The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 17 December 2007
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Now available.Ramsar address to UNFCCC COP13. On 14 December 2007, the Secretary General, Mr Anada Tiéga, addressed the ministerial segment of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In his remarks he stressed the importance of wetlands to climate mitigation and adaptation, the role of peatlands in climate change, and the necessity for integrated, multisectoral partnership approaches to tackling climate change impacts. Here is the text of his address. [14/12/07]
Headline story.CREHO course on EIA in wetland management.International Course on Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Impact Assessment for Wetland Management. Twenty-two representatives of governments, NGOs and consultants from nine Latin American and Caribbean countries participated in an intensive 17-day theoretical and practical course on Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment for wetland management that was held in Panama from November 19th to December 5th, 2007. The course was organized by the Regional Ramsar Centre for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO) and sponsored by the Ramsar Convention and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Details and photos here. [14/12/07]
Culminó Curso de Impacto Ambiental y Evaluacón Ambiental Estratégica para el Manejo de Humedales. Durante 17 días de sesiones teórico practicas, 21 representantes de 9 países del gobierno, organizaciones no gubernamentales y consultores de Latinoamérica y el Caribe, participaron en el curso de Impacto Ambiental y Evaluación Ambiental Estratégica para el Manejo de Humedales que se llevo a cabo en Panamá del 19 de Noviembre al 5 de diciembre. El curso organizado por el Centro Regional Ramsar para la Capacitación e Investigación sobre Humedales en el Hemisferio Occidental CREHO y la Convención Ramsar fue financiado por la Convención Ramsar y el Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de Estados Unidos. Fotos.
Headline story. VI Simposio Internacional de Humedales en Ciénaga de Zapata, Cuba. Participantes de América Latina y el Caribe compartieron experiencias sobre manejo sustentable de humedales en el Simposio Internacional de Humedales de la Ciénaga de Zapata, Cuba del 5-9 de Noviembre de 2007. En el evento participaron científicos, funcionarios, ecologistas, estudiantes y miembros de ONG´s. Informe. [14/12/07]
VI International Wetlands Symposium in Zapata Cienaga, Cuba. Participants from Latin America and the Caribbean shared experiences about wetland management in the International Symposium in Zapata Ciénaga, Cuba, from 5-9 November 2007. The workshop was attended by scientists, officials, ecologists, students and NGOs members. Report.
Headline story.Inaugural U.S. Ramsar site managers meeting and U.S. National Ramsar Committee meeting held at Caddo Lake, Texas. Members of the U.S. National Ramsar Committee (USNRC), Ramsar site managers and representatives from ten U.S. Ramsar sites, and other Ramsar supporters met at Caddo Lake from October 31 to November 2, 2007, to share experiences, discuss collaborative opportunities, and consider how Ramsar might be strengthened in the United States. Ramsar's María Rivera provides this brief illustrated report. [13/12/07]
Reunión de Manejadores de Sitios Ramsar de Estados Unidos y Comité Nacional Ramsar en Caddo Lake, Texas. Miembros del Comité Nacional Ramsar de Estados Unidos, manejadores de Sitios Ramsar , representantes de 10 Sitios Ramsar y otros actores interesados en los humedales se reunieron en Caddo Lake del 31 de Octubre al 2 de Noviembre para compartir experiencias, discutir oportunidades de colaboración y considerar como se puede fortalecer la Convención de Ramsar en Estados Unidos. María Rivera de la Secretaría de Ramsar preparo este informe.
