The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 17 October 2005
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Condolences. Ms Joke Waller-Hunter. "It is with sorrow and regret that the Ramsar Secretariat learnt of the passing away of Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter. She was a leading light in promoting sustainable development, as well as more recently carrying the challenge of managing climate change. Our conventions had begun to work together on common issues of concern, and we will continue in this vein, encouraged by her leadership. We wish all the Secretariat strength to carry through her work, and express deep condolences to her family and friends." -Peter Bridgewater, on behalf of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat. [16/10/05]
Headline story. "Fragile natural areas" in the regions of France. “What partnerships are needed for wetlands?” was this year’s theme of the annual meeting on “fragile natural areas” (espaces naturels sensibles) in France, bringing together about 250 site managers, local and regional administrators and politicians, environmental and water management experts and NGO representatives. The meeting took place at the invitation of the Loire Province on 10 and 11 October 2005 in Montrond-les-Bains, a small spa town in the upstream floodplain of the Loire, one of western Europe’s remaining near-natural river courses (proposed for inclusion in the Ramsar List for many years). Here is a brief, illustrated report on the meeting and its French context by Ramsar's Tobias Salathé. [14/10/05]
Headline story. Niger designates five Ramsar sites. The Secretariat is extremely pleased to announce that the Government of Niger has added five new Wetlands of International Importance to its previous total of seven, all effective as of 16 September 2005. La mare de Dan Doutchi (25,366 hectares, 14°15'N 004°37'E) and La mare de Tabalak (7,713 ha, 15°04'N 005°38'E) are both significant permanent ponds in the southwest-central department of Tahoua, and La mare de Lassouri (26,737 ha, 14°02'N 009°35'E) is a semi-permanent wetland in Zinder department in the south, part of the Lake Chad catchment. The Oasis du Kawar is a large (368,536 ha, 19°43'N 012°86'E) complex of oases that form a haven between the Erg du Ténére and Erg de Bilma deserts in the vast Agadez department in the north - the Gueltas et Oasis de l'Aïr is an enormous (2,413,237 ha, 18°18'N 009°30'E) complex of permanent and temporary streams, oases and marshes that lies in the center of Niger's portion of the Sahara, also in Agadez. All five sites perform extremely important roles in the lives and livelihoods of their local populations. Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio has prepared brief descriptions for the Annotated Ramsar List, and these can be seen here. [13/10/05]
WWF's Global Freshwater Programme provided very important assistance to the Government of Niger in the preparations for these designations, and at the 24th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority, meeting in Ouagadougou, 15-16 September, 2005, Niger State Minister Abou Labo, current chairman of the NBA, was presented with certificates for the new Ramsar sites by representatives of two of Ramsar's partner organizations, Denys Landenbergue, WWF International, and Issa Seydina Sylla, Wetlands International. Photos.
Now available. COP9 delegates handbook in late-draft form. Uganda's COP National Organizing Committee has prepared a handbook for participants at the Ramsar COP next month, with editorial assistance from Ramsar's Sandra Hails, and the latest pre-publication draft is now available here in English, with Spanish and French to come along in the next day or two. It provides useful information about the organization of the COP and the venue, about getting along in Uganda and in Kampala, and about whether or not you have to tip the service staff. The physical delegates handbook will be distributed to participants as they arrive at the COP, but in the meantime, the text, without the attractive layout and photos, can be reviewed here in HTML or PDF. [13/10/05]
Workshop on implementing the ecosystem approach in Europe. The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation convened on the Isle of Vilm, from 28 September to 1 October 2005, an expert workshop on the subject of "Implementing the Ecosystem Approach (EsA) of the CBD - The opportunities provided by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) of the European Union". Following presentations from the Convention on Biological Diversity and Ramsar Secretariats on a general introduction as well as on the principles, and on legal and economical aspects of the implementation process, the main emphasis of the workshop was focused on the application of case studies from the whole of Europe. Here's a brief report on the proceedings from Ramsar's Dorothea August, who was there. [11/10/05]
