26th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee -- Agenda papers

26th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 3 - 7 December 2001
Agenda item 21 (d) Any other business

DOC. SC26-23

Programme of joint work between the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to note development of the Ramsar/MAB joint programme of work and advise on its implementation.

1. In implementation of Action 7.2.4 of Ramsar’s Strategic Plan 1997-2002: "Develop cooperation with the World Heritage Convention and UNESCO’s Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) especially as regards wetlands designated as World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves and/or Ramsar sites", the Ramsar Bureau and MAB secretariat have developed a programme of joint work, attached as an Annex to this note.

2. The programme of joint work has also been prepared to implement the recommendation by the MAB International Coordinating Council, at its sixteenth session (Paris, 6-10 November 2000), to continue synergy with the Convention on Wetlands in developing concrete site-based cooperation and in the broader area of developing common approaches to ecosystem science.

3. This programme of joint work is intended to be implemented in the first instance in 2002-2003. This first phase focuses on joint secretariat actions to review and harmonise information and guidance concerning Ramsar sites and Biosphere Reserves where closer synergy may be beneficial to Ramsar Contracting Parties and MAB participating countries.

4. In further fulfilment of Action 7.2.4, on World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2001, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, launched a Joint Web Site for Ramsar and the MAB Programme (http://www.unesco.org/mab/ramsarmab.htm) which offers comparative MAB and Ramsar descriptive information on all wetlands which are inscribed wholly or partly in both lists. The information on this Web site is kept up to date by Katarina Vestin of UNESCO and Dineke Beintema of Wetlands International – AEME.

5. The annexed programme of joint work also includes an activity to review options of extending the existing Ramsar/World Heritage Convention Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 1999 to include the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), and other relevant UNESCO Programmes.


Programme of joint work between the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)

Note: the Programme of Joint Work as approved by Standing Committee Decision SC26-51 (December 2001) and MAB's International Coordinating Council (at its 17th session in Paris on 20 March 2002) is available at http://ramsar.org/moc/key_mab_pjw1.htm.

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