The 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

14/08/2008


"Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People"
10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Changwon, Republic of Korea, 28 October - 4 November 2008
 

Ramsar COP10 DOC. 11
English and Spanish only

Regional overview of the implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan 2003–2008 in the Neotropics

The National Reports upon which this overview is based can be consulted at http://ramsar.org/cop10/cop10_natlrpts_index.htm.

1.    Contracting Parties in the Neotropics as of July 31, 2008: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela (26).

2.    Contracting Parties whose National Reports are included in this analysis: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela (23).

3.    Contracting Parties that have not yet submitted their National Reports: Barbados, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago (3)

4.    There are 32 countries in the Neotropics; 26 are already Contracting Parties. One country (Barbados) has acceded (12/04/06) to the Convention since COP9.

5.    Non Contracting Parties: Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadine, Haiti and Guyana

Summary of main achievements since COP9 and priorities for 2009-2011

National implementation progress and challenges

New steps undertaken to implement the Convention (A)

6.    In the Neotropics the most significant activities undertaken by Contracting Parties have been: the development of a national wetland inventory (Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Uruguay, Venezuela); Ramsar site designations in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, and Perú; progress in planning for Ramsar sites or other wetlands (Argentina, Bolivia, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador and Panama); and elaboration, adoption or implementation of wetland policies (Bahamas, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala) or related policies (Paraguay).

7.    Research and monitoring of Ramsar sites and other wetlands and CEPA activities are reported by Argentina and Costa Rica. Dominican Republic and Venezuela have undertaken training activities. Panama made progress in the formation of a national wetland committee and Saint Lucia has also made some progress for its formation. Venezuela and Ecuador worked on the formation or reinforcement of committees for management of Ramsar sites or local committees. Honduras prepared updates of Ramsar Information Sheets (RISs), and conservation and awareness campaign activities were reported by Jamaica and Suriname. Paraguay and Panama referred to specific activities related to wetland legislation and Peru to wetland networks.

The most successful aspects of implementation of the Convention (B)

8.    Establishment of Marine Protected Areas that include wetlands (Antigua and Barbuda), Ramsar sites designation (Argentina, Ecuador), awareness activities about wetlands benefits (Bahamas, Chile, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, Perú, Suriname), management plans in place and institutional capacity to ensure the ecological integrity of the areas are maintained (Belize, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador) and progress in preparation of wetland policy (Bolivia).

9.    In the case of Brazil the most successful aspects are the implementation of a GEF - Mangrove Project, the drafting of a national initiative for conservation of coral reefs, and a strategy to establish a centre for wetlands in each of the main ecosystems of wetlands in the country.

10.    Other successful aspects are: an intersectorial management in Chile, wetland management plan formulation in Colombia, and update of RISs in Costa Rica. World Wetlands Day celebrations were mentioned by six parties (Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Perú, Saint Lucia, and Suriname) as well as management of Ramsar sites in Cuba and wetland symposiums and training activities for Dominican Republic, Cuba and Venezuela. For Suriname and El Salvador wetland inventories were the most suscessful accomplishments. Wetland policy implementation in Guatemala, formation of the national wetland committee in Panama, and conservation and management projects implementation in Peru and Suriname were also indicated.

Greatest difficulties in implementing the Convention (C)

11.    Antigua and Barbuda considers that, in the absence of a specific wetland policy, it is difficult to directly monitor certain developments within wetlands, especially if they are not legally protected.

12.    Four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Peru) mentioned that one of the main difficulties that they are facing is the lack of activities’ articulation among different authorities and territories. Insufficient financial and human resources were indicated in the case of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay and Suriname.

13.    For Chile and Panama, to have different environmental authorities makes the implementation of the Convention more difficult. Belize considers that there is always the need for increasing management capacity (financial and human resources) and there is an increase in pressure from politicians to appease the needs of the communities in their constituencies without regards to the ecological integrity (goods and services) of the Ramsar sites. One country mentioned that the lack of knowledge of Ramsar guidelines and resolutions makes its implemention difficult. For Saint Lucia and Honduras the lack of a legal framework for wetland conservation and continuous instability in goverment personnel are the main constraints to efective implementation.

14.    Other constraints that were mentioned and that have an impact in the implementation of the Convention in the Neotropics are: lack of dissemination of information about the purpose of the Convention among other governmental institutions and organizations (Costa Rica), natural phenomena such as climate change, flooding (Cuba), unsustainable practices (Dominican Republic), lack of resources for monitoring the ecological characteristics of Ramsar sites and waterfowl populations (Ecuador), pressure of economic empowerment and development (Jamaica), and lack of priorities for the implementation of the Convention (Venezuela).

Priority proposals for future implementation (D)

15.    The development of a national wetland policy is critical to the future implementation of the Convention (Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Honduras, Panama) or its update (Peru). Wetland inventories are the priorities for Argentina, Bolivia, Panama, and Paraguay as well as to promote the conservation and wise use of the La Plata river basin with the countries of its watershed.

16.    Bahamas plans to work with developers to ensure the wise use of wetlands, and creating a balance between the community needs and maintaining the ecological integrity of the Crooked Tree Ramsar site was mentioned by Belize. For Brazil, English to Portuguese translation of Resolutions and technical documents of the Convention with the objective of increasing knowledge about them and thus increasing implementation capacity of the treaty on a national basis is one of the main priorities.

17.    For Honduras, Brazil, and Paraguay, the priority is the reinforcement of the national wetland committee. EIA guidelines and regional inventories are Chile’s priorities.

18.    Other priorities indicated by the Parties are: implementation of wetland policies in the case of Colombia and Jamaica, formulation of management plans for Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica and Suriname. In the case of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Suriname the main priority is to work on public awareness.

19.    Formulation of a national wetland strategy and a monitoring system is a priority for Cuba, and Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Honduras will work on the designation of Ramsar sites. Ecuador and Venezuela will also work in the reinforcement of Ramsar regional committees. In the case of Guatemala, reinforcement of the legal framework for wetland conservation is a priority, as is formation of a wetland committee in Peru. The removal of Bañados del Este Ramsar site from the Montreux Record is a priority for Uruguay, as is continuing the training of personnel in the case of Venezuela.

20.    During the Pan American meeting held in Merida, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in September 2007, the Contracting Parties also established some priorities for the triennium (see section on priorities).

Proposals for assistance from the Ramsar Secretariat (E)

21.    Assistance should be provided to Contracting Parties according to their stage of development and specific needs (Antigua and Barbuda), support to regional representatives in their role of coordination with the other Contracting Parties was mentioned by Argentina, and support for the South American countries in the implementation of the Convention was mentioned by Bolivia.

22.    Assisting Parties with the translation of Resolutions and technical guidelines, which are essential for the internalization and consequent implementation of the Convention, and promoting regional discussions on better mechanisms and instruments to implement the Convention’s guidelines and policies with a wide participation of different stakeholders, were proposed by Brazil.

