The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 27 June 2008
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Caution about new Ramsar sites for COP10. Parties that are planning to designate new Wetlands of International Importance for announcement at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Changwon, Republic of Korea, 28 October – 4 November 2008) should make a point of completing and submitting their site designation paperwork well in advance of the COP. Here's why. [27/06/08]
Republic of Korea names intertidal flats.The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Korea, host country for the next meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Changwon, 28 October-4 November 2008), has designated an important wintering stop for migratory birds along the East Asian-Australasian flyway. As summarized by Ramsar’s Pragati Tuladhar, based on the Ramsar Information Sheet, Muan Tidal Flat (3,589 hectares, 35°06’N 126°23’E), a Wetland Protected Area, is an intertidal sand- and mudflat ecosystem, largely free of human disturbance, on the coastline of the Yellow Sea, located in the mouth of semi-enclosed inner bay. Some 49 species of winter waterbirds have been observed, and the site provides habitat to various endangered and rare species such Saunder’s Gull (Larus saundersi), Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) and Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes). It is a notable spawning ground for marine organisms, with some 357 species recorded, providing valuable food resources for the migratory birds. A ‘reclamation’ with small-scale sea dyke constructions was carried out for the development of Woldoo village fishing port, but detrimental effects have not appeared so far. A comprehensive management plan has been in effect since 2002, implemented by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF), and a number of monitoring programmes are continuing. [26/06/08]
Small change in the Ramsar List.Austria remeasures key Danube site. Austria has recalculated the area, using GIS techniques, of the Donau-March-Thaya-Auen Ramsar site, resulting in an area of 36,090 hectares instead of the former estimate of 38,500. The site, now renamed by the addition of "Thaya", is part of the "Trilateral Ramsar Site Floodplains of the Morava-Dyje-Danube Confluence" Transboundary Ramsar site with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Austria now has 19 Ramsar sites covering 119,962 hectares. [26/06/08]
Serbia names riverine Ramsar site. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Republic of Serbia has designated its 9th Wetland of International Importance. As described by Monica Zavagli, based on the Ramsar Information Sheet, Zasavica (1,913 hectares, 44°56’N 019°32’E) is a Special Nature Reserve and BirdLife IBA located in northern Macva, a riverine ecosystem that dominates the area south of the river Sava, with the rivulet Zasavica and its tributary the Batar, for a total length of 33 km. Aquatic and swampy ecosystems line up along with fragments of floodable meadows and forests representing one of the last preserved pristine swamp areas in Serbia.
The natural conditions are favorable for many rare plant and animal species, such as greater spearwort (Ranunculus lingua), water violet (Hottonia palustris), marsh nettle (Urtica kioviensis), freshwater sponge (Spongilla lacustris), a rare species of oligochaete (Rynchelmnis limnosela), Danube crested newt (Triturus dobrogicus), ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca) as well as otter (Lutra lutra) and beaver (Castor fiber). It is also the only habitat of the mudminnow, Umbra krameri, in Serbia. Traditional grazing and cattle breeding, particularly of autochthonous races, along with the several centuries’ long usage of the area, supports the maintenance of grassland habitats within the Reserve. Zasavica has inspired many legends and myths, and it is woven into the cultural being of the people. Some photographs of the site can be seen here. [25/06/08]
Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General, is in Montreal, Canada, 24-27 June 2008 to participate in a Technical Partnership meeting of the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP) GEF project, and for meetings with colleagues in the CBD Secretariat in follow-up to recent decisions of CBD COP9. [24/06/08]
