The Ramsar Bulletin Board, 7 April 2008
Malheureusement, il n'y a pas de version française de ce document.
Now available. Management plan for Wular Lake. "Wular Lake, the largest freshwater lake within River Jhelum basin, plays a significant role in the hydrography of the Kashmir valley by acting as a huge absorption basin for floodwaters. The lake with its associated wetlands is an important habitat for migratory waterbirds within Central Asian Flyway and supports rich biodiversity. It is a major fishery resource in the valley supporting a large population living along its fringes. The wetland also generates revenue to the state government through fisheries and auctioning of water chestnut, fodder, and other economically important species. The catchment of the lake supports coniferous forests and alpine pastures, adding to the natural beauty and biodiversity of the wetland area. Recognizing importance of the wetland for its biodiversity and socio economic values, the Wular Lake was designated as a Wetland of International Importance under Ramsar Convention in 1990. . . . . Sectoral developmental activities have, however, failed to recognize the immense role of the Wular Lake, leading to its degradation." So begins the "Comprehensive Management Action Plan for Wular Lake, Kashmir" prepared by Wetlands International - South Asia under an assignment from the Department of Wildlife Protection, Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The 6.9MB PDF of this model Ramsar site management plan can be seen here. [07/04/08]
Headline story. Additional Ramsar sites for Mexico. As has become almost a tradition, the government of Mexico has used the occasion of World Wetlands Day to designate a considerable number of additional Wetlands of International Importance. At ceremonies in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, on 2 February 2008, Secretario de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada; the Gobernador del Estado de Sinaloa, Jesús Aguilar Padilla; and the Comisionado Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, Ernesto Enkerlin Hoeflich, joined the celebrations and announced that Mexico is designating 45 new Wetlands of International Importance to be dated as of World Wetlands Day 2008. The hopelessly understaffed Secretariat, in this case the Americas team of María Rivera and Mila Llorens, have been working hard on doublechecking that the data and maps submitted with the Ramsar Information Sheets conform to the standards set by the Parties in their COP Resolutions, and seven of the new sites have now been added to the Ramsar List. With, obviously, many more to come.
Brief site descriptions for the Annotated Ramsar List have been prepared by Mila Llorens in English and in Spanish. Mexico now has 74 Ramsar sites covering 5,908,968 hectares. [04/04/08]
Headline story. Nine new Ramsar sites in Nigeria. The Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria has designated an additional nine wetlands for the Ramsar List, following on from the designation of "Lake Chad Wetlands in Nigeria" announced a few weeks ago and all effective as of 30 April 2008. Taken together, the sites present a fascinating array of wetland types, including swamp forests, river floodplains, mangroves, and lakes, and all of them are extremely important for their support for flora and fauna and for the ecosystem services they provide for the local communities. Most or all of them are formally state-owned but in practical terms under the customary control of local families and communities, which brings with it in some cases a challenging set of threats and opportunities.
The WWF Global Freshwater Programme has supported the Ministry in developing these designations, with the contributions of Professors Ogunkoya and Dami of the Department of Geography, University of Maidugui, and the Niger Delta Wetlands Centre, and UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Europe has helped in the preparation of the site maps. Nigeria presently has 11 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 1,076,728 hectares. Brief site descriptions prepared by the Assistant Advisor for Africa, Evelyn Parh Moloko, can be seen here. [04/04/08]
María Rivera and Mila Llorens, Senior and Assistant Regional Advisors for the Americas, are in Havana, Cuba, 7-11 April 2008, for the Caribbean Subregional Meeting for the Implementation of the Ramsar Convention, 8-10 April. [07/04/08]
Workshop on Hindu Kush Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. There is a major need for better long-term monitoring of glaciers in the Himalayas using direct observations in the field, as well as for improved sharing of data among the different countries in the region. These were among the conclusions drawn by the more than 70 international scientists who met at a three-day workshop on ‘Cryosphere and Hazards for the Hindu Kush Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau’ from 31 March-2 April 2008 to discuss the problems of glaciers, glacial fluctuations, and loss of permafrost in the mountains and plateaus of the Himalayas. The meeting, held at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), was organised by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), Global Land Ice Measurements from Space Regional Centre for Southwest Asia (GLIMS), Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS), Institute for Development and Innovation (IDI), Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), and ICIMOD. ICIMOD's press release on the workshop can be seen here. [04/04/08]
Web site launched for Wings Over Wetlands. The Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project is a unique partnership of organizations involved in the conservation of waterbirds and their wetland habitats. It is a collaborative effort between Wetlands International and BirdLife International, with support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and UNEP/GEF. WOW supports the implementation of both the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and is sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the AEWA Secretariat, and several other donors.
