The Advisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention

The origins of the Advisory Board

On 7 June 2013, the Dutch Government informed the Ramsar Secretary General, that, following the the publication of  Enhancing the Wise Use of Wetlands: A Framework for Capacity Development, the key work of the Board had been completed. While subsequent developments could be considered, such as giving the Board a more international composition, the Dutch government unfortunately had no funding available to continue the Board's activities.

From 1994 until 2004, the Dutch Government actively supported the international wetland courses for managers run by the RIZA Institute in Lelystad, Netherlands, and also supported a number of the course participants. Of the large number of people who have followed these courses, many are now actively engaged in wetland management, or in designing and implementing wetland policy in the participating countries. The RIZA course was always closely linked to the Ramsar Convention and operated on its behalf, and the RIZA Advisory Board managing the courses was always chaired by the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention.

In recent years, the new approach to capacity building has placed increasing emphasis on a regional approach so that training can be tailored to the specific needs within the regions. This is reflected in the establishment of several regional training activities in East Africa, Ramsar (Iran), and Panama, and in the delivery since September 2004 of the Training of Trainers courses run by Wageningen International, assisted by the RIZA Institute.

On May 17, 2005 the Dutch Government informed the Chair of the Ramsar Standing Committee that the RIZA Advisory Board had been changed to the Ramsar Capacity Building Advisory Board (but see note above). The Dutch Government noted that it was pleased to continue its active support of Ramsar by hosting this new Advisory Board and that, under the leadership of the Convention's Secretary General, it would continue to support capacity building developments within Ramsar. The formal notification of this change and the Rules of Procedure for the operation of the Advisory Board were presented to Standing Committee 34 through SC34-DOC14 Report on training activities and capacity building from the Ramsar Advisory Board on Capacity Building.

Rules of procedure of the Advisory Board

These describe the tasks of the Board and the procedures regarding membership, meetings, and reporting, and can be donwloaded in PDF format here.

Reports of the Advisory Board meetings
(in PDF format)

1st meeting, February 2006
2nd meeting, June 2006
3rd meeting, December 2006
4th meeting, June 2007

5th meeting, December 2007
6th meeting, March 2008
7th meeting, March 2009

Report of the joint workshop between the Advisory Board
and the CEPA Oversight Panel, June 2007

 The relationship between the Advisory Board and the CEPA Oversight Panel

Through Resolution IX.18 Establishment of an Oversight Panel for the CEPA activities of the Conventionadopted at COP9, November 2005, and Decision SC34-12 taken by Standing Committee 34 in April 2006, the Advisory Board became a permanent member of the CEPA Oversight Panel. One of the six key tasks tasks of the Panel includes:

Identifying, with the involvement of the "Ramsar Advisory Board on Capacity Building", priorities in recognition of the gaps between capacity building opportunities and needs for the broad range of wetland professionals and stakeholders.

The CEPA Oversight Panel met for the first time on May 29, 2006 and their first report is available for download in Word and PDF format here.

Membership of the Advisory Board for the period 2006-2008

Ramsar SecretariatAnada Tiéga (from August 1, 2007)
Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, The NetherlandsBart Fokkens/Bouke Ottow
Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, The Netherlands Martin Lok/ Gerard van Dijk
Wageningen InternationalBram Huisman/ Petra Spliethoff
UNESCO-IHEJay O'keeffe/ Anne van Dam
Wetlands InternationalJane Madgwick/ Doug Taylor
Tour du ValatTo be announced

several of the organisations above are part of the Wetland Professionals Platform, a virtual meeting place for those involved in wetland management, restoration, policy-making and science. The Platform is created and maintained by WetCap, a partnership that includes: Wetlands International, Wageningen International, Unesco-IHE, Rijkswaterstaat RIZA, ITC, Cap-Net/UNDP and Alterra.

Back to top
Follow us 
Ramsar Awards 

The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

Ramsar Secretariat

Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 22 999 0169
Map: click here

Ramsar Forum: subscribe