María Rivera and Mila Llorens, Senior and Assistant Regional Advisors for the Americas, are presently in Bogota, Colombia (23-28 June 2008) for the 5th Workshop on the Strategy for the Conservation and Wise Use of High Andean Wetlands. [24/06/08]
Wings Over Wetlands training workshop in Jordan. The Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project set out in 2006 with the broad aim to improve and conserve healthy and viable populations of African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds through identifying and conserving critical wetland areas and building local professional capacity. Funded largely by UNDP-GEF, the project lead implementers include Wetlands International and BirdLife International and it operates in close coordination with the Secretariats of Ramsar and UNEP/AEWA as well as UNEP-WCMC. A workshop held in Amman, Jordan, 9-16 June 2008, was the near-final step in the development of the Training and Awareness component of the WOW project, and Sandra Hails has prepared this illustrated report. [25/06/08]
First meeting of Ramsar site managers in Switzerland. On 15 March 2008, the Fondation des Grangettes (managing Ramsar site N° 504 Les Grangettes on Lake Geneva) hosted a meeting of Ramsar site managers in Switzerland and nearby France in the small town of Villeneuve at the edge of the Ramsar site. This was a first and very successful event, based on the reflections of the Swiss Ramsar Administrative Authority (the Federal Office of the Environment) about practical ways to improve Ramsar contacts at national level. [23/06/08]
USA adds 24th Ramsar site. The Secretariat is delighted to announce that the well-known Olentangy research wetland in the US state of Ohio has been designated by the United States as its 24th Wetland of International Importance, effective 18 April 2008. As described by Ramsar’s Mila Llorens, based on the exemplary Ramsar Information Sheet, Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park(21 hectares, 40º01’N 083º01’W) is a complex of created and natural freshwater riverine wetlands located on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The wetlands include freshwater, tree-dominated wetlands, permanent rivers/streams/creeks, seasonal/intermittent freshwater marshes, and permanent freshwater marshes. It is a unique combination of 1) a biologically diverse assemblage of different wetland and riverine habitats both representative and unique to the region; 2) high-quality university teaching, research, and publishing related specifically to wetland ecology and management; and 3) significant wetland ecotourism and outreach for an urban community where few wetlands remain.
As a result of wetland creation, restoration, and sound management, the ORWRP has developed into a diverse set of habitats and vegetated ecosystems comparable to any similar-sized temperate zone wetland. The site has supported almost 160 bird species, diverse fish and invertebrate communities in the river and marshes, and a wide variety of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, all in an urban region of 1.6 million people. The ORWRP is one of only two wetland research facilities in the USA in the Global Wetland Consortium (GWC). The Olentangy park Web site is presently featuring the new Ramsar site certificate on its front page (http://swamp.osu.edu). [20/06/08]
Ramsar COP10 pre-registration is open. Basic information sheets on the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties are now being mailed out to the Parties and are available on the Ramsar Web site in English, French, and Spanish – these cover a summary of all key topics and sheets on travel within Korea, accommodations, visa information, side events, exhibitions, excursions, and a special exhibition of children’s artworks. All of these are now going out to the Administrative Authorities (Ramsar national focal points) in the Parties by normal post as well.
An on-line pre-registration facility is available, also in English, French, and Spanish – Adminstrative Authorities have been sent a password that will allow them to pre-register directly, which should arrive in the post within a week from now, and all others have the opportunity to submit a request form to be given a password. Observers from recognized organizations working in the field of the conservation and wise use of wetlands are normally welcome at the COP and will be confirmed by our regional staff after their requests have been received.
