The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the governments of Belarus and Lithuania have added the existing Ramsar Sites “Kotra” (designated in 2002) in Grodno Oblast, Belarus, and “Čepkeliai” (designated in 1993) in Alytus county, Lithuania, to the List of Transboundary Ramsar Sites.
This vast transboundary wooded wetland complex comprises raised and transition bogs, lakes, wet forests, fen mires and inundated meadows mostly concentrated in the floodplain of the River Kotra/ Katra forming the national border; it harbours a number of threatened plant and animal species and is of high importance for maintaining biological diversity in the region.
Ramsar Site sign at Čepkeliai, Lithuania
Wet forest at Kotra, Belarus
As mentioned in the notification letter, “within the Cooperation Plan for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Lithuania for the 2009-2011 period in September of the current year there will be a meeting of the Joint Working Group on protected territories, biodiversity and hunting and fishing matters where it is planned to consider the development of a concerted plan for managing the transboundary territory ‘Kotra- Čepkeliai.”