25-06-2008 Press release
Wetlands International is shocked by the decision of the Kenyan government to convert large tracts of the Tana wetlands in Kenya into sugarcane-for-ethanol plantations. This dramatic development confirms the NGO’s recent outlook ‘Biofuels in Africa’, which shows that biofuel production in Africa will lead to loss of wetlands and rainforest.
Wetlands International has followed the Convention for the full two weeks and organised several side events (click here for our activities).
The year 2007 experienced a period with lots of rainfall due to the La Nina weather phenomenon.
The project is working to enhance the conservation of waterbirds and the wetlands they depend on in the African Eurasian region. For this we train people, conduct demonstration projects, develop webb...
Virgin Atlantic yesterday said their pioneering flight was a historic step towards using biofuels on commercial flights, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.
Wetlands International on behalf of the WPRP African Training Board announces the call for applications for the 2008 training courses focusing on a modular system of training. These training courses are part of a series of training courses being supported by the WPRP. The main modules were developed in collaboration with various partners such as Wageningen International, UNESCO-IHE, Oxfam America, Kenya Wildlife Service Institute, Foundation for Sustainable Development, Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, Uganda Wetlands Inspection Division and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre through a series of stakeholder consultations and have further undergone processes to ensure their relevance to local contexts.
Furthermore this service to people is often over-exploited, resulting in degradation.Wetlands International calls for wider attention of the role wetlands ecosystems play for water and sanitation. A world facing extreme rainfall followed by droughts from climate change cannot survive without healthy wetlands.
Wetlands International played a very active role in trying to influence the outcomes of the Bali Climate Conference (UN-FCCC COP 13). Our organisation was present with a professional team from various offices. This has led to some successes.
A report of UNDP showed that Malaysia's carbon emissions grew by 221 percent from 1990 to 2004, the largest growth in emissions among the top 30 emitters. Malaysia is ranked 26th on a global league table of emitters. Studies by Wetlands International and its partners have indicated that emissions from degraded peatlands alone in Malaysia are remarkably high, around 100 million tonnes annually.
Click here for the presentation about the Global Peatland Fund with background information.
Results from the first comprehensive global assessment on the links between peatland degradation and climate change presented today show that clearance, drainage and fires in peatlands emit more than 3 billion tones of carbon dioxide every year, equivalent to 10% of global emissions from fossil fuels. Protection and restoration of peatlands are among the most cost- effective options for climate change mitigation.
Indonesia takes, with 2000 million tonnes CO2 emissions per year from degraded peat, the largest share of the global peat emissions; it is a huge problem, but also very concentrated, involving around 13 million hectares. The cost-effectiveness of restoring these degraded areas is very high. Emissions in many of these peatlands are around hundred tonnes per hectare per year.
The Kyoto rules for accounting emissions make a rigid distinction between fossil and non-fossil fuels. Non-fossil fuels are assumed to have by definition zero greenhouse gas emissions. This assumption ignores that there are other emissions than fossil fuel emissions that add to the greenhouse gas balance in the atmosphere. Thus, these Kyoto accounting rules provide a huge incentive for the use of biomass in Annex 1 countries.
In his role as the Honorary President of Wetlands International, Raymond C. Offenheiser will support the organisation as a whole by representing them and providing advice and guidance on key policy and strategic issues. In particular, he will guide the organisation’s partnership approach with the development sector in its work connecting wetlands and livelihoods in developing countries. Mr. Offenheiser will participate as an observer in the organisations’ governance structures and play a role in representing the wider Wetlands international family of staff, members and partners.
Wednesday 5 December (10.00-10:30)
Presentation to the press:
NGO press room ‘wind’ in the Grand Hyatt, Nusa Dua, Bali
New figures about the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by palm oil production in South-east Asia. Presentation of the need to change the Kyoto greenhouse gas accounting rules to include these emissions.
Adopted at the recent 5th Roundtable on Sustainable Development (RT5), the RSPO P&C is a significant milestone for the multi-national and multi-stakeholder group. Established in 2003 to develop certified sustainable palm oil, the recently adopted RSPO P&C has established clear guidelines on best management practices for the industry that minimizes negative impact to the environment. In addition the RSPO P&C ensures protection of high conservation value forests, and rights to land tenure are protected.