Much of the COP agenda documentation, especially the draft Resolutions, will begin appearing on the site as well within the next week or so. National Reports submitted to the COP by the Parties and the results of the regional COP preparatory meetings are also available in the same place. Go here: [20/06/08]
Now available.6th European Ramsar Meeting. The 6th European Ramsar Meeting was hosted by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in Stockholm, Sweden, 3-7 May 2008. It provided a great opportunity to actively discuss the new millennium challenges for wetland conservation, look into operational procedures of the Convention, and prepare for the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10), to be held in Changwon on 28 October-4 November 2008. It was attended by 109 participants representing 37 Contracting Parties in the European Region, six intergovernmental organizations, three of Ramsar’s five International Organization Partners, seven other organizations, and two invited Ramsar experts. The final report is now ready and available (PDF), together with the final list of participants, agenda, supporting documents and and a page of photographs right here. [19/06/08]
WHSRN News. Pablo Canevari Award 2008. “Every 2 years, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences presents an individual or organization from Latin America with the Pablo Canevari Award for their outstanding commitment to shorebird conservation. The Award honors the memory of Pablo Canevari, an extraordinary conservationist and the first Director of WHSRN, who died suddenly in March 2000. Please join us in congratulating Asociación Calidris as the 2008 recipient of the Pablo Canevari Award! Formed in 1989 by students at the Universidad de Valle in Cali, Colombia, Asociación Calidris has become a highly respected Latin American leader in avian conservation and research. For more information about the recipient and this Award, please see the full announcement by Manomet here.¡Felicitaciones a nuestros amigos en la Asociación Calidris!” -- Meredith Gutowski, Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Manomet, Mass., USA. [19/06/08]
Now available. Results of SC37. The Ramsar Standing Committee held its 37th meeting from 2 to 6 June 2008, and the report of the meeting (in English) and the 45 decisions themselves (in English, French, and Spanish versions), as well as participants' lists and contacts (and, later, photographs) are all ready now for an impatient public. [18/06/08]
Training opportunity. Student training at Tour du Valat / Stage à la Tour du Valat (Camargue). "Dear colleagues, Tour du Valat is seeking a student who wishes to undertake a 4-6 month training period in the Camargue to carry out a study on the "Pan-Mediterranean Wetland Inventory and Database" (see attached Terms of Reference), as part of the project "Observatory of Mediterranean wetlands". Good working level of languages English and French are a pre-requisite. Please notice that the deadline for submission of CVs and letters of motivation is 30 June. Thanks for disseminating it to potential candidates. Best regards, Pere" -- Pere TOMAS-VIVES, Project Leader / Chef de projet, TOUR DU VALAT, Research Center for the Conservation of Mediterranean Wetlands / Centre de recherche pour la conservation des zones humides méditerranéennes email@example.com / www.tourduvalat.org. [18/06/08]
From the Ramsar Forum. Airport development and wetlands. “Dear Forum friends / estimados miembros del Foro, I´m looking for information on the effects of airport development in the vicinity of wetlands and specifically mangrove forests. Anything on the construction itself, development of the surrounding/associated infrastructure, diversion of flows to the wetland, contamination risks, effects of noise and flight patterns on migratory species routes, etc. Case studies from the Americas or the tropics in general would be most useful. Maybe there are some experiences in Asia related to mangroves?"
"Busco información sobre los efectos del desarrollo aeroportuario en la vecindad de humedales, específicamente bosques de manglar. Cualquier cosa relacionada a la construcción en sí, el desarrollo de infraestructura en sitio y asociada al aeropuerto, interrupción de caudales ambientales, riesgos de contaminación, efectos del ruido y rutas de vuelo sobre rutas de especies migratorias, etc. Estudios de caso de las Americas o del trópico en general serían de mayor utilidad. Asimismo, si existen experiencias en Asia relacionadas a manglares." Best regards/cordiales saludos, Julio Montes de Oca Lugo, Oficial, Unidad de Gestión del Agua, Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, Oficina Regional para Mesoamérica (UICN-ORMA), Moravia, Costa Rica, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. [17/06/08]
Desertification. Today, 17 June, is World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD), and this year’s theme is Combating Land Degradation for Sustainable Agriculture. Here is a Message from Mr. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). [17/06/08]
Announcement. El V Taller de la Estrategia Regional de Conservación y Uso Sustentable de Humedales Altoandinos organizado por el Gobierno de Colombia a través del Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial y la Secretaria de Ramsar (Ramsar, Irán, 1971) tendrá lugar del 25-27 de Junio en Bogotá, Colombia. El taller tiene como objetivo presentar las prioridades para financiación en el marco de su Plan de Acción, hacer el lanzamiento de su publicación, video clip y definir los preparativos para su presentación en el marco de la décima Conferencia de las Partes Contratantes, que se llevará a cabo en Changwon, República de Corea, del 28 de octubre al 4 de noviembre de 2008. Formato de registro.