The extremely attractive and well-designed new Web site, launched on 1 April 2008, was developed by the Communications Officer of the Project in close cooperation with the Project Coordination Unit and the Communications team at Wetlands International, and is hosted by Wetlands International. A press release on the purpose and background of the new site can be found here, and the site itself, here. [02/04/08]
Now available. STRP14 report. The Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) met 28 January to 1 February to progress its work in the lead-up to Conference of the Parties next October, and the report of the meeting is now ready. In effect, the report provides a summary of progress and delivery plans and timelines for each of the STRP’s 2006-2008 Immediate and High Priority tasks (as established in Annex 1 to Resolution IX.2 and STRP’s 2006-2008 Work Plan), and on Lower Priority tasks where it has been possible to progress these. [03/04/08]
Vacancy announcement. Wetlands International. Wetlands International is seeking to recruit a Latin America Programme Development Officer for its Wetlands and Livelihoods Programme. This full-time position will be based in Panama City, Panama, and the full announcement is available in PDF here. [02/04/08]
From the Ramsar Forum. Data sought on mudflats and mangroves. "Dear All, I am looking for an updated worldwide dataset on the coverage of tidal mudflats and mangrove ecosystems. Could you please help me to find such data? Thank you very much for any kind of help." -- Gianluca Polgar, University of Rome "La Sapienza" (firstname.lastname@example.org). [02/04/08]
Action for culture in Mediterranean Wetlands. A new publication has just been released by the Mediterranean Institute on Nature and Anthropos/ Med-INA. Presenting a great deal of valuable information on cultural values and wetlands, the publication by Thymio Papayannis and contributors aims to encourage addressing cultural values in the management of wetlands. It presents information on culture-related activities relating to 22 wetland sites in the Mediterranean. Well-illustrated, the book provides up-to-date documentation of characteristic ongoing cultural activities and examines their significance for the management and protection of these sensitive ecosystems. A main conclusion is that nature and culture are two interdependent elements and therefore "we cannot understand and manage the 'natural' environment unless we understand the human culture that shaped it". Thus, the values resulting from cultural activities are important in strengthening the links of people with wetlands, a prerequisite for wetland conservation and for the sustainable use of their resources and services. Among other things, the book informs about the work undertaken in the field of cultural values of wetlands within MedWet and within the Ramsar Convention on wetlands. PDF versions in English and in French are available from http://www.med-ina.org/mava01/04_progress/index.html, and for the print publication, inquiries can be made to Med-INA at email@example.com. [31/03/08]
Argentina names 16th Ramsar site. The government of Argentina has designated its 16th Wetland of International Importance, the Reserva Natural Otamendi (3,000 hectares, 34º14'S 058º53'W) near the Paraná River in the province of Buenos Aires. According to Ramsar's Mila Llorens, based on the RIS information, the site is located in a rich biodiversity area where three biogeographic regions meet: Pastizal Pampeano, Espinal, and Delta e Islas del Paraná. It supports internationally threatened species such as the Dot-winged Crake (Porzana spiloptera) and the Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis). Some endemic species of the region include Straight-billed Reedhaunter (Limnoctites rectirostris), the Bay-capped Wren-spinetail (Spartonoica maluroides), the dark-throated Seedeater (Sporophila ruficollis), and the Marsh Seedeater (Sporophila palustris), as well as a number of mammal species locally threatened by hunting activities, including the Nutria (Myocastor coypus), Capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) and other internationally threatened species. The site is dedicated to conservation activities and the main productive activities carried out include livestock, forestation, tourism and agriculture. Among the potential threats that are found in Otamendi are the invasion of exotic flora and fauna species, the pollution of the water bodies, changes in the hydrological system, and extraction of resources. The site is under national protection as a Natural Reserve and is part of the National System of Protected Areas. A five-year management plan is in place. [28/03/08]
