Photo: Agnes Priede. Shallow coastal waters in the Gulf of Riga in Lake Engure, Latvia.
Nordic Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet) was established in Trondheim, Norway, in 2005 based on Ramsar Resolution VIII.30 on “Regional initiatives for the further implementation of the Convention” from the eighth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetlands, in Spain, 2002 to promote the Ramsar Convention; the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
The key starting point for NorBalWet was the Nordic Council of Ministers’ report “Nordic Wetland Conservation” (2004) where the need to strengthen co-operation in Northern Europe had been highlighted. NorBalWet was formally recognized as a Ramsar regional initiative at the 40th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention, in 2009.
Regional initiatives are important for implementation of the Ramsar Convention, as they can build upon bio-geographic commonalities, shared wetland systems and wetland-dependent species, and solidly established common social and cultural links.
Participant countries in NorBalWet
Denmark, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Oblasts from North-West parts of Russia.
There is also an idea to include other countries to the NorBalWet from the Baltic Sea catchment area.
NorBalWet encourages networking
NorBalWet serves as a communication network to exchange information and experiences, thereby enhancing multilateral and transboundary cooperation by embracing a problem-oriented and practical approach to improve wise use and conservation of wetlands, in particular the network of Ramsar sites and other protected areas.
NorBalWet welcomes all relevant stakeholders with an interest in and responsibility for wetland issues including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, Ramsar International Organization Partners (IOPs), other NGOs, academia, local communities and economic actors.