23.    Promoting awareness and encouraging goverments to take urgent actions for the conservation of wetlands (Chile), organizing and sponsoring the interchange of experiences about the implementation of the Convention (Colombia), a closer relationship with the Contracting Parties (Cuba, El Salvador), improving the financial support for the implementation of the Convention (Dominican Republic, Paraguay) were all improvements in the Convention’s support called for by the Parties.

24.    Other suggestions include reinforcing the regional teams of the Secretariat with a technical officer (Ecuador), assistance with technical advice (Guatemala, Saint Lucia), stronger support to Central American countries in the implementation of the Convention (Honduras), feedback with the proponents of projects for Small Grant Funds regarding the needs of coordination with the Administrative Authority and concerning the evaluation process (Peru) and support of regional initiatives (Saint Lucia).

25.    Some countries consider the visits of the Senior Advisor to the Administrative Authorities a positive step in promoting the implementation of the Convention and also highlighted the efficiency and good predisposition of the Americas region Secretariat staff in the support provided to the Contracting Parties.

Proposals for assistance from IOPs (F)

26.    Antigua and Barbuda noted that the International Organization Partners (IOPs) should provide assistance to Contracting Parties and focus some of their efforts on the provision of technical and financial support of the conservation efforts in Small Island Developing States, in particular for the subregion of the Caribbean.

27.    Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador and Paraguay consider that the IOPs should be in closer contact with the goverments (Ramsar focal points) about the activities that take place in the countries that are aligned with the application of the Convention.

28.    Belize indicated a need for support for specific activities of the Contracting Parties depending on the IOPs’ competences, and for making recommendations on how the managing organizations can use international leverage to sensitize political leaders. Panama, as well as Brazil, encourage having formal or informal partnerships with the governments, and Chile urged the establishment of joint work plans and support for project implementation. Colombia considers that the activities and actions of the IOPs must be aligned with the policies and priorities of the Parties. In the case of Ecuador, it recommended a more active role of IUCN in the definition of the legal status of the Secretariat.

29.    Other comments include increased support in fundraising activities (Guatemala), information sharing on best practices (Jamaica), and coordinate with the Ramsar Authority the submission of wetland projects in advance (Peru).

How to link Ramsar implementation with other MEAs (G)

30.    There should be greater coordination of/within the National Coordinating Mechanism (NCM) (Antigua and Barbuda, Panama). Argentina indicated that during COPs of other Conventions it is recommended to prepare side events about main Ramsar issues to have joint agendas.

31.    The need for the responsibility and management of these environmental agreements all to exist within the same ministry or agency was mentioned by Bahamas. Brazil and Guatemala consider that the participation of national focal points at each of these Multilateral Environmental Agreements through national commissions has been shown to be an important mechanism through which their respective policies and guidelines are brought together.

32.    Other countries suggest inviting other focal points to Ramsar meetings, following up on MOUs signed with other environmental agreements (Colombia, Jamaica), and establishing strategic joint work plans or programmes (Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Paraguay, Saint Lucia).

33.    Cuba mentioned the good results of the Tematea project in terms of synergies of biological diversity conventions (PNUMA-UICN), and El Salvador commented on the implementation of the national action plan for strenghtening capacities through the project Assessment of National Capacities for a global Environmental Management in El Salvador (NCSA) MARN/PNUD/GEF.

34.    Other comments are: harmonization of national report formats will facilitate a better implementation and reduce overlap (Jamaica), and Venezuela considers that the national wetland committees can help in this purpose.

How to link Ramsar with the implementation of water policies and other strategies at national level (H)

35.    There should be increased information sharing and the Ramsar committee needs to be as cross-sectoral as possible (Antigua and Barbuda) – it can be linked to the National Water Legislation that was recently drafted in the case of Belize. Brazil commented that a wide process on inclusion of the Convention guidelines and resolutions into these sectors has to be initiated and/or strenghtened. On a local level, wetland issues can be part of river basin/water resources plans. For instance, they are working on integrating coastal and river basin management by designating a focal point of a coastal protected area to the local water council and the other way round, that is, that a water sector representative will participate on the PA management council. Chile looks to a single authority that announces a legal framework and governs its implementation.

36.    For Colombia the coordination and inclusion of wetland issues in other legal, economic, technical and financial frameworks is important. Development of joint programmes with an ecosystem approach was cited by Cuba and Dominican Republic. Defining implementation indicators in coordination with other ministries and local governments was mentioned by Ecuador.

37.    The secretariats of national and international environmental organizations and cooperation agencies should provide strategic guidelines for national focal points (El Salvador). Guatemala called for an assessment of how Ramsar objectives can be included in the environmental national policies.

38.    Honduras and Panama stressed the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders related with hydrological resources management in national wetland committees. Jaimaica considers that the Secretariat should provide examples of best practices from other countries to guide local implementation of programmes. Saint Lucia called for a review of policy/strategic papers/plans and identification of gaps that can foster better sustainable management programmes, and stressing effectiveness of MEA implementation based on strong national interagency collaboration and examples of successful case studies is suggested by Suriname.

Main achievements since COP9

39.    As of July 31, 2008, the region has designated 148 Ramsar sites that cover an area of more than 29,376 million hectares (Figure 1). This represent 8% of the world’s Wetlands of International Importance. Since COP9, 20 new sites covering a surface of 348,503 hectares have been designated in the Neotropics. One Ramsar site has been extended since COP9 (Lagunas de Guanacache, Desaguadero y del Bebedero, Argentina). The new designations represent an increase in 20 sites since COP9 but represent a decrease from the total designations of Ramsar sites in the Neotropics between COP8 and COP9 (29).

 

 Figure 1. Ramsar sites in the Neotropics and North America

40.    Contracting Parties that have made new designations in the triennium include: Argentina (3), Barbados (1), Belize (1), Colombia (2), Ecuador (2), El Salvador (2), Guatemala (3), Jamaica (1), Nicaragua (1), and Peru (4).

 41.    The preparation of wetland policies shows significant progress since COP9 and also at the global level as there are 12 wetland policies or similar instruments for wetland conservation (42% of all (26) Contracting Parties) in place and seven more in preparation.

42.    There are 13 (50%) National/Ramsar Wetland Committees in the region and 9 (34%) are in preparation.

43.    Currently in the Neotropics there are six sites in the Montreux Record in Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay and since COP9 there are two more sites, Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary (Chile), designated 27/07/81 and included in the Montreux Record in 06/10/06, and Sistema de Humedales de la Bahía de Bluefields (Nicaragua), designated 08/11/01 and included in the Montreux Record on 15/01/07, but no sites have been removed from the Record since COP9.

