Forestry Corporation hosts Ramsar managers from across Australia

Forestry Corporation will host day one of the NSW Ramsar Managers Network annual field trip, on Wednesday 27 October, when approximately 35 Ramsar managers from across Australia will visit the central Murray.

The network comprises representatives from four private Ramsar sites in NSW; Department of Environment and Conservation NSW; Forestry Corporation; Department of Environment and Heritage; WWF Australia and Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources.

Ramsar managers from all other states plus the Northern Territory will also attend the three-day field trip.

Forestry Corporation Riverina Manager, Mr Mike Thompson, said Forestry Corporation was delighted to be able to showcase the central Murray State forests.

He said 18 months ago 84 000 hectares of State forest in the central Murray was listed as a ‘Wetland of International Importance' under the Ramsar Convention.

“This listing was of special significance because these forests are ‘working forests', as they are managed for a range of economic benefits including timber production as well as recreation, conservation and heritage values,” Mr Thompson said.

He said network members would visit the Gulpa Creek wetlands where 25 years of rehabilitation had led to some remarkable environmental achievements.

“They will be able to inspect the new bird observatory, which is a shining example of governments and local communities working together to realise the economic, social and environmental benefits of this Ramsar-listed wetland,” Mr Thompson said.

“We will also look at rehabilitation of the Edward River wetlands during the past 10 years and ‘The Living Murray' proposal for the Pericoota Cutting.

“The field trip will be an opportunity for the managers to exchange information on Ramsar site management issues including noxious weeds, water, funding, grazing, recreation, fire and the community consultation process.”

Ramsar sites cover a range of tenures including private land, national park, nature reserve, Crown land and State forests.

Australia was one of the first signatories to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, named after the town in Iran where it was signed in 1971.

Under the Ramsar Convention, wetlands are considered worthy of listing if they are representative, rare or unique examples of a natural wetland type or support vulnerable or endangered species and plants or animals .

Australia currently has 64 Ramsar sites covering a total area of approximately 7.3 million hectares. NSW has Australia's largest number of private Ramsar sites, with four of its 11 sites occurring wholly or partly on private or community managed land.

Media contact: Mike Thompson on (03) 5881 2266.