published a thorough and insightful 120-page report on the "Status and Trends of Biodiversity of Inland Water Ecosystems". Written by Carmen Revenga and Yumiko Kura of the World Resources Institute, the publication was assisted financially by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS) through a project administered by Wetlands International and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, and peer reviewed by experts from the CBD and Ramsar secretariats, Wetlands International, and others. It covers the following major subjects: the condition of and threats to inland water ecosystems; a review of inland water species richness, distribution and conservation status; inland water ecosystems and habitats identified as high conservation priority; and data gaps and information needs, and it includes an informative review of 18 other ongoing assessments of water resources and inland water biodiversity, including those by IUCN, BirdLife, WWF, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, CGIAR, LakeNet and others. The Foreword, co-written by Hamdallah Zedan, Executive Secretary of the CBD, and Peter Bridgewater, Ramsar's Secretary General, is and information on procuring this new volume in the CBD Technical Series, no. 11, can be sought from the CBD, email@example.com. [06/05/04]
Joint Work Plan signed by CMS, AEWA, and the Ramsar Convention. Long -- long! -- in the gestation, a three-way Joint Work Plan has been concluded amongst the Convention on Wetlands, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), and the CMS's African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). Earlier versions have come and gone and have been greeted warmly by Ramsar COP8 in 2002 (COP8 DOC.24), but in the fullness of time a final agreed version was signed at the "Waterbirds Around the World" Global Flyways Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 5 April 2004, by Nick Davidson from Ramsar, Arnulf Müller-Helmbrecht, Executive Secretary of CMS, and Bert Lenten, Executive Secretary of AEWA. The new JWP covers these areas of work: Joint promotion of the benefits to countries of participation in the Ramsar Convention and CMS, and, in Africa and Eurasia, AEWA; Cooperation between secretariats, scientific and technical, and other bodies; Joint actions for the conservation and wise use of wetland-dependent migratory species and their habitats; Data collection, storage and analysis; and New Agreements and other related actions under CMS for migratory species, including endangered migratory species and species with an unfavourable conservation status. One is led to hope that this new agreement will propel us forward to productive increases in the already fruitful collaborative relations amongst the three instruments. Here you will find the CMS's press release on the event, drafted by Veronika Lenarz, and the text of the new agreement is. [05/05/04]
From the Ramsar Forum.Impacts of climate change on Black Sea wetlands.Wetlands & Climate Change - are you prepared? "An opportunity to make links with an evolving network of expertise around the Black Sea & Azov Sea. We are seeking information/contacts on actions to mitigate the effects of climate change on or using wetlands. Through a UK Government funded project, the Regional Studies Centre in Odessa, Ukraine are assessing the impacts of climate change on the Black Sea wetlands. On 17-18th May 2004 a conference of interested parties will be held to share knowledge and discuss the future implications and identify possible mitigation options for action. If you have any experience of practical mitigation for climate change using/benefiting wetlands or would like further information, please contact us! Many thanks, Natasha Barker (UK), Igor Studdennikov (Ukraine)". (NATASHA J. BARKER, 29 Raleigh Road, Exeter EX1 1TQ, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org.) [05/05/04]
From the Ramsar Forum. "Wetlands" in other languages.Suzie Hershberger, Wetland Educator with Environmental Concern (www.wetland.org) in the USA, asked Ramsar Forum members around the world to supply the word for "wetlands" in their own languages. Now she reports: "Many thanks to everyone for your interesting and informative responses to "wetlands" in other languages! So far, the compiled list contains about 50 different languages from all over the globe, and we have just added it to Environmental Concern's website at http://wetland.org/educ_world.htm - so please, take a look!" Suzie's message and her brief description of Environmental Concern, Inc., and its objectives can be seen here. [05/05/04]
Mauritius forms National Ramsar Committee. Following Recommendation 5.13 of Ramsar COP5 (Kushiro, Japan, 1993), the government of Mauritius has just established its National Ramsar Committee, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has nominated the 18 new members. The Committee comprises the Permanent Assistant Secretary of the parent Ministry as Chairman and the Director of National Parks and Conservation Service as Vice Chairman. The other 16 members have been selected from all relevant institutions involved with wetland matters. The committee held its first meeting on 26 March 2004 and plans to work towards the designation of new Ramsar Sites, preparation of an inventory of the wetlands on Mauritius Island, and reactivation of the Convention's implementation in the country. The Ramsar Secretariat urges other Parties that have not yet established their National Wetlands/Ramsar Committees to do so soon, as they are useful tools for facilitating the implementation of the Convention at the national level. [05/05/04]
From the Ramsar Forum.Update on Japan's wetlands. The Japan Wetlands Action Network (JAWAN) is a network of local grassroot conservation NGOs working throughout Japan on wetland issues. Minoru Kashiwagi, in a succinct report on the progress of wetland conservation in Japan in spring 2004, writes: "Understanding that such a huge loss of tidal flats comes from the underestimation of wetland values in general and tidal flats in particular, we have organized a series of activities to appreciate wetland values throughout Japan. This year 38 organizations in different locations carried out some 68 activities, including birdwatching and symposia. Some NGOs baked cakes and prepared Miso soups with marine products before or after clean-up campaigns at wetlands. . . . We have appealed some critical conservation issues to the Ramsar Forum from Japan, namely Isahaya, Awase and Sanbanze. We would like to update them and add new information on two sites from western Japan." Here is JAWAN's on the present situation at some of Japan's most important coastal wetlands. [04/05/04]
