Projects in Central America
COP 7: Activities of the IUCN Wetlands and Coastal Zones Program for Mesoamerica
Volume 1, No. 2

  • IUCN personnel will be supporting COP 7 through their participation in the Technical Council set up among the working groups to provide follow-up on the Technical Advisory Committee established by the Government of Costa Rica, which, in turn, is overseeing the organization of this meeting.
  • The program for Wetlands and Coastal Zones Conservation in Mesoamérica will also be devoting one of their wetlands conservation bulletins to information on the Conference and topics to be discussed during this event.
  • The Mesoamerican program is carrying out a review of planning for each of the Ramsar sites in this region, and will be contacting those responsible in each of the countries to learn about their management plans. The program will also be identifying the principal values based on the technical guide for planning wetlands with international importance, which was approved by signatory parties in Brisbane, Australia.
  • In addition, IUCN will be coordinating the preparation of an exhibit on wetlands with international importance. This exhibit will be presented at the Conference of Signatory Parties, and later moved to museums and zoos in Central America.
  • Through the different projects being carried out by the IUCN and its regional members and partners, interviews will be held in communities whose livelihood directly depends on Central American wetlands and their resources. This information will provide the foundation for preparing a special document during a workshop held for this purpose at an important wetlands area in the region. The title of the document is "Declaration of populations living in the wetlands of Central America," which will be submitted to the Conference of Signatory Parties, as agreed with the Convention Secretariat and the Government of Costa Rica.
  • At the request of the Governments of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, IUCN will be collaborating in the preparation of the respective country reports to the Ramsar Convention.

Assistance with information dissemination activities during the Conference will be in two areas:

  • Through the Costa Rican National Wetlands Conservation Strategy being developed by MINAE with technical support from the World Conservation Union, information will be provided on the inventory of wetlands in that country, as well as 1:200,000-scale maps and a manual on wetlands legislation. These will facilitate the elaboration of certain basic information that can be presented to COP 7 participants.
  • IUCN will be providing support for the financial and technical organization of a group of community artists from the Solentiname Archipelago, on the Lake of Nicaragua, who will be painting a mural during COP 7 in commemoration of the Ramsar Convention. These same artists will also formally present the declaration by people living in Central America’s wetlands areas. In addition, a series of press conferences will be organized during the meeting to publicize these actions and the Convention itself.

Finally, as in the past, IUCN will establish an official mission before the Convention. It will be led by the Director General of the World Conservation Union and assisted by the officials in charge of the different wetlands conservation programs all over the world, who will also provide support during COP 7 technical sessions.

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