For the past few years, incorporation of culture in the activities of the Ramsar Convention has been promoted by the Convention’s Culture Working Group (CWG). In the framework of Resolutions VIII.19 and IX.21, and with funding support from the MAVA Foundation for Nature, the CWG has been coordinated by Thymio Papayannis and Dave Pritchard and guided by Ramsar's Secretary General, Anada Tiéga.
Earlier in 2013, the Standing Committee reviewed the results of the CWG activities and found them satisfactory, encouraging it to go forward. Thus, it was agreed that the CWG would be developed into a broader Ramsar Culture Network (RCN), with the same coordination and with voluntary membership from Contracting Parties, committed organisations and individual experts. Through this Network, activities to promote and strengthen the integrated management of the natural and cultural heritage of wetlands would be expanded, ensuring wider participation and greater impact.
The RCN was launched on 10 June. It is a good omen that among its first members are Delmar Blasco and Peter Bridgewater, former Secretaries General of the Ramsar Convention, with enthusiastic responses received in a few days from individuals in France, Greece, Israel, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Thailand, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The RCN is working in close cooperation with UNESCO, and especially with its World Heritage Centre.
Further information on the Ramsar Culture Network will be provided through this website.