The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 2 April 2007

Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.

Central Posavina Stakeholder Committee for River Basin Management. The 17th anniversary of the publication of the decree which created Croatia's Lonjkso Polje Nature Park and Ramsar site, on 20 March 2007, was the occasion to launch the Ramsar Handbook on "River basin management" in a bilingual Croatian-English version. Assistant Minister Zoran Šikic presented this tool to the 46 participants in the meeting of the Central Posavina Stakeholder Committee for River Basin Management, underlining that "this was an important step in nature conservation policy". They gathered in the newly restored seminar house of the Nature Park in the traditional village Krapje along the flood banks of the Sava river. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé explains the background and demonstrates why "this participatory process, started in the Central Posavina region, should become a model for the entire Sava river basin". [02/04/07]


Guatemala names 7th Ramsar site. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the government of Guatemala has designated its seventh Wetland of International Importance, as of World Water Day, 22 March 2007. According to the summary of the Ramsar Information Sheet data prepared by Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for the Americas, Ms Mila Llorens, the Reserva de Usos Múltiples Río Sarstún (35,202 hectares, 15°51'N 088°58'W) is part of the Guatemalan System of Protected Areas and is located along the southern border with Belize, adjacent to the Amatique Bay. The reserve is formed by a series of wetlands, ranging from continental and coastal to artificial. It has a transboundary character, since it acts as a buffer zone for the wetland of the Sarstoon-Temash Ramsar site in Belize. It is an important stop-over and breeding site for migratory waterbirds, including several flagship species. It also assists in the regulation of the local microclimate and promotes other hydrological processes, including aquifer recharge. It possesses the remains of the Caribbean Biological Corridor ecosystems and karstic wetlands that have unique characteristics. Endangered species such as the manatee (Trichechus manatus), the river turtle (Dermatemys mawii), the tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and the howler monkey (Allouata pigra) are present in the site. The main habitat type is predominantly mangrove forests, including white, red, and black mangrove, forming the second largest system of mangroves in the Caribbean coast of Guatemala. Negative factors affecting the site are the exploitation of precious woods, hunting, agriculture and livestock grazing.

Guatemala now has seven Ramsar sites covering a surface area of 628,592 hectares - the Convention's 154 Parties now have 1,651 sites covering 149,681,555 hectares. [27/03/07]


Message for World Water Day. The 22nd of March is the UN's World Water Day, with the theme of "Coping with scarcity", and Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater, has a message for the wetlands public on this occasion, stressing the interrelationships between the importance of water for people and for wetlands. "In joining with other actors in celebrating World Water Day 2007," he says, "let us make sure the consequences of shortage and scarcity for wetlands are given prominence alongside scarcity for people." Here is his brief message. [21/03/07]


Documental: Corredor de Vida. El documental "Corredor de Vida" (WFF/03/UY/1) es una herramienta audiovisual creada por ECOVIVIR Productora y organizaciones asociadas para dar a conocer a la población algunos de los principales humedales de Sudamérica, haciendo énfasis en un corredor que comparten Paraguay, Argentina y Uruguay. El principal objetivo del proyecto fue promover una mayor conciencia sobre los valores e importancia de estos ecosistemas, y la necesidad de utilizarlos en forma racional. Como parte de la estrategia de difusión del documental éste fue difundido por canales de televisión en varios países durante la celebración del Día Mundial de los Humedales el 2 de febrero de 2004, y también se ha empezado a difundir en instituciones educativas. [15/03/07]

The documentary Corredor de Vida: Lifeline (WFF/03/UY/1) is a tool created by ECOVIVIR Productions (Uruguay) in collaboration with other organizations to raise awareness of the importance and values of wetland ecosystems in South America, and the need to use them wisely. To do this, Lifeline illustrated a transboundary wetland extending over Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, highlighting their interconnectedness. The documentary has been shown in several television channels in all three countries and was broadcast on the 2nd of February, 2004 to celebrate World Wetlands Day in the region. It has subsequently received several prizes.


