Cuba hosts international wetlands symposium, November 2007

14 December 2007

VI International Wetlands Symposium in Zapata Cienaga, Cuba

Participants from Latin America and the Caribbean shared experiences about wetland management in the International Symposium in Zapata Ciénaga, Cuba, from 5-9 November 2007. The workshop was attended by scientists, officials, ecologists, students and NGOs members.

María Rivera, Senior Advisor for the Americas of the Ramsar Convention, met with the officials of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba to discuss collaboration opportunities, as well with site managers of 3 Ramsar sites.

Ciénaga de Zapata has an area of 452,000 hectares and was designated as a Ramsar site on 12 April 2001. Located in southern Matanzas province, it is one of the largest and best preserved wetlands in the Caribbean Islands, with the largest area of swamps and tidal pools in Cuba and large areas of forest. It is recognized as a phytogeographic area because of its unique flora. Among the fauna are a diversity of species of birds, primarily migratory species, and local endemic species, which have a limited distribution within the area. There are 19 human communities with a total population of 9,390 persons in the wetland.

Participants in the VI International Symposium on Wetlands

Some of the issues discussed in the workshop were invasive species and ecology and management of ecosystems.

In the exhibition section, the issues were related to biodiversity of the Zapata Cienaga, planning and monitoring of wetlands, behavior of invasive species, and CEPA activities.

-- María Rivera, Ramsar