Headline story.Ramsar Africa Regional Meeting reported. The "Africa Regional Meeting in preparation of Ramsar COP10" took place in Yaoundé, Cameroon, 26-30 November 2007. The conclusions of the meeting are ready in French and are presently being translated into English, and the official report of the meeting will also soon be along in both languages. Here, in the meantime, is Mr Abou Bamba's brief report of the proceedings and quite a few photographs of the meeting, the celebrities, and the field trip in the Ebogo mangrove wetlands by Ramsar's Alexia Dufour. [12/12/07]
Switzerland approves "Swiss Grant for Africa" for 2007. The Secretariat's Africa team is pleased to announce that the Federal Government of Switzerland (Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication) through the Swiss Agency for the Environment (OFEV) has agreed to assist the Convention's activities in Africa for another year through the Swiss Grant for Africa. The 2007 Swiss Grant for Africa will allow the Secretariat to support three projects on the continent and supported the organization of the Africa Regional Preparatory Meeting for COP10 held from 26 to 30 November 2007, in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This will make an important contribution to the team's strategic objectives for Africa. See Abou Bamba's description of the supported projects here. [12/12/07]
National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka. The Directory of Asian Wetlands (comp. D. A. Scott, IUCN, 1989) identified 41 wetland sites of international importance in Sri Lanka, covering 274,000 ha in total. In 1990, Sri Lanka joined the Ramsar Convention and designated Bundala as its first Ramsar site. A major advance in the conservation of wetlands in Sri Lanka was the establishment of a National Policy on Wetlands in 2004, the National Wetlands Steering Committee was also revived in 2003, and a draft wetland conservation strategy and action plan was undertaken. To progress the conservation of wetlands in the country, the Steering Committee requested the services of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to facilitate the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) in preparing an updated information base on wetlands in Sri Lanka. The wetland directory was jointly funded by the CEA and IUCN (through financial assistance from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Sri Lanka), while the digital database was funded by IWMI. The National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka is a 342-page book that presents an overview of the country's wetlands by S W Kotagama and C N B Bambaradeniya, followed by data sheets and maps on 62 significant wetlands in a format consistent with the Ramsar Information Sheet. For more information about the availability of the Directory, contact email@example.com. [13/12/07]
Training opportunities.Training course by MedWet on tools for wetland inventorying, monitoring and assessment. A training course by MedWet on tools for wetland inventorying, monitoring and assessment is planned to take place on 18-21 December 2007, Florence, Italy. The course "MedWet tools for Wetland Inventory, Assessment and Monitoring" is addressed to professionals in wetland conservation in public administrations and organisations active in this field. Organised by the Agenzia regionale per la protezione ambientale della Toscana (ARPAT) the course is held within the framework of the INTEREG IIIC project: MedWet information and knowledge network for the sustainable development of wetland ecosystems (MedWet/CODDE). This is the second training course organised in the framework of the MedWet/CODDE project. To read more about the first training course click here. -- Sofia Spirou, Communications Officer, MedWet Secretariat, Athens, Greece. [12/12/07]
Deadline approaching.USA National Wetlands Awards. The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2008 USA National Wetlands Awards Program is January 15, 2008. The Awards Program honors individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the conservation and restoration of the USA's wetlands, and the 2008 Awards will be given in six categories: Education and Outreach; Science Research; Conservation and Restoration; Landowner Stewardship; State, Tribal, and Local Program Development; and Wetland Community Leader. Program co-sponsors - the Environmental Law Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Federal Highway Administration. For more information or to submit a nomination, please visit www.nationalwetlandsawards.org or contact: National Wetlands Awards 2000 L St. NW Suite 620 Washington, DC 20036. Phone: (202) 939-3862 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. [12/12/07]
Position announcement. Countdown 2010 Communications Officer. Position: Full-time, 12 months contract from February/March 2008. Duty station: IUCN Regional Office for Europe (ROfE), Brussels, Belgium. Reporting to: Head, Countdown 2010. Background Countdown 2010 is a powerful network of active partners working together towards the 2010 biodiversity target. Each partner commits additional efforts to tackle the causes of biodiversity loss. The secretariat - hosted by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) - facilitates and encourages action, promotes the importance of the 2010 biodiversity target and assesses progress towards 2010. As Communications Officer, you will bring out the best in Countdown 2010. You engage partners and supporters and inform them about the latest developments, reach out to new audiences and help the Countdown 2010 team in telling their stories in a convincing way. Here is the announcement (PDF). [12/12/07]
"Assessment on Peatlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change" launched during Bali UNFCCC COP. Today this new assessment was launched by UNEP in association with GEF, Wetlands International, CBD, the Global Environment Centre, and the Ramsar Convention. Ramsar Secretary General Anada Tiega participated as a Panel member in the launch and associated press conference. UNEP's press release about the findings of the report can be seen here. [11/12/07]
Global Peatland Fund launched. Wetlands International and BioX Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop the Global Peatland Fund with the goal to invest in the restoration and conservation of peatland projects. With the fund, both partners aim for large scale restoration of degraded tropical peat swamp forests in order to prevent further greenhouse gas emissions. The geographical focus of the Global Peatland Fund will initially be on Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, where Wetlands International has successfully carried out community-based peat swamp forest conservation and restoration projects in cooperation with local governments, NGOs and communities. The target of the Fund is to restore and protect approximately 500,000 hectares of these peat swamps by 2012. The rest of Wetlands International's press release can be seen here. [11/12/07]
Now available."GEF: Financing adaptation action". The Global Environment Facility provides grants to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. It is a financial mechanism for implementing the international conventions on biodiversity, climate change, and persistent organic pollutants, and it is also a financial mechanism for the Convention to Combat Desertification and collaborates closely with other treaties and agreements, including the Ramsar Convention. The GEF received the mandate from the UNFCCC in 2001 to finance climate change adaptation projects on the ground, and began piloting adaptation action under three financing avenues: 1) Strategic Priority on Adaptation (SPA); 2) Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and 3) Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).
