Austria welcomes a Russian wetland expert delegation for a study tour
In November 2007, a delegation of wetland experts from different parts of Russia arrived in Austria for a one-week study tour about wetlands, protected areas, and their management. The delegation was composed of around 20 experts at different levels, from governments, from site managers to NGO experts and from different regions of the Russian Federation, including important wetland areas on the Kamchatka peninsula, central Siberia, and the Volga Delta.
They first discovered the visitor center of the Ramsar site "Untere Lobau", located in the Viennese part of the "Danube Flood Plain National Park" which is situated between the Austrian capital Vienna and the Slovak capital Bratislava. The Austrian Ramsar focal point, Dr. Gerhard Sigmund, gave them a presentation about Ramsar sites in Austria and the institutional, financial and technical tools used to manage them. This presentation was followed by fruitful exchanges of experiences and good practices between the two countries. Alexia Dufour, the Regional Affairs Officer in the Ramsar Secretariat, was able to join the group for a day and provide additional insight into Ramsar's approach to wetland wise use.
Later, the study tour brought the delegation all over Austria to visit other National Parks, Ramsar sites, and protected areas and to meet with site managers and other stakeholders. A similar exchange visit took place a week later with a delegation from Kazakhstan. Austria has to be congratulated for this important initiative to share know-how and experience among wetland experts in different Contracting Parties, as stipulated in Article 5 of the Convention.
The visitors' centre at Untere Lobau
Alexander Faltejsek, Alexia Dufour, Gerhard Sigmund