The Symposium was opened by Shaoxing Party Secretary Wang Yongchang, Deputy Administrator of the State Forestry Administration of China, the Chief Planner of the Ministry of Construction of China, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation in Mali Abdoulaye Berthe, the Mayor of Shaoxing Municipal People’s Government Zhang Jinru and Wetlands International’s CEO Jane Madgwick.
Participants at the Symposium urged governments, development, health and conservation agencies involved in wetland management, to take action to improve the health of all people, in harmony with wetland conservation objectives; and committed themselves to the same aim.
The current disaster took place in an area not far from Ramsar Convention Wetlands of International Importance in the Kuban Delta (Russia) and Eastern Sivash (Ukraine). Nearby there are 5 more Ramsar sites along the Ukrainian Sea of Azov coast all of which are very important for wintering, migratory and breeding waterbirds.
The first such workshop was held in Kenya in January 2007, the third is planned for Mali in October 2008. These workshops enable people working on the balance between wetland conservation and livelihood development all over the world to build partnerships and share experiences.
22 October 2007. he Dutch minister Ms. J. Cramer has decided to exclude palm oil for two years from all subsidies that other green energies will receive. The reasons for this exclusion are the doubts and questions regarding the sustainability of palm oil. The devastating impact of palm oil plantations on the valuable peatswamp forests of Indonesia was highlighted.
The Luc Hoffmann Medal has been awarded to Prof.dr. Anthony (Tony) D. Fox and Prof. Richard Kingsford. Both are awarded this Medal for excellence in wetland research and for outstanding communications, team work and collaboration worldwide for the active promotion of wetland conservation and wise use.
Tomorrow, on the 26th of September, the members of the European Parliament will vote on the Thomsen Report - roadmap on renewable energy. This report pushes for a 10% mandatory target for biofuels for transport without any viable certification mechanisms in place. The ambitious target of 10% will leave no room to exclude large production of unsustainable biofuels. The mandatory biofuel target is not linked to a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Wetlands International presents today its publication about South-east Asian shorebirds, based on years of field monitoring in Malaysia. Shorebird numbers showed an overall decline of 22% in Malaysia between 1983–1986 and 2004–2006. The reclamation and conversion of mangrove forest and mudflats for aquaculture, agriculture, industry, housing and recreational purposes has been identified as the major threat to waterbird areas.
The development is being proposed by Lake Natron Resources Ltd., a company jointly owned by Tata Chemicals Ltd. and the Tanzania National Development Corporation, a state-owned entity established to coordinate commercial development in Tanzania. The proposal has the support of the President.
More and more governments and corporates recognise the importance of safeguarding the world’s remaining peatswamp forests. Their huge carbon stocks, equivalent to around 100 years of fossil fuel emissions are a precious global asset.
No less than 12 countries of the global intergovernmental Convention on Biodiversity (CBD SBSTTA) have yesterday made their recommendations to the Executive Secretary with regard to safeguarding the world’s remaining peatswamp forests. They urged the Executive Secretary to recognize the importance of peatlands, specifically tropical peatlands, in the global carbon cycle and the potential of peatland conservation and sustainable use as a cost-effective tool for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
At this moment, the global governmental Convention on Biodiversity (CBD - SBSTTA) holds their meeting in Paris. The protection and restoration of peatlands in order to conserve their carbon stocks is an important item on the agenda. Peatlands all over the world store enormous amounts of carbon. Their degradation is causing CO2 emissions equivalent to 8% of all global fossil fuel emissions. These huge emissions are not addressed under the Kyoto Protocol at all. There is now a major opportunity for the CBD to take leadership over this issue.
Such a high level of support on a particular topic is highly unusual and reflects the support for the urgent need to protect this type of habitat.
The Millennium Development Goals are 8 concrete goals to tackle the biggest global problems before 2015 and were agreed upon by the world leaders at the turn of the millennium.
At this moment, government representatives of almost all countries gather in Paris to prepare the Convention on Biodiversity meeting in Bonn next year in a technical meeting (CBD-SBSTTA). This meeting in Paris is crucial as it in fact decides about the agenda and issues for resolutions for COP 9 – the high level governmental Convention meeting in Bonn, May 2008.