A new 12-page booklet from the GEF describes these funding mechanisms and provides examples of projects under each of them, amongst which are a number of ongoing wetland management and restoration projects and possible models for new wetland-related projects in future. Ramsar Parties may be able to draw much inspiration and some guidance from this short publication. GEF: Financing adaptation action (PDF, 990kb). [10/12/07]
Ceremonies for Morava-Dyje-Danube initiative. The 8th meeting of the trilateral Ramsar Platform for the Transboundary Ramsar Site "Floodplains of the Morava-Dyje-Danube Confluence" was held on November 15th 2007 in Devin, Slovakia. Twenty-six members of the platform - representing the state administration, expert governmental and non-governmental institutions from the Czech Republic, Austria, and Slovakia - took part along with the other invited guests. The meeting was aimed at exchanging news on the present situation and at presenting current common activities on restoration of the area, flood control, etc. The next step, the elaboration of a common management plan, will begin during the next meeting in the Czech Republic in 2008. Alexia Dufour represented the Convention at the ceremonies and provides this illustrated report. [07/12/07]
Assistance opportunity.Integrated management of coastal areas in South West Indian Ocean. The European Commission is launching the first call for proposals of the regional programme for sustainable management of the coastal areas of the south west Indian Ocean. Objectives: To contribute to the reduction of poverty of the people from the coastal areas of the south-west Indian Ocean, by enhancing conservation & promotion of a sustainable management of the marine and coastal resources. Priorities: sustainable management of marine and coastal resources, coastal erosion, management of solid waste, pollution / management of sewage waters, mariculture, coastal ecotourism. Closing date: 21 December 2007. European Commission - Programme Régional de Gestion Durable des zones Côtières des pays de l'Océan Indien. Find the announcement here (PDF). [07/12/07]
Asian Waterbird Census set for 5-20 January 2008. "The Asian Waterbird Census focus on monitoring wetlands and waterbirds in January is the largest biodiversity monitoring programme in the Asia-Pacific region and was initiated in 1987. It has so far covered more than 6,300 wetlands in 27 countries with active support by tens of thousands of volunteers. The AWC 2008 will be carried out from 5 to 20 January 2008, and I would like to call you to active participation in the census. For more information on the AWC visit our website here. Download AWC guidelines and forms here.
