Ramsar mission in Africa, November 1998

Ramsar mission in Africa, November 1998

1 December 1998

In late October and through to mid-November 1998, the Ramsar Bureau's Regional Coordinator for Africa, Mr Anada Tiéga, visited Botswana, Kenya, Senegal, and Niger.  Here is a very brief report on his visit.

Botswana, 29 October - 4 November 1998

Mr Tiéga assisted in the formulation of Botswana’s Wetland Policy, outlining key issues relating to Botswana's obligations concerning various conventions, protocols and agreements which Botswana has ratified. He also helped to set up a "design mission" in preparation for the development of a management plan for the Okavango Ramsar site. He was able to hold fruitful discussions with all relevant national institutions separately, including the National Conservation Strategy (Coodinating) Agency, the Department of Lands, the Department of Water Affairs, the International Rivers Network, the North-South Carrier Water project Coordinating Unit (Botswana 's representative within OKACOM , which is a joint commission between Angola, Botswana and Namibia for the Okavango River Basin), the Department of Tourism and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, and found them all supportive to the management plan process for the Okavango delta as a starting point for the integrated management plan for the whole basin.

In addition, the National Conservation Strategy (Coordinating) Agency ( NCSA) organized a meeting with all the above agencies and the Okavango Research Center to discuss practical arrangements for the design mission. A reference group was set up along with a scientific and technical team, and a letter of understanding between the NCSA and the Okavango Reseach Center will be signed in order to assign tasks to the Okavango Research Center. For the tasks to be achieved by the design mission, a proposal will be sent to the Ramsar Bureau for approval, and the proposed budget will include government contributions and financial support from the Bureau as well.

niger1.jpg (18816 bytes)Kenya, 5 - 7 November 1998

Mr Tiéga participated in discussions related to the process of Tanzania's accession to the Convention and the preparation of one or more potential Ramsar sites.

Photo: Anada Tiéga and Bill Phillips, the Ramsar delegation to the 2nd International Conference on Wetlands and Development

Senegal, 8 - 14 November 1998, the 2nd International Conference on Wetlands and Development

Mr Tiéga presented papers in two of the Conference workshops and assisted the Deputy Secretary General, Dr Bill Phillips, in networking on Ramsar values with various agencies and people, including delegates from Ramsar Administrative Authorities.

Niger, 15 - 21 November

Mr Tiéga participated in a subregional workshop in "W" National Park, a shared protected area that includes two Ramsar Sites in Burkina Faso and Niger. The meeting was among Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo, in which participants were able to share information about existing policies, strategies, legislation and ongoing activities in their respective countries.

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The meeting called upon the governments of those four nations to initiate an integrated management plan for shared catchments, and to establish a subregional framework to facilitate the harmonization of policies, strategies, legislation and regulations, action plans and programmes relating to wetland conservation and wise use. It was urged that each country should appoint a focal point for following up the implementation of the recommendations. A "Follow-up Committee" was established and its terms of reference are to be drafted by the representatives of the Ramsar Bureau and OMPO and submitted for approval by Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo. Specific projects will be identified and developed by the committee, and its next meeting will take place during COP7 in May 1999.

A publication is planned for disseminating the results of the meeting, and this will be co-organized between the Bureau and OMPO by April 1999.

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Photo (from left): the Minister of Water and Environment of Niger, Mr. Harouna Niyandou; Mr Tiéga; Mr Hervé Lethier of OMPO; Mr Seyni Seydou, head of the Administrative Authority in Niger; and an official from the park administration.

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Photo: Hervé Lethier of OMPO, formerly a member of the Ramsar Bureau staff, and Anada Tiéga, Ramsar Regional Coordinator for Africa.