Australian National Wetlands and Waterbirds Taskforce meeting, 26 November 2004
Australia's Wetlands and Waterbirds Taskforce met in Sydney for three days 24 -26 November 2004, and the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, Peter Bridgewater, amid his travels in the region, was able to join an informal dinner on the evening of 25 November and the Taskforce discussions the following morning. Members from most state governments, the Australian Government, and the New Zealand government were present. The meeting was also attended by Eric Fisher, a private Ramsar site manager for the Wilgara Wetlands section of the Macquarie Marshes Ramsar site, and Vainuupo Jungblut, the Assistant Ramsar Officer based in the SPREP Office, Apia, Samoa, participated as well.
Mr Bridgewater presented the scenarios for the future development of the Convention and foreshadowed some of the key issues for the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, set for Uganda in November 2005. Representatives of the States made presentations on recent events within their jurisdictions, which show an impressive level and diversity of activities. There was lively discussion of the difficulties associated with the Convention's national reporting framework for COP9, surely a topic most Contracting Parties will note with empathy! And there was also an exchange of views on the perceived need to simplify the Ramsar Information Sheet documentation in order to streamline the presentation of data associated with Ramsar site nomination.