"The latest AWC newsletter (No.14, December 2007) is now available and can be downloaded from the Wetlands International website. The newsletter provides an update on the AWC since June 2007, highlights including the launch of the AWC strategy 2007-2015, alarming new figures for coastal waterbirds in Southeast Asia, AWC 2005-2007 results update, news of the AWC in the Asia-Pacific region, announcement of the International Black-faced Spoonbill Census, and a report on the 2nd Meeting of Partners of the East Asian- Australasian Flyway Partnership." -- David Li, AWC International Coordinator, Wetlands International. [07/12/07]
Austria welcomes a Russian wetland expert delegation for a study tour.In November 2007, a delegation of wetland experts from different parts of Russia arrived in Austria for a one-week study tour about wetlands, protected areas, and their management. The delegation was composed of around 20 experts at different levels, from governments, from site managers to NGO experts and from different regions of the Russian Federation, including important wetland areas on the Kamchatka peninsula, central Siberia, and the Volga Delta. Ramsar's Alexia Dufour was there for part of the tour and provides this illustrated report. [06/12/07]
Launch of Local Volunteer Groups for 2008 Ramsar COP10. - The ceremony held on October 27, celebrating Day-365 of the COP in Changwon, the host city. - Volunteers taking roles as nonofficial diplomats in charge of interpretation and guide. The Ministry of Environment and [the province of] Gyeongsangnam-do held the ceremony marking the launch of local volunteer groups for 2008 Ramsar COP10 in Changwon on October 27th, where the 400 volunteers were given letters of appointment. Volunteers will be in charge of providing services in the area of interpretation, accommodation and transportation information, tour guide and etc, to assist the COP participants during their stay. It is also expected that the volunteers will enhance the image of Korea by showing friendliness and hospitality. More details on the Ministry of Environment Web site. [06/12/07]
Announcement. Training Course on MedWet Tools for Wetland Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment. A training course on tools for wetland inventorying, monitoring and assesment is planned to take place on 12-15 December 2007 in Thessaloniki, Greece. Organised by the Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY) the training is addressed to professionals on wetland conservation in the public sector and organisations active in this field. The course is organised in the framework of the INTEREG IIIC project: “MedWet information and knowledge network for the sustainable development of wetland ecosystems (MedWet/CODDE)”. For more details including on the content and programme of the course you can view the leaflet available here and on the MedWet Web site. [04/12/07]
Announcement. Call for Papers.International Conference on "Implementing Environmental Water Allocations", February 2009: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Organized by the Water Research Commission and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa, under the auspices of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS). The Call for Papers-Announcement (in .pdf and .eml formats) - which contains full information on the conference - the Expression of Interest Form - for you to complete and return so that further info can be sent to you - and the Abstract template (in .doc format) can be downloaded from the conference Web site: http://ewa.innercirclestudios.co.za/downloads.html. [03/12/07]
Announcement.Call for expressions of interest: enhancement of the Ramsar Convention Web site. The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands invites relevant organizations to make an Expression of Interest to provide consultancy services for the redevelopment and enhancement of the existing Ramsar Convention Web site. Expressions of Interest should be submitted to the Ramsar Secretariat by 21 December 2007. Information concerning submission of an Expression of Interest is available here. As further background information, the Terms of Reference for the provision of the consultancy services is available here. Please note that at this time an Expression of Interest only is requested, and full tenders against the Terms of Reference are not required. [28/11/07]
Vacancy announcement.Position vacancy at the Ramsar Secretariat.The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is seeking applications for a new position. The post of Project Officer is a full-time P1 (first-level professional) position based at the Secretariat in Gland, Switzerland, and applications are due by 14 December 2007. The full announcement is available here.[28/11/07]
Training course on Management plans for Ramsar Sites in central, southern and eastern Europe. Organized by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation in cooperation with the Ramsar Secretariat, this course took place from 18 to 22 October 2007 at the International Academy for Nature Conservation (INA), situated on the small island of Vilm, located in the shallow Greifswald bay off the German Baltic Sea coast. Participants included 31 project and protected areas managers, civil servants from Ramsar administrative authorities, NGO coordinators, and wetland experts, bringing together a very diverse field of experience and knowledge with regard to wetland management from 19 countries. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé assisted at this course and has provided a more detailed, illustrated report. [23/11/07]