Launch of Waterbirds Around the World. A major new publication on the status of the world's waterbirds was welcomed today by Ramsar's Deputy Secretary General Dr Nick Davidson at its launch by the Dutch and UK Environment Ministers in The Hague, Netherlands. The work to publish Waterbirds around the world commenced at the Global Flyways Conference in Edinburgh in April 2004. It is a landmark assessment: comprising 264 papers and reviews relating to 614 waterbird species from 162 countries. It has new data on 170 globally and near-threatened species and their habitats. Its 960 pages contain the work of 452 authors from 59 countries, and gives a telling insight into the current status of the world's waterbirds. More details are here, and today's press release from the JNCC, Scottish Natural Heritage, and Wetlands International is here. [12/03/07]


Four new Ramsar sites in Italy. The Ramsar Secretariat is delighted to announce that the Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare in Italy has designated four new Wetlands of International Importance, effective as of 13 December 2006. All of them are quite small, but all are extremely important for migratory and other birds and for a number of other rare and threatened species - indeed, all four are Sites of Community Importance under the EU Habitats Directive and BirdLife International "Important Bird Areas". Lago di San Giuliano (2,118 hectares) and Pantano di Pignola(172 ha) are both in the southern region of Basilicata, and Oasi del Sele-Serre Persano (174 ha) and Oasi di Castelvolturno o Variconi (195 ha) in Campania, also in the south. All are part of WWF Italy's Oasis and Reserves system and thus benefit from a number of educational, scientific, and restoration initiatives in collaboration with local authorities.

Italy now has 50 Ramsar sites (more than all but United Kingom, Mexico, Australia, and Sweden), covering a surface area of 59,796 hectares. The Convention now has 1,650 sites covering 149,646,353 hectares. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Europe, Monica Zavagli, has prepared brief descriptionsof the new sites for the Annotated Ramsar List, accompanied by some photos provided by the Ministry. [09/03/07]

Zambia names four new sites and two significant extensions. The Zambia Wildlife Authority has used the occasion of World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2007, to designate four large and rich new sites for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, and to extend very significantly the areas of two more. All six sites are all or mostly parts of National Parks and Game Management Areas, and all are home to an incredible array of mammals, birds, and fish, many of them rare or vulnerable and many of them endemic. The four new Ramsar sites are Busanga Swamps (200,000 hectares, 14°05'S 025°47'E) in Northwestern Province; Luangwa Flood Plains (250,000 ha, 12°40'S 032°02'E) in Eastern Province; Mweru wa Ntipa (490,000 ha, 08°52'S 029°47'E), the lake of that name and surrounding flat wetland plains in Northern Province; and the Zambezi Floodplains (900,000 ha, 15°15'S 023°15'E) along the Zambezi River in Western Province, the second largest wetland in the country. In addition, Zambia has extended the areas of the Bangweulu Swamps and Kafue Flats Ramsar sites, both designated in 1991, to 1,100,000 and 600,500 hectares respectively. The WWF Global Freshwater Programme and WWF-Zambia were extremely helpful to the government of Zambia in the preparation of the data for these new designations and site extensions.

Zambia now has seven Ramsar sites covering a surface area of 3,800,500 hectares - the Convention has 154 Parties with 1646 Ramsar sites covering 149,642, 043 hectares. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Africa,Evelyn Parh Moloko, has prepared brief descriptions of the new sites for the Annotated Ramsar List. Some photos are also available here. [08/03/07]


