Latest NewsThursday, October 10, 2019 at 11:12 AM
WWN member at Ramsar Network Japan (RNJ) Minoru Kashiwagi has submitted a motion for the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress 2020. The motion is about the natural flow of water for the conservation of wetlands.
The IUCN is one of the biggest international non-governmental organisations with members from governments, civil society organisations and, indigenous people’s organisations. It is one of the founders of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and is one of the six International Organisation Partners (IOPs) of Ramsar Convention. IOPs are non-governmental organisations and not parties to the convention but that are given a status equivalent to parties except for voting because of their contributions for implementation etc. The Ramsar Secretariat is hosted at IUCN Headquarters at Gland, Switzerland. In this sense the IUCN has been supportive to NGOs ever since. It supoorted pre-COP NGO forums of Multilateral Environment Agreements in late 90s and early 2000s in the name of Global Biodiversity Forum. The forums provided opportunities for local groups to participate in COPs and to make presentations on their activities to the world.
Submission of a motion to the Congress of IUCN can be an effective tool for NGOs, especially grassroots and indigenous groups. Non-governmental members can submit a motion directly. It is not like in the case of a draft resolution at Ramsar COP. In the case of COP only parties, i.e. government, can submit. NGOs have to find a party to propose a resolution. Once adopted, a motion will be a resolution or recommendation that all members of the IUCN, be they government or non-gorvernmental organisations, have to follow.
The submission of this Motion is a result of a joint project of WWN, RNJ and Korea Wetland NGO Network (KWNN) on the natural flow of water. It started at an international NGO workshop organised by WWN/KWNN/RNJ in Busan, Republic of Korea, in 2017. It is a project to halt the degradation/loss of wetlands due to developments on the flow of water from the headstream to estuaries and to coastal region less than 6 m in depth as defined by Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. KWNN proposed this project to address the national project of Four Rivers Project described in the appeal on WWN website. There have been many cases of degradation and loss in Japan and East Asia where there has been and was a strong pressure of development. KWNN and RNJ took the initiative for this project since then.
The motion calls on member states to legislate against risks to indigenous people, ecosystems, and local communities, by new projects that would prevent the natural flow of water, in particular, construction projects.
The motion points out the value of free-flowing rivers to ecologically-based disaster risk-reduction (EcoDRR), and the examples of the removal of Arase Dam in Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan, proposal of re-naturalisation of rivers by Republic of Korea and EU Water Directive linking water and ecosystem services.
Before reaching the Congress, IUCN members will discuss the proposed motions and vote online on a selection to be brought forward to the Congress itself. If you are eligible and would like to discuss the motion with Minoru, please get in touch.
The Congress will happen in Marseille, France, in June 2020.
Thursday, August 08, 2019 at 3:14 PM
We extend a warm welcome to Laura Chamberlin, Assistant Director for North America working on community engagement as part of Manomet and WHSRN (Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network) who has agreed to be our WWN North America representative (she replaces Tim Grunewald, of ICF as the previous rep). She has done a lot of work on local engagement and awareness raising activities as well as international networking activities. We look forward to benefitting from her knowledge and experience, and her network of contacts across North America and further afield.
Tuesday, July 09, 2019 at 11:41 AM
NGOs have worked together to influence national and international actors to protect an important coastal wetland.
The Chinese coast of the Yellow Sea was always a likely candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Status. The mudflats are vital for millions of migratory birds; they are essential feeding places on the difficult journeys–the birds there often are flying to or from places like the Russian Far East, Australia, and the Bay of Bengal.
In a region with high coastal development and shipping needs, parts of the Yellow Sea had become oases for the birds. Flagship species that depend on it include the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper.
Rudong, China. Photo Rich Hearn/WWT.
Then, a few weeks before UNESCO was due to confirm the latest batch of World Heritage sites, conservationists were blindsided: the official recommendation was that the Yellow Sea should not be put forward as a candidate, for another five years.
Wetland scientists immediately approached the interested NGOs, both in China and abroad. As a network, this quickly reached many people and in a few weeks they had prepared a letter with more than 60 signatories for the UNESCO World Heritage Centre asking that rather than waiting until it was too late, they should inscribe the mudlfats on the World Heritage list now.
Once they had distributed the letter to the powers that be, it was an anxious wait.
Then on Friday morning, the news came through: the cooperation had worked. UNESCO officially made the migratory bird stops into World Heritage Sites!
Some conservationists had been fearful of the consequences of missing this opportunity for official protection and tourism investment. With it in place they can be more confident in saving species such as the spoon-billed sandpiper from extinction.
While there is still a lot of work to be done for these wetlands, the story so far is an encouraging case-study of how NGO networks can amplify their voice and get closer to their goals, by engaging in networks.
Tuesday, July 09, 2019 at 9:29 AM
The current and previous head of Youth Ramsar Japan, Takuma Satoh and Atushi Tanabe respectively, have visited the Slimbridge Wetland Centre in the UK. Maximising their time in Europe at the Ramsar Standing Committee meeting, they then went to the UK to meet WWN Deputy Chair Chris Rostron and colleagues.
Visiting Sir Peter Scott's house at Slimbrige.
Takuma Satoh writes:
This was the first time I visited an overseas wetland visitor center. First of all, I was surprised at the scale of the Slimbridge Wetland Centre. I felt it was rooted in the locality: WWT centres in the UK have more than 1 million visitors per year and most of them visit from within 20 miles.
It is interesting that the zones of wetland conservation and animal contact are clearly separated, yet each place has different generations and interests for visitors.
By feeding the birds in the collection area, the children learn the original experiences of touching wild animals, while bird-loving adults can secretly observe wild birds. I expressed that it was somewhat like a Japanese zoo, but not exactly. The zoo has a strict permiter, and brings out the wild animals that are not there from the outside, but Slimbridge is the place in the wetland and there is an environment where the wild animals live better. The zoo ends only with contact, and we do not look after environmental conservation and relations with the local community. I felt that there was a fresh place.
I also felt it has a great deal of educational approaches. These had the flexibility to change the contents of the workshop according to the age and the needs of the visiting children. I felt that the connection was created so that not only the children in the area but also the visiting adults could learn.
Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 4:46 PM
Following their closing statement to Ramsar’s 13th Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP13) in October 2018, the Youth Engaged in Wetlandsare continuing to engage with the Ramsar convention. Joining in the 57th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee thanks to the generous support of Youth Ramsar Japan, they have been getting good support from national delegates.
Elise Allély, Takuma Satoh, and Atsushi Tanabe have been warmly welcomed to the meeting, at Ramsar headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. One of the highlights from meeting this meeting is that Ramsar’s COP14 will be hosted in Wuhan, China, in 2021. Some countries have indicated interest in proposing a focus on youth at the next COP.
Elise Allély, the WWN Youth Facilitator, reports back as the meeting comes to a close:
“From the discussions throughout the week and interventions in plenary, we are pleased to see the enthusiasm and support among delegates around engaging youth in particular in the context of the 50th anniversary of the Convention. Some initial keywords mentioned for the COP14 were Youth, Water, Future and Responsibility! A promising direction for the big birthday of Ramsar!
The Youth Engaged in Wetlands team remains as committed as ever, inspired and full of new ideas! We are keen to keep the contacts we made in the meeting and to lend our voices and ideas as we go towards an exceptional 50th anniversary for wetlands and post COP14”.
See Secretary General Urrego's tweet about meeting the YEW team!
Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 11:45 AM
The Korean Citizens’ Alliance for Re-natralizing Four Major Rivers is asking for help to promote restoration activities for the four major rivers. Currently, the Korean government is evaluating the Four Rivers Project and is planning a policy to restore naturalness of the rivers. In February, Korean government deliberated the proposal of the treatment plan to dismantle some of the dams in two of the four major rivers. The Korean government is also planning to evaluate the remaining dams of the other two rivers.
The 4 Rivers Project was launched by the former President Lee Myeong Bak 10 years ago despite oppositions of most Korean population. Through this project 18 large weirs and dams were built alongside massive dredging construction. After the Project was finished, serious environmental crisis come to reality in 4 major rivers; Wetlands and endangered species started to disappear. The bloom of toxic blue-green algae degrades water quality severely.
However, this policy is in trouble. The opposition party, which was promoting the four major rivers in the past, is strongly opposing the dismantling of dams. The plan to revive the environment of the rivers is being hampered by the interference of some political groups. The Korean NGO community would like to ask you for help to restore the four rivers. They ask your group to join in a joint statement for restoration of the Four Rivers. The support of the international NGOs will be very helpful for restoring the Four Rivers. Please consider as soon as possible whether your organisation can sign the appeal and send the confirmation of your organisation's signature hopefully by 3rd of June. You can sign by clicking on this link.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 11:50 AM
WWN’s committee has met to sign-off on the completion of the 2016–2018 Strategic Plan and to start preparing for the next three years.
Meeting by Skype, the Chair, Deputy Chair, Asia Representative and West Asia Representative confirmed that WWN has accomplished most of the objectives of the 2016–2018.
- Objective 1, Governance, 4/6 points completed
- Objective 2, Communication and Engagement, 4/6 points completed
- Objective 3, Ramsar Convention, 2/5 points completed
- Objective 4, Citizen Science, 2/3 points completed
Overall the committee is satisfied with how WWN has progressed in the two years since they set out the plan; it was also a good opportunity to review our work and note the how the Network has grown in size, activity and reputation.
We are aware that there are incomplete objective points, and we will carry at least some of these over to the next strategic plan. We have started the process of creating the new plan. We aim to have the new strategic plan in place in September; but before then we invite input from all WWN members.
Please get in touch with the Deputy Chair Chris Rostron with your thoughts or ambitions for WWN’s future.
Friday, March 08, 2019 at 2:44 PM
After the successful delivery of the first Global Citizen Science Survey of the State of the Worlds Wetlands, the core group met at Slimbridge, UK, to plan for round two. The group looked at the strengths and weakness of the first survey, talked about the key results and outcomes, and how we can deliver an improved version in time for the next Ramsar COP14 in 2021. Our key suggestions were to:
- Repeat the survey monkey questionnaire, but with improved online support
- Additional levels of input from social media resources, to be developed
- Use existing results to create useful tools for local respondants, once the initial reserach paper published
- Maintain contact with the original group of respondents that expressed an interest in on-going contact
We will work on these proposals over the comoing months and keep all respondants, and the WWN network as a whole, up to date. The published scientific paper on the survey should be available soon.
The planning group (Nick Davidson and Matt Simpson, SWS, Chris Rostron, Connor Walsh and Rob Shore, WWT, Rob McInnes, independent consultant), March 2019
Wednesday, March 06, 2019 at 1:12 PM
It is with great sadness we announce that Dr. Lew Young passed away from a heart attack whilst with colleagues in Beijing on Tuesday 5 March 2019. Lew was the CEO of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership and before that, Senior Asia Advisor for the Ramsar Secretariat. He helped launch and run the WetlandLink International-Asia project with colleagues from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in 2006, whilst he was managing the Mai Po wetland centre in Hong Kong, a network of wetland centres that is still alive and well.
Lew has been involved with WWN since its inception at Ramsar COP10, 2008. He was instrumental in launching the World Wetland Network, bringing together NGOs and building on his previous experience with WWF and his extensive network of contacts. We have always been grateful for his support, knowledge and enthusiasm for involving civil society in wetland conservation.
Lew has always given us great advice, made time despite his busy schedule and had enormous patience, as well as a wicked sense of humour. He was a supreme diplomat, able to bring partners together and find solutions that enabled good decisions to be taken and projects to be delivered. We will miss him immensely, but his legacy lives on in his incredible achievements for wetland conservation, and he will always be an inspiration to us. With great sadness at his passing, but also great joy that we had the privilege of working with him.
Lew, you continue to be an inspiration for us all.