Vacancy announcement. Ramsar Secretariat seeks Finance Officer. The Finance Officer is responsible for the financial administration of the Ramsar Convention, facilitating positive relationships with donors, providing clear financial information to the Contracting Parties to the Convention (Member States) and advising the Secretary General on the financial viability of the Convention. He/she is responsible for financial management within the Secretariat through the provision of accurate and timely information on both core and project finances. The Finance Officer has a major role in the effective management of the resources of the Convention. Responsible for approximately CHF 4 million in project funds and CHF 4 million in annual contributions to the core budget. The deadline for applications is 21 April 2008 and the full announcement is here. [28/03/08]
New field guide for Australian plants. A new field guide compiled by Greening Australia in conjunction with Australian Plants Society has been launched and is now available. Salt Tolerant Plants of the Western District Ramsar Lakes is a comprehensive field guide for anyone interested in the flora of South Western Victoria and includes both native and introduced plants. It was produced to increase the knowledge of indigenous, introduced native and exotic salt tolerant plants found within saline ecosystems. The 182-page guide features technical illustrations and full colour photographs -- it will be a valuable resource for land managers, students and Natural Resource Management practitioners and will increase their capacity to conserve the biodiversity assets of saline sites at local and regional levels. For each plant there is a description of the plant - general, foliage, flowers, fruit, where it grows, and its occurrence. Price: $10. For enquires or an order form contact Ammie Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org. [28/03/08]
Caribbean Subregional Meeting for the Implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 8-10 April, Havana, Cuba. During the Ramsar Pan American Meeting held in Mérida, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, from 18-21 of September 2007, it was decided that the Caribbean Countries would meet in Cuba to discuss the formulation of a Subregional Strategy for Caribbean Wetlands, review experiences in the region regarding the implementation of the commitments agreed to by the Contracting Parties, and prepare Resolutions and Regional Initiatives for COP10. All Contracting Parties of the Caribbean are expected to be present during the meeting. Observers including, Intergovernmental and Non-governmental organizations, and representatives of Ramsar's International Organization Partners are also being invited to attend. The working languages of the Regional Meeting will be English and Spanish. You can download the Registration Form here. [27/03/08]
Reunión Subregional del Caribe para la Implementación de la Convención Ramsar, 8-10 de abril, La Habana, Cuba. Durante la reunión Panamericana celebrada en Mérida República Bolivariana de Venezuela del 18-21 de Septiembre de 2007, las Partes Contratantes del Caribe propusieron tener una reunión en Cuba para discutir la formulación de una Estrategia Sub regional para los Humedales del Caribe, la revisión de experiencias en la región en la implementación de la Convención en el contexto de los compromisos acordados por las Partes y la preparación de resoluciones e iniciativas regionales para la COP10. Se espera que todas las Partes Contratantes del Caribe estén presentes en la Reunión. Adicionalmente, están siendo invitados observadores, entre los que destacan aquéllos países del Caribe que todavía no son Partes Contratantes de la Convención, organizaciones intergubernamentales y no gubernamentales, así como representantes de las Organizaciones Internacionales Asociadas a Ramsar. El formulario de inscripción lo pueden encontrar aquí.[27/03/08]
Now available. Ramsar address to LCBC.The text of the address by the Secretary General, Anada Tiéga, for the 54th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers and 12th Summit of Heads of States and Governments held in Abuja, Nigeria, 25-26 March 2008, is now available. Mr Tiéga could not attend the event, but he was represented there by Denis Landenbergue of WWF International, and Denis' further report of the events and collaboration among Ramsar, WWF, and the LCBC will follow in a few days.