44.    Contracting Parties in the region have engaged in international cooperation efforts with international organizations and multilateral cooperation agencies in the last triennium such as OPAAL, GEF, United Nations Development Programme – UNDP, JICA - Japan International Cooperation Agency, the German technical cooperation agency (GTZ), DFID – Department For International Development - British Government, IADB – Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, WWF Canadá, Bird Life International, Wildlife Trust, Witley Award Fundation, AECI, USAID, DR-CAFTA, CIDA, Ducks Unlimited, IADB Dutch funding sources.
 
45.    The United States has provided USD $652,742 during the last triennium to fund 29 projects in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, through the Wetlands for the Future initiative in the Neotropics. The fund has proved to have a great impact in the support of training, awareness raising, conservation and management activities for wetlands in the region. Besides, Wetlands for the Future funds (USD 95,000) were granted for CREHO and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also granted funds for CREHO for the period 2005-2008 of around $151,142 USD.

46.    The Small Grants Fund has financed five projects between July 31 2005 and July 31 2007 in Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Suriname for a total of CHF 177, 796. This fund has been very useful in supporting the implementation of technical (management plans, restoration activities) projects in the region.

47.    The governments of the United States and Venezuela granted funds for the organization of the IV Pan American Meeting celebrated in Merida, Venezuela, in September 2007 and the governments of Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela granted funds for the organization of the High Andean Strategy meetings during the last triennium.

48.    The Ramsar Convention has participated as an active member in the Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative (WHMSI), International Coral Reef Initiative, White Waters to Blue Waters Initiative, as a member of the Council of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) and on the activities of the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme and the Spaw Protocol.

49.    Members of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) participated actively at the 8th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference, Cuiabá, Brazil, 20-25 July 2008 where a declaration was prepared about the state of wetlands and their role in a world of global climate change. The declaration will be presented as an information paper (COP10 DOC. 31) during the next COP10.

Priorities for 2009-2011

50.    Based on the analysis of the National Reports from 23 out of 26 Contracting Parties that submitted National Reports in the Neotropics, the main priorities (no special order) for 2009-2011 can be identified:

a)    The development of a national wetland policy
b)    Planning or management of Ramsar sites
c)    Wetland inventory
d)    Maintenance of the ecological character of Ramsar sites
e)    Formation or reinforcement of national wetland committees
f)    Public awareness raising
g)    Ramsar site designations

51.    During the Pan American meeting held in Merida in September 2007, the Contracting Parties established the following priorities:

Technical and Scientific Matters

52.    North America and the Caribbean prepared a list of priorities (high, medium and low) for the STRP. As high priorities are the issues of climate change, invasive species, water quality guidelines, integrated management of coastal zones, underground waters and wetlands, restoration and guidelines for the protection against natural disasters, revision of new restoration technologies, inventory and mapping of wetlands, and economic valuation of wetlands.

53.    The wetland inventory is a priority for the region and also suggests that the STRP has to work on the development of guidelines for the compensation of wetlands, not only for Ramsar sites but also for wetlands that are outside protected areas. It is recommended that the STRP should also prepare guidelines on good experiences in agriculture, fishing and agricultural industries that are compatible with wetland ecosystems.

Wetlands and Climate Change

54.    The Parties stated that it is important to have guidelines on the types of wetlands that are most vulnerable to climate change and the measures to protect these ecosystems, as well as to strengthen the work with other conventions, mainly the United Nations Conventions on Climate Change and Biological Biodiversity.

Declaration of Merida for the Conservation Strategy and Wise Use of the La Plata River Wetlands

55.    The representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay agreed on setting up a contact group to work on the creation of a Conservation Strategy for La Plata Wetlands. The group will be coordinated by Argentina.

Declaration of Merida for the Conservation, Integrated Management and Wise Use of Mangrove Ecosystems

56.    The representatives from Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela expressed interest in setting up a contact group in order to review and agree on mechanisms and tools to promote the conservation and wise use of mangrove ecosystems. This group will be coordinated by Venezuela with the support of the Ramsar Secretariat.

57.    The Caribbean Contracting Parties met in Cuba to discuss the formulation of a Subregional Strategy for Caribbean Wetlands and reviewed experiences in the region regarding the implementation of the commitments agreed to by the Contracting Parties to the Convention.

Conclusions and Ways Forward 2009-2012

58.    There has been a significant progress in the Neotropics in the implementation of the Convention during the last triennium. In terms of the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2005-2008 (also see Annex Table 3) the main achievements are:

Goal 1. The wise use of wetlands

Key Performance Measures

59.    In terms of inventories (indicator 1.1.1), since COP9 the Neotropic region has made efforts to advance in this issue and shows an increase of 19% of more Parties working in wetland inventories, but some Parties still need to continue taking actions on this matter for the next triennium, as at the global level the region seems to show less progress.

60.    Regarding the status and trends of the ecological character of wetlands (Ramsar sites and/or wetlands generally (indicator 1.1.3)), even though the region shows a significant increase since COP9 in taking complete or partial steps in identifying factors affecting ecological character, they must increase the efforts to complete the information regarding status of Ramsar sites, which is critical for defining actions for the maintenance of the ecological character, as well as for the definition of management measures.

61.    The preparation of wetland policies (indicator 1.21) shows significant progress since COP9 and also at the global level, as there are 12 wetland policies or similar instruments for wetland conservation in place, and seven more are in preparation. It is highly recommended that the Parties continue making efforts in the preparation of policies in the next triennium.

62.    Regarding wetland ecosystes benefits (indicator 1.3.1), it is important to highlight that there has been an increase in the conduct of such studies at least partially in around 20% of the Contracting Parties (14), and three countries have complete studies in the region since COP9. For the next triennium, it is recommended that the Parties continue working in this regard, as it is relevant for the decision-making process related to development and wise use activities.

63.    In general terms, it can be said that the Contracting Parties in the Neotropics find the Ramsar water-related guidances somewhat useful (indicator 1.4.1), mainly on wetland and coastal zone management, for the preparation of national water legislation, and policies for coastal zone management.

64.    The Neotropics has made significant progress (32%) in the implementation of restoration or rehabilitation programs (indicator 1.5.1), as 12 parties (52%) have implemented them (with a use of Ramsar guidelines). compared to COP9.

Goal 2: Ramsar Sites or Wetlands of International Importance

Key Performance measures

65.    In the Neotropics, 10 (43%) of the Contracting Parties have established a strategy and priorities for designation of Ramsar sites, using the Strategic Framework for the Ramsar List (indicator 2.1.1), and 38% of the Parties designated new Ramsar sites during the period 2005-2008. For the next triennium it is highly recommended that the Parties continue working on the establishment of priorities for site designations, especially for countries that have not made new designations of Ramsar sites in spite of the benefits of the designations.