Condolences and tributes can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
WWN Management Committee
Friday, February 01, 2019 at 9:08 AM
Core group active on four continents
The WWN core group members are all busy celebrating World Wetlands Day this year. Here’s a summary of what we’re up to:
Louise Duff is speaking at a conference at Cockburn Wetland Centre, Perth, Australia, local participants on the outcome of the global citizen science wetland survey that we did with the Society of Wetland Scientists and WWT; in particular on the value of community engagment as revealed in the survey.
Chris Rostron is speaking at the French national launch of World Wetlands Day activities at Grand Lieu Wetland Centre, one of the most active members of the WLI network.
WLI… Assemble! Hosts and WLI members La Maison du Lac de Grand-Lieu with Chris Rostron of @WWTconservation preparing for France's national #WorldWetlandsDay events today. Dapper conservationists! #KeepWetlands pic.twitter.com/yWuIRGYF31— Wetland Link International (@WetlandLink) 1 February 2019
Pato Guerrero is holding two days of activities at Putu wetland in Chile, called the "Embrace Your Earth Meeting-Encounter" (Encuentro AbrazaTu Tierra) with food, cultural activities, bird watching, and field visits.
In Colombia, Felipe Velasco is starting the process of Ramsar designation for Lake Tota—amazing news after years of work.
Max Djondo in Benin is using the occasion to celebrate Lake Nokoué (see the photo below) with the Ministry of the Enviornment and Water, local authorities, and communities. They can influence some of the threats to Lake Nakoué: uncontrolled urbanization, commercial reclamation of the lakeshore,invasive alien species, overfishing and overextraction.
In Kyushu, Japan, Minoru Kashiwagi is holding a conference called Save our wetland, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, with reports from those who participated in Ramsar COP13, and EAAFP MOP10.
Global Wetland Outlook - Webinar, Monday 4th February 2019
Find out more about the recent Ramsar report on the state of the world's wetlands at this free webinar, run by Prof. Roy Gardiner and Dr. Max Finlayson, lead authors of the report. Register and join from 17.00 to 18.00 (US Eastern Standard Time). They will also record the event for subsequent distribution.
Monday, December 10, 2018 at 5:55 PM
In October 2018 the conservation world looked to the tri-ennial meeting of Ramsar, the Wetlands Convention, which happened in Dubai. We went there with a momentum that started strong and got even stronger!
Our main activities were:
- NGO Pre-COP Meeting
- NGO Opening Statement
- Youth Forum and visioning workshop
- Youth closing statement
- WWN Exhibition Stand and display
We started by facilitating NGOs coming together before the COP, to find out how we could amplify each voice. Through this we produced an opening statement, and negotiated its presentation to the whole convention.
We also championed Youth Engaged in Wetlands, a group which made a great impact on the COP. Their Forum led on a slot in the closing session of COP13, and the sugestion quickly grew that the next COP, in three years time, should be themed on youth and wetlands.
We held other side events, including on the health of the world’s wetlands, and the direction it is taken, which we uncovered through our citizen-science surveys. Our members and partners in northeast Asia led a side event on natural flow of water and whether the relevant Resolutions and Guidelines are being well implemented. Also in that region, our official support for the city of Busan's efforts to have its local wetlands recgnised as a Ramsar site.
We also provided a platform for Tunisian NGO Réseau Enfants de la Terre (RET) to advocate for protection of Sebkhet Sejoumi wetland.
We had an exhibition stand for the first time, where we hosted daily meetings for NGO delegates. The stand provided a networking space for members and guests, and was a hive of activity throughout the COP.
We have produced an eight page report looking at what we did and the overall key messages from Ramsar COP13.
Monday, October 29, 2018 at 9:57 AM
World Wetland Network supported the Youth Engaged in Wetlands team to make a statement during the closing plenary at Ramsar COP13. The YEW team called on the parties to fully commit to implementation of the resolutions, and to involve youth in policy making and implementation of the convention. Their statement proposed the theme for Ramsar COP 14 as Youth and Wetlands.
Congratulations to Elise Allely, Lucia Gamarra and Gab Mejia who led the successful Youth Engaged in Wetlands activities. The statement was presented by Anne Valentina Bourbon from Emirates Nature-WWF. Takuma Satoh, President of Youth Ramsar Japan and Manouore Awa Njoya, Permanent Secretary of Réseau Africain des Jeunes pour les Zones Humides (Cameroon) joined her on the podium.
Read the Youth Declaration.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 11:54 AM
WWN has facilitated and delivered a unified statement by NGOs attending the Ramsar COP 13 in Dubai.
After a meeting of 51 delegates before the COP opened, we prepared a statement representing the expertise and values of the NGOs. We negotiated a slot to present the statement to the Conference.
Addressing more than 1,000 delegates, Maia Sarrouf Willson, the Research and Conservation Manager at the Environment Society of Oman presented the following message:
The World Wetland Network is grateful for this opportunity to address Ramsar COP13. WWN is a global alliance of Non-Government and Civil Society Organisations, with long-term connection to local wetlands. Our members are a considerable force for conservation and wise use.
Our recent Citizen Science Global Wetland Survey found the statistically most important driver for positive wetland protection and wise use is engagement of Non-Government Organisations and local communities. We provide solutions and want to play our part in making the Ramsar Convention a success.
To this end, we call on the Contracting Parties to engage with Non-Government Organisations, indigenous people, and local communities at all levels, including Ramsar Site assessment and management, National Wetland Steering Committees and through active involvement at the COP.
We urge the Contracting Parties to support full participation, transparency, capacity building and learning among the different players in wetland protection. But to ensure this is effective, resources are needed. Small inputs at the local level will yield significant benefits for wetland wise use and conservation.
World Wetland Network is hosting a Youth Forum in the side events. We encourage the Contracting Parties and the Partner Organizations to meaningfully engage young people as key stakeholders in the Ramsar family. They are a powerful force to help prevent, stop and reverse the trend of wetland loss and degradation.
In less than three years, on World Wetlands Day 2021, the Ramsar Convention turns 50. What will be our legacy? There’s no Planet B and we’re out of time. Let’s act boldly together at this meeting and beyond for conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Due to the limited time allowed, World Wetland Network’s Opening Statement to Ramsar COP13 was abbreviated. Click here for the full-text version developed in collaboration with 51 NGO delegates attending the Pre-COP Meeting held on Monday 22 October 2018.
Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 9:16 AM
Where are wetlands deterioating, where are they improving? Together with the Society of Wetlands Scientists and WWT we called on hundreds of citizen scientists to report the ecological condition and influences on their wetlands. The trends are inlightening and empowering for regional and national planners amd conservation scientists.
Nick Davidson, Rob McInnes, Chris Rostron, and Matthew Simpson will present results, revealing trends at continetal and regional level, at the Ramsar COP13 in Dubai.
If you are attending Ramsar COP13, come along!
Wednesday 24 October
Friday, October 05, 2018 at 10:32 AM
WWN NGO Pre-COP Meeting
Update: read the final NGO statement.
Monday 22 October 9 am–12 noon.
Admiral Plaza Hotel, Khalid Bin Walid Road, Al Nadhia Street, Bur Dubai, Dubai (8.7 km from Dubai International Airport).
Cost 20 AED ( 5 US$ / Euro)
To register click here.
WWN will be attending Ramsar COP 13 and we hope to meet you at our NGO Pre-COP Meeting.
We will be working with NGOs to prepare Opening and Closing Statements, meeting daily at our Exhibition Stand, hosting a Youth Forum and participating in several other side events. If you would like to contribute to our NGO Opening Statement email the Chair Louise Duff with your thoughts by Friday 19/10.
To join WWN click here.
Monday, June 11, 2018 at 4:42 PM
Ramsar has announced its Wetland Conservation Awards 2018, with winners in the categories of Wise Use (Fundación Global Nature, Spain), Wetland Innovation (Pronatura Mexico), Young Wetland Champions (Youth Climate Action Network of Samoa) and a Merit Award to Mr Ma Guangren of China, for lifetime achievements in wetland conservation in China and Asia. To find out more, see their webpage.
Wednesday, May 09, 2018 at 4:45 PM
Colleagues from New Zealand marked World Wetland Day with a Bioblitz at Lake Rotopiko at the National Wetland Trust’s site. Schools came to take part in the bioblitz, and it was supported by research agency Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. Dr. Monica Peters won a competition run by Manaaki Whenua to host a BioBlitz and immediately gifted it to the National Wetland Trust. She says she jumped at the chance for members of the public and school students learning more about wetlands. “It’s great to be able to give them [students and the public] an opportunity to come out here and not only visit the site but engage them with scientists as well.” You can see the full article and the youtube video of the event here.
Wednesday, May 09, 2018 at 12:26 PM
Global Wetland Survey 2017 - Good wetlands getting better, poor wetlands getting worse
The Global Citizen Science Wetland Survey was initiated by the Society of Wetland Scientists, the World Wetland Network and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (UK), and aims to get a snapshot of the state of the world’s wetlands from the point of view of those that know them. We attempted to create a survey tool that allowed participants to record in some detail the state of their wetlands and the pressures that are affecting them. Using an online survey platform (survey monkey) we created a set of questions that covered as broad a range of pressures as possible, whilst asking if these were increasing or decreasing. The survey was replicated as an excel document for those that did not have good enough internet access to do it online, or those that preferred to do in the field.
The survey was distributed through the WWN and SWS networks, and through existing fora such as the Ramsar Forum, Ramsar CEPA forum, and national / regional networks. In all, we received around 600 responses, of which around 541 were usable (once all duplicate or incomplete responses had been removed). We aimed to get 50 responses per Ramsar region, and managed to exceed this in all regions.
Initial analysis showed that the largest group of respondents were NGOs (33.1%) followed by Academics (21.6%), national and local government (20.4%) and the others included local and national government representatives, CSO groups and landowners. Most had known their wetland for fewer than 10 years, but the longest was up to 68 years!
45% of sites were between 100-10,000ha, and 21% from 10,000 to 100,000ha. Overall 7.7% of Ramsar sites were represented (covering 14.4% of total Ramsar site area). More wetlands were described as being in ‘good’ state (30%) than poor state (24%). Oceania and North America had the most positive picture, whilst Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe had most reports of ‘poor’ status.
In terms of direction of travel, more wetlands were reported as deteriorating (36%) than improving (21%), with deterioration particularly evident in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. Overall, it seems that ‘good’ current state wetlands are improving, whilst ‘poor’ wetlands are further deteriorating.
In terms of drivers, there were only three that were reported as being positive, and these included local community awareness, implementation of conservation management measures and tourism. Most drivers were however classed as negative, and the worst were urban/industrial pollution, species introduction (invasives), agricultural run-off, erosion, urban development/infrastructure, and industrial development/infrastructure. All drivers were reported as increasing rather than decreasing, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.
The next step will be to create some scientific publications from these results, which will be published before Ramsar COP13. We will also run a side-event to discuss both the results themselves, but also the methodology used and how it can be improved upon. We hope to re-run the survey every three years, to fit with the cycle of Ramsar COPs.
Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 9:18 PM
Thanks to Max Djondo our WWN Africa regional representative for forwarding the report from the Ramsar pre-COP meeting for Africa, which took place in Senegal from the 26th February to the 2nd of March 2018.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 10:11 AM
European preCOP meeting
Olomouc, in Czech Republic, hosted the last of the preCOP meetings of the Ramsar convention on wetlands, the European one. While outside of the meeting room the temperatures sank below zero, inside the room the participants got into heated discussions on the future of the structure of the conventions' organs, with two proposals presented in parallel, one by Switzerland and another one by the Standing Committee. Despite differences on the proposals, and disagreements regarding procedures, the main feeling was shared: Ramsar needs some changes to keep up with the pace of the times and deliver its maximum potential for the conservation of wetlands.
The link with other conventions was repeatedly mentioned in several draft resolutions - cultural values and climate change, polar and subpolar wetlands, coastal blue carbon, cultural values and climate change, intertidal wetlands, urbanisation, turtles... - as is the need to remind of the value of wetlands to achieve Paris and Aichi agreements or the sustainable development goals. The role of Ramsar Advisory Missions was another corner stone, and the Resolution on RAM if finally strong, has a great potential to take the best out of them.