Vacancy announcements. WWF's Coral Triangle Network Initiative. WWF International is seeking to recruit two positions, one as Leader of the Coral Triangle Network Initiative, the second as Policy Leader for the same initiative, with an application deadline of 30 April 2008. You can read the announcements here. [27/03/08]
Now available. Agenda for SC37. The 36th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee seems only just finished, and already we are queuing up for the 37th. SC37 will take place 2-6 June 2008, and the draft agenda is now available in English, French, and Spanish. [25/03/08]
From the Ramsar Forum. Water purchased for Australia's Narran Lake Ramsar site. "Some happy news at long last concerned the water-deprived Ramsar sites in Australia's Murray Darling Basin. The Narran Lake Ramsar site is a semi-terminal wetland in the New South Wales northern part of the basin, whose headwaters in the state of Queensland have had their waters over-allocated for irrigation farming. The Basin's state and national government Commission has just purchased 11,000 megalitres of water to top up a modest natural flood over the next six weeks, to provide the high water levels needed to enable colonial water birds breeding on the lake to fledge their chicks. The Ramsar site had been largely waterless for nine years." The rest of Mr Jamie Pittock's message here. [26/03/08]
Call for submissions. "Mountains and People" photo contest. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Mountain Forum (MF)/Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN) are jointly organising a Global Digital Photo Contest to mark the 25th Anniversary of ICIMOD, whose slogan is "For Mountains and People". On 5 December this year, ICIMOD celebrates its 25th birthday. A series of events have been planned throughout the year, and the Global Digital Photo Contest is one of the most important ones. -- Ms. Nira Gurung, Communications Officer, ICIMOD. Further details and submissions form here. [26/03/08]
Announcement. Conference planned for Dneister basin. The International Conference "Transboundary Dniester River Basin Management and the EU Water Framework Directive" will be held in Chisinau, Moldova, on October 2-3, 2008. It will be a follow-up to the Dniester River management conferences organized by the Ecological Society BIOTICA (1998 and 1999) and by Eco-TIRAS International Environmental Association of River Keepers (2004) in cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Moldova. The current Conference is supported by the MARTA Program from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. -- Ilya Trombitsky, Eco-TIRAS, Moldova. Announcement in English (PDF). Announcement in Russian (PDF). [26/03/08]
From the Ramsar Forum. Fish stocking in protected areas. "Hi All. Does anyone have any information on the management and policy approaches with respect to fish stocking in protected areas? The focus is the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in north Queensland, Australia. Research into ecological impact (gene pools, competition, food web & ecological character, etc.) would be very helpful. Please email Lucy Karger at the Wet Tropics Management Authority (email@example.com). Thanks." George Lukacs, Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland. [20/03/08]
World Water Day 2008. World Water Day falls this year on Saturday, 22 March 2008, and the theme for this year is sanitation, in keeping with the International Year on Sanitation. Visit the official Web site and check out the calendar of events near you. [20/03/08]
Stockholm Water Prize awarded. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) has announced that Prof. John Anthony Allan from King's College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies has been named the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate. Professor Allan pioneered the development of key concepts in the understanding and communication of water issues and how they are linked to agriculture, climate change, economics and politics. The USD 150,000 Stockholm Water Prize will be presented August 21 in the Stockholm City Hall. The SIWI press release is here. [20/03/08]
USA National Wetlands Awards for 2008. "Seven citizens have been recognized nationally for their on-the-ground wetland conservation efforts and decades-long dedication to protecting these important natural resources. A diverse panel of wetland experts assembled at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) earlier this month to select the winners of the 2008 National Wetlands Awards. This year's Award winners hail from all regions of the country and exemplify the extraordinary commitment and innovation that is so instrumental to conserving wetlands in the nation's communities." View the ELI press release here. [20/03/08]
Nigeria's part of Lake Chad added to the Ramsar List. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that Nigeria has designated 'Lake Chad Wetlands in Nigeria' (607,354 hectares, 13°04'N 013°48'E) for the List of Wetlands of International Importance. The designation is effective 30 April 2008, but the announcement and conferral of the site certificate will be made at the summit of heads of states and governments of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in Abuja on 25-26 March. The WWF Global Freshwater Programme has supported the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment in developing this and nine further designations by Nigeria that are presently in the pipeline at the Secretariat.
