The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 4 August 2004
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Headline story. News from Ramsar's STRP Working Groups. From Tuesday to Saturday last week (20-24 July 2004), members and observers of the Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), joined by invited technical experts including authors of chapters of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the CBD Secretariat and the Chair of the Standing Committee, met in a series of intensive and very successful workshops in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The workshops were hosted by Wetlands International as part of their provision of the STRP Support Service. The workshops reviewed progress against the large number of tasks in the Panel's 2003-2005 Work Plan, and made significant progress in refining and further developing technical review papers and a suite of guidelines and advice for Contracting Parties, for consideration by COP9 in 2005. [30/07/04]
Announcement.European Ramsar Meeting: change of date! The 5th European Regional Meeting on the implementation and effectiveness of the Ramsar Convention will be held in the Armenian capital Yerevan in early December, at the invitation of Armenia's Environment Minister Mr Ayvazyan, sent to more than 200 Ramsar focal points throughout Europe's 44 Contracting Parties. Up to the initial deadline for registration (15 July), 53 delegates have done so. However, we know that many more European delegates have the intention to participate. In order to assure the best possible organization of the meeting, we ask you to register now, by sending the attached registration form to the Ramsar Secretariat at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Registered participants will receive more details of the meeting over the coming weeks.
Please note that the meeting will start and end one day earlier than originally announced: starting Saturday 4 December 2004, closing on Wednesday 8 December. This is for purely practical reasons: though there are daily flights from Moscow to Yerevan, from Vienna, London, Paris, Prague, Athens and other European cities flights only operate on specific days of the week, many of them arriving in Yerevan on 3 December and departing on the 9th. [28/07/04]
Abou Bamba, Senior Advisor for Africa, will be in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, from 29 July-August 1, to assist in the development of their National Ramsar Committee's Work Plan for 2004-2005, clarify the Convention's focal points, assist in the completion of their COP9 National Report, and assist in the development of an implementation plan for a Swiss Grant for Africa approved project for 2004.
Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General, and Lei Guangchun, Senior Advisor for Asia/Pacific, are attending an INTECOL meeting in the Netherlands from July 25-30 [26/07/04]
Highlights from World Wetlands Day. Convention on Migratory Species marks World Wetlands Day.
Japan relies on Ramsar to conserve its wetlands. According to the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, the Environment Ministry of Japan is moving towards the designation of 9 new Ramsar sites in Japan before Ramsar's COP9, in November 2005 in Uganda. In its edition of July 24th, the newspaper informed readers that the Environment Ministry wants to use international measures, such as the Ramsar Convention, "to keep the fauna and flora of at least 9 of the nation's wetlands just the way they are". A panel of experts has been set up to select candidate sites for designation. A list of 50 to 60 sites that meet Ramsar's requirements will first be compiled and the panel will then whittle down the list by this fall. Among the sites being considered are Lake Nakaumi, straddling Shimane and Tottori prefectures, Lake Shinjiko in Shimane and the Wajiro tidal flats in Fukuoka Prefecture. As reported by The Asahi Shimbun, "the Government will first gain the consent of local communities and related groups", following a participatory process, before applying to register the selected site.
Thirteen sites in Japan, including the Kushiro-shitsugen marsh in Hokkaido and Lake Biwa-ko in Shiga Prefecture, are currently designated under the Ramsar Convention. The newspaper finally highlights the shift in the focus of the Convention, "originally focused on protecting the environment for waterfowl, but at the 1999 conference, a pact was made to also stress preservation of biodiversity and water resources". Reported by Sebastià SemeneGuitart. [26/07/04]
Announcement. Ramsar seeks Convention Development Officer. This new post, available from 1 October 2004 until 31 December 2005, is designed to help with the preparation and carrying out of COP9, especially dealing with the national reports and their analysis, and ensuring that all the technical issues are well prepared and managed. The deadline for applications is 20 August 2004. [link later removed] [22/07/04]
STRP working groups meet in the Netherlands. Between 20th and 24th July 2004, four of the expert Working Groups established by the Convention's expert advisory body, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) are meeting in workshops in Wageningen, The Netherlands. They will be reviewing progress and further developing the guidelines and other reports and recommendations which they are preparing for consideration by COP9 in Uganda, November 2005. In all some 50 experts will meet in workshops for Inventory and assessment,Water reource management, Ramsar site designation, and Indicators of effectiveness of Convention implementation. [19/07/04]
MedWet Initiative begins assessment of the status of Mediterranean Wetlands. Thirteen years after the Mediterranean wetlands syposium in Grado, Italy, which let to the establishment of the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet), the MedWet Coordination Unit has launched a new assessment of the status of Mediterranean wetlands. The Coordination Unit is now calling upon all those involved with the conservation and wise use of Mediterranean wetlands to contribute to this important assessment, by filling in a short and simple questionnaire about the current status of wetlands in the Mediterranean about which they have knowledge. The work is being led by Michèle Stark based in the Ramsar Secretariat in Gland, Switzerland. [14/07/04]