At the 26th UNFCCC Subsidiary Body meetings in Bonn this week, Working Group III of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the inclusion of the impact of peatlands on climate change in their report ‘Mitigation of Climate Change’.
Wetlands International sets the global standard for research into waterbird numbers and distribution at continental scales, and the role of waterbirds as indicators of climate change is an increasingly important element of this work.
This week, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) is meeting in Bonn to prepare the agenda for the UN-FCCC summit in Bali, December 2007. Wetlands International demands the SBSTA to put the problem of peatland loss on the agenda. Our organisation will present the facts and solutions in an official side-event.
More than 50% of the new palm oil plantations in Indonesia are planned on peatlands. With these criteria, many Indonesian and Malaysian producers will lose the markets of the 4th largest palm oil importer. Wetlands International calls for the EU, individual countries to take action to stop the rapid expansion of palm oil from peatlands and the adverse environmental targets and subsidies promoting this expansion.
Green Coast is a tsunami response project, aiming at rehabilitating livelihoods of affected communities by restoring coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forest and marine resources.
Today, (Monday 12 March) in The Hague, the UK Minister of the Environment, Barry Gardiner MP, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Mrs Gerda Verburg, Secretary Generals from the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the UN Convention on Migratory Species, the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and experts worldwide met to launch a new global guide to conservation: ‘Waterbirds around the world.’ They discussed the need for greater global action for the future protection of waterbirds and their habitats.
In 2004 the Conference ‘Waterbirds around the World’ was held in Edinburgh. The aim of the presentations and discussions was to review the protection, management and study of the world’s waterbird species and the migration routes That they use.
Directly after the outbreak; many pointed at wild birds as the likely cause. Despite intensive monitoring programmes, no infected wild birds have been found in Europe since the summer of 2006. At this time of year, birds hardly migrate and this reduces the chances of wild birds spreading the disease. Birds at the farmwere kept indoors at all times and contact with wild birds in the area was therefore always unlikely.
Wetlands are crucial for fighting climate change. This relation is still quite unknown and not acknowledged yet by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the UN organisation that presented today’s report.
In Asia, 62% of the populations are now decreasing or have become extinct, and only 10% show an increasing trend. In Oceania one in six species have already become extinct.
Most observers are members of enthusiastic voluntary networks, with professional coordination at the national level. Altogether they spend about 50,000 hours on this fieldwork. Wetlands international organizes a standard method for the count, which makes it easy to compare yearly census data. Each year, between 30 million and 40 million waterbirds are counted in every continent except Antartica.
These conclusions were drawn from new research by the NGO Wetlands International, amongst others. About a quarter of palm oil originates from drained peatlands, which were tropical peat swamps until recently.
National Director for The Peregrine Fund’s Madagascar Project, Lily-Arison Rene de Roland, and field biologist, Thé Seing Sam, discovered the rare bird while conducting avian surveys in a remote part of northern Madagascar. They observed nine adults and four young that appeared to be nearly two weeks of age.
These figures that change the global picture on greenhouse gas emissions will be presented at the UN-climate Conference in Nairobi, Tuesday the 7th of November 2006.
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Now the dry season has started, wildfires are occurring in several places in Sumatra and Kalimantan. They are already so large that parts of peninsular Malaysia are becoming covered with smoke. The fires are not just caused by farmers who burn their fields; they are the result of extensive drainage by companies of the naturally wet peat forest areas.
Among the victims were many people with whom we worked in collaboration, both in WWF and the Nepalese government. They shall be missed and we send our condolences to their relatives.
The Project Coordination Unit (PCU) has now been established through United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and will operate under the umbrella of UNEP within The Netherlands.
Click here for more details about the Project. or go to www.wetlands.org/wow.
