Committee at its 31st Meeting (June 2005) for consideration by Ramsar COP9, as well as the proposals submitted by Contracting Parties at least 60 days before the opening ofRamsar COP9 (i.e., by 7 September 2005). In this Plenary Session there will be a first discussion ofthe proposals, to allow the search for consensus to begin before the final drafts ofthe decisions are submitted for approval onthe last day oftheConference. (Note: Contracting Parties will be able to submit new proposals during themeetingtotheConference Committee, provided that those new proposals deal with: a) urgent issues resulting from the debates during themeeting; and/or b) new developments that it was not possible to foresee in advance.)
Conferenceofthe Contracting Parties, qualifying initiatives which have zero financial implications for the Convention’s core budget, and ALSO AUTHORIZES the Standing Committee, within the global allocation for the triennium oftheConvention core budget line “Support to Regional Initiatives”, to reallocate funding, if considered appropriate, depending on shifts in priorities and needs in response to requests from initiatives, and REQUESTS the Standing Committee to report to COP10 onthe development and funding ofthe suite of initiatives established by 2008;
3. The purpose ofthe global and regional reports is to review the implementation oftheConvention in the last triennium. However, as this is the first report that I have the honour to present tothe COP as Secretary General, I am taking the opportunity to provide some personal perspectives and overviews which I have formed during the past two years. The structure ofthe report is based onthe Strategic Plan 2003-2008, andthe National Reports received, and also shows the activities ofthe Secretariat and how these dovetail with activities in Contracting Partiesandthe International Organization Partners (IOPs). The reports ofthe subsidiary bodies, namely the Standing Committee andthe Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), are contained in separate documents, as is my report under Article 8 onthe status of List ofWetlandsof International Importance. General remarks
Pursuant tothe Rules of Procedure, theConference will appoint a Credentials Committee onthe basis of proposals made by theConference Committee, and may establish any other committees necessary to enable theConferenceto carry out its functions. The COP may wish to establish a Committee onthe Work Plan 2006-2008; a Committee on finances and budget; and a Committee on content and duration of future Ordinary Meetings oftheConferenceofthe Contracting Parties.
26. URGES Contracting Partiesand INVITES relevant organizations to use the habitat and species conservation provisions oftheConventionto support the introduction and/or continuance of management measures that mitigate the environmental impacts of fishing, including the use of spatial management approaches as appropriate, and ALSO URGES theRamsar Secretariat to work with other conventions, instruments and organizations concerned with the conservation of biodiversity andthe management of natural resources (including FAO at an international and regional level), in order to promote the synergy and alignment of planning and management approaches that benefit the conservation and sustainable management of fisheries resources and recognition ofthe contribution this makes towards meeting CBD targets, WSSD goals, and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
In this section each key strategy is linked numerically to one ofthe five goals. In addition to this linkage some strategies and Key Result Areas will, in the end, inevitably satisfy more than one goal. Measurement of Key Performance Measures will be undertaken by the Secretariat working with the Standing Committee. “Budget impact” gives specific costs where these are known and an indication of staff time targets needed from the Secretariat (presumed total of 19). Each strategy is cross- referenced tothe operational objectives ofthe Strategic Plan. Where a strategy is formed from more than one Operational Objective, some slight re-wording ofthe objectives has been made to ensure clarity ofthe strategy.
17. DECIDES that the contribution of each Contracting Party to this budget (other than those making voluntary contributions) should be in accordance with the scale of assessments for the contribution of Member States tothe United Nations budget as approved by the UN General Assembly, except in the case of Contracting Parties which, in applying the UN scale, would make annual contributions totheRamsarConvention budget of less than SFR 1,000, in which case the annual contribution shall be that amount. The difference between the assessed contribution for these Contracting Parties according tothe UN scale andthe minimum threshold of SFR 1,000 shall be allocated, when actual payments have been effected, to another budget line or lines ofthe core budget, onthe advice ofthe Standing Committee’s Subgroup on Finance. All other Contracting Parties will continue to be assessed in accordance with the UN scale of contributions as indicated in Annex II, except in the case of those Contracting Parties making voluntary
13. Further support for cooperation stems from the adoption by theConferenceofthePartiestotheConventionon Biological Diversity (decision VI/26), and subsequent endorsement by the World Summit on Sustainable Development, ofthe target “to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction ofthe current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level,” adopted by theConferenceofthePartiestotheConventionon Biological Diversity in its Strategic Plan has been endorsed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This broad support for the 2010 target, at the highest levels, means that it can provide a unifying focus for cooperation among all relevant Conventions and organizations. Among the biodiversity-related conventions, besides theConventionon Biological Diversity, the 2010 target has been recognized by theConferenceofthePartiesof CITES in decision 13.2 (see above) as well as in its review of strategic planning in decision 13.1, and by the CMS Standing Committee in the draft Strategic Plan of CMS (2006 – 2011). The target is also due to be considered by the Conferences ofthePartiesof CMS, Ramsarand WHC during 2005.
42. The proposed alteration tothe Rules of Procedure which was agreed by Standing Committee for Rule 5, and which can be found in COP9 DOC. 2, is: “The Bureau shall notify all Partiesofthe dates, venue, and provisional agenda of an ordinary meeting at least 12 months before themeeting is due to commence. The notification shall include the draft agenda for themeetingandthe deadline for submission of proposals by theParties, which normally shall be 40 calendar days prior tothe opening ofthe Standing Committee meeting at which approvals are made for documents for consideration by Contracting Parties at the COP. Only Parties, the Standing Committee andtheConference Committee shall be entitled to submit proposals.”
