"WWF is delighted that Ramsar has recognized the importance of this extraordinary wetland and the efforts of the Democratic Republic of Congo to protect it," said James P. Leape, Director General of WWF International. "This is a significant step forward for the welfare of communities who depend on this wetland for their livelihoods and for the wildlife that lives there."
“This is a very welcome move”, said Paul Matiku the Executive Director, Nature Kenya. “It is victory for the local communities that took the government to court. Nature Kenya and institutions under the umbrella of Kenya Wetlands Forum will now fight even harder to have the sugarcane project permanently stopped”, Matiku added.
The project has mapped the current and future distributions of all bird species on mainland Africa by using climate change models to determine the distance and direction of shifts for each species in the future. A particular emphasis of the work is understanding how well the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) network in Africa can sustain the continent’s bird with future climate change. Dr Julius Arinaitwe, BirdLife International’s Regional IBA Manager for Africa, said “There are very few plans to protect biodiversity from the effects of climate change anywhere in the world.
A plan for the proposed US$3 million, two-year initial phase of the project involving a belt of trees 7,000 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide, was formally adopted at the Community of Sahel Saharan States (Cen-Sad) summit on rural development and food security in Cotonou, Benin, last month (17-18 June).
North African nations have been promoting the idea of a Green Belt since 2005.
The project has been scaled down to reinforce and then expand on existing efforts, and will not be a continent-wide wall of trees, despite the name of the project.
For this reason the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) was launched in London on June 17. The initial financing of the CBFF comes from a pair of $200 million grants from the governments of the United Kingdom and Norway.
The workshop equipped project Partners in Africa with the requisite skills for handling data. It also drew attention to data-barriers faced in the conservation community and discussed ways to address these challenges. While some barriers are technical in nature, many are institutional, legal and cultural in origin. The workshop focused on the technical aspects of data collection, management, analysis and presentation. It covered tabular and GIS data, along with the more political aspects of data distribution both to partners in a project and to a wider audience.
Kamfers Dam is currently the depository for raw sewerage that flows from the currently dysfunctional treatment plant, a result of poor management of the sewerage works by the Sol Plaatje Municipality. The increased constant eutrofication has lead to severe algal blooms and may be responsible for the current lesions and abnormalities being recorded on some of the Lesser Flamingos.
Although the flufftail has been recorded at nine wetland sites in South Africa between November and March, the only evidence of breeding comes from three wetland sites in the central highlands of Ethiopia between July and September.
It is not known whether a single population migrates between Ethiopia and South Africa, or each country hosts its own sub-population. Studies by EWNHS have suggested that the birds which breed in Ethiopia remain well into the dry season, and may wander within the country, rather than migrating.
Another thing done at the workshop was to produce the "Gansbaai Declaration", reproduced below.
Please support the penguin conservation effort in whatever way you can, e.g. at SANCCOB, or the Dyer Island Conservation Trust's initiative to provide artificial penguin nests http://www.dict.org.za.
Paul Matiku, Executive Director of Nature Kenya (BirdLife in Kenya) said: “This decision is a national disaster and will devastate the Delta. The Tana’s ecology will be destroyed yet the economic gains will be pitiful. It will seriously damage our priceless national assets and will put the livelihoods of the people living in the Delta in jeopardy”. “The environmental assessment for the scheme was poor yet the government has defied even those very modest recommendations. We refuse to accept that this decision is final. The development must be stopped at all costs”