Another shared feeling is the need to improve the exchange of information between science and managers. Here regional initiatives, such as MedWet, or the NGOs were presented as good pools to share. The MedIsWet project, is a good example, right now developed by several NGOs together with MedWet and Tour du Valat, led by WWF, to make an inventory the wetlands of the Mediterranean islands, implementing a resolution from the previous COP. It was linked to a new DR on small wetlands presented by China. With both resolutions one thing is clear: small wetlands conservation remains a big challenge, but there are tools and experiences that show there is still hope for them.
Several DRs put on the table the relevance of wetlands for peace, and there seems to be agreement to merge them. DR on rapid assessment on ecosystem services was subject of discussion, and the need to align it with existing listings of ecosystem services, such as those of UN or the EU was requested, as well as eliminating some activities that, when developed, involve the destruction of wetlands or of their correct function, such as dumping, peat extraction or hydropower.
Being a European meeting, European regulations and policies floated in the air cross-cutting many discussions. There is work to do, both by the secretariat but also, and mainly, for contracting parties to ensure that the discussions now taking place regarding the review of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the upcoming review of the Common Agricultural Policy contribute to the protection and good management of wetlands, and do not lead to their destruction. Re. WFD, it was agreed that it is not developing its full potential for wetlands as countries are not being ambitious enough on its implementation, and watering it down would have a negative impact on wetlands.
There was also time for more relaxed conversations in the field trips or the dinner at the Archibishop's palace of Olomuc. Time for watching great videos on European wetlands and to share knowledge of several projects for wetlands presenting posters, including the one in the WWN/SWS/WWT international survey on the status of wetlands. The corner of Mediterranean products, brought by the MedIsWet partners, was a clear win-win for all the participants, in which we toasted for the team work in the future of wetlands.
For more information about 9th European Ramsar Meeting please you can download through the link provided below:
- all presentations shown during the Meeting in the Czech Republic last week,
- all “introductions” to the 18 interactive sessions (numbered according to the session number, cf. the attached Agenda) and
- the “conclusions” presented from each interactive session:
Please download the documents of interest to you: use them for your preparation to report on a specific DR during Standing Committee 54 (23-27 April 2018, if you plan to attend), or for your own preparation for COP13 (21-29 October 2018).
World Wetland Network (WWN)
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 11:32 AM
WWN is participating in the regional Pre-COP meetings, promoting our global survey on the state of wetlands as reported by local communities. Minoru Kashiwagi and his colleagues presented our poster at the Asia meeting prior to the COP. Thanks to our partners from the Wetland Scientific Society (SWS) and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT).
See the preliminary results of the World Wetland Survey here.
Thursday, February 01, 2018 at 10:03 AM
World Wetlands Day 2018 - Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future
The 2nd of February is World Wetlands Day, celebrating urban wetlands and their role in supporting life for both humans and wildlife. There is lots of material available on Ramsar's website, including an introductory video from the Secretary General Martha Rojas-Urrego, information posters, case studies, colouring-in poster for children, and an opportunity to upload your event to their map. If you are running activities for World Wetlands Day, please do tell us about it here.
Monday, January 08, 2018 at 4:58 PM
Pan-Africain youth forum on wetlands
23 – 24 April 2018, Cameroun, Akonolinga
Theme : Involving young people in the wise use of wetlands : an absolute necessity
Reflecting the mission of the Ramsar Convention and in the support of its delivery, the NGO Voluntariat pour l’Environnement (VPE) is organising a pan-African youth forum on these ecosystems. The forum will take place from the 23rd to the 24th April 2018 at Akonolinga (Cameroon). It aims to support exchange of information in order to develop resolutions and recommendations that lead to better engagement of young people in the protection of wetlands. The forum will also serve as the end of the work placements for those young people that have been taking part in the 6-month International Youth Programme of the VPE since November 2017.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 4:17 PM
The Africa Senior Regional Representative for Ramsar lead a webainr for WWN Africa on the GlobWet initiatve. The webinar is in English and French, and you can see a recording here.
Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 10:55 AM
World Wetland Network supported our colleagues at RamsarNet Japan and Korean Wetlands NGO Network to prepare a proposal on wetland conservation for consideration at the Asian Wetlands Symposium held in Saga, Japan on 6 – 11 November 2017.
The statement addresses concerns about infrastructure development projects which stop the flow of waterways and reclaim tidal flats, causing losses to water quality, biodiversity and livelihoods.
You can read the final Saga statement here.
Friday, November 24, 2017 at 11:05 AM
Working with the Society of Wetlands Scientists (Ramsar section) and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, we have now delivered the first part of the Global Wetland Survey, with responses from across the world, identify key issues for wetlands. A huge thanks to all those that took part!
We received over 600 response to the survey, of which 541 were usable, from 92 counties in seven different languages. This has given us a great source of rich information, which shows the knowledge and interest of local people about their wetlands. We have just started to analyse these results, and you see the initial findings here. In the next few months we will produce some more detailed reports, and we will also prepare for a side event at the next Rarmsar COP13 to talk about how the survey went, the results and lessons learnt.
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Monday, October 30, 2017 at 3:36 PM
WWN’s Regional Representative, Minoru Kashiwagi, played a significant role organising the meeting, and Lou Duff represented WWN in her role as Chair of WWN. Wetland conservation and alignment with the Ramsar Convention is very strong in South Korea. Ramsar COP 10 was held in Changwon in 2008. The NGO leaders who instigated the COP are still very actively involved in wetland education and conservation a decade later, and have an ambitious program of activities planned for 2018 to celebrate a decade of activity since COP 10. Click here to read more.
Friday, September 29, 2017 at 2:59 PM
The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is calling for nominations for the seventh edition of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards. The deadline for the receipt of nominations is extended until 30 October 2017.
The Awards will be presented at the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in October 2018.Three Awards will be granted, and each recipient will receive the Evian Special Prize of US$10,000 kindly offered by the DANONE Group.