66.    The RISs from 74 of 148 Ramsar sites (50%) are updated and (50%) still need to be updated (indicator 2.2.1) according to the criteria established in Resolution VI.13 and reiterated in Resolutions VII.2, VII.3 and VIII.10. This must be a priority for the Parties in the next triennium.

67.    The definition of measures for the maintenance of the ecological character of all Ramsar sites (indicator 2.3.1) is still very low in the region, even though the Parties have made some efforts in this regard. It is highly recommended that they continue implementing actions for the maintenance of Ramsar sites as there is a great pressure from development activities (urban, tourism) on many of them in Central America and Caribbean countries.

68.    As of July 31 2008, 113 (76%) of the 148 Ramsar sites in the Neotropics have management plans (indicator 2.3.2) or strategies in place and plans for other sites are under development. Still, the region needs to work on the effective management of the sites, which can be encouraged through the setting of cross sectoral committees.

69.    During the triennium 2005-2008, the Ramsar Secretariat has received around 56 reports of threats to the ecological character (indicator 2.4.2) in 25 Ramsar sites and other wetlands in 15 Parties in the region, mainly by third parties. For the next triennium it is highly recommended that the Parties make efforts to establish mechanisms to be informed about changes in the ecological character and also to inform the Ramsar Secretariat without delay about these changes.

70.    Currently, the Neotropics has 6 sites in the Montreux Record (indicator 2.4.3) in Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay, and since COP9 there are two more sites, Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary (Chile) and Sistema de Humedales de la Bahía de Bluefields (Nicaragua). No sites have been removed from the Record since COP9.

71.    There are two regional initiatives (indicator 2.6.1) ongoing: the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research-CREHO and the High Andean Wetlands Strategy. For both initiatives, the main challenge for the next triennium is to define and take priority actions for their financial sustainability. Three more regional initiatives have been submitted by the parties: La Plata River Basin, the Strategy for the Conservation of Caribbean Wetlands, and the Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Mangroves. For these ones, the main challenge will be the commitment of the Contracting Parties in their development.

Goal 3: International Cooperation

Key Performance measures

72.    In the Neotropics there have been important steps taken by the Parties in defining mechanisms to encourage synergies among the different MEAs (indicator 3.1.1). One of them is through National Wetlands/Ramsar Committees, which can be used as a mechanism for other Parties in the region.

Goal 4: Implementation Capacity

Key Performance measures

73.    In terms of CEPA activities (indicators 4.4.1, 4.4.2), it is important to highlight that the Neotropics region is very active in the implementation of awareness through campaigns, dissemination material, workshops, training, etc. However, one of the main priorities for the next triennium should be how to ensure that these activities are part of a specific CEPA programme with clear objectives and impact indicators, as well as to make it available for interested stakeholders.

74.    There are 13 (50%) National Ramsar or Wetland Committees (indicator 4.8.2) in the region, and nine more (34%) are in preparation. For the next triennium is important that the Parties continue taking steps in the formation of such bodies and, in some cases, in their reinforcement or in making them operational.

75.    Ramsar International Organization Partners (IOPs) (indicator 4.9.1) have supported a diversity of activities for wetland conservation and wise use in the Neotropics during the last triennium, and most of them are actively involved in some of the regional initiatives that are ongoing. For the next triennium it is relevant that they continue playing an active role in supporting the implementation of the new “regional initiatives” as well as in the designation of Ramsar sites and other activities related to wetland management and wise use.

Goal 5: Membership

76.    Since COP9 only Barbados (12/04/06) has become a Contracting Party in the Neotropics, as of 31 July 2008; the Secretariat has made some progress during the triennium, however, on the accession to the Convention especially with Haiti and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Activities undertaken since COP9 to implement the Convention

77.    The following analysis is based on 23 (88%) National Reports submitted on time and recommendations and conclusions from regional meetings. The analysis is presented based on the document “A Framework for the implementation of the Convention’s strategic plan 2003-2008 in the 2006-2008 period” in Resolution IX.8 (caxref:3188).

Goal 1: The Wise Use of Wetlands

National wetland inventories and assessment (Strategy 1.1)

78.    In the Neotropics, including all the Contracting Parties (26), seven (26%) – Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago – have prepared wetland inventories (indicator 1.1.1). Fourteen Parties (53% ) – Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Uruguay and Venezuela – are making progress on this regard, and four (15%) – Belize, Bolivia, Cuba and Suriname – have planned to work on it. Barbados does not have an inventory yet (Figure 2).

79.    In the case of today’s situation and progression since COP9, the Neotropics shows an increase of 19% in wetland inventories but still some Parties (6) need to continue taking action in this matter for the next triennium, as compared to the global level (37%), the region seems to be showing less progress (26%).

 

Figure 2. Status of wetlands inventory in the Neotropic Region

80.    Regarding the status and trends of the ecological character of wetlands (Ramsar sites and/or wetlands generally), eight Contracting Parties (35% ) – Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Saint Lucia – of those that submitted National Reports (23) indicated that thye have undertaken activities to identify factors affecting the ecological character of Ramsar sites. 52% (12) of the Contracting Parties (Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela) have partially carried out such analysis for some sites, and three Contracting Parties (13%) – Antigua and Barbuda, Belize and Ecuador – are planning to undertake such steps.

81.    Even though in general the region shows a significant increase (54%) since COP9 in taking complete (35%) or partial (52%) steps in identifying factors affecting the ecological character of the Ramsar sites and this progress is very similar at the global level (35%), the Parties must increase the efforts to complete the information regarding the status of Ramsar sites, as this is critical for defining actions for the maintenance of the ecological character, as well as for the definition of management measures.

National wetland policies (Strategy 1.2)

82.    For COP9 in 2005, 5 Contracting Parties (33% ) in the Neotropics (Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago) reported that they had a National Wetland Policy in place (Indicator 1.2.1), while Argentina, Brazil and Jamaica had policy instruments that partially fulfill this task, and Suriname and Chile reported that they had begun to develop such a Policy.

83.    In the current situation in 2008, 42% of all (26) Contracting Parties in the Neotropics (Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uruguay) have National Wetland Policies. Argentina applies national policies that partially fulfill this task. Belize, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica and Saint Lucia are currently developing National Wetland Policies (26%). Honduras, Panama, and Suriname (11%) are planning to develop one. Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba and Venezuela (15%) do not have a wetland policy yet but in the case of Cuba the elaboration of a national wetland programme is a priority (Figure 3).

84.    There are 12 wetland policies or similar instruments in place, and 7 more in preparation, which means that 68% of the Parties have taken steps in the preparation of policies, showing that the Neotropics has made significant progress (18%) since COP9 and also at the global level in the preparation of this type of instrument, which is essential for guiding wetland conservation. It is highly recommended that this trend should continue in the next triennium (Figure 4).