Wetland managers from Mali on study tour in Ghana. "An 18-member delegation from Mali ended a five-day study tour in Ghana (29 August - 3 September 2005). The purpose of the visit was to share experiences on the management of wetlands in Ghana and to strengthen subregional cooperation in the protection of wetlands. The team also discussed with their Ghanaian counterparts the way forward for the implementation of the respective Wetland Policy/Strategy of the two countries. The team visited the offices of the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Ghana - Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and Center for African Wetlands (CAW) in Accra and the Amansure Conservation Integrated Development (ACID) Project within the Amanzure Wetlands, which has been proposed for designation as Ghana’s 7th Ramsar Site." Here is an illustrated report by Charles C. Amankwah, Wetlands Coordinator in the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Ghana. [11/10/05]
Republic of Moldova names Unguri-Holosnita for the Ramsar List.The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Moldova has named its third Wetland of International Importance, effective 14 September 2005: Unguri - Holosnita (15,553 hectares; 48º17'N 028º03'E, in Soroca and Ocnita countries. As summarized by Ramsar's Dorothea August, based upon information provided with the designation, the site includes high rocky, crumbling-sloughing slopes and narrow flood-land of the Dniester River's left bank, in the northeastern part of the country near the border with Ukraine. The Dniester includes wide, shallow segments here with little islands, small rivers and short creeks feeding the stream and forming steep canyons. Fluvial forests are formed by poplar associations with an admixture of willows, ash and elm, with riparian willow formations. Native communities of light forest such as fresh oak, damp oak and Pinus pallasiana forests are covering the steep limestone slopes of the Dniester River canyon. Further details about the site, with photographs, can be seen here. [10/10/05]
Announcement. “Practical implications of international conventions on wetland management” --What difference do international designations make? This is the theme of an international workshop organized jointly by the Venice Province and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in Europe, in cooperation with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, in Venice on 21-23 November 2005. The workshop will split into three facilitated working groups focusing on aspects of the territorial planning process, management plans for individual sites, and the dynamic effects of international designations. A final plenary session will define recommendations and decisions. Seven major Ramsar sites will be considered as case studies: the Venice Lagoon, the Rhone delta (Camargue), Doñana, Ichkeul, the Wadden Sea, the Danube delta and lake Neusiedl/Fertö. The language of the workshop will be English. It is anticipated that up to 90 participants will take part in this highly interactive workshop. The agenda, description of the workshop, and photos of the venue [left] can be seen here. [07/10/05]
Viet Nam names its second Ramsar site. Viet Nam joined the Convention in 1989 with the Xuan Thuy Natural Wetland Reserve (formerly called the Red River Estuary) as its first Wetland of International Importance. This has now been joined in the Ramsar List, effective 4 August, by Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake) Wetlands and Seasonal Floodplains (13,759 hectares, 11°28'N 107°23'E) in Dong Nai Province, part of the Cat Tien National Park. As described by Ramsar's Shahzia Khan, based on the information in the RIS, Bau Sau is a freshwater complex and transition zone between the Great Annamite ecoregion and lower Mekong Delta with Vietnam's last remaining lowland semi-evergreen forests representative of the Indo-Chinese region. It is a key habitat for 50 very rare IUCN red-listed species like Siamese Crocodile, Asian Arowana, Black-shanked Douc, Asian Elephant, Wild Gaur, Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon and Smooth-coated Otter, 131 endemic fish and 6 species of turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Several red-listed birds include Pseudibis davisoni, Cairina scutulata, Grus antigone and Leptoptilos javanicus, and plants Dipterocarpus dyeri and Diospyros mun. Despite human activities such as subsistence fishing, hunting and collection of wood products, it is the best-conserved and almost pristine habitat of the national park as a result of enhanced protection by local management. It also serves as a floodwater retention reservoir with significant flow regulation protecting populated downstream localities. An ecological threat arises from invasion of exotic Mimosa pigra and water hyacinth bringing succession from open water to swamp vegetation.Conservation efforts include control of invasive species, crocodile census, waterbird surveys, awareness raising and range patrolling. WWF Indochina Programme assisted in the preparation of the Ramsar designation data. [05/10/05]
National Ramsar Committee in Austria. Austria's National Ramsar Committee was established in 1990 in order to provide a continuous collaboration among the federal Ramsar authority, the wetland experts in the nine federal states or provinces, farmers' and environmental groups, and others. It has been meeting every six months over the years and has established a model for effective cooperation in Ramsar wetland matters across a range of the community. In September 2005, the Committee met in the village of Purbach on the shores of the Neusiedlersee, a transboundary Ramsar site shared between Austria and Hungary (where it is called Lake Fertö), where the members worked through a crowded agenda and visited the Ramsar site [photo right] for a demonstration of current management practices there. Tobias Salathé provides this brief, illustrated report. [05/10/05]
