“Water, Water, everywhere nor any a drop to drink” —the Ramsar Convention turns 40
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. This seminar, featuring Dr. Peter Bridgewater, Chair, Joint Nature Conservation Committee (UK), looks at the decadal development of the Convention, reviews its current challenges, and takes a peek at a possible future.
Registration is free and open to the public. Please visit the event page on the UNU-IAS website for more details and to register.
About the speaker
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