The achievement that this designation represents comes as the result of a decision made by the summit of heads of states and governments of the LCBC in July 2000, and both Chad and Niger have already designated their portions of Lake Chad as well - the only remaining part of the lake to be designated for the Ramsar List is in Cameroon, where a project supported by WWF is currently underway to achieve that. (The Central African Republic is part of the Lake Chad basin and the fifth member of the LCBC.) The designation is seen as a new contribution to the ChadWet regional initiative under the framework of the Ramsar Convention. Further details on the new site, prepared by Evelyn Parh Moloko, can be seen here. [17/03/08]
Prespa Park GEF meeting. The transboundary Prespa Park, which concerns the two Balkan lakes shared by Albania, FYR of Macedonia and Greece, is benefiting from a large GEF project, managed by UNDP. The ambitious goals of the project are to improve the management of ecosystems, to increase the capacity of the responsible state and NGO organisations, to promote sustainable activities and better quality of life for the local inhabitants and to strengthen the cooperation among the three neighbouring countries. On 7 March 2008, in the small village of Pretor on the Macedonian shore of Macro Prespa, the Prespa Park Coordination Committee met in its capacity of GEF Project Oversight Committee. Mr Thymio Papayannis provides this brief report of the background and conclusions. [17/03/08]
IUCN's name change. The World Conservation Union - IUCN, one of the Ramsar Convention's five International Organization Partners, has adopted a new logo and changed its name (back) to just "IUCN", alone and without explanation of the acronym attached to it ("UICN" in French and Spanish). According to IUCN information office, if an explanation is required, the text can mention "International Union for Conservation of Nature" the first time the acronym is used ("Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature", "Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza"). The name "World Conservation Union" is no longer used. [14/03/08]
Reminder of deadlines. Submission of National Reports. The Secretariat would like to remind Contracting Parties once again that the deadline for submission of National Reports is 31 March 2008. This will allow time for the Secretariat to complete its analyses of the status of implementation for circulation to the Parties in advance of the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (28 October-4 November 2008). Contracting Parties are reminded that Reports should be submitted in electronic form, by e-mail or on a CD-ROM. The National Report is an official status report by each Contracting Party on its implementation of the Ramsar Convention and, as such, will be available to the public. The NR form can be found at http://www.ramsar.org/cop10/cop10_nrform_e.doc. [12/03/08]
Vacancy announcement. Consultants for Cambodia. "The Ministry of Environment of Cambodia (MOE) is seeking to competitively hire national and international consultants to prepare an Environmental Assessment (SA) for the Cambodia Environment and Protected Area Management Project (CEPAMP) which is under preparation. CEPAMP will be funded by the World Bank as an expansion and continuation of the ongoing Biodiversity and Protected Area Management Project (BPAMP). The assignment is based in Phnom Penh, but requires travel to target areas in up to five protected areas in Cambodia. The consultant will work closely with MOE, World Bank and the national EA consultant, preferably starting at the beginning of April 2008, and completing the assignment in early lately 2008. The assignment is funded by a PHRD grant from the Government of Japan." The specifics can be seen here (PDF). [12/03/08]
Now available. SC36 Report and Decisions. The final report of the 36th meeting of the Standing Committee (27-29 February 2008) is now available, as well as the English version of the 28 Decisions of the meeting, the reports of the four Subgroups, and photographs. French and Spanish versions of the Decisions should be along in a few days. PDF versions are also available as well as the Web pages. Here is the report, with links to the other files. [10/03/08]
Now available. STRP14 photos. The Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) held its 14th ordinary meeting in Gland, 28 January to 1 February 2008, chiefly to make a final burst of progress on a large number of priority tasks and documents for consideration by the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties and to participate in a strange but hilarious kind of raffle at the traditional STRP dinner. Some photographs are available here. [11/03/08]