The projects will show how better management of wetland areas can help sustain livelihoods of the local people, while safeguarding the important values of wetlands such as fresh water supply and rich areas of biodiversity. Financial support for the projects comes from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Now the dry season has started in South East Asia, wildfires are beginning to occur in several places in Sumatra and Kalimantan. They are already so large that parts of peninsular Malaysia are becoming covered with smoke. The fires are mostly caused by farmers who burn fields and newly cleared forest areas. Unfortunately these set light to the underlying peat soil which has been dried out as a result of extensive drainage of these naturally wet peat areas.
The Wetland and Poverty Reduction Project has established a Seed Funding Facility for supporting partnerships to prepare project proposals that address poverty and improve wetland management.
In the Nature issue of 6 July, Ducatez et al revealed the detection of three very different strains of Avian Influenza (HPAI) in poultry farms in two different parts in Nigeria. These strains of Avian Influenza were sequenced at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
This is an important outcome as many feared that through the sequence of Autumn and Spring migration, HP H5N1 would be carried by wild birds from the outbreak areas into Africa and then back up into Europe.
Wetlands International argued earlier that a strong link of wild birds to the outbreaks in Africa was unlikely. Attention to the role of wild birds is needed, but the biggest threats for a global spread remain the transport of live birds- poultry and caged birds, as well as their products.
Current Danube Agreements and developing European initiatives offer hope that this will happen but are taking place too slowly to prevent further significant damage in the coming years.
An active campaign in providing information about the investigation and the risks of H5N1 has led to active support from African governments. International scale research is essential to provide reliable information on the incidence of H5N1 and on the degree of risk of transmission from wild birds.
Although most governments are represented on a high level, they failed to agree on anything that will enforce any action on the global problems of droughts, floods and pollution caused at least partly by wetland destruction. Many government delegations appeared mainly to be present to support their national industries.
The world water forum in Mexico could have been the place to agree about the global challenges of wetland destruction, floods and droughts. It is not. Companies are overwhelmingly attending to sell their water-related products, not to contribute to sustainable solutions. Government leaders and representatives are present to support these national industries, not to decide about global approaches and solutions.
Kathmandu, Nepal; 7th March 2006:
This initiative was decided at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ( ICIMOD ) , in Kathmandu , Nepal from 27th February to 7th March 2006.
Sundari is a well loved office Director and a prominent member of Wetlands International's global team. Apart from her practical and intelligent approach to life and work, Sundari has always kept a sense of fun and has been cheerful, optimistic and constructive when approaching the challenges facing Wetlands International in Malaysia, the region and globally.
This weekend, there were several infections in 'new' wild birds confirmed in Europe. In Germany, infected seagulls and a goshawk were found. In France the ‘dangerous’ birdflu virus H5N1 has been reported in a wild duck, apparently a Pochard (Aythya ferina). The Pochard was confirmed as having died near Lyon on 19 February.
The outbreak of avian influenza among Mute Swans in Southern Europe is most likely to have been caused by swans coming from Eastern Europe. Infected swans from the same south-east European population (see attached chart) were already detected in the Caspian and Black Sea region in November and December.
On 8 February, an outbreak of the deadly form of Avian Influenza (H5N1) was confirmed in poultry farms in Nigeria: the first country in Africa to be affected.
The workshop on Wetlands, Water and Livelihoods brought together a range of experience from 30 countries and included representatives from national and regional governments, non-governmental organizations, aid organizations, and research institutions. It follows the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Conference of Parties in November 2005, in which over 150 countries committed to take action on wetlands and poverty reduction according to Resolution 14.
This is the conclusion drawn by Wetlands International after an international workshop in South Africa. The organisation presented today an agenda for poverty reduction.
The United Nations state that the recent spread of avian flu to Turkey is caused by wild birds. Millions of these wild birds have now reached their winter destination. No serious outbreak due to these migrations has occurred yet. However, several outbreaks in the poultry sector did occur.
An international delegation of field-level practitioners, policy and decision-makers, university and private agencies will gather in the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Press is invited to join a field trip on the first of February.
The government of the Netherlands will be investing 5 million Euros in the coming two years on basis of the “Peat Forest Amendment” which was passed in the Dutch parliament on November 14, 2004.
In places where mangroves, coastal forests and coral reefs were still intact, the effects were less disastrous. Through this project, the organisations want to work with governments and the local population to achieve sound coastal development.