 

Figure 3. Status of National Wetlands Policies in the Neotropic Region

 

Figure 4. Evolution of Wetlands Policies in the Neotropic Region

85.    Eleven (48%) of the countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Venezuela) of the Neotropics that submitted National Reports have applied partial practices of SEA (Indicator 1.2.5) in the review of the policies, programs and plans that can impact upon wetlands. Six (26%) Contracting Parties (Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Peru) have not applied them. Bahamas, Belize, and Suriname (13%) reported that they apply Strategic Environmental Assessment practices, and Paraguay and Uruguay (9%) plan to apply them in the future.

86.    Not many Parties in the region apply SEA but it is highly recommended that they make some efforts to use this tool in the next triennium in the planning and decision making process related with policies, plans or programs that can impact upon wetlands.

Wetland ecosystem services (Strategy 1.3)

87.    Thirteen (57%) of the Contracting Parties (Argentina, Bahamas, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Uruguay) mentioned in their National Reports that they have conducted partial assessments of the ecosystem benefits/services provided by Ramsar sites (Indicator 1.3.1).

88.    Jamaica is making progress in this regard, but Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Brazil, and Venezuela (17%) have not yet conducted this kind of study. Colombia, Costa Rica, and Cuba have conducted them (13%), and Bolivia and Honduras (9%) have planned to do so. It is important to highlight that there has been an increase in the conduct of such studies at least partially in around 20% of the Contracting Parties in the region since COP9, but is similar to the situation of implementation at the global level (13%). For the next triennium it is recommended that the Parties continue working on this regard, as it is important for the decision-making process in dealing with development and wise use activities.
 
89.    Regarding the implementation of wise use wetland programmes and/or projects that contribute to poverty alleviation objectives and/or food and water security plans implemented (Indicator 1.3.2), ten (43%) Contracting Parties (Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Uruguay, Saint Lucia, Panama, Jamaica, Honduras, Colombia and Brazil) have partially implemented this kind of project in the Neotropics, and five (22%) of the Contracting Parties (Peru, El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba and Chile) have implemented them fully. Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Belize (17%) are planning to implement them, and Paraguay and Suriname have projects ongoing.

90.    The implementation of this kind of project has been increasing in the region since COP9 in 15% of the Contracting Parties and has increased by 4% in relation to Contracting Parties that are applying them partially in the region. In global comparison, the Neotropics is lower (22%) in relation to Africa (46%) and Asia (33%), but it is the highest (43%) in comparison to all Ramsar regions that are partially implementing them. However, it is important in the formulation of the project criteria that clear indicators of wetlands’ contribution to poverty reduction be included, as was identified as a priority by the Neotropics during the Pan American meeting in 2007.
 
Ramsar’s water-related guidance (Strategy 1.4)

91.    According to the National Reports, for the Neotropics 9 (39%) Contracting Parties (Venezuela, Uruguay, Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil and Belize) have partially used or applied the Convention’s water related guidance (Resolution IX.1, Annex C) in decision-making related to water resource planning and management (Indicator 1.4.1), and 22% (Peru, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bahamas) reported the use of them. Suriname, Saint Lucia, Panama, Guatemala and Bolivia (22%) have not used them and Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, and Chile are planning to use them in the future. At the global level, it seems to be lower (22%), but again higher in comparison to Contracting Parties that are using them partially (39%).

92.    Related also to the Convention’s guidance on wetland and coastal zone management (indicator 1.4.3), the Neotropics present significant progress (30%) in the use of these guidelines in relation to the other Ramsar regions globally (22%).
 
93.    In general terms, it can be said that the Contracting Parties in the Neotropics find somewhat useful the Ramsar water-related guidelines, mainly on wetland and coastal zone management guidances for the preparation of national water legislation and policies and for coastal zone management.

94.    On the other hand, 9 (39%) of the Contracting Parties (Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Panama, Honduras, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia and Belize) have been partially working in the assessment of the implications of national implementation of the Kyoto Protocol for wetlands conservation and wise use (Indicator 1.4.4) and 8 (35%) of them (El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Costa Rica, Saint Lucia, Peru, Paraguay and Guatemala) have not undertaken this kind of assessment. Only Suriname, Jamaica and Dominican Republic (13%) are planning to assess it. The steps taken in the region in this regard are very low, but taking into consideration that the issue of wetlands and climate change has been identified by the Contracting Parties as a priority for the Neotropics, it is important that they include the implementation of actions related with the assessment of wetlands that are most vulnerable to climate change and its inclusion in the mitigation and adaptation measures in the next triennium.

Wetland restoration and rehabilitation (Strategy 1.5)

95.    52% (12) of the Contracting Parties (Argentina, Peru, Panama, Bahamas, Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil and Saint Lucia) have been implementing wetland restoration programs or projects in the Neotropics, and this represents an increase of 32% in the implementation of this kind of project in relation to what was reported for the region for COP9 (20%). Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia (22%) are planning to implement them, and Dominican Republic, Cuba, Belize, Venezuela, Suriname and Guatemala have not implemented restoration projects yet.

96.    Regarding the use of Ramsar guidelines (Resolution VIII.16) for the implementation of wetland restoration programs or projects (indicator 1.5.2), 35% of the Contracting Parties (Suriname, Panama, Honduras, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bolivia and Belize) have not used them. Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, El Salvador and Venezuela (26%) have partially used them, and Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Paraguay and Guatemala are planning to use the guidelines. Only Peru, Chile and Bahamas have effectively used them so far.

97.    In synthesis, the Neotropics has made significant progress (32%) in the implementation of restoration or rehabilitation programs (with a relative use of Ramsar guidelines) compared to COP9, even though this progress seems to be lower than the one that is reported at the global level (66%). Regarding the next triennium, as the Contracting Parties make progress in the preparation of wetland inventories and management plans, that will probably increase the implementation of restoration projects as well.
 
Invasive alien species (Strategy 1.6)

98.    Regarding the development and implementation of national policies, strategies and management responses to threats from invasive species, particularly in wetlands (indicator 1.6.1), 12 (52%) of the Contracting Parties (Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Saint Lucia, Paraguay, Panama, Jamaica, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile and Brazil) reported the implementation of partial actions in this regard and 17% (Guatemala, Ecuador, Belize and Bahamas) have either developed or implemented actions. It means that in general terms, 69% of the Contracting Parties in the Neotropics have been taking measures in response to this threat, and only 22% (Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Peru, Honduras and Dominican Republic) have not developed them yet.

99.    The actions taken on this issue show an increase in relation to COP9 (53%). Of all Contracting Parties, only 30% (7) of them (Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Belize and Bahamas) have involved national coordinators of other conventions and international organizations in the responses to threats from invasive species.

