Lesotho becomes the Convention's 139th Party

Lesotho becomes the Convention's 139th Party

18 August 2004
Lesotho

The Ramsar Secretariat is delighted to report that UNESCO, the Convention depositary, has notified us that on 1 July 2004 Lesotho deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention on Wetlands, as amended by the Paris Protocol (1982) and Regina Amendments (1987), and the Convention will therefore enter into force for Lesotho on 1 November 2004. The new Party's obligatory first Wetland of International Importance is "Lets'eng-la-Letsie", a human-made lake and associated marshes covering 434 hectares along the Mohlakeng River, a far-upstream tributary of the Orange River which descends through South Africa and Namibia to the Atlantic Ocean. The area is a "biodiversity hotspot" in the Drakensberg Mountains area. A more substantial description of the fascinating new Ramsar Site, with some stunning photographs, will follow after the site data has been studied by the Africa team in the Secretariat, but in the meantime we welcome Lesotho to the Ramsar family as our 139th Contracting Party. IUCN's Southern Africa regional office has been extremely helpful in moving the accession process forward. [05/08/04]