The President named the threats for the protection of wetlands: frozen social structures, agriculture, siltation, but surprisingly also the international environmental NGO’s. After an earlier cancellation and a long delay, the President finally spoke to the Convention hosted by his country.
The Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention in Kampala, ending today, have made remarkably ambitious agreements on major issues, according to the NGO’s. The Convention underlined that culling of wild birds or destroying wetlands should not be considered as a method to stop the spread of the avian flu, as these measures might even exacerbate the spread of the disease.
In the last year, we witnessed a large number of natural disasters. In many of them, wetlands played a role in preventing and mitigating their impacts. In some situations, the loss and degradation of wetlands led to greater losses of human life and increased poverty amongst local communities.
Downloadable from the publications section
WETLANDS, WATER AND LIVELIHOODS WORKSHOP An international workshop exploring best practices and lessons learned in integrating poverty and environment issues September 26th – 28th, 2005 Seasands Lodge & Conference Centre St. Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA FIRST ANNOUCEMENT AND CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
The fourth edition of Waterbird Population Estimates has now been available for comment for several weeks. An updated version, including all amendments made to date is now available.
The 5th Conference of the Working Group on Aquatic Birds of the International Society of Limnology (SIL) "Limnology and Waterbirds 2006" will be held in Eger, Hungary, August 26-30, 2006. If you wish to receive the First Announcement and further notices, please complete and return the Expression of Interest form to the address below.
Area of investigations: wetlands of the Mediterranean (freshwater and brackish) region My main interest is conservation biology with studies on threatened species (bird, fish and amphibians) within the Mediterranean region. I have expertise in colonial waterbirds, freshwater and brackish fish and ecosystem management.
The Goose Specialist Group of Wetlands International seeks to strengthen contacts between all researchers on migratory goose populations in the northern hemisphere. A database with goose censuses from the western palearctic is supported by a network of national coordinators.
Mega support for peatlands of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia We are pleased to report that the Global Peatland Initiative (GPI) has received an official invitation from the Dutch DGIS/Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lead the development of a proposal for the implementation of the Central Kalimantan Peat Swamp Rehabilitation and Management Programme.
Wetlands International is pleased to present the Wetlands International Specialist Groups Report (1999-2004). This report covers the period 1999–2004 inclusive, of activities by the respective specialist groups and it is aimed to inform people of the role the groups play in ‘wetlands science and conservation’.
Postponement: the International workshop on Sustaining Peatland Resources - Setting a Course for Wise Use, scheduled for 5-7 July 2005, Bogor, Indonesia will be postponed. The Workshop Steering Committee is re-programming the event and will release further information as soon as possible.
The Second Central Asian Flyway Meeting of Range States to develop a common international framework to promote the conservation of migratory waterbirds and wetlands was held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, India, from 10-12 June 2005. For the report and pictures, click here.
Postponement: The coastal wetlands conference How Do We Achieve Successful Management and Restoration of Mangrove Forests, Tidal Marshes, Seagrass Meadows and Coral Reefs? planned from 24-28 July 2005 in Thammarin Thana, Trang province, Thailand will be postponed.
Link to the electronic version is available on the right
A link to the electronic version is available on the right.
On the 31st of May 2005 the Wetlands International Strategic Intent 2005-2014 was formally launched in The Hague, The Netherlands, where invited guests, staff and friends gathered at the festive ceremony.
In Bamako, Mali on 27 March, a new book, The Niger, a lifeline, was presented by the Netherlands Ambassador Harry Bukema to Hamed Diane Semega, the Mali Minister for Mines, Energy and Water. The book, written by Wetlands International and partners is a crucial product on measuring the impacts of various dams in economic values. This enables decisions as net costs or benefits are visible.
Following the approval by the Wetlands International Board of Directors for the development of a core group of Associate Experts, experts who have had a long standing relationship with Wetlands International, and subsequent appointment of the first set of these experts.
Asian Wetland Symposium 2005 The Asian Wetland Symposium 2005 - innovative approaches to sustainable livelihood, held between 6-9 February 2005, in Bhubaneswar and Chilika, Orissa state, India, has successfully concluded.