Senior Advisor / Asia-Pacific post deferred. The Ramsar Secretariat is sorry to have to report that the post of Senior Regional Advisor for the Asia-Pacific will remain unfilled for some while longer. The successfully recruited candidate who was announced here on 3 October 2007, and who had signed his contract to join the Secretariat at the beginning of December, has decided to annul that contract and remain with WWF International. A new search for the position will be announced in the coming days. It is important to emphasize, however, that the Asia Regional Meeting in preparation for COP10, set for 14-18 January 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand, will proceed as scheduled and will be led by Mr Anada Tiéga, the Secretary General; Tobias Salathé, the Senior Advisor for Europe; Ms Pragati Tuladhar, Assistant Advisor for the Asia-Pacific; and the Vice-Chair of the STRP, Ms Rebecca D'Cruz, a former Ramsar regional officer for Asia. [21/11/07]
Oceania regional meeting set. Vainuupo Jungblut, the Associate Ramsar Officer based at SPREP in Apia, Samoa, advises that the 4th Oceania Ramsar Regional Meeting for Ramsar COP10 will be held in Apia in March 2008, probably during the second or third week of that month. Further details will follow. [21/11/07]
Ramsar staff member joins Tanzania project. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Europe/Intern Monica Zavagli will be in Tanzania until 8 January 2008 in the Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa Marine Ramsar site to participate in field work activities with WWF and CORDIO (Coral Reef Degradation in the Indian Ocean programme) in the context of an agreement amongst Ramsar and its International Organizations Partners (Bird Life International, IUCN, IWMI, Wetlands International and WWF) to support and encourage their young professionals to gain experience by spending time working side by side with the other partners. The coral reef survey in Mafia and Songosongo Islands is part of a climate change vulnerability assessment of mangroves and associated coral reefs, funded by GEF through WWF. The assessment itself is a component of a broader coastal management programme implemented by WWF, the Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa (RUMAKI) Seascape Programme, which aims to improve the livelihoods of coastal communities, in part by strengthening community involvement in the management of fisheries and other coastal resources. Part of Monica's work will be on her own leave time and part, a secondment from the Secretariat, and during this period she will also assist the government of Tanzania in preparing the logistics for the upcoming Ramsar Advisory Mission to Lake Natron. [20/11/07]
Germany adds its 33rd Ramsar site. The Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, und Reaktorsicherheit has designated the "Bayerische Wildalm" (7 hectares, 47°35'N 011°47'E), effective 9 October 2007, as Germany's next Wetland of International Importance. As Ramsar's Monica Zavagli reports, based on the Ramsar Information Sheet, the small site is an area of remarkable peatland concentration in the southern state of Bavaria which extends across the frontier to the Austrian Ramsar site of the same name. The site is a karst depression, or polje, with a natural brook that vanishes into one big and several small ponors (swallow hole). The bottom of the polje is covered completely by a fen which is hydrologically controlled both by water coming from the sloping fens along the polje slopes and by periodic floods of the brook. The mires show typical features of mire type representative for the Limestone Alps, with many endangered plant species, which form the chief basis for the site's nomination to the List. [19/11/07]
Press release. Wetlands International comments on the Kerch Strait oil spill. "The Black Sea oil spill of last weekend was primarily caused by extreme weather. At the same time, we should be aware that this may be the start of a trend. Oil companies and authorities are working on alternative ways of delivering oil from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan via the Black Sea. Experience around the world shows that in areas where intensive oil production or transport takes place it is very difficult to avoid oil pollution. Annually this leads to the suffering and deaths of millions of birds in coastal areas. The current disaster took place in an area not far from Ramsar Convention Wetlands of International Importance in the Kuban Delta (Russia) and Eastern Sivash (Ukraine). Nearby there are 5 more Ramsar sites along the Ukrainian Sea of Azov coast, all of which are very important for wintering, migratory and breeding waterbirds." Wetlands International's press release. [14/11/07]
"Sharing Knowledge Globally: Wetlands International holds second workshop in Poverty Reduction series. "Wetlands International's Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project has successfully concluded the second week-long workshop for demonstration project participants. The workshop was held in Malawi and attended by 43 people from 12 countries. The first such workshop was held in Kenya in January 2007, the third is planned for Mali in October 2008. These workshops enable people working on the balance between wetland conservation and livelihood development all over the world to build partnerships and share experiences." Read the report of the Malawi workshop on the WI Web site. [14/11/07]
Guinea names two Bafing River Ramsar sites. The government of Guinea has added two further sites to the Ramsar List and now has 16, covering an area of 6,422,361 hectares. Bafing-Falémé (517,300 hectares, 12°00'N 011°30'W) is an extensive area of rolling terrain in Labé region, 800m-1000m altitude, including gallery forest, shrub and wooded savannah, and floodplains, near where the Bafing River descends from the Fouta Djallon massif northward to become the Senegal River in northwestern Mali. The area has an important influence on the hydrology of the Senegal River basin, and it also supports an array of threatened species such as chimpanzees, lions, and vultures. Human uses include agriculture and pastoral pursuits in the floodplain areas. There is presently no management plan for the whole site, but steps are being taken to alleviate threats from unmanaged forestry, brush fires, poaching of protected species and out of season hunting.
