As you might have followed I am working on a project with IUCN and WWF International to support Angola in ratifying the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 11 sites have been selected and needs to be described following the Ramsar Convention requirements.
The Ramsar Convention exists since 1971 and aims at preserving wetlands of international importance. A potential Ramsar site needs to respond to at least, 1 of the 9 criteria the Convention developed. Among them, we have if the site is unique in the region, if it shelters threatened species, or species during a specific time of their life cycle (i.e. reproduction, nesting, etc), if it maintains rich biodiversity in the region, etc.
During the project, I have been through a lot of bibliography on the country and the corresponding regions. Last week and this week, I organised 2 public consultations in order to confirm the obtained data and gather feedback and recommendations for the future management plans.
The first workshop took place in Namibe (on 1st April) for the 3 sites more in the South and the second in Luanda (on 7th April) for the 8 others. Participants came from the Government of all corresponding provinces (i.e. Cuando-Cubango, Namibe, Benguela, Lunda Norte, Cabinda, Luanda), from some of the corresponding municipalities (i.e. Lobito, Tombwa, Cuilo, Ramiros, Lucapa), NGOs and our partner, the National Direction for Biodiversity of the Environmental Ministry.
I thank the participants for coming and providing interesting inputs mainly on what would be the socioeconomic activity that the management plan should promote to create incentive in preserving the Ramsar site and additional information with regards to the selected criteria.
Now this is the last step, finalizing the Data sheet and map for each of the 11 sites and then reporting.
If you want to know more about the project, please contact us.