The Ramsar Secretariat is delighted to report that UNESCO has sent notification that on 3 August 2004 Mozambique 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 Mozambique on 3 December 2004. The new Party's first Wetland of International Importance is the "Marromeu Complex", which comprises the Marromeu Buffalo Reserve and four surrounding hunting concessions in Northern Sofala Province. The Complex, which has a total area of 1,300,000 hectares, includes more than 680,000 ha of dry forest and woodland savanna, floodplain grassland, deep-water swamp, costal dunes and mangrove forest. It supports a great diversity and abundance of wildlife including Cape buffalo Syncerus caffer, waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus, sable antelope Hippotragus niger, Lichtenstein's hartebeest Sigmoceros lichtensteinii, Burchell's zebra Equus burchellii and African elephant Loxodonta africana. The Marromeu Reserve and surroundings are integrated in the larger Zambezi basin, 1.33 million Km2 extent, which incorporate four distinct biomes and numerous habitats. A more substantial description of the fascinating new Ramsar Site will follow after the site data has been studied by the Africa team in the Secretariat, but in the meantime we welcome Mozambique to the Ramsar family as our 141st Contracting Party.
The Secretariat would particularly like to acknowledge the considerable support offered by the WWF Living Waters Programme and the WWF Maputo office, as well the National Directorate of Environmental Management of Mozambique, whose assistance has been extremely helpful to the Secretariat in moving the accession process forward. [07/09/04]