Bafing-Source (317,200 hectares, 10°36'N 11°50'W), just north of Mamou, comprises an extended highland area, 800m-1500m altitude, of varied hilly terrain with shrub and wooded savannah, gallery forest, and wet meadow. The site supports a number of threatened species, including the Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus) and the West African Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus). The region is semi-arid, especially during the dry season November to May, and several large and small ponds provide refuge that is vital as the fragmentation of habitats due to demographic pressures has made free movement difficult for many species. Small-scale agriculture and pasturage, as well as fishing and working with wood products, are the chief uses of the site's resources, but unplanned land uses such as deforestation of steep slopes and river banks have had damaging effects, including increased flooding. Increasingly weak and irregular precipitation is seen as one of the principal threats to the character of the site, as well as growing population pressure.
UNEP/AEWA Secretariat re-advertises a vacant consultancy post.Coordinator for the Lesser White-fronted Goose Single Species Action Plan. The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat is again inviting applications for this short-term post (extendable 12 months, funding permitting) to be based in the Agreement's Secretariat in Bonn, Germany. The closing date for submission of applications by interested candidates is 14 December 2007. For more information please go to http://www.unep-aewa.org/news/vacancy_aewa.htm.This post is being kindly sponsored by the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management. [14/11/07]
Togo names two more Ramsar sites. The government of Togo has designated two new Wetlands of International Importance, the large catchment of the Oti-Mandouri River in the north of the country and the entire coastal area in the south. Togo, which joined the Convention in 1995, now has 4 Ramsar sites covering 1,210,400 hectares. According to Ramsar's Evelyn Parh Moloko, based on the data sheets provided by the government, the Bassin versant Oti-Mandouri (425,000 hectares, 10°37'N 000°38'E), a Réserve de Faune in Savanes region, is a complex of several permanent and temporary rivers (including River Oti Mandouri and its tributaries), marshes, gallery forests, tree and shrub savannahs and undergrowth, which confer a habitat for 27 mammal species, 37 known fish species, crustacean, mollusks, birds and reptiles amongst others. Vulnerable species like the Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and African Elephant (Loxodonta africana), in addition to their conservation value, play an important role in the culture of the people. Plant species such as the Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) and a sacred wood species called Togobegue are worshiped by the surrounding populations. The main products presently exploited by the inhabitants include fuel and work wood, bush meat, fish, mollusks and crustaceans, mainly for subsistence but also for sale in neighboring villages. The permanent presence of guards at this site contributes to combating deforestation, illegal hunting and unsustainable exploitation of fish resources. In addition to this, there are sacred forests where the local population carries out community rituals.
The Zones Humides du Littoral du Togo site (591,000 ha, 06°34'N 001°25'E) comprises the entire coastline of Togo and is characterized by natural and artificial mangroves dominated by Rhizophora racemosa and Avicennia germinans species, rivers, lakes, lagoons, marshes, ponds, and a long sandy beach. These different ecosystems of the littoral zone are of great natural biological, ecological and economic value and host a wide variety of bird, mammal, reptile, fish, mollusk and crustacean species. Endangered species found here include marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, Lepidochelys olivacea and Dermochelys coriacea), the African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), hippopotamus, etc. This zone contributes over 85 % of the total annual fish production in Togo and is also important for transportation of people and goods. The site is also exploited for fuel wood, construction wood, mollusks, crustaceans, bush meat and medicinal plants, both for subsistence and commercial purposes. There is presently no management plan for the site, but personnel from the Ministère de l'Environnement et des Ressources Forestières combat unsustainable logging and fishing and illegal hunting. The Ministry has also produced a strategy for wetland management, with an emphasis on mangroves, which should lead to the preparation of an action plan.
Annulment of decisions for building near Ramsar site on Bonaire was justified. On 11 September 2007 Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signed a royal decree rejecting the appeal by the Government of Bonaire against the annulment by the Governor-General of the Netherlands Antilles of the decisions by the Government of Bonaire to approve a resort to be built immediately adjacent to the mangroves of "Het Lac", a Ramsar site since 1980 (nr 199). Eric C. Newton of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Development describes the case and notes that "one interesting position of the [Netherlands] Council of State was that resolutions, decisions and guidelines accepted unanimously by the Conference of Parties to the Convention, a body established by the Convention and which includes representation by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, should be considered part of the obligations under the Convention." Read his brief report here. [12/11/07]
Reminder.Mangrove restoration workshop in USA. "Just a reminder that the sixth annual workshop on "Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration" will be held on March 3-6, 2008, in Hollywood, Florida, USA. Details at www.mangroverestoration.com. Registration closes December 31, 2007." -- Roy R. "Robin" Lewis III. [13/11/07]
Wetland conservation network for the Yangtze River. The first Wetland Conservation Network along the Central and Lower Yangtze River was established on November 3 2007 with a memorandum of cooperation endorsed by 20 wetland reserves to tackle the climate change across the region. The Secretary General of Ramsar Convention, Mr Anada Tiega, and more than 100 delegates from forestry bureaus at different levels as well as twenty nature reserves of the region attended this significant event in Chongming, Shanghai. Here is a press release, with two photos, from the WWF Wuhan office. [09/11/07].
