Course theory in a reality check

or

“How a role play by the International Academy for Nature Conservation (INA) helped coping with convention negotiations”

by Mr. Mamadou Welle – Senegal

Alumnus of the 39th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Postgraduate Course on Environmental Management

From 29 May 2017 to 2 June 2017 I had the opportunity to participate to the 53rd standing committee of the Ramsar Convention in Gland, Switzerland. More than 100 delegates hailing from 50 countries, representatives of Ramsar’s six International Organization Partners (IOPs) and several independent observers attended this event. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971.

The work was organized around regional meetings, subgroup meetings and plenary sessions. A series of documents, compiled by the Secretary General of the Convention, served as the basis for exchanges between the delegations of the contacting parties, observers and representatives of the IOPs. Issues relating to the structuring of the convention, management procedures, action plans and strategies for sustainable management of wetlands were discussed in depth. Regional meetings gathered every morning delegates of each region of the world. This helped them harmonize their positions and discuss relevant issues specific to their region. Draft resolutions were proposed, discussed, validated or rejected during plenary. The principle of consensus has been the rule for making decisions.

As it was the first time I attended such international meeting, the acuity of the issues, the diversity of participants and their commitments in defending their views could have been daunting.  Luckily it was manageable for me to deal with all raised points and to be a fair but determined negotiator on behave of my home country, and other West African countries, which are represented by Senegal  in the Ramsar committee. Actually I did not have to start from scratch! I felt rather at ease because I could fall back to the tips that I had received during the role play about international convention negotiations in the International Academy for nature Conservation (INA) on Vilm Island during the 39th International Postgradudate Course on Environmental Management for Developing and Emerging Countries during my time at CIPSEM!

The 13th conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) will be held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates from 21 to 29 October 2018.  Let’s make an appointment there!

Respectful Environment Initiative of Nowruz in Iran

“Open the windows, for the kind breeze is celebrating the birthday of the flowers, and spring, on each and every branch, next to each leaf, has lit candles!”

Above is cited a famous poem by the great Iranian poet Fereydoon Moshiri, welcoming spring. Today opening the window, I can hear the sparrow singing and blooming bulbs, the lovely sound of spring here at CIPSEM.

I am from Iran and in my country they celebrate Nowruz that usually occurs on 21st, March or the previous/following day, depending on when is the exact astronomical beginning of the spring. Iranians take that as the beginning of the year. This exact second is called “Saal Tahvil”. For Iranian New Year of 1395, here in Dresden was 20th, March 2016, 05:30 early morning accordingly.Been celebrated for over 3,000 years, International Nowruz Day was prefigured by the United Nations General Assembly, in 2010, at the initiative of some countries that share this holiday.

Sizdeh Bedar-13Sizdeh-Bedar3_Mehri

Persian spring festival is kept to “Sizdeh Bedar”, 13 days after the New Year day, about 4th, April. On the date, it is a must to spend time outdoors for a festive picnic in nature. Protecting the natural sceneries, Iran Department of Environment initiated long before to call it Nature Day by the calendar. Now it shall be reminded Nowruz respectful to the environment.

I take this opportunity, the hope of spring to speak from and to EM39 here at CIPSEM in Germany about natural environment conservation in my country.

by Mehri Sadat Alavinasab (Iran)