The V Workshop of the Regional Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of High Andean Wetlands, organized by the Colombian Government, through the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development, and the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) will be held in Bogotá, Colombia from 25-27 June 2008. The main objective of the V Workshop is to present the financial priorities in its Action Plan for implementation, launch its publication and make the preparations for its presentation in the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, from the 28th of October to the 4th of November. Registration Form. [16/06/08]
MedWet news. MedWet Project Dialogue on water in the MENA region. A mission was undertaken by MedWet Policy Advisor Nejib Benessaiah to Menasra, Morroco, on 13-19 April 2008 in the framework of the MedWet project Dialogue on water governance in agriculture and the interaction with wetlands. During the mission, the Menasra Agreement and Action Plan were amended according to comments provided by the team working to moderate the process of the dialogue-- in an upcoming national meeting of the Menasra dialogue an Agreement will be signed representing the key stakeholders in the management of the basin. The operation of the Menasra Agreement is also expected to support efforts for the conservation of the nearby Ramsar site of Merja Zerga. Further details are provided by MedWet Policy Advisor Nejib Benessaiah. [13/06/08]
Vacancy announcements. HOORC Centre, Botswana. Applications are invited for the following academic positions at the Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre (HOORC). The Research Centre is based in Maun in the Northwestern part of Botswana and specializes in natural resources management, sustainable natural resource use and conservation in the world famous Okavango Delta and the Kgalagadi (Kalahari) region. Announcement of eleven positions (PDF). [13/06/08]
News from the SGF. Moldova completes Unguri-Holosnita project. Moldova's Small Grants Fund Project on “Management Scenario Development for the Unguri – Holosnita Ramsar Site and Awareness Rising on the Ramsar Convention Wise Use Policy” has been successfully concluded. The one-year cycle SGF project, carried out by BIOTICA Ecological Society in close cooperation with the National Focal Point for the Ramsar Convention at the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, was successfully concluded a few months ago. The project aimed at developing a management plan and implementing the wise use approach in the Unguri-Holosnita Ramsar Site, located on the left bank of the Dniester River in northeastern Moldova near the border with Ukraine. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Europe, Monica Zavagli, provides further details and photos. [12/06/08]
ICIMOD news. Eco Everest Expedition. The Eco Everest Expedition 2008, which started in early April, has now concluded. We were thrilled to hear that Dawa Steven Sherpa, the Expedition leader, and three fellow climbers -- David Liano from Mexico, and Walter Laserer and Helmut Linzbichler from Austria -- successfully reached the summit of Mt. Everest on 26 May, where they held up the ICIMOD 25th Anniversary flag. The expedition, one of the flagship events of ICIMOD 25th Anniversary celebrations, carried a special message of drawing global attention on the impacts of climate change in the Himalayas. It included a cleaning campaign in the Mount Everest area, testing of eco-friendly equipment and technologies, and awareness raising of local communities on the potential impacts of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) and the need for early warning systems. Equally important were the two scientific expeditions by the ICIMOD team, organised in parallelwith the Eco Everest Expedition, to Dig-Tsho GlacialLake and Imja-Tsho Glacier. Details are posted at <www.ecoeverest.net.np>. We congratulate all of the team members on their achievements." -- Nira Gurung. [12/06/08]
Position announcement. WI Senegal seeks Project Development Associate. Termes de référence attachés/ Terms of references attached. Priére d'envoyer / Please send : CV et Lettre de Motivation / Resume & Motivation Letter. A/TO: email@example.com Avant le/Before le 4 juillet/4 July 2008. [12/06/08]