Goal 2: Ramsar Sites or Wetlands of International Importance

A Strategic Framework for Ramsar site designation (Strategy 2.1)
 
100.  In the Neotropics 10 (43% of those that submitted National Report) of the Contracting Parties have established a strategy and priorities for designation of Ramsar sites, using the Strategic Framework for the Ramsar List (indicator 2.1.1). The countries that have set priority sites are: Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Colombia, and 35% (8) of them (Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil, Bolivia and Belize) are planning to do so. In this regard, Chile and Venezuela (9%) have partly established priorities and Peru and Saint Lucia (9%) still need to work on them. Since COP9, there has been an increase of 16% of Contracting Parties in setting priorities for the designation of Ramsar sites in the Neotropics.

101.  In terms of site designation, as of July 31, 2008, the region has designated 148 Ramsar sites that cover an area of more than 29,376 million hectares. This represent 8% of the world’s Wetlands of International Importance. Since COP9, 20 new sites covering a surface of 348,503 hectares have been designated in the Neotropics. One designated Ramsar site has been extended since COP9, by Argentina (Lagunas de Guanacache, Desaguadero y del Bebedero). The Contracting Parties (10) that have made designations in the last triennium are: Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru, and these represent 38% of all the Contracting Parties in the region (26).

102.  The new designations represent an increase in 20 sites since COP9, but they represent a decrease in the total designations of Ramsar sites in the Neotropics between COP8 and COP9.

103.  In terms of types of wetlands, most of the Ramsar sites designated during the last triennium comprise inland wetlands, mainly non-forested peatlands (including shrub or open bogs, swamps, fens) and permanent freshwater lakes over 8 ha (including large oxbow lakes).

104.  It is also important to highlight the efforts of designation of five High Andean wetlands, covering 72,242 hectares, by the Contracting Parties that are part of the High Andean Strategy (Table 1).

High Andean Wetlands designated in the triennium 2005-2008

Country

Site

Area (ha)

Argentina

Parque Provincial El Tromen

30,000

Ecuador

Complejo Llanganati

30,355

Colombia

Complejo de Humedales Laguna del Otún

6,579

Colombia

Sistema Lacustre de Chingaza

4,058

Peru

Las Arreviatadas

1,250

TOTAL

5

72,242

Table 1. High Andean Ramsar Sites designated in the triennium 2005-2008

105.  At the global level (50%), it can be said that the Neotropics shows some progress (43%) in the establishment of priorities for site designations, but is important to notes that the establishment or setting of these priorities is important to identify not only sites that require measures for conservation and management including restoration, but also in terms of identifying underrepresented types of wetlands in the Ramsar List. This is highly encouraged by the Secretariat for the next triennium, mainly for countries that have not yet taken such steps, but also for countries that have not made new designations of Ramsar sites in spite of the benefits of Ramsar site designations.

Updating information on Ramsar sites (Strategy 2.2)

106.  Regarding the update of Ramsar sites information (indicator 2.2.1), seven (30%) of the Contracting Parties (Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile and Belize) have submitted to the Ramsar Secretariat updated versions of the Ramsar Information Sheets during this triennium, and 15 (65%) Contracting Parties (Venezuela, Uruguay, Suriname, Peru, Paraguay, Panama, Bahamas, Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Cuba and Brazil) still need to do so. The Contracting Parties of the region whose RISs are fully updated as of 31 July 2008 are: Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Belize and Dominican Republic.

107.  The RISs from 74 of 148 Ramsar sites (50%) in the Neotropics still need to be updated according to the criteria established in Resolution VI.13 and reiterated in Resolutions VII.2, VII.3 and VIII.10. The Americas Secretariat team has requested updates on several occasions for either RISs older than six years, incomplete RIS files, and/or sites with deficient maps. Table 2 in the Annex provides further details.

108.  Updated RISs are awaited from Argentina (7), Bahamas (1), Belize (1) , Bolivia (6), Brazil (7), Chile (7), Colombia (1), Cuba (1), Ecuador (5), El Salvador (1), Guatemala (2), Honduras (4), Jamaica (1), Nicaragua (8), Panama (3), Paraguay (4), Peru (5), Suriname (1), Trinidad & Tobago (1), Uruguay (1), Venezuela (5).

109.  In relation to update of RISs, the Neotropics shows some progress (30%) compared to the global level (33%), but it is important that the Contracting Parties in the region give priority and continue taking actions on this issue for the next triennium.

110.  On the other hand, 48% of the Contracting Parties refer positively to the use of the Ramsar Sites Information Service and its database in national implementation of the Convention concerning Ramsar sites issues.

Maintaining the ecological character of the Ramsar sites (Strategy 2.3)

111.  According to the National Reports, 14 (61%) of the reporting Parties (Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Bahamas, Ecuador, Cuba, Costa Rica, Belize, Chile, Bolivia and Brazil) have partly defined and implemented measures for the maintenance of the ecological character of the Ramsar sites (indicator 2.3.1), and only Venezuela, Peru and Colombia (13%) have fully implemented measures in this regard. Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica (13%) are planning to implement measures. The Neotropics presents significant (61%) actions in this regard, in comparison to the global level (49%).

112.  However, for the next triennium, Contracting Parties should try to continue implementing actions for the maintenance of Ramsar sites, as one of the main challenges for them is the maintenance of their ecological character, as the development and expansion of urban, development and tourism activities, mainly in marine and coastal wetlands, is rapidly taking place in the Neotropics, especially in Central America and the Caribbean. These activities represent a threat to the conservation of the sites and in some cases are already having a great impact in the ecological character of some of them. In this regard the Secretariat will support and highly encourage the Contracting Parties to implement actions regarding legal framework (policies and specific wetland regulations), protection measures, strategic planning and the use of EIA and SEA in the decision-making process.

113.  Suriname, Peru, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Costa Rica, Bahamas and Belize (35%) have management plans (indicator 2.3.2) or strategies in place for their Ramsar sites, and 11 (48%) of the Contracting Parties (Venezuela, Paraguay, Argentina, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Bolivia) have management plans for some of the Ramsar sites. Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia and Jamaica) are planning to work on them. Since COP9, the region shows some progress (7%) toward the formulation of management plans, but is the most significant (35%) at the global level (25%).

114.  As of July 31 2008, 113 (76%) of the 148 Ramsar sites in the Neotropics have management plans or strategies in place and plans for other sites are under development.

115.  Uruguay, El Salvador, Colombia, and Belize, (17%) of the Contracting Parties that submitted a National Report, indicated having cross-sectoral site management committees (indicator 2.3.3) established at Ramsar sites. 35% (Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador, Cuba, Chile and Brazil) have them for some Ramsar sites, and Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica (26%) are planning to establish them. The number of Contracting Parties with this kind of instrument at least for some sites has increased in the region (35%) but is still lower (17%) compared to the implementation of this tool at the global level (21%).

