The Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP)
The Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention was established by Resolution 5.5 (Kushiro, 1993) as a subsidiary body of the Convention to provide scientific and technical guidance to the Conference of the Parties, the Standing Committee, and the Ramsar secretariat. Its individual members are elected by the Standing Committee, based upon nominations from the Parties, on the same regionally proportionate basis that is used for electing the Standing Committee itself, but they serve in their own capacities as experts in the scientific areas required by the STRP's Work Plan and not as representatives of their countries. Resolution VII.2 (San José, 1999) modified the composition of the STRP, and Resolution X.9 (Changwon, 2008) established the present modus operandi and terms of reference of the STRP.
For the triennia 2006-2008 and 2009-2012, the STRP is chaired by Dr Heather MacKay of South Africa and vice-chaired by Rebecca D'Cruz of Malaysia - the membership of the Panel consists of six regional representatives (one chosen from each of the six Ramsar regions), who are charged with networking with the scientific communities in their regions; six thematic experts chosen for their expertise in the priority areas of work for the period; and representatives of the five International Organization Partners, for 17 full members in all. In addition, the Parties have specified a list of 24 convention secretariats, convention subsidiary scientific bodies, and scientific organizations as officially Invited Observer Organizations, and additional consultants, experts, and organizations are asked to participate as required. The progress of the STRP's work is guided and supervised from within the Secretariat by the Deputy Secretary General.
The STRP's Work Plan for each triennium is built around the priority tasks determined by the Standing Committee, which are based upon requests from the Conference of the Parties by means of its Strategic Plan and COP Resolutions and Recommendations. The STRP members and observers are assisted in their work by a network of STRP National Focal Points who advise them directly on STRP matters and provide a liaison between the STRP and the networks of other relevant experts within each of their countries.
The work of the STRP is further assisted by the Web-based STRP Support Service, which was created by Wetlands International and is presently maintained by the staff of the Secretariat. The purpose of the Support Service is to provide the STRP Working Groups and National Focal Points with additional contacts among the expert networks of the International Organization Partners and other groups, identify gaps in needed expertise and endeavor to fill them, assemble a clearinghouse of additional information resources for the tasks of the STRP's Work Plan, and facilitate communication amongst the Working Groups, the Focal Points, and other sources of expertise.
Members of the STRP
Results of STRP meetings and related documents
STRP Support Service