Deadline extended. International Conference on Water Resources Policy in South Asia. 2nd Announcement and Call for Papers -- Deadline Extended to 15th June 2008. SaciWATERs announces its first International Conference on Water Resources Policy in South Asia, to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, during December 18-20, 2008. The conference is organised as part of the regional capacity building project Crossing Boundaries. The conference will bring together regional and international water professionals, academics, policy makers, activists, politicians and others involved and interested in South Asian water resources issues. As part of the ongoing water resources policy dialogue, the conference aims to enhance the understanding of water resources governance, its management and use in the region by critically assessing the agenda for reform. Original announcement (PDF). [12/06/08]
Ramsar Standing Committee 37. The 37th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee passed successfully in the week of 2-6 June 2008 in Gland, Switzerland. Some 80 participants including SC members and observer Parties debated and reached 44 decisions, including amendments to and approval for forwarding for COP10 consideration some 32 draft Resolutions on a wide array of administrative and scientific/technical matters. The report of the meeting will be available in English in a few days’ time, and the Decisions themselves will be available in English, French, and Spanish not long after that. [10/06/08]
Deadline looming. National Reports from the Ramsar Parties. Friday, 13 June 2008, is the last day for submission of the Parties' National Reports for the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in order to have them included in the global and regional analyses of Convention implementation that will be presented to the COP -- the analysis begins on Monday, the 16th. Any National Reports received after 13 June can be posted on the Web in a special category but cannot be accounted for in COP10 analyses and discussions. The agreed deadline for submissions passed on 31 March 2008. [10/06/08]
Training opportunities. Northeast Wetland Restoration Institute. “The 2008 Northeast Regional Wetland Restoration Institute will be held in Campbell, New York from August 11-15, 2008. The training is designed to help engineers, biologists, foresters, hydrologists, and technicians initiate or improve a wetland restoration program. Individuals will be involved in the design and construction of two wetlands, from start to finish, using the latest and most effective techniques available in North America. Participants will investigate restored wetlands and streams in forested and open areas with instructors who are leaders in the field. Applications are now being accepted and are due by June 30. For more information please visit: www.u-s-c.org/NEWRI.” -- Thomas R. Biebighauser, Wildlife Biologist, US Forest Service. [09/06/08]
Winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards. The Standing Committee has announced the winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards for 2008. In the science category, the Award goes to Dave Pritchard; in the management category, to Denis Landenbergue, WWF International; and in the education category, to Dr Sansanee Choowaew of Mahidol University, Thailand. In addition, the Recognition of Excellence was awarded to Dr Jan Kvet of the Czech Republic. Full descriptions of the reasons for these choices can be found here. The three Ramsar Awards, with the Evian Special Prize fo USD 10,000 for each, will be conferred at the opening of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in the Republic of Korea in October 2008. [05/06/08]
Transboundary Ramsar site for Belarus and Ukraine. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus has significantly extended the boundaries of the Prostyr Ramsar site (designated in 2005), from 6,800 to 9,500 hectares. At the same time, in a letter of 4 January 2008, Belarus has nominated Prostyr as part of a new Transboundary Ramsar Site (TRS) named “Stokhid-Pripyat-Prostyr”, meaning that “an ecologically coherent wetland extends across national borders and the Ramsar site authorities on both or all sides of the border have formally agreed to collaborate in its management, and have notified the Secretariat of this intent." (This is a cooperative management arrangement and not a distinct legal status for the Ramsar sites involved.) The government of Ukraine notified the Secretariat on 1 February 2008 that the Ramsar sites Pripyat River Floodplains (1995) and Stokhid River Floodplains (1995) would also be part of this new TRS. [02/06/08]