Final Statement Arising from the Wetlands International and Partners side event “Unseen Role of Wetlands” held at the FAO/Netherlands Conference on Water for Food and Ecosystems "Make it Happen" on 1 February 2005 delivered by Prof Tekalign Mamo, State Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ethiopia.
Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Area Celebrated its 2nd World Wetlands Day Thailand became a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention on 13 May1997. Thailand’s first Wetland of International Importance is Khuan Kee Sian, a swamp forest site adjacent to Thale Noi Non-Hunting Area, Pathhalung Province in the south of Thailand.
The second meeting of the Wetlands and Livelihoods Working Group is to be held on the 7th February 2005 with the kind cooperation of Novib in The Hague.
The keynote technical presentations at the recent Board of Members meeting were grouped into four priority goal areas of our work, namely Wetlands and Global Water Agenda, Wetlands and Ecological Networks, Wetlands and Livelihoods, and Wetlands Knowledgebase.
Manuals have been prepared for Coordinators and Counters of the International Waterbird Census.
Integrated Water Resources Management in Urmia Lake Basin, Iran Lake Urmia (5000 km2) is one of the most important and valuable aquatic ecosystems in Iran, and because of its unique natural features it has been declared a National Park, Ramsar site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The first workshop of the Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Group was held on August 27th 2004 at the Wetlands International Wageningen Office in the Netherlands. The workshop was well attended by representatives from the development assistance and the environmental sector.
For example, the recovery and re-habilitation of mangroves and linked coastal and marine habitats will be vital to increase coastal protection and support coastal fisheries.
On 29-30 October, 2004, in Anchorage, Alaska, the United States was pleased to host a delegation from Japan for a consultative meeting under the auspices of the U.S.-Japan migratory bird conventio
On December 7, 2004 in Beijing, the first Wetlands International Global Recognition for Wetlands Conservation and Wise Use award was presented by CEO Jane Madgwick to Minister Zhou Shengxian, on behalf of the China State Forestry Administration (SFA).
The Specialist Group Coordinator for November is Christine Prietto of the Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) SG
On 2 November 2004 the Minister of Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Mrs van Ardenne, has adopted for 2005 an amendment to the Dutch budget for development cooperation, which will enable financing in the order of Euro 5 million in 2005 and 10 million of structural funding each following year for the conservation and restoration of the peatswamp forests of Central Kalimantan, integrated with poverty reduction.
WWF-China has published the results of a comprehensive waterbird survey entitled: Waterbird Survey of the Lower Yangtze River Floodplain in Late January and Early February 2004
On 25 November, 75 Members, staff and special guests gathered to celebrate Wetlands International’s 50th anniversary. Master of Ceremony Tunde Ojei guided the guests back through 50 years of wetland conservation history and several guests shared their vision of the future.
The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Myanmar has deposited its instrument of accession with the Director-General of UNESCO as of 17 November 2004, and thus the Convention, as amended in 1982 and 987, will enter into force for Myanmar on 17 March 2005.
An updated version of the Strategy in Russian has been produced by the Wetlands International - Russia Office to promote awareness about waterbirds and international conservation initiatives in the northern breeding grounds of most migratory waterbirds.
Join the first migratory shorebird celebration in Malaysia! On 10 October the return of Migratory Shorebirds to Malaysia is celebrated
The final workshop of the Small Grants Programme of the Ukrainian Rivers Network has taken place.
Between 14-19 November 2004 a series of international meetings were held in Korea to promote waterbird and wetland conservation in the Asia-Pacific under the framework of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy.
From 22 August to 4 September, the Myanmar Bird & Nature Society undertook an Education Program for Waterbird and Wetland Conservation in and around Inle Wetland Bird Sanctuary in East Myanmar. This project is mainly aimed towards school children and their teachers with the purpose of motivating them to cooperate in the conservation of waterbirds and wetlands.
Shorebird ecologists and conservationists from Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States gathered on the Yukon Delta refuge's Bering Sea coastline from 2-13 September 2004.
As of 21 September 2004, the North East Asian Crane Site Network jumped to 28 sites with the addition of two sites from the Republic of Korea: Gumi-Haepyung Wetland and Suncheon Bay. This brings the number of crane network sites in the Republic to four.