Announcement. African wetland training course, October-November 2004. The International Course on African Wetland Management (ICAWM) is an international training initiative for wetland managers. It is a Ramsar Convention-endorsed programme and is based on the Ramsar Management Guidelines. Its Advisory Board is chaired by the Secretary-General of the Ramsar Convention and made up of members chosen from the lead government and international agencies dealing with wetland matters. The ICAWM has been developed and organized primarily by Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) in conjunction with Wetland Advisory and Training Centre RIZA-Rijkswaterstaat of the Netherlands, with subsequent contribution from Uganda and Tanzania to suit the African or tropical situation. This year's course will run from 13 October to 23 November and the closing date for applications appears to be 1 August 2004. Here is the full course announcement, with the course brochure and application form in PDF format. [14/07/04]
Announcement. Republic of Korea seeks Programme Manager for wetlands project. The Ministry of Environment (MOE), ROK with The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and The Global Environment Facility (GEF) are reviewing candidates for the position of: Programme Manager (Chief Technical Advisor), Conservation of Globally Significant Wetlands in the Republic of Korea. The objective of the project is the conservation of globally significant wetlands in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and enhancement of livelihood. In order to achieve this objective, this project will promote a cross-sectoral collaborative approach (environmental, legal, political, and institutional) to wetland conservation both at national and local levels. Joint Planning, implementing, monitoring and enforcement modality, as well as options for sustainable livelihood will be tested for replication in three demo areas. Here is the full announcement.[link later removed] [14/07/04]
Ramsar Toolkit for download in French and Spanish. The English version of the Ramsar Handbooks on the Wise Use of Wetlands became available for download in PDF format some weeks ago, and now several of the volumes in their French and Spanish versions can also be downloaded in PDF and Word formats. The remaining volumes in the series will be posted as they are completed in the next few weeks. [13/07/04]
African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) supports Ramsar COP9 preparation.In its 10th session held in Sirt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, 29-30 June 2004, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) adopted a recommendation to the ministers in which it gave every support to Uganda in hosting the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Wetlands, particularly in view of the relevance of Ramsar Convention to Africa. The main objective of the AMCEN session was to provide a platform for the environment ministers to discuss and chart the way forward for the implementation of the action plan on the Environment Initiative of NEPAD adopted by AMCEN at its second special session, 2003. The Ramsar representative at the AMCEN session, Mr Abou Bamba, was able to urge that wetlands be fully covered in the final version of the 2005-2006 AMCEN program of activities. The support gained from African ministers is a major step forward as the Ramsar COP in November 2005, which will be held in Africa for the first time, will seek a global strategy for the sustainable use of wetlands to ensure water for ecosystems but also, and above all, water for people. Here is Abou's on the meeting and its significance for Ramsar, with a few photos. [08/07/04]
BirdLife announces vacancy for Programme Development Manager.BirdLife International - a global partnership of non-government organisations working to conserve the world's birds - is seeking to recruit an experienced project manager to work at the Cambridge Secretariat to the NGO federation. This challenging position will form a part of a conservation project management team at the Secretariat. The post holder's responsibilities will include managing and developing an 11-country project covering the Middle East and Africa, and the development of new projects working closely with the national non-government organisation Partners in the BirdLife network. [link later removed] [08/07/04]
Berlin seminar on the UNECE Water Convention, June 2004. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), one of the five UN regional commissions, provides a regional forum for governments from Europe, North America, Central Asia and Israel to study the economic, environmental and technological problems of the region and recommend action (www.unece.org ). Shortly before the Rio Conference, UNECE adopted in Helsinki in 1992 a "Convention on the protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes" (UNECE Water Convention). Tobias Salathé describes the evolution of the Convention and its Guidelines on Sustainable Flood Prevention, which emphasize integrated water management for the whole catchment area rather than to the management of floods as such, and which stress that natural wetlands, forested marshlands and retention areas in the river basin should be conserved, and where possible restored or expanded. He then reports on the results of the June seminar on the Guidelines in Berlin and on their implications for the Ramsar authorities in the region. Here is his . [05/07/04]
Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine working with MAB and Ramsar. On 17-18 June 2004, the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MaB) of UNESCO invited national experts for a working meeting concerning the establishment of a Polesie transboundary Biosphere Reserve (BR) and regional ecological network in the Polesie region shared between Belarus, Poland and Ukraine. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé reports on the meeting itself, next steps for the future, the extraordinary wetland riches of the transboundary area, and the role for Ramsar in future collaboration.[05/07/04]
Swiss Re announces award for sustainable water management strategies. "Swiss Re, one of the world's leading reinsurers, presented the second "ReSource Award" at its Centre of Global Dialogue in Zurich, Switzerland, in April 2004. This annual competition for innovative watershed management projects carries total prize money of USD 100,000. The ReSource Award for 2004 was officially launched at the ceremony. Swiss Re feels that it has a duty to contribute to the development and implementation of sustainable water management strategies and practices. To complement other water-related initiatives, the company launched the International ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management in 2002. The award actively supports the planning, evaluation and implementation of water-related projects with the aim of promoting awareness and encouraging the efficient use of this precious resource." Here is the text of the announcement from Swiss Re, with links to further information. [02/07/04]
Announcement. Call for applications for Ramsar Intern/Assistant Advisor for the Asia/Pacific. The Ramsar Secretariat is seeking applications for the position of Intern / Assistant Advisor for the Asia/Pacific, to work with the Senior Advisor on a broad range of tasks in support of the Parties from those regions. Ramsar internships are normally for a 12 month period but can be extended to 18 months, and applicants must be nationals of countries in Asia or the Pacific region. The position requires a full ability to work in English. Qualified candidates from those regions are encouraged to read the general terms of reference for Ramsar Internships and apply by 10 August 2004, with a view to beginning on 8 November 2004. [01/07/04]
Announcement.Watershed Stewardship Action Kit from Izaak Walton League. The Izaak Walton League has issued its all-new, totally revised and updated Watershed Stewardship Action Kit for clean water advocates and activists. "This is a multi-faceted tool for anyone who is interested in getting involved in protecting streams and rivers in their community," said Gwyn Rowland, the League's director of watershed programs. Here is the announcement. [02/07/04]
Guidebook on temporary pools available. "As part of its LIFE (EU-funded) project on the conservation of Mediterranean Temporary Pools (a EU Habitats Directive Priority habitat), the Tour du Valat Biological Station has just published a guidebook on the management of this particularly threatened wetland type (also the target of Ramsar Res. VIII.33), covering among others the results of this 5-year project. The guidebook comprises 250 pages in 2 volumes, has one English and one French edition, and can be ordered to Tour du Valat against a cheque of 10 Euros (covering P&P), or downloaded (French version only so far) at: http://www.tourduvalat.org/news_32.htm;jsessionid=a52f74c38bb0455ca4d8863d81df0f6e. For more info: email@example.com. Best wishes to all from the over-sunny Camargue!" -- Dr Christian Perennou, Chef de Projet / Project Leader, Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles - France; Site Web: http://www.tourduvalat.org. [01/07/04]
Note: The English version of the PDF is now available as well, at http://www.tourduvalat.org/news_753.htm. [09/07/04]
World Wetlands Day - early announcement. "CIWEM (www.ciwem.com ) is organising its annual conference to mark World Wetlands Day, to take place in London, England on 31st January and 1st February, 2005. Last year’s conference programme attracted more than 240 attendees, and we hope to increase this for the 2005 conference. The programme last year included technical visits, an evening reception and a one day conference. For further information, contact Justin Taberham, Director of Policy, CIWEM. Email Justin@ciwem.com." [01/07/04]
Peru releases the Management Plan of the Reserva Nacional de Paracas, Ramsar site no. 545. This excellent management plan, prepared by INRENA using a participatory approach, includes detailed zoning of the site and a set of specific programmes required to be implemented to guarantee the sustainable use of the area. Paracas is also a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve, an area of vital importance for the productivity of its marine environment due to the Humboldt Current and for being a resting habitat of migratory birds. More than 300 species of fish and various species of seaweed can be found in the site, and more than 20 species of Nearctic's-breeding shorebirds stage and winter here. Other notable fauna include two species of marine turtles. The area is archaeologically important. Human activities include traditional fishing and shellfish harvesting. [30/06/04]
Perú publica el Plan de Manejo del Sitio Ramsar Reserva Nacional de Paracas, no. 545. Este excelente Plan Maestro o de Gestión fue preparado por el INRENA, Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales, y su formulación se hizo por medio de un amplio proceso participativo. El plan incluye una zonificación detallada del sitio y un conjunto de programas requeridos para lograr el uso sustentable del área. Paracas también es una Reserva de Aves Acuáticas del Hemisferio Occidental. La Reserva es un área natural de vital importancia tanto por la productividad de su ambiente marino debido a la corriente de Humboldt, como por ser un punto clave de parada para aves acuáticas migratorias. En el área se encuentran más de 300 especies de peces y varias especies de algas marinas. Más de 20 especies de aves playeras del Neárctico descansan y pasan el invierno allí. Otra fauna importante del sitio incluye dos especies de tortugas marinas. El área es arqueológicamente importante, y las actividades humanas incluyen pesca tradicional y colecta de mariscos.