The Award categories are:
- Wetland Wise Use, rewarding a contribution to the long-term sustainable use of wetlands;
- Wetland Innovation, rewarding an innovative technique that contributes to the wise use of wetlands; and
- Young Wetland Champions, rewarding a young person or a group of young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who have contributed to the wise use of wetlands.
The Ramsar Secretariat invites nominations of suitable individuals, organizations or initiatives, and invites readers to disseminate this call widely within their network, so as to attract as many good nominations as possible.
Nomination forms and information on the criteria and procedures for the Awards are available on the Convention website at http://www.ramsar.org/activities/2018-awards
For inquiries and to submit a nomination E-mail: email@example.com
Monday, September 25, 2017 at 10:33 AM
WWN Committee members Louise Duff and Minoru Kashiwagi joined an international delegation of conservationists who toured the Nakdong River, South Korea to celebrate World Rivers Day. Nakdong River is the longest river in South Korea. It was regulated with a series of weirs and an estuary dam as part of the Four Rivers Project from 2009-2012. The project caused eutrophication of the river including poor water quality, toxic green algae and fish kills. The fishery collapsed, with major reductions in the populations of commercial fish species such as eels, affecting livelihoods.
Civil society organisations campaigned against the Four Rivers Project, and continue to call for restoration of the Nakdong River. The Republic of Korea President Mr. Moon Jae-in from the Democratic Party of Korea made an election promise to reverse the Four Rivers Project and restore Nakdong River. He was elected earlier this year. The municipal government of Busan have also committed to restoring the river.
There are complex social, economic and environmental issues to work through with a range of stakeholders and competing interests. But steps are already underway to start the process. Civil society will play a key role ensuring the restoration project proceeds as promised.
The World Rivers Day field tour was organised by the Korean Wetlands NGO Network and Wetlands and Birds Korea as part of the 12th Korea-Japan Wetland NGO Forum in the City of Busan, South Korea from 22-24 of September 2017. Delegates from Korea, Japan, Australia and United Arab Emirates, (where Ramsar COP 13 will be held next year) attended the meeting.
Photo L-R: Minoru Kashiwagi, Jack Judas (UAE) and WWN Chair Louise Duff.
Monday, September 11, 2017 at 5:10 PM
World Wetland Network is refreshing our leadership team in the lead-up to Ramsar COP 13. Our key role is giving NGOs a voice for wetland conservation. Representatives help us connect with the grass-roots in their regions.
We will be electing the Chair, Vice Chair and Regional Representative for the committee, as well as sub-regional representatives to support our work at the country level. WWN does not have funds to cover our committee, we work on a voluntary basis. It is a great way to “think global, act local”, expanding your impact for wetland conservation. To find out more read the Terms of Reference here.
If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague for the committee, email the Chair Louise Duff firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
4. What role are you nominating for:
5. CV and/or web link to your web site:
Nominees must be current members. Click HERE to join. Representatives will be appointed at the October meeting.
Monday, September 11, 2017 at 5:07 PM
Changes to hydrology and agriculture top concerns for WWN members.
Our snap poll found that World Wetland Network members are most concerned about changes to hydrology; clearing and filling of wetlands; and chemical pollution. The top three causes are listed as agriculture, failure of legislation to protect wetlands; and lack of understanding of wetland values.
Thanks to the 24 members who completed our survey on key wetland threats and causes. You can find the full report here.
Monday, September 11, 2017 at 3:06 PM
We now have 141 member organisations representing 409,300 grass-roots members – thank you for joining! We encourage you to make contact and network with members in your region. To see a list of members click here
Wednesday, August 09, 2017 at 3:42 PM
The dates and locations for the Ramsar COP (Conference of the Parties) regional preparatory meetings have been confirmed as follows:
· Africa: Dakar, Senegal, 26 February – 2 March 2018.
· The Americas (Latin America and the Caribbean and North America): San José, Costa Rica, 12 – 16 March 2018.
· Asia: Colombo, Sri Lanka, 26 February – 2 March 2018.
· Europe: Olomouc, Czech Republic, 19 – 23 March 2018.
· Oceania: New Zealand (venue to be confirmed), 12 – 16 March 2018.
We would like WWN and the NGO/CSO sector to be represented at these events, so if you are planning on attending, then please do let us know.
Monday, June 19, 2017 at 4:36 PM
The Asian Wetland Symposium is held every two years, to bring together wetland scientists and practitioners from across the Asia Region. The AWS commitee is working to prepare for their conference which will take place from the 4th to the 10th of November this year. There are opportunities to submit abstracts for presentations or posters to showcase your wetland-related initiatives (or any of the other relevant themes listed on their website), and we would encourage you to put together your suggestions if you would like to give a talk or submit a poster. See the details here: http://aws2017.org/callforabstracts.html, the deadline is Monday the 26th of June.
Monday, June 19, 2017 at 3:04 PM
MEET THE COMMITTEE
World Wetland Network is administered by a Regional Management Committee of volunteers representing each region of the world. Regular committee members include:
Louise Duff (Chair, Oceania): email@example.com
Minoru Kashigawi (Asia): firstname.lastname@example.org
Felipe Velasco (Latin America): email@example.com
Maximin Djondo (West Africa SRR): firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo caption: WWN Committee Members Minoru Kashiwagi (back row, first on left), Louise Duff (back row, 3rd from right) and Chris Rostron (front row, far right) at a meeting with Ramsar Network Japan and the Korean Wetlands NGO Network
Louise Duff, Chair, works for Conservation Volunteers Australia, in the role of Program Manager, Wetlands Catchments and Coasts. She manages a program called Revive Our Wetlands, engaging communities to conserve wetlands and their catchments for nature and people. Louise and Minoru Kashiwagi, our Asia Representative, played a key role coordinating NGO involvement in Ramsar COP 12 in Uruguay.
Chris Rostron, Vice Chair, is the Head of Wetland Link International working at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. Wetland Link International (WLI) is a support network for wetland education centres that deliver engagement activities on site. WLI has 350 members over 6 continents.