SC37 underway. The 37th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee is getting underway today, 2 June 2008, with meetings of the Management Working Group and the Subgroup on Finance. Tomorrow, following an early session of the Subgroup on COP10, the plenary sessions will commence and carry on through to the end of the week. The main item of business throughout the five days will be the consideration of draft Resolutions that are to be transmitted onward to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, set for Changwon, Republic of Korea, 27 October to 4 November. The documentation for this week’s meetings can be found here. [02/06/08]
More Ramsar sites in Mexico. In the continuing saga of the 45 new Wetlands of International Importance designated by Mexico on World Wetlands Day 2008, four more are ready to be added to the Ramsar List -- Bahía de San Quintín, La Tovara, Manglares de Nichupté, and the Parque Nacional Cabo Pulmo -- bringing Mexico's present total to 86 Ramsar sites, with 26 more to be listed as soon as the paperwork has been completed. Here are brief site descriptions in English and Spanish by Ramsar's Mila Llorens. [02/06/08]
USA adds 23rd Ramsar site. The Secretariat is delighted to announce that at the 30 May 2008 annual meeting of the US National Ramsar Committee, hosted by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in the Hall of States, Washington D.C., Ramsar site certificates will be presented for the 23rd Wetland of International Importance, the Francis Beidler Forest (6,438 hectares, 33°15’N 080°22’W), a sanctuary and Important Bird Area in South Carolina largely owned by the Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy. This will be in conjunction with a briefing for the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus, entitled “Wetlands of International Importance: National Wildlife Refuges and the Ramsar Convention”, in which Steve Atzert and Royal Gardner will introduce US congressional staff members to the Ramsar Convention and the benefits associated with designating National Wildlife Refuges as Ramsar sites. Read more about the event and the Francis Beidler Forest here and view the Audubon Society’s press release here, with a link to a brief video about the site. [30/05/08]
Now available. Ramsar regional meeting reports. The meeting report and key messages and recommendations from the Ramsar Asia regional meeting (Bangkok, Thailand, 14-18 January 2008) are now available here. The meeting report and key messages and recommendations in English and French from the 5th Pan-African regional meeting (Yaoundé, Cameroon, 26-30 November 2007) are now available here. [30/05/08]
Ecohydrology conference in Lodz, Poland. The European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology (ERCE) organized on 19-23 May 2008 an international conference on “Ecohydrological Processes and Sustainable Floodplain Management” to discuss opportunities and concepts for water hazard mitigation in view of achieving ecological and socio-economic sustainability. The organizers benefited from institutional advice and support by UNESCO’s International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM) in Japan and the Institute for Water Education (IHE) in the Netherlands, by the Institute for Water Resources of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the International Society of Limnology (SIL) and the Universities of Vienna, Tours and Algarve, among others. The Polish Ministries of Science and Higher Education and of the Environment, the City of Lodz, and the Ramsar Secretariat acted as Honorary Patrons. Ramsar's Tobias Salathé reports on the issues involved and on the conference itself. [28/05/08]
International Day of Biological Diversity. A message from the Secretary General on the International Day of Biological Diversity: "On behalf of the Ramsar community, I send my best wishes on the occasion of the International Day of Biological Diversity, 22 May 2008. This year’s theme of ‘Biodiversity and Agriculture’ is an especially appropriate one for us, because the Ramsar Convention is similarly concerned about the importance of sustainable agriculture in maintaining the ecological character of the world’s wetlands and the ecosystem services that flow from them for the well-being of human communities.
Food security is a key part of the requirements for human health, and this is also a vital component of the theme of the Ramsar COP10 later this year (28 October to 4 November) – “Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People”.
The International Day of Biological Diversity is an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves of the immense value of agricultural biodiversity for many of the objectives we have set for ourselves in terms of human livelihoods, poverty reduction, food security, and the conservation and wise use, not only of our vital wetland resources, but of all the ecosystems that make up our common home on this earth.