Now available.Photos of Madagascar's Lac Tsimantampetsotsa. Further to the report of the Ramsar celebration in Madagascar (reported on the 15th of June), Jamie Pittock, WWF Living Waters Programme's Director, reports on his visit to one of that country's Ramsar sites, and provides photos: "On June 12th I visited Lac Tsimantampetsotsa, a Ramsar site of nearly 46,000 ha on the southwest coast, Province of Toliara, Madagascar. This site highlights the commitment of the government of Madagascar to conserve its natural environment and provide more sustainable livelihoods for its people." Here is Jamie's brief report of his visit and 12 photos of the site's sights. [30/06/04]
Lesotho's steps towards Ramsar accession. In its celebration of World Wetlands Day 2004, Lesotho's Ministry of Natural Resources, Water Affairs, Wetland Unit together with Lesotho National University, IUCN ROSA, national NGOs and other bodies concerning with nature gathered in a seminar at the Lesotho National Convention Centre on 2 February to mark Lesotho's commitment to nature conservation at the national and global levels. The Lesotho population also took part in the celebration and expressed itself in different activities of the workshop. H.E. Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Monyane Moleleki, H.E. Minister of Tourism Environment and Culture, H.E. Assistant Minister of Justice, Ms. Lebohang Nts'inyi, Human Rights, Law and Constitutional Affairs, Ms. Mpeo Mahase attended the seminar. Through this event, a declaration to join Ramsar Convention was made and the documents related to Lesotho's accession to the Convention were signed. The Letseng-la-Letsie wetland was announced to be Lesotho's first Ramsar site, and the Ramsar Secretariat has recently received the Ramsar Information Sheet and map for that sites. Lesotho's report on its WWD celebration and photos of the candidate Ramsar Site can be seen here. -- reported by Ahmed El-Sabban, Ramsar. [24/06/04]
Rwanda progresses towards joining the Convention. In the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda, 1 March 2004, the government has posted its authorization for the ratification of the Ramsar Convention: "Under article one of the law nº 37/2003 of 29/12/2003, the President; the Parliament and the Senate of Rwanda have authorized the ratification of the Ramsar Convention of February 2, 1971 on wetlands of international importance. Article 2 of the same law indicates that the law comes into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda and becomes effective in accordance with article 10 of the Protocol mentioned in article one of this law." As Ramsar's Abou Bamba indicated in his report of the recent pre-accession workshop held in Rwanda, that country has chosen its first Ramsar Site and is rapidly progressing towards joining the Ramsar family. [23/06/04]
Suggested theme for World Wetlands Day 2005. World Wetlands Day takes place on or about the 2nd of February every year and offers governments at all levels, NGOs, schools, and citizens alike an opportunity "to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular." For February 2005, as for the past seven years, the Ramsar Secretariat will be making promotional materials available free of charge - this year, in addition to inspirational messages suitable for quoting in press releases, there will be a new poster and stickers, available in physical format in English, French, and Spanish and electronically in QuarkXpress for those who may wish to produce them in their own languages or with local content added. This year the Standing Committee has adopted the suggested overall theme of "cultural and biological diversity of wetlands", and our poster will be promoting the slogan "There's wealth in wetland diversity - don't lose it!"
Now's a good time for all of our WWD collaborators to begin planning their WWD activities, and we will be striving mightily to have our materials ready for mailing by mid-October 2004. Our general index page for World Wetlands Day can be found here, and reports on WWD activities this past February in over 80 countries can be found here and will provide ample suggestions and examples - especially for those unimaginative far northerners who keep complaining that February is a bad time of the year for a party in a wetland. Examples of what some of our collaborators have recently done in producing their own customized WWD materials based upon ours can also be viewed here. Some of the free materials left over from WWD 2004 - here - will also be available next year as long as supplies last. As always, we will welcome learning of your plans beforehand and receiving reports and photos afterward for posting on our Web site, and, as in past years, the production of Ramsar WWD materials is being generously supported by the Evian Ramsar Project of the Danone Group (France). [22/06/04]
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.