Objectives of Ramsar partnerships with the private sector

07/08/2009

(Extract from Resolution X.12, 2008)

In giving effect to the following guiding principles, the Ramsar Contracting Parties encourage the Secretariat to further develop partnerships with the business sector, in the spirit of Strategy 1.10 of the Strategic Plan 2009-2015, in order to promote cooperation with a view to maintaining the ecological values of wetlands as assets for sustainable development.

Objectives

• To improve environmentally sustainable business practices by increasing dialogue and understanding of the socio-economic benefits and business opportunies provided by the ecosystem services of fully functioning wetland systems.
• To expand the resource base of the Convention and its activities by developing mutually beneficial relationships with the business sector.
• To promote the engagement of the business sector directly in the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
• To facilitate dialogue between business and key stakeholders of wetlands, particularly governments and relevant communities, in order to build trust, stimulate and develop concrete partnership activities.
• To increase local, national and regional investments in promoting wetland conservation, wise use, restoration and rehabilitation.
• To promote a better understanding of the values of wetlands and the mission of the Convention.
• To nurture and intensify the synergy between the ecological requirements for sustainable development and the socio-economic benefits derived from sound wetland management.
• To explore new areas of cooperation and develop appropriate sustainability measures for further cooperation between government and the private sector at national level.
• To identify and apply methodologies for innovative compensation of wetland loss as far as possible in the same areas with the same ecological functions in accordance with the Convention.

The key expectations of partnership development between the Ramsar Convention and the business sector are:

• to build an agreed strategy for best practices;
• to jointly carry out positive activities;
• to benefit mutually from the outcomes of joint activities.

General principles

1. There is an increasing recognition that the business sector is not only part of environmental problems but can also be part of the solutions, that sustainable development can be best achieved by the commitments and interactions of governments and civil society, including local communities, influential individuals, and private or public companies.

2. The Contracting Parties recognize that unsustainable business activities and the increasing poverty in various parts of the world are some of the root causes of environmental degradation, but that the increasing role played by globalization and economic growth is sometimes a source of great opportunities as well.

Criteria for identifying a potential private partner with the Ramsar Convention

4. The fundamental criterion is the commitment by the company, including all its branches, to strengthen, and in no way to undermine, the integrity and reputation of the Ramsar Convention and its ability to carry out its mission in accordance with the decisions of the Conference of the Contracting Parties.

5. The second criterion is support for the mission of the Convention by the business entering in partnership with Ramsar and the recognition of environmental sustainability as one of the key conditions that sustain life and human health.

6. The third criterion is the commitment to incorporate the concept of environmental sustainability into their existing business practices and to develop and adopt new strategies that include wetland conservation and wise use, amongst the main concerns of the company.

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