The 6th seminar for Ramsar site managers was held from 12 to 14 November in Ajaccio, Corsica.
Co-organised by the Corsican Environmental Office and the Ramsar France association, it brought people together to discuss recurrent issues relating to running and managing wetlands, and more specifically Ramsar sites.
The first day featured a presentation of Corsican Ramsar sites and the signing of the Ramsar management charter for the Biguglia, Palo, and Urbino lagoons. Day two focussed on current events relating to wetlands with special workshops dealing with issues such as how to run agro-environmental events, the added value of management charters and land tenure. Finally, on the last day participants had a chance to visit the Corsican Ramsar sites (Biguglia lagoon, Moltifao peatland, Palo and Urbino lagoons, and the Tre Padule de Suartone temporary ponds) and to discuss the specific issues concerning these sites.
The Tre Padule temporary ponds in Suartone, Corsica
(© B. Coïc / Ramsar France)
The Ramsar France association was created in 2011, in response to the conclusions of the first two seminars for Ramsar site managers. The hope was to create links between the Ramsar resolutions and the designated sites in France, as well as to foster exchange between Ramsar sites. The association has set the following objectives for itself:
- Popularise and promote the Ramsar label in France;
- Improve the management of Ramsar-designated sites;
- Create the right conditions for discussing and producing knowledge and sharing experience;
- Encourage the establishment of new Ramsar sites;
- Assist wetland stakeholders in France and abroad (Ramsar Convention Secretariat) in developing new propositions and reflections.
6th Ramsar site manager seminar in Ajaccio (Corsica), November 2014 (© L. Sorba)
Since it was established, the association has conducted various activities to promote the Ramsar label, foster exchange, and improve the management of these exceptional sites in France. It has:
- Drawn up a Ramsar site management charter agreed upon by the State, the Ramsar France association, and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, which is a moral commitment to taking account of Ramsar principles in the management of wetlands;
- Co-organised three Ramsar seminars since 2012 (Brenne, Marais Audomarois, and Corsica);
- Contributed to the 3rd wetlands national action plan (2014-2018);
- Participated in the meetings of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat (international Conference of Parties in Romania in 2012, European meeting to prepare the COP 12 to be held in Uruguay in June 2015);
- Participated in the organisation of World Wetlands Day every year on 2 February, together with the Onema (National Bureau of Water and Aquatic Habitats), the Lagoons Transfer Unit, Bird Protection League (LPO), and the National Nature Protection Society (SNPN);
- Created a network of wetland information centres;
- Published (in March 2015) a guidebook for nature lovers of hikes in Ramsar sites on mainland France.
The Tour du Valat is one of the founding members of the association and is actively involved in it.
For additional information, contact Bastien Coïc, Activities Coordinator for the Ramsar France association (e-mail).