Fragile Ecosystems

Scientists and environmentalists met in Tokyo on 3 June 1993 to discuss a two-year-old program to save wetlands and monitor crane migration. The two-day symposium was organized chiefly by the Wild Bird Society of Japan and the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. Its main purpose was to promote awareness of endangered wetlands before the delegates from 179 nations met at the international conference in Hokkaido, Japan organized by the Ramsar Bureau, which is in charge of implementing the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, where the signatory nations of the Ramsar Convention unanimously agreed on guidelines for sustainable development of wetlands, endangered wetlands monitoring, wetlands management programs, and the formation of a scientific advisory panel to the Ramsar Bureau, and to increase funding for wetlands conservation.

The vulnerability of coastal zones and small island states to the results of climate and atmospheric change was emphasized at the five-day intergovernmental World Coast Conference, which took place in November 1993 in The Hague, the Netherlands. The meeting, which was hosted by the Government of the Netherlands under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was one of the first major conferences to be held on all aspects of coastal zone management, and its findings were presented at the first Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Development States in Barbados.

The Second International Conference on Science and the Management of Protected Areas was held on May 16-20, 1994 at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The conference addressed the science and management of whole-system monitoring in both terrestrial and marine environments. The conference was endorsed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund (Canada), Man and the Biosphere Program (Canada), The George Wright Society, Science and the Management of Protected Areas Association, Parks Canada and Environment Canada.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) participated in a conference in Barbados late April to early May 1994. Delegates of 111 countries and NGOs met to discuss issues pertinent to the special conditions which island states confront. A document was drafted which includes agreements on issues such as climate change and sea level rise, natural and environmental disasters, management of wastes, coastal, marine, freshwater, land and biodiversity resources, energy, tourism, national institutions and administrative capacity, regional institutions and technical cooperation, transport and communication, science and technology, human resource development, and implementation, monitoring and review.