116.  Regarding the assessment of Ramsar site management effectiveness (indicator 2.3.4), only 22% of the Contracting Parties (Saint Lucia, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, Belize) reported having carried out such an assessment; 26% of the Contracting Parties (Panama, Honduras, Argentina, Ecuador, Cuba and Costa Rica) have partially implemented it for some sites and Paraguay and Dominican Republic are planning to work on it. In this matter, the region shows significant progress (22%) compared to the global level (18%).

117.  In synthesis, regarding the maintenance of ecological character, it is strongly recommended that the Parties continue giving priority and continue taking steps on preparation of management plans for their Ramsar sites as a way to maintain their ecological character and promote their wise use. It is also important to take steps in the follow-up and evaluation of their implementation in order to assess progress and adjustments. Besides that, the formation of cross sectoral site management committees is highly recommend as a mechanism that can help managers of Ramsar sites and Ramsar Authorities in a participatory approach for the management of the sites and in the decision-making process.

Monitoring the conditions of Ramsar Sites (Strategy 2.4)

118.  Regarding arrangements in place for the Administrative Authority to be informed of changes or likely changes in the ecological character of Ramsar sites, pursuant to Article 3.2, 11 or 48% of the Contracting Parties (Bolivia, Belize, Uruguay, Suriname, Saint Lucia, Peru, Paraguay, Jamaica, Bahamas, Cuba and Costa Rica ) reported having some mechanism in place. However, 39% (Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Honduras and Chile) do not so far have any mechanism to be informed, and Brazil and Ecuador (9%) have implemented mechanisms for some sites. It is clear that there is a need in the Neotropics to continue working on the establishment of mechanisms to support the conservation and management actions of the Ramsar sites that let them, not only inform the Ramsar Secretariat, but also take measures on time.

119.  On the other hand, in the case of changes or likely change in the ecological character of Ramsar sites that should be reported to the Ramsar Secretariat, pursuant to Article 3.2 (indicator 2.4.2), only 5 (22%) of the Parties (Panama, Colombia, Chile, Belize and Bahamas) reported that they have informed Ramsar Secretariat in this regard but most of the Contracting Parties (El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Uruguay, Saint Lucia, Paraguay, Jamaica, Honduras and Guatemala) have not reported on this issue.

120.  The current situation is that in most of the cases, the Secretariat receives reports of concerns from third parties regarding threats to the ecological character of the sites, even though, according to Article 3.2 of the Convention, each Contracting Party is committed to arranging to be informed at the earliest possible time if the ecological character of any wetland in its territory and included in the List has changed, is changing or is likely to change as the result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference and information on such changes shall be passed without delay to the Ramsar Secretariat.

121.  During the triennium 2005-2008 the Secretariat has received around 56 reports on threats to the ecological character in 25 Ramsar Sites and other wetlands in 15 countries (Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela). Usually these reports were made by third parties, either individuals or organizations. The main threats are related to the expansion of urban areas, development of tourism projects, golf courses and pollution.

122.  The table below shows only 12 of the main reports in Ramsar sites in the region.

Neotropics Ramsar sites where ecological change is occurring or likely to occur (Article 3.2) since COP9 (third-party reports)

Country

Sites

Actions

Argentina

Reserva Natural Otamendi

Communication sent to AA, waiting for report

Argentina

Bañados del Río Dulce y Laguna de Mar Chiquita

Waiting for report

Argentina

Bahía Samborombón

Report by AA received

Argentina

Laguna Llancanelo

Report by AA received

Belize

Sarstoon Temash National Park

Waiting for report from AA

Bolivia

Lago Poopo y Uru Uru

Waiting for update report from AA

Colombia

Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta

Report by AA received

Guatemala

Punta de Manabique

Waiting for report from AA

Honduras

Parque Nacional Jeanette Kawas

Communication sent to AA, waiting for report

Panama

Bahía de Panamá

Communication sent to AA, waiting for report from AA

Peru

Reserva Nacional de Paracas

Report by AA received

Venezuela

Cuare

Communication sent to AA, waiting for report from AA

123.  The Neotropic region currently has six sites in the Montreux Record in Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Uruguay. Of these, since COP9 two sites have been added, Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary (Chile) and Sistema de Humedales de la Bahía de Bluefields (Nicaragua). No sites have been removed from the Record since COP9.

  • Bañados del Este y Franja Costera, Uruguay. Designation: 22/05/84. Montreux Record: 04/07/90. Ramsar Advisory Missions: October 1988 and May 1993.
  • Laguna del Tigre, Guatemala. Designation: 26/06/90. Montreux Record: 16/06/93. Ramsar Advisory Mission: July 1997.
  • Palo Verde, Costa Rica. Designation: 27/12/91. Montreux Record: 16/06/93. Ramsar Advisory Mission: March 1998.
  • Laguna de Llancanelo, Argentina. Designation: 08/11/95. Montreux Record: 02/07/01. Ramsar Advisory Mission: October 2001.
  • Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary, Chile. Designation: 27/07/81. Montreux Record: 06/10/06.
  • Sistema de Humedales de la Bahía de Bluefields, Nicaragua. Designation: 08/11/01. Montreux Record: 15/01/07.

124.  Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica have been taking actions to address the issues for which Ramsar sites have been listed in the Montreux Record and have sent updated reports of actions at the sites. Uruguay has informed the Secretariat about the eventual removal of Bañados del Este and Franja Costera from the record, and Guatemala has taken partial actions.

125.  Regarding monitoring the conditions of the Ramsar sites, it is extremely important that the Contracting Parties take priority actions in the establishment of mechanisms to be informed of changes or likely changes in the ecological character of Ramsar sites to support the conservation and management of the sites, but also to inform the Ramsar Secretariat on time of these changes according to Article 3.2.

126.  In the case of the Montreux Record, the Parties are strongly encouraged to take actions to address the issues for which Ramsar sites have been listed and send update reports to the Ramsar Secretariat.

Managing shared Ramsar sites and hydrological basins (Strategy 2.5)

127.  In the National Reports, 30% of the Contracting Parties in the region indicated that they have identified transboundary/shared wetland systems and 26% reported having an effective cooperative management in place. Regarding the cooperative management for shared wetlands or transboundary wetlands during the V Pan American Meeting held in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (2007), the Contracting Parties discussed the issue and concluded that there are agreements among some countries (mainly Central America) to collaborate on some aspects as these ecosystems have a great importance at the regional level and they share cultural, geographical and, most importantly, biological aspects.

Regional Ramsar Initiatives in the Neotropic (Strategy 2.6)

128.  There are 15 (65%) parties that have participated in the development of a regional initiative under the Ramsar Strategic Plan. They are mostly related to the regional strategy for the conservation and sustainable use of High Andean Wetlands, La Plata River Basin, Strategy for the Conservation of Caribbean Wetlands, Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Mangrove Ecosystems, and CREHO. The La Plata River Basin, the Caribbean Wetlands Strategy, and the Mangrove Ecosystem Strategy were the result from the Pan American meeting (Venezuela, 2007).

