The ‘Muscat Action Plan for Wetlands in the Arab Countries’ was recently finalised, following the “Workshop on Wetlands and the Ramsar Convention in the Arabian Peninsula”, in Muscat, Oman from 7 - 9 June 2010. The Plan identified 28 key issues facing wetlands in the Arab countries, particularly those in the Arabian Peninsula. These key issues were classified under five ‘Goals’, i.e. wetland wise use, Ramsar Sites, international cooperation, institutional capacity and membership (of the Ramsar Convention). The link to the meeting report as well as to the Muscat Action Plan (Arabic, English) is provided.
Successful implementation of the Action Plan will now depend on the actions carried out by individual Arab countries, as well as on cooperation between the countries in the region, supported by the international and regional organizations that have programmes and activities on wetland conservation and wise use, and by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat.
The workshop attracted 41 participants, with 25 coming from Oman alone. Government representatives came mainly from countries in the Arabian Peninsula, such as Bahrain, UAE and Yemen (Ramsar Contracting Parties), and Kuwait and Oman (Ramsar non-Contracting Parties). There were also representatives from regional governmental organizations, such as the Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), and UNEP-Regional Office West Asia (UNEP-ROWA). The regional offices of international NGOs who also attended included BirdLife – Middle East and IUCN – Regional Office for West Asia (IUCN-ROWA).
|Opening speech by Mr. Ali Al-Keyumi (Director-General of Nature Conservation)||Group at the opening of the workshop (l. to r. Mr. Hilal Al-Nabhani, Mr. Ali Al-Keyumi, Prof. Nick Davidson, Dr. Mehdi Ahmed Jaaffar and Ms. Zuhaira Ali Dawood)|
The workshop in Muscat was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman and the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Financial support was generously provided by the Danone Fund for Water.
|Overview of the Al-Qurm Nature Reserve, one of the important wetlands in Oman which the workshop participants visited|
|View of the Al-Qurm Nature Reserve||Visit to the mangrove nursery at the Al-Qurm Nature Reserve|
A report by Lew Young, Ramsar’s Senior Advisor for Asia/Oceania