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The Ramsar Convention and water for all
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Monday, 9 April 2012, 14:00 - 15:15 at UNU-IAS in Yokohama

Water, Water, everywhere nor any a drop to drink1
—the Ramsar Convention turns 40

by Peter Bridgewater

Chair, Joint Nature Conservation Committee

 
Photo: UNU-IAS
 


Seminar Description
Seminar Language: English

The world’s most pressing environmental problem is ensuring water for all to drink. On 2 February 1971 the world’s first modern international convention on an environmental issue was signed into effect, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. These two statements are surprisingly linked. The “Founding Fathers” of the Ramsar Convention were driven by an anxiety that migratory waterbirds were in increasing danger because of loss of their breeding, feeding and resting habitats. And yet in their wisdom they created a convention focused on wetland ecosystems, rather than just wetland birds. Forty-one years later, the Convention is looking to deal with a range of issues, including the key role of wetlands in protecting, producing and purifying water. The seminar looks at the decadal development of the Convention, reviews its current challenges, and takes a peek at a possible future—one where the words of the Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner will be poetry still, not awful truth.
Programme

14:00 - 14:05 Opening Remarks
Govindan Parayil, UN University Vice-Rector and UNU-IAS Director
14:05 - 14:45 Water, Water, everywhere nor any a drop to drink—the Ramsar Convention turns 40
Peter Bridgewater, Chair, Joint Nature Conservation Committee
14:45 - 15:15 Discussion


Video and Audio Podcasts

Opening Remarks
Govindan Parayil, UN University Vice-Rector and UNU-IAS Director

[Archived Video- 2 minutes];

Water, Water, everywhere nor any a drop to drink—the Ramsar Convention turns 40
Peter Bridgewater, Chair, Joint Nature Conservation Committee

[Archived Video- 58 minutes]; [Archived Audio- 58 minutes]

Discussion
[Archived Video- 36 minutes]; [Archived Audio- 36 minutes]


Photo Gallery


Speaker's Biography

Dr. Peter Bridgewater is Chair of the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and Visiting Professor at UNU-IAS and Beijing Forestry University.

He is immediate past Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, and has been Director of the Division of Ecological Sciences in UNESCO, Chief Science Adviser to the Australian Environment Department and CEO of the Australian Nature Conservation Agency.  He has also been Chair of the International Whaling Commission, Chaired the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention, and the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme.

He has written extensively on biodiversity issues and International Environmental Governance. His research interests at present include the links between biological and cultural diversity, coastal wetland ecosystems, and the development and operation of science-policy interfaces.
1 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798.
Registration is free and open to the public. For further information, please contact UNU-IAS at unuias[at]ias.unu.edu or 045-221-2300.
Registration is closed.
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