Now available.Ramsar Technical Report on low-cost GIS in Spanish. The Spanish version of the Ramsar publication Low-cost GIS software and data for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring, by John Lowry (2006), is now available in Spanish in the form of a 1.5mb PDF: La utilización de programas y datos de SIG de bajo costo para el inventario, la evaluación y el monitoreo de humedales. [09/11/07]
Two Polish sites removed from Montreux Record. Poland has completed the formalities for the removal of its two Ramsar sites that have been on the Montreux Record of sites "where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur" for quite a few years. According to documentation provided by the Administrative Authority in the Ministry of Environment, managers at Lake of Seven Islands Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody "Jezioro Siedmiu Wysp") and Warta River Mouth National Park (Park Narodowy "Ujscie Warty") have made substantial progress in resolving the problems for which the sites were added to the Record in 1990 and 1993 respectively, and after consultations with the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) they have been removed from the Record as of 5 November 2007. Ramsar's Monica Zavagli provides the details and background. [07/11/07]
News from Wetlands for the Future.Wetlands for the Future Project enhances the importance of coastal Patagonian wetlands for migratory birds. The Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to present the results of the project “Importance of coastal Patagonian wetlands as critical areas for the survival of coastal birds. Towards a strong awareness raising action for communities, governmental and intermediate entities” (WFF/04/AR/4), coordinated by Dr. Luis Bala from the National Patagonian Center. The project has stressed the critical roll that coastal Patagonian wetlands play for the survival of coastal migratory birds and has achieved a significant raise in the awareness of functionaries, professionals, NGOs and public in general about the importance of the conservation and wise use of this ecosystems. If you would like to read more about it, we invite you to visit the Web page of the project: http://www.humedalesdelsur.com.ar. Information available in Spanish only. [08/11/07]
Proyecto del Fondo de Humedales para el Futuro destaca la importancia de los humedales patagónicos para las aves migratorias. La Secretaría de Ramsar se complace en dar a conocer los resultados del proyecto “Importancia de los humedales costeros patagónicos como sitios críticos para la supervivencia de aves playeras. Hacia una fuerte acción concientizadora dirigida a la comunidad y entidades gubernamentales e intermedias” (WFF/04/AR/4) a cargo del Dr. Luis Bala del Centro Nacional Patagónico. El proyecto ha destacado el papel crítico que desempeñan los humedales costeros patagónicos para la supervivencia de aves playeras migratorias y ha logrado elevar significativamente la conciencia de funcionarios, profesionales, ONG y público en general sobre la importancia de conservar y manejar racionalmente estos ecosistemas. Si desea obtener mayor información, le invitamos a visitar la página de Internet de este proyecto http://www.humedalesdelsur.com.ar.
