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Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

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Presentation on theme: "Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

3 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) What is the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands? Oldest of the global environmental conventions the only global convention focussing attention on an ecosystem (wetlands) covers very wide range of wetlands - from coral reefs to mountains Ramsar, Iran - where 18 countries signed the Convention on 2 February 1971 X so not an acronym (RAMSAR) X Celebrated annually on World Wetlands Day - 2 February –30th anniversary 2001

4 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Ramsar Convention: Mission Statement The conservation and wise use of wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world. (draft Strategic Plan 2003-2008)

5 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) What is the wise use of wetlands? … their sustainable utilization for the benefit of humankind in a way compatible with the maintenance of the natural properties of the ecosystem (Ramsar COP3, 1987)

6 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Ramsars definition of wetland wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres (Article 1.1) and may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six metres at low tide lying within wetlands (Article 2.1)

7 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) So….Ramsar covers Natural and human-made wetlands inland/freshwater: –marshes, rivers, lakes, reservoirs etc. coastal/marine –lagoons, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds etc. above ground and underground –karst and caves but not deep oceans

8 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Ramsar Contracting Parties Contracting Parties commit to delivering the modern Convention through 3 pillars: Wise use of all wetlands Wetlands of International Importance - designation and management International cooperation

9 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Accession - how to join the Convention Instrument of Accession –letter from Head of State Designate first Ramsar site –on accession - name of site and map –then complete Ramsar site Information Sheet (RIS) send instrument and site designation to UNESCO - the Conventions depositary

10 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar Convention today 133 Contracting Parties –others in process of joining (accession) –from Africa, central Asia, Caribbean, Oceania 6 Ramsar Regions: –Africa, Asia, Europe, Neotropics, North America & Oceania

11 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar Convention today 1185 Wetlands of International Importance - Ramsar sites –1 million hectares –size: from 6 million ha

12 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites) selected under one or more of 8 criteria, e.g.: a representative or good example of a wetland type in a country support important biodiversity important life-cycle sites for species –e.g. turtle nesting beaches specifically for waterbirds or fish –e.g. spawning or nursery areas

13 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites) Multiple use sites –recognises and supports their values and functions for people flexible and inclusive of many different types and sizes of wetlands: –largest: Okavango Swamp, Botswana >6million hectares –smallest: Hosnie Spring, Christmas Island 1 hectare

14 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar process and bodies Contracting Parties (countries) Meetings of Contracting Parties (COPs) –main decision-making meetings Standing Committee –intersessional governance body Scientific & Technical Review Panel –prepares advice and guidance on technical topics Ramsar Bureau –the Conventions Secretariat, based in Switzerland –19 policy, technical and administrative staff

15 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Ramsars International Organisation Partners (IOPs) 4 international environmental NGOs –BirdLife International –IUCN - the World Conservation Union –Wetlands International –World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) important and continuing contribution to Convention implementation –at local, national and global scales

16 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Links with other organisations Cooperation with: other NGOs and networks regional environmental organisations other environmental conventions –3rd Joint Work Plan with CBD (adopted April 2002) –Ramsar: lead implementing partner for CBD inland waters –joint activities developing with UNCCD, CMS, UNFCCC, MAB etc.

17 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Key features of the Ramsar Convention recognises wetlands (goods and services) as vital for human wellbeing (food and water security) and poverty alleviation supports practical wetland sustainable utilization by countries open, collaborative and flexible mechanisms –both ecosystems and species –both sites and broad-based sustainable use supports implementation - not a compliance- based convention provides practical guidance on many topics

18 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar tool-kit - wise use handbooks

19 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar tool-kit - wise use handbooks 9 Handbooks English, French & Spanish - published 2000 CD-ROM available now (August 2002) bring together: –Guidelines adopted by Ramsar COP7 (Costa Rica, 1999) and earlier COPs –relevant COP Resolutions and Recommendations –case studies assist implementation - improved access to guidance

20 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) The Ramsar tool-kit - wise use handbooks 1. Wise Use of Wetlands 2. National Wetland Policies 3. Reviewing laws & institutions 4. Integrating wetlands into river basin management 5. Local communities & indigenous peoples participatory management 6. Communication, education & public awareness - Outreach Programme 7. Strategic Framework & Guidelines for the List of Ramsar Sites 8. Managing Ramsar Sites and other wetlands 9. International cooperation

21 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Ramsar Convention - further guidelines for COP8 (2002) Scientific & Technical Review Panel (STRP) additional guidance on wetlands and: Inventory Impact assessment Ecological character & assessment methods Integrated Coastal Zone Management Ramsar site designation Management planning (new guidance) Water allocations and management Climate change Restoration

22 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) Ramsar COP8 17-26 November 2002 Valencia, Spain will approve Resolutions, new guidelines, 2nd Strategic Plan, budgets and Convention modus operandi Resolutions and guidelines on Ramsar Web-site: –http://www.ramsar.org

23 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org) www.ramsar.org all you ever want to know about the Ramsar Convention - but didnt know who to ask…. –Whats New? –Convention key documents –Outreach –Wise Use Resource Centre –Ramsar Forum - listserve

24 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org)


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