Ramsar COP9 preparatory meeting in Oceania. Following regional meetings for the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia over the past year, the last of the series for the Ramsar regions has just been completed in Nadi, Fiji, 29-30 September 2005. The Oceania meeting provided an opportunity to discuss wetland issues in the region and consider a regional response on the major issues that will be debated at Ramsar COP9 in Uganda next month. Here the Ramsar Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater (presenting a Ramsar site certificate to Philippe Gerbeaux of New Zealand, photo left) reports on both the regional meeting itself and on a capacity building workshop that was held 26-28 September, also in Nadi. [03/10/05]
Kenya names fifth Ramsar site in the Rift Valley. The Secretariat is delighted to announce that the Republic of Kenya has designated its fifth Wetland of International Importance, Lake Elmenteita (10,880 hectares, 00°46'S 036°23'E), effective 5 September 2005. Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio notes that at the time of preparing its Ramsar Information Sheet for the new designation, the Kenya Wildlife Service took the opportunity to update Kenya's RISs for two other Ramsar sites, Lakes Naivasha and Nakuru, thus showing a strong commitment to fulfilling the Conference of the Parties' wish in Resolution VI.13 that data sheets on all Ramsar sites should be updated at least every six years. We encourage other Parties, when designating new sites, also to use the occasion to update the information on their other Ramsar sites as well. Lucia's description of the new site follows, based upon the RIS, and she has provided updated descriptions of Naivasha and Nakuru as well. [17/09/05]
Now available. Updated list of Ramsar-World Heritage sites.There are over thirty wetlands that have been designated both as Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention and as World Heritage sites under the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The list of these dual sites has just been updated and can be seen here. [16/09/05]
Trinidad & Tobago names two new Ramsar sites. The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Trinidad and Tobago has designated two new coastal Wetlands of International Importance and (with Nariva Swamp) now has three. As Ramsar's Adrián Ruiz-Carvajal describes the sites, based on the data submitted by the Party, Buccoo Reef / Bon Accord Lagoon Complex (1,287 hectares, 11°10 N 060°57 W) is located on the southwestern coast of Tobago near Scarborough and includes several under-represented wetland types such as coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests. Endangered and vulnerable species in the area include various types of coral (Acropora palmata, Diploria labyrinthiformis, D. strigosa and Siderastrea siderea) as well as the critically endangered Hawkbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and at least 119 fish species. As the major tourist attraction in Tobago, the reef continues to be adversely affected by intense tourist activity and pollutant discharges. So far the restricted area status and existing management plan have been unable to prevent these impacts, but the site is in the process of being designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area.
Caroni Swamp (8,398 hectares, 10°34'N 061°27'W) is an extraordinarily important wetland near the capital of Trinidad, Port of Spain, since it is ecologically diverse, consisting of marshes, mangrove swamp (5,996 ha), brackish and saline lagoons, and tidal mudflats in close proximity. A total of 20 endangered bird species have been recorded in the site, including the Scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber), Comb duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos), White-tailed kite (Elanus leucurus), Snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis), and the severely threatened Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). The swamp has been modified by attempted reclamation, and there is some seasonal cultivation on the landward fringe. Caroni Swamp is important economically for oyster and fish harvesting, for hunting and for ecotourism. [15/09/05] Trinidad & Tobago designa dos nuevos sitios Ramsar.
Biodiversity-related conventions speak out on Millennium Development Goals. On the eve of the 2005 World Summit -- the high-level plenary meeting of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, 14-16 September -- the heads of the secretariats of the five global biodiversity-related conventions have issued a joint statement calling upon the world's leaders "to recognize that to make the MDGs a reality in a highly populated planet, biological diversity needs to be used sustainably and its benefits more equitably shared". Their statement reviews the importance of maintaining biodiversity for the task of finding solutions for nearly all of the world's present and future challenges and ends by urging "governments and civil society to act in helping to conserve and use biological diversity sustainably, thus ensuring all a share in the benefits of a diverse world." Their brief statement can be viewed here. [12/09/05]
The five biodiversity-related conventions are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the World Heritage Convention.