Now available. Asia Regional Meeting photos. The Asia Regional Preparatory Meeting for COP10 of the Ramsar Convention was held in Bangkok, Thailand, 14 to 18 January 2008. Here are some photos of the meetings and the field excursion to the Bang Pu Nature Education Centre. [11/02/08]
World Wetlands Day in Botswana. The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) organised a number of activities to commemorate World Wetlands Day 2008, including included a International Wetlands Conference, a public panel discussion referred to as Environment and Development Dialogue and an official ceremony on World Wetlands Day (2nd February 2008) to celebrate wetlands and for Botswana to showcase the completion of the planning phase of the Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP). Anada Tiéga, the Ramsar Secretary General, and Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Honourable Onkokame Kitso Mokaila (left) delivered addresses, and there were any number of festive events. Here is a very well illustrated report, and here is the text of the Secretary General's address. [07/03/08]
Announcement. “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration" training workshop. The seventh "Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration" training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, March 2-5, 2009. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. "Robin" Lewis III, who will be teaching the course. Mr. Lewis has taught this very successful course in Cuba, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka. More details at www.mangroverestoration.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org. [10/03/08]
Now available. Ramsar Pan-American Regional Meeting. The Pan-American regional meeting was held in Merida, Venezuela, in September 2007. The full report of the meeting is now available in English and Spanish, as well as photographs of the events. See the meeting's index page for links. [07/03/08]
Estonia names new Ramsar site and Transboundary Ramsar Site. The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Ministry of the Environment of Estonia has designated the Sookuninga Nature Reserve (5,869 hectares, 58°00'N 024°45'E), a Natura 2000 SPA and BirdLife International IBA, as its 12th Wetland of International Importance. Citing a Joint Commission set up in February 2006 between the Ministries of Environment of Estonia and Latvia on "Management of Nature Conservation in Transboundary Context", the two countries have established a Transboundary Ramsar Site, including Sookuninga and the Nigula Nature Reserve in Estonia and the Northern Bogs (Ziemelu purvi) Ramsar site in Latvia, with the name of North Livonian Transboundary Ramsar Site.
The Sookuninga NR, as described by Ramsar's Monica Zavagli based on the accompanying RIS information, is a complex of six different raised bog massifs with hummock and hollow complexes as well with numerous pools. The site supports rare, vulnerable and endangered species of birds and plants, some of them occurring in great numbers or densities. Highly endangered and strongly protected are Black Stork, Golden Eagle, Lesser-Spotted Eagle, Great-Spotted Eagle and Lagopus lagopus Willow Grouse. The site also supports populations of large mammals including Canis lupus Wolf, Lynx lynx Lynx, Ursus arctos Brown Bear and Alces alces Elk. The site plays an important role in the recharge and discharge of groundwater as well as maintenance of water quality in southwest Estonia and northwest Latvia. It also has a significant cultural and historical importance for its small-scale battlegrounds, burials, and war routes. Due to its remote location the area is sparsely inhabited, and the main uses are tied to forestry, berry and mushroom picking, and small-scale hunting - all at comparatively low intensities. [06/03/08]
Deadline extended. Asian Wetland Symposium 2008. "Dear Forum Members, The deadline of abstract and poster submissions for Asian Wetland Symposium 2008 (22-25 June 2008, Hanoi, Vietnam) was extended. Submissions are now due on Friday March 14, 2008. A good number of abstract and poster submissions for AWS 2008 have been received; however, the secretariat is still looking for more. The deadline for submissions is extended. Please send abstract and poster submissions to the secretariat by Friday March 14, 2008. We are looking forward to receiving a wide range of abstracts on various topics that represents the range of wetland management activities throughout the region. For more information, please visit http://www.aws2008.net/index.htm. With warm regards." - Ms Reiko Nakamura, Secretary-General, Ramsar Center Japan. [07/03/08]
