"Discover European Wetlands"

"Discover European Wetlands"

19 March 2002

WISP's Discover European Wetlands brochure available from Ramsar

"Wetlands in Spatial Planning" (WISP) is an EU-funded project within the Interreg IIC North Sea Region Programme. The project aims to stimulate social and economical development in and around a number of bird-rich wetlands. One of the main objectives is the development of sustainable tourism, eco-tourism, in wetland areas.

WISP focuses on a number of wetland sites located along the North Sea. A common factor for all of the sites is an interesting and rich bird life. Many of the wetlands are designated Ramsar sites, thus being of international importance.

Interconnected wetlands bordering the North Sea are of crucial importance to a large number of bird species. Being part of the Northeast Atlantic Flyway, they are used by vast numbers of waders and waterfowl breeding in the Arctic and wintering in Europe or Africa. En route, the birds are in need of areas for resting and feeding to build up energy for further travel.

Sustainable development of these wetlands might be the key to their continued survival and importance, as the majority are located in densely populated areas and are under several forms of pressure. The development of locally founded eco-tourism is a way to increase society's consciousness as a whole to the values of these wetlands, aiming to aid conserving them for future generations as well.

Planning for the future means maintaining the quality of the areas for the benefit of the ecosystems and the local communities. Exploitation on nature's own terms might well be the key to success. By allowing a certain amount of carefully planned activities, both the birds and their habitat will benefit from increased interest and awareness.

Welcome to a wetland safari!

Discover European Wetlands: a Guide to 12 Wetland Areas in the North Sea Region (36 pages)

In this brochure the reader finds information on how to get to the WISP wetlands, what to see, how they are managed and plans for further development, accessibility and where to find more information.

After a brief nicely-illustrated introduction to wetland ecology; the value of wetlands and how to manage and develop them, the pamphlet presents some of the finest wetlands in the North Sea region, many of which are unique in an international context. Most of them are easily accessible for visitors, and can be explored by foot, bicycle, boat or car. In addition to an exciting array of birds and wildlife, one discovers landscapes with a rich cultural history.

For each of the 12 wetlands highlighted, in Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, there is a "what to see" description of the site and its attractions for birdwatchers and other visitors, as well as a run-down on access and facilities in the area, and it has been produced in all of the WISP languages of Danish, Dutch, English, German, Norwegian, and Swedish.

The brochure, like many other WISP publications which can be seen on the WISP Web site at http://www.eurowetlands.com, can be downloaded (in its English version) from that Web site or ordered directly, in all six languages, from http://www.eurowetlands.com.

Also, WISP has kindly provided a large quantity of the English version to the Ramsar Bureau so that we can provide copies free of charge to our Ramsar readers as well. (We also have more limited quantities of the Danish and Swedish versions, and possibly the other languages soon to come, and will be pleased to provide those, too.)

If you'd like a copy of this attractive and interesting vacation-planner, just send a message to the Ramsar Bureau at (specifying the language version if not English) and, with the benefit of the Secretary General's well-known generosity, we'll get it into the mail for you straightaway.

-- Thanks to Dirk Harmsen of WISP for helping us to make this offer possible.