Drawing the line on our precious wetlands – a Peel Waterways Centre lecture
Released 24 Jan 2008
The spotlight will focus on the internationally recognised Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar wetland system at a special lecture at the Peel Waterways Centre on January 31.
Department of Water spokesman Michelle Gilbert said the first monthly lecture series of 2008 would be held in suite 6, 21 Sholl Street, Mandurah, on January 31, from 5pm-7pm.
The Peel-Yalgorup system is a wetland of international importance incorporating the largest and most diverse estuarine complexes in South-West Australia and is listed under the Ramsar Convention because of its international environmental significance.
The 1971 Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
There are currently 157 contracting parties to the convention, with 1708 wetland sites, totalling 153 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
To highlight international endeavours in wetland conservation and wise use, the Ramsar Convention celebrates World Wetlands Day each year on February 2. As part of the festivities this year, the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and Department of Environment and Conservation will be launching the Ecological Character Description for the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar site.
The Ecological Character Description describes the ecology of the wetland and how all the physical, chemical and biological components of the wetland fit together to make a functioning ecosystem.
An experienced team, led by aquatic ecologist Jennifer Hale, has developed the description as a document to guide management of the system and ensure the conservation of this internationally important wetland system.
"Key threats to the ecological character of the site from activities in the catchment and nearby have been identified and characterised and 'limits of acceptable change' established," Ms Hale said.
"Limits of acceptable change can be considered as the 'line in the sand' beyond which the system cannot be allowed to change without jeopardising the function and character of the wetland."
Ms Hale will present the key features of the system at this Thursday's lecture, including what makes the Ramsar wetland unique, what activities pose the greatest threats and how her team have drawn the 'line in the sand' for the future management of the system.
A light supper and refreshments will be provided on arrival. RSVP is essential as numbers are limited. Please contact Michelle Gilbert on 9550 4228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by January 30.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441