The Ramsar Culture Network has been helping to strengthen cooperation between the Convention and UNESCO, involving not only the latter’s World Heritage Centre, but also the Man & Biosphere Programme, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section and (in this International Year of Water Cooperation) the International Hydrological Programme (IHP).
Salinas de Añana (image courtesy of Fundación Valle Salado de Añana)
The first of these was the inaugural meeting in Paris of an IHP-led component of the “MedPartnership” GEF project, which aims to produce a detailed source document on the management and protection of groundwater-related coastal wetlands in the Mediterranean; including information on services, mapping, status & trends, pressures and recommended actions,
The second was an international conference on “water landscapes” held in Vitora-Gasteiz in the Spanish Basque Country. This conference explored a range of historical, physiographical, cultural and ecological aspects of water-dominated landscapes, ranging from deltas and rice terraces to inland waterways and desert oases. Again a range of UNESCO-related, other UN and national bodies were represented, and delegates visited the ancient (and still-functioning) inland saltworks valley of Aňana, which is already a Ramsar site and has now been nominated for potential inscription in the World Heritage list. A conference proceedings volume is planned. [16/07/13]
See also “Coordinators of the Ramsar Culture Network (RCN) convened to discuss RCN and UNESCO cooperation” - news item on 30 May 2013, for details of the general Ramsar-UNESCO cooperation meeting organised by RCN in May of this year.
Report by Dave Pritchard, Ramsar Culture Network Joint Coordinator