Now available.Economic valuation of sustainable management in Peru.Wagner Guzman Castillo, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana (IIAP), has been studying the economic benefits of sustainable wetland management in Peru and has prepared a case study of the "aguajal" system in the Reserve Nacional Pacaya Samiria. The results of his efforts, supported by INRENA and US AID, are available here as a 72-page (1.2MB PDF) paper (in Spanish), "Valoración económica de beneficios ambientales en el manejo sostenible de humedales: Estudio de caso del manejo sostenible de sistemas de "aguajal" en la Comunidad de Parinari, Reserva Nacional Pacaya Samiria (Región de Loreto, Perú)", and here is a brief summary in both Spanish and English. [04/05/04)
Nordic Wetland Conservation. The Nordic Council of Ministers has recently published an excellent, well-illustrated 176-page book entitled Nordic Wetland Conservation, covering 30 years of conservation experience in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden and including self-governing territories like Greenland, Åland, and the Faeroes. Available from bookstores in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and English versions, it provides superb coverage of the general wetland issues, the wise use concept, the Ramsar Convention and other international regimes, and the status of wetlands in each of the Nordic countries. The back cover offers the following brief description: "Conservation of wetlands has formed an important part of the Nordic nature conservation effort, particularly in the last 30 years. This work by the Nordic countries has been closely linked with the task of fulfilling their obligations as signatories of the Ramsar Convention and, as regards the nations that are EU members, the requirements of the more recent Birds and Habitat Directives. . . . This report attempts to sum up the status of wetland conservation in the Nordic region after 30 years. It also points out a number of unfulfilled tasks and makes recommendations for how the work should proceed in the years ahead." A brief review, with illustrations and reprints of the prefaces and recommendations, and with ordering information, can be seen here. [01/05/04]
Nordic Wetland Conservation bis. On a related note, on Monday, 3 May 2004, the "Nordic Wetland Conference & Ramsar Meeting" will convene in Ørlandet, Norway, with plenary sessions on the 4th and 5th of May, a field excursion on the 6th, and a brief closing summary on the 7th. Subjects for discussion include overviews of wetland conservation in the region (including the launch of the book cited just above) and of the work of Ramsar, the CBD, CMS and AEWA, and Wetlands International, followed by country reports on Ramsar Sites conservation and case studies of individual sites and projects in the Nordic and Baltic regions. The conference will be chaired by Finn Katerås and will feature among the speakers Tobias Salathé, Torsten Larsson, Gunn Paulsen, Øystein Størkersen, Gisli Már Gislason, Tatiana Minaeva, and many other wetland and Ramsar-related experts. Tobias Salathé will provide an enlightening report when he returns, and in the meantime here is the agenda and programme (PDF). [01/05/04]
Cooperation for water resources management. At a 27 April side event at the 12th meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, New York, USA, co-organized by the Swiss Agency of Environment, Forests and Landscape, the Japanese Ministry of Environment, and the Ramsar Convention, and chaired by IUCN's Director General Achim Steiner, the focus was upon the need to have an integrated international approach to managing the world's scarce water resources. Following presentations by Ambassador Beat Nobs (left) of Switzerland and Mr Tomohiro Shishima of Japan on experiences in their countries, Peter Bridgewater, Ramsar's Secretary General, emphasized the unique and lengthy experience the Convention has had with cooperation on water resources management. Here is Sebastià Semene's brief illustrated report on the side event and his media release in PDF format. [29/04/04]
SWS Ramsar Grants for 2004. The Society of Wetland Scientists' Ramsar Support Grant Programme was established in 1999 to help advance the Convention's objectives in the developing world, and since that time some 18 grants, totaling US$ 90,000 have been made with funding assistance from the Society and the US Fish and Wildlife Services. The grants for the 2004 cycle have just been announced by Eric Gilman, the grant programme manager, and the winners are Ms Thu Hue Nguyen for work at the Xuan Thuy National Park Ramsar Site in Viet Nam; Mr Carlos Bento and Dr Richard Beilfuss for work in Mozambique's Marromeu Complex of the Zambezi Delta; and Mr Alvin Lopez in order to provide assistance for the accession of Lao PDR to the Convention. The details are . [26/04/04]
Ramsar participates in GEF lake basin steering committee. At the World Bank in Washington, USA, 22-23 April 2004, Secretary General Peter Bridgewater and Sebastià Semene Guitart participated in the second Steering Committee meeting for the Global Environment Facility medium-size project entitled Towards a Lake Basin Management Initiative. The project is designed to draw together global expertise on the management of lakes, in a lake basin context, and to produce a report which can act as guidelines and future support for all interested in the subject of lake basin management. It is to be based on the experiences gained and lessons learned from some 28 GEF projects on lakes, and will provide more general experience and advice from practitioners, covering a range of subjects from the natural and social science bases needed, through policy development, CEPA and management interventions. Here is Sebastià Semene Guitart's brief report on the results. [27/04/04]
More to follow. Watch this space. Feedback and suggestions are welcome to: the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, 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 Secretariat.