Progress with the 2006-2008 work of the Convention's Scientific & Technical Review Panel. The Secretariat and STRP have recently compiled a summary of the progress and anticipated products during this triennium being pursued under the Panel's 2006-2008 Work Plan. This indicates the substantive amount of work currently being undertaken by the Panel, and also provides a list of anticipated products and documents that will be produced by the Panel for COP10 consideration and through other processes. The Panel will meet for its 14th session between 28 January and 1 February 2008 at the Secretariat headquarters in Gland to further review and finalise the drafting of its outputs. The provisional Agenda for this meeting has now been issued. Progress will be further reported by the STRP Chair to the 36th meeting of the Standing Committee in February 2008. STRP progress report, September 2007 (PDF). -- Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General. [08/11/07]
Call for nominations.AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award. The AEWA Secretariat is glad to announce call for nominations for the AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award 2008. For more information please visit the AEWA web site at: http://www.unep-aewa.org/news/news_elements/2007/aewa_award_2008.htm. -- Sergey Dereliev, Technical Officer, UNEP/AEWA Secretariat, African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement, UN Campus, Bonn. [08/11/07]
Tunisia names 19 new Ramsar sites. The government of Tunisia, which joined the Ramsar Convention in 1981, has designated 19 new Wetlands of International Importance, which will be celebrated tomorrow, 7 November 2007, as part of national commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of the present government. Tunisia now has 20 Ramsar sites, covering an area of 726,541 hectares. Michael Smart, who assisted the authorities of the Direction Générale des Forêts in compiling the requisite data for the new sites, emphasizes that "there is a very wide spread of sites all over the territory of the country, and the regional authorities have been much involved in site selection and the preparation of documentation". He notes: "There is also a very wide variety of wetland types, from peatbogs in the north like Dar Fatma and Mejen Ech Chitan (how many people knew there were peat bogs in North Africa?); to a major delta, the Mejerdah; to coastal lagoons like Korba; to typical North African salt depressions on the desert edge like Kelbia, Noual and Sidi Mansour, not forgetting the biggest one of them all, Chott El Jerid; to karstic wetlands like Ain Dahab; to oasis wetlands, the Kebili group; artificial wetlands like the Thyna saltpans and the Lebna water reservoir; and finally a major group of tidal sites. I would give a special word to the tidal sites, which are extremely rare in the Mediterranean and very important for their birds, fish and shellfish: they include Kneiss Islands (probably the most important tidal site in the whole of the Mediterranean), the three Djerba sites, and Bahiret el Bibane." Brief site descriptions and some photographs can be seen here.
The preparations for the new designations have been materially assisted by WWF International's Global Freshwater Programme and WWF's Mediterranean Programme Office (MedPO), with generous support from the MAVA Foundation. The Ramsar Secretariat warmly congratulates the government of Tunisia and all involved in this significant step forward. [06/11/07]
Vacancy announcement.UNECE Water Convention. The Secretariat of the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (the "Water Convention") at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva, Switzerland, is seeking an Environmental Affairs Officer. The announcement can be seen here, and the deadline for applications is 3 December 2007. [07/11/07]
Now available.Standing Committee 36 draft agenda. The draft agenda for the 36th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee, set for 25-29 February 2008 at the Secretariat's facilities in Gland, Switzerland, is now available in English, French, and Spanish. [06/11/07]
News from Wetlands for the Future. Participatory Management in the Caribbean.Participatory Wetlands Management in the Caribbean is a key output of a Ramsar Wetlands for the Future project carried out by CANARI, the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute. Published as Policy Brief No 9, this attractive document summarises the key findings of a project that looked at the policies and institutions for wetlands management in Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad & Tobago. Through desk studies and a number of workshops, the project assessed the actual and potential contribution of the Ramsar Convention in facilitating participatory approaches to an integrated management of wetlands in the three countries. The project concluded with a regional workshop for natural resource managers from the three project countries as well as from Dominica, St Kitts & Nevis, and St Vincent & the Grenadines on Polices and Institutions for Participatory Wetlands Management: Lessons from implementation of the Ramsar Convention in the insular Caribbean. The policy brief can be downloaded in PDF format from http://www.canari.org/policybrief9.pdf. [05/11/07]
La obra La gestión participativa de los humedales del Caribe es un producto de gran importancia del proyecto Humedales para el Futuro que ejecutó CANARI, el Instituto de Recursos Naturales del Caribe. Publicado en forma de Nota Informativa sobre Políticas Nº 9, este documento resume las principales conclusiones de un proyecto que sometió a análisis las políticas y las instituciones que guardan relación con la ordenación de los humedales en Jamaica, Santa Lucía y Trinidad y Tobago. Mediante estudios teóricos y varios talleres prácticos, en el proyecto se evaluó la contribución, real y en potencia, de la Convención de Ramsar en lo referente a facilitar enfoques participativos de una ordenación integrada de los humedales en esos tres países. El proyecto concluyó con un taller regional de creación de capacidades destinado a administradores de recursos naturales de los tres países abarcados por el proyecto y de Dominica, San Kitts y Nevis y San Vicente y las Granadinas, cuyo tema fue Políticas e instituciones en materia de ordenación en participación de los humedales: Enseñanzas de la aplicación de la Convención de Ramsar en el Caribe insular. Pueden descargar la nota Informativa en formato PDF en: http://www.canari.org/pautas9.pdf.
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 ).