WWF-HSBC Yangtze River Programme. The HSBC banking firm's investment guidelines restrict its financial participation to projects that meet the internationally-recognized standards of the Ramsar Convention, UNEP's Dams and Development Project, the WCD Framework, and others, and its "Investing in Nature" programme supports a range of conservation initiatives around the world. One of these is the WWF-HSBC Yangtze Programme, which has been relinking isolated lakes along the river and restoring natural processes. Further details here. [05/09/05]
World Wetlands Day posters. For World Wetlands Day 2006, next 2 February, the Ramsar Secretariat is making available two related posters with the theme 'In the face of poverty . . . wetlands are lifelines', as well as two new stickers, all (as in the past eight years) prepared with financial assistance from the Evian Initiative of the Danone Group. As last year, the printed posters and stickers will soon be sent in bulk to the Ramsar "administrative authorities" in the governments of our member States, and we are providing a list of people in those agencies for you to contact in order to receive the materials free of charge for your WWD celebrations. In addition, as in the past, we are providing the posters in a couple of electronic formats on CD-ROM so that you can, if you wish, customize them with your language or images and perhaps print them in larger quantities than we can make available to you. Here is our WWD 2006 index page, and you can view the posters and stickers here. A message from our CEPA Officer, Sandra Hails, on behalf of the Communications Team, provides more detail on the purpose and themes of the materials in , and . [31/08/05]
Czech cooperation with Ethiopia on Ramsar and wetlands. As part of the cooperation between the Czech Republic and Ethiopia, the Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic invited Ethiopia to participate in a workshop on wetlands organised in the Czech Republic. The workshop was prepared in cooperation of the Czech Ministry of Environment represented by Mrs. Libuše Vlasáková (Ramsar Administrative Authority) and Alena Cervená (Department of Global Relations), with the non-governmental organisation ENKI represented by Dr. Jan Pokorný, and Mr Ababu Anage, Head of the Ecosystem Department, and Mr. Shewaye Deribe, Plant Ecologist, both from the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia, attended workshop sessions and visited a number of Ramsar sites between 19 and 25 July 2005. Here is a brief illustrated report. [29/08/05]
New Zealand names Ramsar site on North Island. The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Government of New Zealand has designated its sixth Wetland of International Importance, effective 25 July 2005.Manawatu river mouth and estuary(~200 hectares, 40°29'S 175°14'E) is a moderate-size estuary on the southwest coast of North Island which retains a high degree of naturalness and diversity, important as a feeding ground for migratory birds. Here are the details. [23/08/05]
Now available. National Reports for Ramsar COP9. In advance of every triennial meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, Ramsar Parties submit National Reports that describe their achievements and problems in implementing the Convention during that period. These NRs are then analyzed by the Secretariat and the data form the basis for the global and regional overviews of implementation that are presented to and discussed by the COP itself. These analyses have just been completed and the overviews are presently being written up by the Secretariat staff for publication with the COP documentation in the coming weeks. The NRs themselves also become part of the public record, and 105 of them are now available on the Ramsar Web site in PDF format - any further NRs that may be received will be too late to be included in the analyses but will also be posted as they come in. [17/08/05]
Ramsar sites in Armenia. "I am happy to inform you that an informational brochure "Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat" has been printed in Armenian in the framework of the Program of the Ministry of Nature Protection "Management of Natural Resources and Poverty Alleviation" funded by the World Bank. The A5 format brochure, which contains 28 pages, gives basic information about the Ramsar Convention, introduces Armenian wetlands, their functions and values, as well as provides information about implementation of the Convention in Armenia. The text about Armenian wetlands and photographs are provided by Karen Jenderedjian, Ramsar Focal Point in Armenia, currently member of the Ramsar Convention's Standing Committee." -- Karen Jenderedjian, PhD, Head, Division of Animal Resources Management, Agency of Bioresources Management, Ministry of Nature Protection, Yerevan (firstname.lastname@example.org). [03/08/05]
From the Ramsar Forum.Inquiry about information on global river restoration projects. "Dear Ramsar-Forum members: I am currently doing an internship, working on freshwater habitat assessment. I would like to ask your advice on how to find information. I am creating a database that shows the projects that are going on globally on river restoration and integrated river basin management.We are trying to list them by basin (or by river/watershed)not by project---. I have checked major project sites, such as the ones by World Bank, GEF, IUCN, WWF- does anyone have any ideas on where I would be able to get more information/or good databases you know of? I thank you very much for your time and assistance. Sincerely, Yukiko." - Yukiko Ichishima, Candidate for Master of Environmental Management, 2006, Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (email@example.com).
Now available.IAIA Information on Biodiversity and Impact Assessment.From the Wetlands Forum: "Hello everybody. Given the importance which the Ramsar Convention places on applying impact assessment techniques to situations where the ecological character of Ramsar sites and other wetlands may be threatened by developments or broader policies and strategies (e.g., in Resolution VII.16), I thought that you might be interested to see the document 'Biodiversity and Impact Assessment' just produced by the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), which sets out best practice principles for incorporating biodiversity issues into EIA and SEA. This is available on the IAIA website at http://www.iaia.org/Non_Members/Pubs_Ref_Material/SP3.pdf. The principles should help practitioners to integrate biodiversity into impact assessment and decision-makers to commission and review assessments.