Chris and Louise are passionate about wetland conservation, and the important role community organisations play at the grass roots level to engage local people in wetland education and management. We also have a network of Sub-regional Representatives who support WWN. Next bulletin we will introduce the members of our Regional Management Committee.
TELL YOUR STORY THROUGH WWN
WWN has a web site, Facebook Page, Twitter Account and this new quarterly bulletin. To share your story with fellow members send a brief email and link to your own web site or Facebook account to Louise Duff, Chris Rostron or your regional representative.
Monday, June 19, 2017 at 2:44 PM
WORLD WETLAND NETWORK WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS
Thank you for registering as a member of the World Wetland Network (WWN).
World Wetland Network aims to give Non-Government Organisations, Civil Society Organisations and community groups a voice in wetland conservation and implementation of the Ramsar Convention. Following a review of our membership we now have 130 member organisations representing more than 380,000 individuals.
Our members represent every region of the world:
Number of members
New members are always welcome. If you know of any NGOs, CSOs or community groups active in wetland conservation please you are invited to send them this link to our membership registration survey.
Monday, March 20, 2017 at 4:29 PM
WWN, working with SWS (Sociity of Wetlands Scientists, Ramsar Section) and WWT (Wildfowl and Weltands Trust) are pleased to launch the 2017 world wetlands survey, designed to get feedback from those that know and value their local wetlands. Please see our survey page here, with online versions in multiple languages. Please pass this on to your friends and colleagues! Deadline is end of September 2017.
Thursday, December 08, 2016 at 3:04 PM
Some of the WWN Committee members met in Nagoya, Japan at the end of October at a meeting organised by RamsarNet Japan and South Korean colleagues. It gave us the chance to update on WWN's activities, as well as to start planning for activities leading up to the next Ramsar COP. The group reviewed our approach and served to reinvigorate the strategy planning process, under the new chair Louise Duff. Existings member Minoru Kashiwagi, Felipe Velasco and Chris Rostron also attended, with enthuisastic support from Japanese and Korean colleagues, and invaluable input from Lew Young, Ramser Senior Regional Advisor for Asia.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 6:24 AM
Following is an excerpt of the WWN closeing statemnt Presented by Rafaela Nicola, World Wetland Network Committee’s Neo-Tropics delegate.
World Wetland Network was launched at Ramsar COP 10; this is our third COP. Our participation in Ramsar is recognised in Resolution 11.6.We were formed to complement the activity of the IOPs. We fully appreciate the value and expertise of the non-governmental IOPs, who work in strong partnership with local communities and indigenous peoples. WWN was formed at the initiative of smaller, grass-roots NGOs and CSOs seeking a voice at the table.
I speak on behalf of our 2000 members worldwide and our friends at the COP: local and sub-regional organisations who have been meeting daily to engage with and monitor this important process.
The core work of the Ramsar COP 12 has been the resolutions. Crafting and revising resolutions. Collaborating, negotiating and finally reaching agreement. We humbly acknowledge the cooperation and hard work of the Secretariat, Contracting Parties and IOPs to create meaningful resolutions that ensure conservation and wise of our world’s wetlands. When we all return home the real challenge begins, turning these resolutions into action. We urge the Contracting Parties to show steadfast commitment and leadership. We stand ready to help at the local level.
The Fourth Strategic Plan is the most significant outcome of this COP, guiding our combined efforts for the next nine years. World Wetland Network welcomes the Contracting Parties initiative to strengthen engagement of NGOs, civil society groups, local communities and indigenous peoples in the Strategic Plan. These stakeholders provide a long-term and often continuous connection to wetland sites and are essential partners to achieve the Ramsar vision.
We encourage Contracting Parties to work cohesively across ministries and prioritise long-term sustainability when approving developments. A healthy environment is fundamental to our economic and social security. Cohesive implementation will be supported by the effective mobilization of National Wetland Committees. We note that establishment of these committees, with both government and nongovernment representatives, is an indicator for success of Goal 1 in the Plan, and we urge the parties to comply.
Our message is loud and clear: we are committed to Ramsar and we want to do more.
To read the full statements:
- WWN Closing Statement, Ramsar COP 12, 9 June 2015, Punta del Este
- Declaración final de la WWN, Ramsar COP 12, 9 de Junio 2015, Punta del Este
Wednesday, June 03, 2015 at 1:17 PM
An NGO Opening Statement, coordinated by the World Wetland Network is to be presented to the 12th Ramsar Conference of the Parties by Virginia Juele, Aguará Pope today (Wednesday 3 June).
The World Wetland Network will offer the following recommendations for Ramsar consideration:
a) Recognize that NGOs often create a longer-term and more continuous link for Ramsar sites than Government Representatives.
b) Develop more structured guidance for Ramsar Parties, and National Focal Points, on how to engage civil society.
c) Explore options to include more NGOs and civil society organisations in the decision-making process for Ramsar at international, regional and country levels.
d) Create avenues for NGO and civil society input into reporting on the state of all wetlands, Ramsar site nominations and the Montreux Record.
e) Prioritize funding and support for NGOs and civil society organisations that are working on Ramsar listed wetlands.
Full and effective collaboration between civil society and contracting parties is critical to achieve wetland conservation at the local level. With regard to the draft resolutions for Ramsar COP 12, NGOs are calling for stronger linkages to the NGO and civil society sector in DR2 – the Strategic Plan and DR 9, the CEPA program.
Please read and share the statements with your networks:
Wednesday, June 03, 2015 at 3:13 AM
A Draft NGO Opening Statement to Ramsar COP12 has been developed by World Wetland Network with collaboration of NGO participants at the WWN pre-COP Meeting, Tuesday 2 June 2015, Punta del Este.
The statement will be finlaised at 8am Wednesday 3 June (Uruguay local time). It will be presented to the 12th Ramsar Conference of the Parties by Virginia Juele, Aguará pope, Uruguay on Wednesday 3 June.