The RIZA Wetland Advisory and Training Centre (WATC) and the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education have jointly launched the Wetland Professionals Platform. The platform will provide space for wetland professionals worldwide to interact, exchange information, announce events and training opportunities. Visit, use and bookmark www.wetlandprofessionals.org.
Presented in honour of Luc Hoffmann, one of the founders of Wetlands International, the award has been established in recognition of his outstanding legacy and achievements in wetlands science and conservation.
The Wetlands International Black Sea Programme and the Institute of Ecology (INECO) of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine organised a training course for NGO representatives. This course on Public Participation in Conservation of Small Rivers took place in Kyiv from 12-18 July 2004. Click here for the report and pictures.
The Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute is organising the International Course on African Wetland Management (ICAWM). The ICAWM, formerly known as The East African Wetland Management Course, is designed for those actively involved in either inland or coastal wetland management. It will be held in Naivasha, Kenya from 13 October - 23 November.
Wetlands International is establishing a Working Group on Wetlands and Poverty Reduction. The first workshop of the Working Group was held in Wageningen, the Netherlands on 27 August 2004
On 4 August the International Seminar on Jiuduansha Wetlands Nature Reserve was held in Shanghai, China. Wetlands International President Dr. Max Finlayson presented the opening speech, which you can read here.
Wetlands International hosted the Mid-Term workshops of the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP). A brief report is available on the Ramsar website.
Specialist Group Coordinators for July/August: Co-chairs Malcom Coulter and Wim Van den Bossche of the Stork, Ibis and Spoonbill Specialist Group.
The review shows the project highlights of our Species, Inventory, Wise Use and Capacity Building programmes over the past year. It includes a "spotlight" on the cross-cutting African/Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Flyways Project that was approved last year and will start implementation in 2005.
Wetlands International is delighted to congratulate Luc Hoffmann on the occasion of his receiving the International Association for Ecology (INTECOL) award, which was announced at the INTECOL dinner on 29th July (7th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference, Utrecht, The Netherlands).
The Fourth Working Meeting of the Ukrainian Rivers Network (URN) took place in Sevastopol city, Crimean Autonomous Republic from 23-27 June 2004. It was jointly organised by the "Dobry Svit" Environmental Nature-Conserving Organisation, "Skyphya" Environmental Regional Club, the Wetlands International Black Sea Programme and the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine.
Hilary Chiew explores the world of waterbirds and wetlands and waterbird monitoring through the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) and the latest outcomes as reported in a new regional report (1997-2001).
Wetlands International is pleased to report that the Wetlands International office in Senegal has been awarded by the Senegalese Ministry of Environment. The award is an important recognition of the office's efforts that have been undertaken not only in Senegal but also in other African countries and regions.
From 1-5 June 2004 the International Symposium for Conservation of the Black-faced Spoonbill was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The symposium was organised by the Korean Federation for Environment Movement and was attended by over 50 participants.
On 29 May 2004 the Symposium on the Conservation of Nakdong Esturary was held in Busan City. It was jointly organised by Green Korean United -Busan, Wetlands and Birds Korea and the Korean Federation for Environment Movement to make a joint effort for the conservation of the estuary.
Waterbirds, especially shorebirds are an important part of the environment, and of extremely important value to science, culture, recreation and economic development for many communities. Tidal flats around the Yellow Sea in north-east Asia are crucial feeding areas during northward and southward flights for over 5 million shorebirds that migrate every year between the Arctic and Australasia.
A report that analyses data on waterbirds and wetlands in Asia provides vital insights into major concentrations of wild waterbirds, has just been released. This report will inform national and international conservation programmes of priority sites for waterbirds and is valuable for agencies developing plans to minimize transmission of diseases, such as bird flu between farmed birds and wild birds.
Coalition launches EUR 30 million Strategy to protect West Africa's coasts and seas: Six West-African countries and fifty conservation, research and development organisations have agreed to work together on marine and coastal conservation at a high-level conference in Dakar, Senegal on 13 June.
After nine months intensive work by Wetlands International, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has recently approved 350,000 USD (matched by a further ca. 300,000 USD) towards the preparation of
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