GRENADA RATIFIES RAMSAR CONVENTION TO PROTECT WETLANDS
St. George -- Grenada has ratified the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
Grenada's first obligatory Ramsar Site is "Levera Wetland" in St. Patrick. It's a varied area of valuable tropical marine ecosystems that includes sea grass beds and coral reefs. There is also a freshwater pond in the caldera of an ancient volcano, surrounded by mangroves.
In addition, the "Levera Wetland'' provides support to wildlife and turtle nesting, fishing, hunting and harvesting of mangrove wood for charcoal production. Recreational activities are also carried out on the site.
As part of the convention, authorizing parties such as Grenada are encouraged to post signs at the Ramsar-designated site, prominently displaying its status as a "Wetland of International Importance''.
For Grenada, the convention will be enforced on September 22 of this year, making Grenada the 262nd Contracting Party to Ramsar. One of the goals of the Ramsar Convention is to reach a protected area of 250 million hectares by 2015.
"Grenada takes environment protection and preservation seriously and signing the Ramsar Convention is one more demonstration of the seriousness we attach to the issue,'' said Hon. Glynis Roberts, Minister for the Environment. "We start with Levera and we expect over time that more sites nationwide would also be designated Wetlands of International Importance.''
The Convention on Wetlands(Ramsar, Iran, 1971) – called the "Ramsar Convention'' – is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the "wise use'', or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories. Unlike other global environmental conventions, Ramsar is not affiliated with the United Nations system of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs); but it works very closely with the other MEAs and is a full partner among the "biodiversity-related cluster'' of treaties and agreements.
More information can be found on www.ramsar.org