Comments for the next 8 hours are welcome.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 3:25 PM
The Ramsar COP12 is now open for registration, please see their website for more information. If you are a part of a recognised NGO you can apply to attend the COP, which will take place in Uruguay from the 1st to the 9th of June this year.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 1:33 PM
International Training of the Trainers for IWRM (Integrated Water Resource Management)
Wageningen University, the Netherlands, is running a two week training course for those that want to do training themselves on IWRM - fellowships are available. To approach water management effectively, it needs to integrate technical, economic, ecological, social and legal aspects. This approach goes beyond country borders, and needs to be applied on a river basin scale. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process through which people can develop a vision, agree on shared values and behaviour, make informed decisions and act together to manage natural resources of the basin. The stakeholders involved have to understand each other to achieve the necessary cooperation.
This course, endorsed by the Ramsar Secretariat, aims to enhance your water stewardship skills; enabling you to guide the steps towards the wise management of water. The course is based on the premise that a great water steward knows how to facilitate multi-stakeholder processes, and has strong communication and training skills. A good water steward understands the dynamics of societal learning. The training will apply approaches in line with the Ramsar Handbooks on the Wise Use of Wetlands. See their website for more details.
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 5:13 PM
Meighan desert is a unique ecosystem. One of the most important aspects of this uniqueness is the Meighan wetland which has a high biodiversity. The wetland is located 15 km north-east of Arak, and 1670 meters above sea level. It is the most important home of migrant common cranes, Grus grus, in Iran, and also eastern Mediterranean Sea due to the problems that they face in other wetlands in Iran. There are more than 130 species of birds, including ducks, flamingo, Larus minitus, gray crane, greylag goose, etc. The area of the wetland changes from 10,000ha to 12,000ha depending on its water inputs.
At present, 73 plant species are recognized, most of them are halophytes due to the salinity of the area. 10 of them are verified by IUCN, two of them are endangered, and eight of them are vulnerable. The most important specie is a local plant, called Qarah-Daq. Its most important property is sand stabilization.
Some of the most important threatening factors of the area are as follows:
· Construction of more than 40 dams in front of the catchments of the area, with no regard to the water rights;
· Construction of more than 1800 wells in the area during the last 40 years;
· Unsustainable mineral extraction by the Mineral Factory;
· Construction of a road at the center of the wetland by the Mineral Factory, which has divided the wetland into two separated parts;
· Hunting the migrant birds, causing disturbance to the area;
· Unsustainable grazing;
· Local dust issues;
· Lack of comprehensive management for protecting the wetland.
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 2:18 PM
The 2nd of February, World Wetlands Day, is nearly here, and that is also the deadline for voting for wetlands that you know, as part of WWN's award process. Although we no longer plan to award the Globes, we will use the information from the voting to select case studies for use at the Ramsar COP, and to produce a publication on Civil Society's view of wetland conservation worldwide. So please continue to vote! So far we have leading sites at Las Pinas, the Philippines, and lake Meighan, Iran, with well over 500 votes each!
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 5:03 PM
Don't forget to celebrate World Wetlands Day, this 2nd of February - you can find out about the tools, resources ad activities on offer at the Ramsar Website. Remember it's also the deadline for voting for our WWWN wetland globe awards.
Wednesday, November 05, 2014 at 10:19 AM
Thanks to our WWN North Andean Countries rep, Felipe Velasco, who has made a new cartoon guide to how to vote for wetlands. Using an online tool, this simple guide hopes to make things easier for those taking part in the wetland globe awards - see it for yourself here!
Monday, October 20, 2014 at 4:28 PM
Popularly called Freedom Islands, the Las Piñas – Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LLPCHEA) in the Philippines is a wonderful site composed of Freedom and Long islands. It in fact resembles a bird spreading its wings in this Google Map. Adding to its wonder are the 80 migratory and resident birds such as the endemic Philippine Duck, the endangered Chinese Egret, and the rare Pied Avocet that consider this 175-hectare their home. Add to that are the 5,000 migratory birds passing through it from the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
With its thick mangrove forest, LLPCHEA has protected Metro Manila from typhoon surges. Nine species can be found here, including the Nilad, where the city of Manila (Maynilad) got its name. It contributes to sustainability of the livelihood of Manila Bay communities. Aside from garbage, big corporations have threatened Manila Bay with reclamation projects that will destroy this critical habitat. Affected communities linking arms with organizations committed to protecting LLPCHEA have been struggling against these reclamation projects. Coastal clean-ups have been continuously conducted for the purpose of regularly cleaning-up the coast and for highlighting the issue of reclamation.
Organizations who lead the advocacy for its protection –Save Freedom Island Movement, Earth Island Institute Philippines, and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, aim to gather more support and raise awareness internationally for the Freedom Islands and the communities caring and protecting it. Vote for Las Piñas now!
Monday, September 08, 2014 at 4:02 PM
Wetland Globe Awards - voting started
Voting has started in earnest now, with wetlands in Peru and Greece taking a lead. The Pantanos de Villa site, winner of a blue globe award in 2012 (see picture, left), is back in the running with much local support. Greece also sees a jump in voting, with the Evros delta receiving votes from local groups. You can vote for your own wetland too - just visit our Wetland Globes pages and vote for a wetland! We look forward to hearing from you.
Friday, July 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Local campaigners Phil Straw and Professon Joan Dawes who succeeded in obtaining a grey globe award for Towra point in 2012 have been dismayed to see the site continue to degrade, with no additiona resources made available despite fund-raising attempts. They are now considering a second campaign that could see the site receive a second Grey Globe award. See their article here.
Monday, July 07, 2014 at 9:58 AM
WWN and Ramsar hosted the first WWN Africa webinar, aimed at all those delivering wetland conservation as part of an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) or civil society group. The webinar included a presentation from Ramsar's senior regional representative for Africa, Paul Ouedraogo, on how Ramsar works with civil society groups, updates on WWN from the Chair of the network, Mr Chris Rostron, and an excellent presentation from Madagascan colleagues at Conservation International on the work of civil society groups on the Nosivolo River, and how winning WWN's blue globe award had helped their project.
The webinar was recorded by the hosts, Stetson University, US, and is available to view at this link. We thank our colleagues at Stetson for helping the webinar go so smoothly, and we are planning another one later this year.
Chris Rostron, Chair, WWN