IAIA has an active Biodiversity Section and works with the Ramsar Convention pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2001. It is also currently running a Capacity Building for Biodiversity in Impact Assessment (CBBIA) project - a targeted capacity building program intended to promote good practice in biodiversity and impact assessment. If you have any queries or would like further information please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Kind Regards, Helen Byron, Chair IAIA Biodiversity Section." (Dr Helen Byron, International Site Casework Officer, European Programmes & Training Department, RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL, UK). [03/08/05]
Talks on the Lake Chad Basin. On 26 July 2005, the Ramsar Secretariat proudly received the visit of Eng. Sani Adamu, the Lake Chad Basin Commission's Executive Secretary. Given the prominent role of this institution in the region, which has as its members not only the countries sharing Lake Chad, but also a number of those which are part of its catchment area, many items were on the agenda for discussion. One of the first points raised by the Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, was the Secretariat's concern with the ecological health of the basin and the activities which are taking place around it, which have the potential to further undermine its environment and the local users' capacity to sustain their livelihoods. We learnt more about the proposal being pushed forward by the member states as a solution to the lake's shrinking levels: an inter-basin water transfer to carry water from the Oubangui River in the DRC. While the Secretariat holds some reservations about the effects of this plan, it looks forward to inputting to the terms of reference currently being drafted for the feasibility study. Regarding oil exploration in different sections of the basin, we share LCBC's concerns, and both institutions will continue monitoring the activities taking place, with what we hope will be increasing support from the Ramsar focal points in the countries involved. Accession of new Parties in the region was also discussed, as well as some of the difficulties encountered by the Ramsar Secretariat to get countries like Cameroon and the Central African Republic on board. Their adhesion to the Convention, especially as far as Cameroon is involved, will ensure that the whole basin becomes a designated Ramsar site. We look forward to meeting the LCBC at COP9 in Uganda in November, where a number of these issues will surely be brought up for discussion again! -- Lucia Scodanibbio, Ramsar. [29/07/05]
Now available.Meeting on a High Andean Strategy for the Northern Andes. More progress in implementing Resolution VIII:39: Colombia's Meeting report on Strategic High Andean Wetlands in the Ecorregional Complex of the Northern Andes, June 15 -17 2005, Ubaté – Cundinamarca, Colombia is now available [in Spanish]!
Más avances en la implementación de la Resolución VIII.39: la Las memorias del taller corredor de humedales altoandinos estratégicos en el complejo ecorregional andes del norte, Junio 15 - 17 de 2005, Ubaté – Cundinamarca, Colombia esta ahora disponible. [28/07/05]
News from the SGF.Capacity-building in mangrove-based Kenyan communities. Kenya has just brought to completion a very successful project aimed at empowering local communities to use mangrove resources sustainably for their and the environment's benefit. The project's objective was to provide training and technical assistance focused on skills and knowledge related to beekeeping, beehive construction, crab culture, crab cage and pen construction, mangrove re-forestation, conservation and sustainable exploitation. As stated in the final report submitted to the Secretariat, the project, headed by Dr. Joseph Rasowo of Moi University, was carried out in a participatory way by involving government institutions and local NGOs which either already had working partnerships with mangrove-based community groups or assisted in choosing grassroots groups for training by this project. Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio summarizes the projects results here, accompanied by the illustrated final report of the project team. [27/07/05]
News from the SGF. Moldava reports on SGF project for the Lower Prut Lakes. The Republic of Moldova has completed its 2003 Ramsar Small Grants Fund project "Evaluation Study to Support Implementation of Management Plan for the Lower Prut Lakes Ramsar Site towards Wise Use and Sustainable Development". It was carried out by the Moldavian Center for Strategic Environmental Studies ECOS in Chisinau, which undertook a range of field trips to carry out various analyses on water quality and identification of causing contaminants; of soil and soil erosion as well as sediments in the Ramsar site lakes and Cahul ponds. Meetings and discussions on wetland issues with stakeholders accompanied the process in all stages of the project and assisted to involve them in the development of the Priority Action Plan, but also in the identification and prioritisation sources of contamination of Ramsar Lakes. A brief report of the project by Ramsar's Dorothea August can be seen here, with the project report executive summary and some photographs into the bargain. [26/07/05]
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 ).