-- Anada Tiéga, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Call for proposals.Wildlife Without Borders - Africa. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Without Borders - Africa (WWB-Africa) program is pleased to announce a call for proposals. WWB-Africa funds projects designed to strengthen human and institutional capacity to manage and conserve species, habitats, and ecological process for the benefit of the people of Africa and the world. Proposals received before June 15, 2008 will be reviewed prior to the end of the US government fiscal year ending September 30th. Program guidelines and application procedures for Wildlife Without Borders - Africa are available on our website. The entire application must be sent as one file (a single doc or pdf containing the signed cover page, text of the proposal, maps, budget, government letters of endorsement, etc. Please submit your completed application by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Please forward this message on to any colleagues interested in applying for funding. Please direct questions and any correspondence to: Dirck Byler, Program Officer, Great Ape Conservation Fund – Africa, Wildlife Without Borders – Africa, Branch of Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Division of International Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, email@example.com. [22/05/08]
From the Ramsar Forum. Mediterranean Wetlands Living Planet Index -- call for contributions. Pere Tomas-Vives of the Tour du Valat writes: "Tour du Valat is currently working on the development of the Living Planet Index for Mediterranean wetlands, as part of the Observatory of Mediterranean wetlands. As you may know, the LPI has been developed by WWF and the IoZ and it is based on the evolution and trends of vertebrate species populations and we are currently collecting time series of data for different species populations at different scales (site, region, country)." See the rest of his message here. [21/05/08]
Project Officer – Another new face at the Ramsar Secretariat. The Secretariat is delighted to announce that Ms Nathalie Rizzottihas taken up the new position of Project Officer. The post, generously funded by the Danone Group, was created to cover the increasing demands of administration, communication and coordination connected to the Ramsar-related field projects financed by Danone under the international programme “Ecole de protection de l’eau”.
Nathalie brings to the Ramsar/Danone partnership significant experience in project management. Most recently she has been working for the WWF West Africa Programme analysing and evaluating community-based natural resource management for their ron palm forest sustainable development project in Gaya, Niger. Before that she worked as project manager, developing and implementing the programme of river and wetland protection for the Canton of Geneva. This job involved much stakeholder mediation and CEPA work.
Nathalie will liaise with Danone/Evian and will also work closely with the Communications team at the Secretariat. Earlier in her career she was a member of the team writing for a nature magazine, ‘La Salamandre’. She continues to volunteer with a Swiss NGO “E-changer” to raise awareness in Switzerland of problems of developing countries in the southern hemisphere. A Swiss citizen, she holds a bachelors’ degree in Biology and Masters Degrees in Engineering and Environmental Management and International Development Studies. We all wish Nathalie every success in this important new job at the Secretariat. [21/05/08]
And three more Ramsar sites for Mexico. It will be recalled that the government of Mexico marked World Wetlands Day 2008 on 2 February by announcing the designation of a further 45 Wetlands of International Importance. The required scientific paperwork on these new sites has been progressing since then, chiefly fitted in amongst the many other duties of the Assistant Advisor for the Americas, Ms Mila Llorens, and with these three new Ramsar sites listed today a total of 15 of those are now on the Ramsar List, with more to come soon. Mexico now has 82 Ramsar sites on the List, second only to the UK in total number, and 30 more designations in the pipeline. Here are Mila’s site descriptions for the inland Arroyos y manantiales de Tanchachín in San Luis Potosí, Balandra on the Gulf of California, and Zona Sujeta a Conservación Ecológica El Gancho-Murillo on the Chiapas coast. [20/05/08]
Announcement.CBD COP9 side event today.Side event on Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change by CBD, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and Wetlands International. Tuesday 20 May 2008, 18.15 – 19.45. Venue: Salon Hauptmann, Maritim Hotel, Bonn. [20/05/08]
Oceania prepares for Ramsar COP10. The relationship between healthy wetlands and healthy communities is a critical issue for the Oceania region. Pacific communities rely on wetlands for their cultural and physical well-being, with wetlands being a main contributor for livelihoods and the standard of living in the region. This was one of the key points raised during a preparatory meeting of Oceania parties to the Ramsar Convention in Samoa on 10-11 April 2008, hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). SPREP’s press release, quoting the SPREP Associate Ramsar Officer, Vainuupo Jungblut, is available here, and the report of the meeting, along with its Key Messages and Recommendations for the Ramsar Standing Committee, are available as well, in PDF format. [19/05/08]
Mexico names 79th Ramsar site. The government of Mexico has designated its 79th Ramsar site so far, one of the 45 new sites announced on World Wetlands Day 2008. As described by Ramsar’s Mila Llorens, Humedales La Libertad (5,432 hectares, 17°39’N 091°43’W) is situated in the Usumacinta River Basin in Chiapas state and is composed of a complex of lagoons and temporary floodplains formed by the river La Libertad. The Manatee (Trichechus manatus), the Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis) and the Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta pigra) are amongst the endangered species living in the area. The site presents ideal conditions for the reproduction stages of many species of importance including: the Coatimundi (Nasua narica), Paca (Agouti paca), the Banded Anteater (Tamandua mexicana), the Mesoamerican River Turtle (Dermatemys mawii), the Morelet's crocodile (Crocodilus moreletii), and fish species including Atractosteus tropicus and Cichlasoma heterospilum. It also shelters at least 99 species of resident and migratory birds. Fishing is the main productive activity. Factors negatively affecting the site include agricultural and livestock practices, deforestation, soil compaction caused by grazing, the discharge of waste waters, etc. The National History and Ecology Institute is in charge of the management of the site, and it is found under the IV IUCN Category of protected areas. This is Ramsar site number 1774.