This initiative is focused onthe full participation of all RamsarConventionparties in the Western Hemisphere, as well as other key actors. The design ofthe plan of work for CREHO has been based on a needs assessment which was carried out consulting all parties as well as an extensive list of contacts working on wetland issues in the region. CREHO will generate and facilitate alliances with different key wetland actors in the region, as well as promote their close involvement in the development of multiple activities performed by the Center, directly or indirectly. To achieve this, CREHO is establishing technical and research cooperation agreements with universities, research centers, governmental and non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental institutions at local, regional and international levels.
NOTE: The host government is arranging for a Ministerial Dialogue for ministers attending the COP to take place during the day’s proceedings. The Technical Sessions andthe Ministerial Dialogue will also consider a draft declaration which the COP may wish to adopt.
The recent International Conferenceon Combating Desertification (Beijing, January 2008) was convened as an intersessional event in contribution tothe 16th Session ofthe United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in May 2008, which will address the issue of desertification, along with agriculture, land, drought, rural development. The Secretary General addressed that meetingand found that it has provided an even better opportunity than the CSD Session itself to integrate wetlandsandwater issues into the debate. If we had missed that opportunity, we would not have been able to promote wetland issues into the CSD conclusions even if we were to attend the 16 th Session.
20. URGES Contracting Partiesto take the necessary steps within their frameworks for integrated river basin and coastal zone management to maintain or reinstate fish migration pathways, to reduce the impacts of point source and diffuse pollution in all its forms, to establish and implement environmental flow allocations supportingthe conservation of fish, to protect critical spawning and nursery grounds, andto restore relevant habitats where these have become degraded, taking into account the guidance adopted in Resolutions VIII.1 onwater allocation, VIII.4 on ICZM, and VIII.32 on mangrove ecosystems;
frameworks for different major aspects ofConvention implementation, including a Strategic Framework for the implementation oftheConvention ([COP9 DR9]); the conceptual framework for the wise use concept ([COP9 DR1 – Annex A]); an integrated framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring (([COP9 DR1 – Annex B]); an integrated framework for Ramsar’s water-related guidance ([COP9 DR1 – Annex C]); andthe revised Strategic Framework and guidelines for the further development ofthe List ofWetlandsof International Importance ([COP9 DR1 – Annex D]); represents a helpful step in equipping Parties better to implement theConventionand also in identifying gaps in guidance;
• Intensifying our working relationships with the United Nations agencies and ongoing processes, including UNEP, EMG and UN-Water, UN-Habitat, World Meteorological Organization, GEF, and World Bank. However, integrating wetland issues into the work ofthe Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) remains challenging. TheConvention will be understood andwetlands recognized as key assets for sustainable development only if the Contracting Parties emphasize their importance during global debates such as UN General Assemblies, CSD Sessions, Climate Change deliberations and other priority areas for decisions and actions. In this regard, the Secretariat continues to seize any opportunity to explain the importance ofwetlandsandto convey the key messages ofthe Changwon Declaration to five major sectors, covering:
Council), held from 21st to 22nd June 2004 in Abuja, Nigeria, “expressed satisfaction with the take-off ofthe Lake Chad Basin Initiative. To this effect, they decided that the five pilot projects undertaken within the framework ofthe LCBC/GEF project (all of them coinciding with existing or planned Ramsar sites in the Lake Chad Basin) be considered as concrete contribution tothe ChadWet Initiative launched in June 2003 at Izmir (Turkey). In addition, they directed that the ChadWet Initiative be presented as a Ramsar Regional Initiative at the next ConferenceoftheParties in Kampala (Uganda) in November 2005, in accordance with Resolution VIII.30 ofRamsar”
62. Continue participation in the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza as resources and competencies permit; provide relevant input on practical measures to reduce the risk of disease transmission between wild, captive and domesticated birds, to those agencies developing contingency and wetland management plans related to HPAI; and assist, with relevant international agencies andthe Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza, in sharing information, including practical advice that will assist countries to respond to this serious and rapidly developing situation, reporting back on progress tothe Standing Committee andto COP10. [STRP; Secretariat] (Resolution IX.23)
descriptive context but probably none of which is either critical or not repeated elsewhere, andthe majority of its is priorities only for the next triennium. Annex 2 is in effect a forerunner of what later became Strategic Plans for theConvention (also time- limited), despite not being clearly described as such in later materials, and has thus been superseded. The operative parts ofthe Resolution itself are similarly time-limited. Res VI.14 (para 6) purports to quote Res 5.1, as instructing the Standing Committee to “prepare strategic plans for the following two triennia for presentation at the 6th MeetingoftheConferenceof Contracting Parties”, which might appear to be the origin of a mandate that might have continuing value - but this is an error and those words are in fact from Res 5.2. The preamble of Res 5.1 contains perhaps two paras that may have continuing value (the 2 nd , on
9. TheRamsar guidance, on river basin management and environmental flows particularly, has its origins in the environment/wetlands interest sector, and it is aimed at providing supporting material for theRamsar implementing authorities in each Party to use in persuading or influencing thewater sector to change the way they do or have done river basin management. Given that, theRamsar guidance on this issue is encouraging and provides a sound, useful framework, but it may not be detailed enough to fully inform water resource managers at the level of daily operational practices.
i) Desk based information. Investigations normally start with information available in the office. Spatial data will often include topographical, land use/vegetation, and geological maps and photographs taken from aircraft or satellites. Old photos have proved to be very useful in explaining hydrological links with wetlands in Costa Rica, where restoration practices benefit from historical knowledge. Geological maps can reveal the proximity of aquifers tothewetlands. However, these maps are generally drawn by extrapolating information from limited geological data (such as cores) – hence in parts of these maps the presence and thickness of impermeable strata lying between a wetland and an aquifer may be very uncertain. In addition, the