Standing Committee 36 was a grand success. The 36th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee completed its work on Friday, 29 February, and the 88 members and observers have gone their ways. The last day's report will be finalized in the next day or two and provided to the Chair of the Standing Committee for his approval, and the decisions of the meeting will be sent out for translation. The Report in English, Decisions in English, French, and Spanish, reports of the four subgroup meetings, photos and presentations, should all be available over the coming week or two. [03/03/08]
Announcement. Last MedWet CODDE conference.The MedWet Secretariat is pleased to extend to you an invitation to attend the closing conference of the MedWet-Réseau CODDE project, which will be held on the 17-18 March, 2008, in Athens, Greece: Wetland Inventory and Assessment in the Mediterranean region: Advanced Tools17-18 March 2008, Athens, Greece. More information here. The deadline for applications is 6 March 2008. [03/03/08]
Standing Committee week gets underway. The 36th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee is getting underway this morning, 25 February, with a meeting of the Subgroup on COP10 -- this afternoon it will be the turn of the Management Working Group, and tomorrow there will be the Subgroup on Finance and the Subgroup on the Strategic Plan in the morning and afternoon respectively. On Wednesday the Plenary Sessions begin and run through the end of Friday -- the agenda can be seen here, and the agenda documentation is here. Some 88 members and observers have registered, and the preliminary list of participants can be seen here. [25/02/08]
Ramsar secondment for coral survey in Tanzania. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Europe Monica Zavagli was in Tanzania from 14 November 2007 to 8 January 2008 to participate in field work activities with WWF Tanzania in the Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa Marine Ramsar site and assist the Government of Tanzania in preparing the logistics for the Ramsar Advisory Mission to Lake Natron. This interaction stems from the understanding between Ramsar and the Convention's International Organization Partners (BirdLife International, IWMI, Wetlands International, the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and WWF International) to provide opportunities for their young professionals to gain experience from the IOPs' projects through short-term secondments. Here is Monica's brief illustrated report (PDF). [25/02/08]
Hungary names two new Ramsar sites. In World Wetlands Day ceremonies held on 20 February 2008, Mr László Haraszthy, State Secretary for Nature and Environment Protection, announced the designation of two new Ramsar sites effective on that date. Borsodi-Mezoség (17,932 hectares, 47°44'N 020°54'E) is a Landscape Protection Area and Natura 2000 site, a large alkaline marshland on the bank of the river Tisza. Montág-puszta (2,203 hectares, 46°21'N 020°40'E) is part of a National Park located on the Hungarian Great Plain. In addition, one of Hungary's first Ramsar sites, Hortobágy, designated back in 1979, has been extended by over 8,000 ha. to 32,037 ha. Here are brief descriptions of the two new sites as summarized by Ramsar's Monica Zavagli from the accompanying RIS data. [21/02/08]
SBSTTA-13 side event on water needs. At the 13th session of the CBD's Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice, now being held at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, a side event was organized on 18 February by the CBD and Ramsar Secretariats and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) entitled "The world is drying . . . How do we feed the world?" Chaired by David Coates of SCBD, the workshop featured a panel discussion and presentations by David Molden of IWMI, Nick Davidson of Ramsar, and Hans Langeveld of Plant Research International and the GAWI Project (the "Guidelines on Agriculture, Wetlands, and Water Resources Interactions Project" being carried out by FAO, several Dutch institutes, and the Ramsar STRP). A brief summary of the side event and its conclusions can be seen here. [21/02/08]
Something completely different: Nick Davidson's address to SBSTTA-13 on 20 February on cooperation between the conventions and related topics. [21/02/08]
News note. Turkey completes RIS updating. Turkey's Ministry of Environment and Forestry has completed the revision and updating of the Ramsar Information Sheets for all of its 12 Wetlands of International Importance. In Resolution VI.13 (1996) the Parties determined that all RISs should be updated at least every six years and with every significant change in the ecological character of the Ramsar sites, in order to provide more recent site data for planners and the public and to allow for monitoring change over time at the sites. The Secretariat congratulates Turkey and encourages other Parties to redouble their efforts to update their own Ramsar site information. [21/02/08]
