Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) -- National Focal Points
Terms of Reference for the STRP National Focal Points
1. The Ramsar Administrative Authority for the Contracting Party is responsible for ensuring:
i) the appointment of that Party’s STRP National Focal Point (NFP);
ii) that the STRP NFP is appropriately qualified for this role as defined in this Terms of Reference, and that the Secretariat and STRP are provided with information on this in line with the STRP NFP expertise, skills and capacity profile provided in this Terms of Reference;
iii) that the STRP NFP has contact with national experts relevant to the work areas of the Panel;
iv) that the STRP NFP is involved in relevant Ramsar processes within the Contracting Party (including participating in any National Ramsar or Wetland Committee); and
v) that the contact information for the STRP NFP is notified to the STRP through the Ramsar Secretariat, and that it is kept up-to-date and functional.
2. The main function of the STRP NFP in each country is to provide input and support to the implementation of the Work Plan of the STRP, as approved by the first full meeting of the Standing Committee that follows each COP.
3. An STRP NFP is a person appointed to the role in his or her own right for their scientific and technical expertise in wetland conservation and wise use issues, and he or she does not act to represent any organization or government in the work of the STRP.
4. In order to undertake their work, the STRP NFPs should maintain regular contact and communication with the other Ramsar NFPs (Administrative Authority and the CEPA Focal Points) in their country and, as much as possible, with other STRP NFPs in the region.
5. The STRP NFP should, to the extent possible, consult with and seek input from other experts, expert bodies and wetland centres in his/her country. In this regard, the NFP should mobilize local capacity at the country level, e.g., through the establishment of a Ramsar/wetland scientific and technical committee.
6. The STRP NFPs can identify and recommend other people in their countries who have the specialist expertise and experience to participate in a thematic work area of the STRP. Additionally, the NFPs are encouraged to provide information to the STRP on local or national initiatives that are relevant to the STRP’s work.
7. The NFPs are encouraged to use the opportunities of suitable national meetings, newsletters, e-mail, etc., to canvas the views of the expert community and, when feasible, to organize expert consultations on key issues in the STRP Work Plan. The latter should be done in coordination with the appropriate regional networking member of the STRP or relevant thematic Working Group Lead.
8. STRP NFPs in each country are expected to maintain regular contact, and endeavour to identify and undertake activities of common interest, with their equivalent National Focal Points of the technical and scientific bodies of other relevant international and regional environment-related Conventions, and especially for those with which the Ramsar Convention has in place a Memorandum of Cooperation or Understanding, namely, the Conventions on Biological Diversity, Desertification, Migratory Species, and World Heritage.
9. The STRP NFPs are also expected to be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of projects funded under the Ramsar Small Grants Fund for Wetland Conservation and Wise Use (SGF), as may be required by the Ramsar Administrative Authority in each country and/or the agency implementing the project.
10. The National Focal Points should take an active role in supporting national wetland inventory activities and in supporting the efforts of their Contracting Parties to implement the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
11. The STRP NFPs should provide advice to, and participate in, meetings of the National Wetland/Ramsar Committee or similar bodies (e.g., National Biodiversity Committees) where they exist, and provide advice in the preparation of National Reports to Conferences of Contracting Parties. They should also assist in disseminating information on the work of the STRP, interpreted as appropriate to the national context, to relevant individuals and bodies in their countries.
12. The input of the STRP NFPs should be channeled, by preference, through the STRP member leading each thematic area of the Work Plan or through the appropriate regional networking member of the STRP. When this is not practical, the input of the NFP may also be channeled through the appropriate Senior Regional Advisor within the Ramsar Secretariat.
13. In general, the STRP network of NFPs will operate through correspondence and as much as possible through e-mail and the Web-based STRP Support Service. To this effect, the Ramsar Secretariat will include the NFPs with access to e-mail connections to any list-server devoted to STRP members. In addition, the Secretariat has created a dedicated section of the STRP Support Service Web site for the presentation and consideration of STRP matters.
14. As, due to financial limitations, the main working language of the STRP and its network of NFPs is English, the NFP is required to be suitably proficient in the English language, especially written English.
15. STRP NFPs will provide the STRP and Ramsar Secretariat with information concerning their thematic areas of wetland conservation and wise use interest and expertise (though a short questionnaire) and the STRP Working Groups in which they wish directly to participate;
16. STRP NFPs are provided with full access to the Web-based STRP Support Service mechanism so that they may have input to all stages of the Panel’s work, including the development of the scope of delivery of each priority task, the review of draft materials as they are prepared by the Working Groups and task forces, and contribution to the peer review of reports and other documents being considered for publication in the Ramsar Technical Report series.
An expertise, skills and capacity profile for STRP NFPs
17. For consideration for appointment by their Contracting Party Administrative Authority, an STRP NFP should have:
i) a good understanding of national/regional issues and priorities concerning water and wetlands;
ii) a demonstrated capacity for networking with wetland conservation and wise use experts at local and national scales (and international scale if appropriate), demonstrated engagement in such networks, and ability to facilitate consensus among people with different backgrounds (e.g., scientists, government and NGO sector);
iii) widely recognized experience and expertise within his or her country in one or more aspects of wetland conservation and wise use, particularly those relevant to the priority work areas and tasks identified by the COP for the forthcoming work of the STRP;
iv) experience of working with wetland experts at local to national levels, and facilitating discussions and coordinating and consolidating review responses on science-based documents;
v) full access to electronic mail and Web-based information and communication systems, through which the intersessional work of the STRP will take place;
vi) full fluency in understanding, and fluency in reading and writing, English (which remains the working language of the STRP); and
vii) full commitment and the time necessary to undertake the work required of the STRP NFP, and with the support, where relevant, of the NFP’s organization or institution.
18. When a Contracting Party appoints a new STRP NFP, or reaffirms the appointment of an existing STRP NFP, the Party should provide to the Secretariat information on the expertise, skills and capacity of their STRP NFP in relation to the criteria listed in paragraph 17 above.