Bystroe Canal Project under international scrutiny. The proposed construction by Ukraine of a “Danube-Black Sea Deep-Water Navigation Canal” in the Danube Delta has been an object of strong international concern since 2003, and Ukraine’s decision in December 2007 to proceed to full implementation of the project whilst a large number of questions remain unanswered about its international environmental impacts has increased that concern considerably. A number of relevant intergovernmental organizations met informally in Geneva on 18 April 2008 to exchange information and experiences on their activities with regard to the Project, and Ramsar’s Tobias Salathé provides a summary of these contributions in an up-to-date background paper. Next week, Ramsar’s Secretary General, Mr Anada Tiéga, will be participating in the 4th meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, Bucharest, Romania, 19-21 May 2008, and the UN ECE press release, "Controversial Danube Canal – Non-compliance with Espoo Convention? Decision expected on 21 May", indicates the seriousness with which this issue is being treated by the international community. [16/05/08]
Vacancy announcement. Mai Po Nature Reserve Manager, Hong Kong. "WWF is a global conservation organization represented in more than 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Mai Po Nature Reserve has been known internationally as a haven for migratory birds for decades. The Reserve, covering some 380 ha, was listed as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1995. We are looking for a person with strong leadership and people management skills to join us as Mai Po Nature Reserve Manager." The full announcement is here. [16/05/08]
Wetlands, land use patterns, and drought -- Ramsar and CSD-16. The Secretary General, Mr Anada Tiéga, has been attending CSD-16 in New York, USA, from 7 to 14 May 2008, in a follow-up to his participation in the intersessional meeting held in Beijing, China, January 2008. CSD-16's thematic issues are Agriculture, Rural Development, Land, Drought, Desertification, and Africa -- the Secretary General was one of the panelists in the Thematic Discussion about Drought, and his presentation was focused on “Wetland management as a significant land use issue”. Here is a brief report on the Secretary General's contributions.[14/05/08]
MedWet Dialogue pour l’eau dans la région (MENA). Un atelier local s’est tenu le 6 février à la Commune rurale des Mnasra, Maroc dans le cadre du projet intitulé Dialogue pour l’eau dans la région (MENA). Ce projet financé par InWent est entrepris par MedWet dans le but de promouvoir la collaboration intra sectorielle pour une meilleure gestion des ressources en eau au Moyen Orient et dans la région Nord Africaine. Rapport. [14/05/08]
Now available. Standing Committee 37 documents. The agenda documentation for the 37th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee, which will be held 2-6 June 2008, was sent to the members and registered observers and posted on this Web site as of 2 May 2008. Interested readers can also download all of the documentation as one Zip file, either in Microsoft Word or in Adobe PDF format, by clicking the links at the bottom of the list of agenda papers here.
Representatives of Ramsar Contracting Parties who would like to convey their views on any of the Standing Committee documents or issues under discussion are invited to contact their Regional Representatives on the Standing Committee well before the beginning of the meeting. The Regional Representatives on the Standing Committee are chosen by the Conference of the Parties as Parties, not as individuals, but what follows is a list of the individuals who represented those Parties at the most recent Standing Committee meeting, SC36, 25-29 February 2008. [13/05/08]
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 ).