Now available. 6th Ramsar European Regional Meeting. The 6th European Regional Meeting will take place 3-7 May 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, and the draft agenda and programme, registration form, and basic information about the event are now available -- HERE. The deadline for registration is 1 April 2008 (for those requiring financial assistance, 1 March 2008). [21/02/08]
Position vacancy. La Tour du Valat. La Tour du Valat recherche un Coordinateur pour son programme " Observatoire des zones humides méditerranéennes " / The Tour du Valat is looking for a coordinator for its Observatory of Mediterranean Wetlands programme. Deadline 20 March 2008. Announcement in Français and English. [21/02/08]
Ramsar Advisory Mission to Tanzania. In response to stakeholder concerns about the proposed development of a soda ash extraction facility at the Lake Natron Basin Ramsar site, the Ramsar Secretariat offered to provide technical assistance to the government of Tanzania through a Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM), and the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism welcomed that proposal. The RAM is now underway, 17 to 28 February 2008, and is made up of a multidisciplinary team which includes: i) the Chair of the Ramsar Standing Committee (Head of Delegation), ii) a representative of the Ramsar STRP, iii) the IUCN Species Survival Commission, iv) a representation of the CMS and its AEWA agreement, v) two consultants to deal with the wise use and socio-economic aspects of the mission. Senior Regional Advisor Mr Abou Bamba provides further details here about the structure and objectives of the mission. [20/02/08]
Ramsar visit to Krabi Estuary. Following the Asian Regional Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, Technical Officer for Asia -Oceania Pragati Tuladhar visited the Krabi Estuary Ramsar site in Thailand, 21-25 January 2008, to learn more about Wetlands International's mangrove work. Wetlands International is in the process of starting several mangrove rehabilitation projects there, restoring degraded areas and abandoned aquaculture ponds back to biodiverse mangrove, with the full involvement and participation of the local communities. Pragati took this opportunity to get acquainted with related issues and technical details of these proposed projects by inspecting degraded areas, discussing with local communities, and offering advice where possible. Here is a brief report with photos. [20/02/08]
From the Ramsar Forum. Update on wetland managers training program in Australia. "Dear Forum members, In 2006 we reported on a new training program for wetland managers being set up in Australia with financial assistance from the Australian Government. Two years on, this program has completed 14 two-day courses on a range of topics (see below) with nearly 230 wetland practitioners participating to date. The program, now known by the name Wetlands.edu, has developed 17 training courses (modules), several of which draw heavily on guidance developed under the Ramsar Convention (in areas such as CEPA, management planning etc)." Here is the rest of the update from Bill Phillips. [20/02/08]
Wetland restoration experts in Central Africa required. Amir Grossman, IUCN-NL Ecosystem Grants Programme, writes: "We are currently supporting three projects related to wetland restoration and sustainable use in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. These are small grants project (max. 85.000€/3 years). As the involved NGOs have limited experience we are looking for experts that will be able to make a visit to the project sites in order to help the NGOs in developing a restoration plan. These visits should take place within no more than 6 months. Ideally, a second visit should be made a year later to monitor progress. We are willing to cover the costs of these visits." Read the details here. [20/02/08]From the Ramsar Forum.
Now available. The Okavango Delta Management Plan. The long-awaited ODMP has been launched and is available in PDF format here and in print form from the Botswana Department of Environmental Affairs. The ODMP project was begun some years ago, with seed funding from the Ramsar Convention, and it has been developed under the framework of the Ramsar Management Planning Guidelines by a number of national and local government sectors and other organizations such as the Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre (HOORC) and The World Conservation Union (IUCN). Financial support has been provided along the way by the governments of Denmark, Germany, and Sweden, and by IUCN and Ramsar. The OMDP is endorsed by the Permanent Okavango River Basin Commission (OKACOM), including Angola and Namibia, the Secretariat of which was also launched in Maun on World Wetlands Day earlier this month with the participation of the Ramsar Secretary General, Mr Anada Tiéga. The ODMP in PDF (2.8MB). [14/02/08]
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 ).