With the purpose of sharing some of the activities that have been done by some of the Administrative Authorities and other stakeholders regarding the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in the Americas region, the Ramsar Secretariat and the STRP began a series of virtual conferences, also known as webcasts/ webinars, addressed to Ramsar National Focal Points, National Focal Points of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) and the whole Ramsar family. The first webcast, which took place on Monday 22 July, was done in Spanish with the STRP Chair, Mr. Royal Gardner. For this first session, specifically targeted to STRP National Focal Points and Ramsar National Focal Points, the invited speaker was Mr. Enrique Barraza, who is the Ramsar National Focal Point and the STRP Focal Point for El Salvador. He shared his experience about the National Plan to improve the management of Ramsar Sites.
This first session not only helped to promote articulation between Ramsar National Focal Points and STRP National Focal Points but also to remind them their roles as Focal Points. Likewise, other conclusions from the session are: the importance of having baseline information (diagnosis, problematic) about Ramsar Sites that allows the design of tangible actions and management priorities, as is the case of El Salvador, as well as the relevance of having staff directly in charge of implementing the Convention. During the discussions, the importance of National Wetlands Committees was also highlighted as a tool that facilitates the articulation between stakeholders and environmental management regarding wetland issues.
The conference was possible thanks to the technical support of Stetson University to whom we extend our gratitude. You can listen to the recording of the conference and view Mr. Barraza´s presentation here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMa0JRzsZ7I.
Report by Maria Rivera, Senior Advisor for the Americas