Bosnia & Herzegovina names second Ramsar site. The Secretariat is pleased to report that, as of World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2007, Bosnia and Herzegovina has added its second Wetland of International Importance to the Ramsar List. Bardaca Wetland (Bardaca-mocvarni kompleks) (3,500 hectares, 45°06'N 017°27'E) is an Important Bird Area situated in the floodplain of the Sava River near the border with Croatia, and about half of the Ramsar site comprises fishponds constructed since the early 20th century and further enlarged in the 1960s for irrigation purposes. The ponds, floodplain forest, meadow and swamp areas support a range of endangered species and make an important nesting and stopover site for birds. There is a rich fish fauna (e.g., Gymnocephalus schraetzer, Zingel streber) and a range of amphibians such as Salamandra salamandra, Rana dalmatina, and the pond tortoise Emys orbicularis. The hydrological regime has been interrupted by the construction of channels, pump stations, and damming of nearby streams, but presently pressure comes from permanent, intensive agricultural practices such as intensive pasturing and unwise use of fertilizers and pesticides. Aquaculture and fish production remain a primary economic pursuit. With assistance from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund, a management plan is currently under development. [02/03/07]


Transboundary Ramsar Site for Hungary and Slovakia. With a letter dated World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2007, Jozef Kramárik, General Director, Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic, and László Haraszthy, State Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Water, Hungary, have designated two existing Ramsar sites as a Transboundary Ramsar Site, "in order to facilitate harmonising the management of this shared wetland". The Ramsar sites in question are Ipoly Valley (Ipoly-völgy), the Hungarian part, Ramsar site no. 1093, and Poiplie, the Slovak part, Ramsar site no. 930. The writers note: "We hope that this effective and fruitful cooperation between Slovakia and Hungary in the field of nature conservation will be appreciated by the international community." The notification is here in PDF. [28/02/07]


President of Mexico announces ‘Commitments to Conservation’. On the 24 February 2007 the recently elected president Felipe Calderón announced a series of conservation initiatives to extend and strengthen the existing network of Natural Protected Areas in the country, significantly increasing the budget to that end. The announcement included Mexico’s Conservation Strategy 2007-2012; a decree to protect over 4,000 ha of mangroves near Cancún; and another one to restore the hydrology of and prevent the further extraction of groundwater from the Cuatrociénegas Ramsar site (no.734) in Coahuila. Further information is available (in Spanish) here. [27/02/07]

El Presidente de México anuncia ‘Compromisos por la Conservación’. El 24 de febrero de 2007 el recientemente electo presidente Felipe Calderón anunció una serie de iniciativas de conservación para extender y fortalecer la red de Áreas Naturales Protegidas existente en el país, incrementando su presupuesto significativamente. El anuncio coincidió con la puesta en marcha de la Estrategia de Conservación 2007 – 2012, además de incluir un decreto para la protección de más de 4,000 ha de manglares cerca de Cancún, y la aplicación de medidas para restaurar la hidrología (y detener la extracción de agua) del “Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Cuatrociénegas” en Coahuila, sitio Ramsar no. 734. Más información aquí.


Mali's National Ramsar Committee. By an interministerial decree of 29 December 2006, the government of Mali established its National Ramsar Committee to oversee Ramsar implementation and wetland conservation issues in the country, comprising senior representatives of a number of government ministries as well as university professors, NGOs, and representatives of the Wetlands International and IUCN offices. Ramsar's Abou Bamba provides further details of the make-up and mission of the new NRC, with a link to the text of the decree in French (PDF). [27/02/07]


Report of the 4th meeting of the Himalayan High Altitude Wetlands Forum. The Regional Initiative on High Altitude Wetlands of Himalaya, led by WWF and Ramsar, aims to foster regional cooperation for the long-term conservation of these wetlands. Regional workshops provide opportunities for representatives of the national governments, scientists and NGOs to achieve conservation results at ecoregion scale. There have been three such workshops already, in Urumqi, China, in 2002; in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2003; and in Sanya, China, in 2004. The fourth meeting of the Forum, "Capacity building for high altitude wetlands conservation and management", was held in New Delhi, India, 27-29 June 2006, with 44 participants from Bangladesh, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan and Tajikistan, as well as the Ramsar Secretariat and the international organizations IUCN, Wetlands International, WWF and ICIMOD. The participants thank the government of India and WWF India for hosting and organizing the workshop, and expressed their gratitude to WWF International and Danone Evian Group for financial support to the workshop. Here are the comprehensive report (PDF) and the conclusions and recommendations of the meeting. [22/02/07]

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