129.  In financial terms, through regional initiatives from the Ramsar Convention, CREHO received CHF 240,000 during the triennium 2005-2008 and USD 151,142 through support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The High Andean Wetlands Strategy received CHF 62,000 during the triennium through regional initiatives.

130.  During the last triennium, CREHO focused activities on training and the Regional Strategy for High Andean Wetlands, specifically on the consolidation of a coordination body and its financial sustainability through the implementation of a regional project. For both initiatives the main challenge for the next triennium is to define and take priority actions for their financial sustainability.

131.  For the implementation of the other initiatives – La Plata River Basin, Strategy for the Conservation of Caribbean Wetlands, and the Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Mangrove Ecosystems – the main challenge will be the commitment of the Contracting Parties in their development.

Goal 3: International Cooperation

Cooperation with other agencies and agreements (Strategy 3.1)

132.  Regarding the collaboration between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the focal points of other multilateral environment agreements (indicator 3.1.1), 13 (57%) of the Parties (Bahamas Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Belize, Cuba, Colombia, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Saint Lucia, Peru and Paraguay) reported that they have some national mechanisms (Ramsar wetland committees, environmental committees) for the cooperation with the United Nations Conventions CBD, UNFCCC, CMS, and UNCCD or partly have some such mechanism, in the case of Suriname, Panama, Jamaica and Costa Rica (17%).

133.  One example is the project “Assessment of National Capacities for a global Environmental Management in El Salvador (NCSA), MARN/PNUD/GEF that started in 2005 and will conclude in 2008 with the purpose of completing a national assessment of the synergies among the Ramsar Convention, UNCCD, CDB and UNFCCC; another is the Tematea project (Cuba) to identify synergies among the Conventions. Also 22% of the Parties reported that the national focal points of other MEAs are invited to participate in the National Ramsar/wetland committees (indicator 3.1.2).

134.  In the Neotropics there have been important steps taken by the Parties in defining mechanisms to encourage synergies among the different MEAs, and one of them is through National Wetland/Ramsar Committees which can be used for other Parties in the region.

135.  Some 16 (70%) of the Parties (Uruguay, Saint Lucia, Argentina, Paraguay, Jamaica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Belize, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile and Brazil) informed that they have made publicly available the information about the country’s wetlands and/or Ramsar sites and their status (indicator 3.2.2). Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname, Peru, Panama, Bolivia and Bahamas (30%) have partly taken steps in this regard. This kind of activities must be highlighted and encouraged in the region, as though there is significant progress in actions for conservation and wise of wetlands, usually this information is not published or accessible for use in management processes in the region.

Goal 4: Implementation Capacity

136.  To some extent, 17% of the Parties (Suriname, Peru, Belize, Bahamas) have documented and encouraged the application of traditional knowledge and management practices in relation to wetlands (indicator 4.1.2), or have partly documented it in the case of 70% of them (Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Saint Lucia, Panama, Jamaica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile and Brazil). The region seems to have made good progress in the partial application of traditional and management practices for wetlands. However, in comparison to the global level (32%), the region needs to work more in the documentation and application of these practices.

137.  Regarding the promotion of public participation in decision-making with local stakeholders’ involvement in the selection of new Ramsar sites and in Ramsar site management (indicator 4.1.3), 70% of the Parties (Venezuela, Uruguay, Suriname, Peru, Paraguay, Panama, Bahamas, Jamaica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Colombia and Brazil) indicated having taken actions for public participation and 26% have promoted some actions in the decision-making process. In this matter the region shows significant progress (70%) in comparison to the global level (65%). Parties (43%) have also made complete or partial (30%) efforts in the development of educational and training activities concerning cultural values of wetlands (indicator 4.1.4), and 39% of them have included values of wetlands in the management planning of Ramsar sites and other wetlands (4.1.5).

138.  During the last triennium, the Neotropics Contracting Parties have made significant efforts and progress in the promotion of public participation in the selection of new Ramsar sites and in site management, improving the participative management of wetlands as well as the inclusion of wetland values in their management planning with the support, in many cases, of Ramsar IOPs. The efforts in improving awareness about wetlands values are also relevant.

Involvement of the private sector (Strategy 4.2)

139.  There are 39% (9) of the Parties (Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname, Paraguay, Panama, Cuba, Bahamas, Chile and Belize) that submitted National Reports that have made efforts to encourage private sector involvement in applying the wise use principle in activities and investments concerning wetlands (4.2.1), and 43% (Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia and Brazil) have taken some steps in this regard. The region shows some progress on this compared to the global level (48%), but there are some successful experiences in wetland management and conservation with the support and participation of the private sector (Chile, Colombia) that can be promoted in the next triennium.

Promote measures which encourage the application of the wise use principle (Strategy 4.3)

140.  For the Neotropics 26% (6) of the Parties (Saint Lucia, Paraguay, El Salvador, Cuba, Brazil and Belize) have taken actions to promote incentive measures that encourage the conservation and wise use of wetlands (indicator 4.3.1), and 22% (Panama, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Colombia and Bahamas) have made partial efforts. However, only 22% of the Parties (Saint Lucia, Paraguay, Jamaica, Belize and Bahamas) reported having taken actions to remove perverse incentive measures which discourage conservation and wise use of wetlands (indicator 4.3.2). However, it is important to highlight that these countries are not necessarily the same as those that reported having taken actions to promote incentives that encourage the conservation and wise use of their wetlands –  that is the case only for Saint Lucia and Paraguay.

141.  In this matter, there seems to be less progress in the region since COP9 in spite of the efforts of some Contracting Parties to promote incentive measures. In this regard, it is relevant to encourage actions for the next triennium not only for conservation and wise use but also to remove perverse incentive measures.

Support, and assist in implementing at all levels, the Convention´s Communication, Education, and Public Awareness Programme-CEPA. (Strategy 4.4)

142.  As of July 31, 2008, 13 (50%) of the Contracting Parties in the Neotropics have identified all their CEPA focal points: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Nicaragua.

143.  84% of the Parties (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Venezuela) have CEPA governmental focal points.

144.  57% of the Parties (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam and Trinidad and Tobago) have CEPA non-governmental focal points.

145.  Regarding the establishment of a mechanism for planning and implementing wetland CEPA with the involvement of both CEPA government and NGO National Focal Poinst (indicator 4.4.1), only Colombia, Belize and Bahamas (13%) reported to have some mechanisms (National Ramsar/wetland committees). Venezuela, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Ecuador (17%) have similar mechanisms. The region shows less success on this issue in comparison to the global level (22%) and must be promoted for the next triennium. For this purpose the National Wetlands Committees offer great opportunities for the involvement of CEPA focal points, as well as other relevant stakeholders, and can be used by the Contracting Parties as a mechanism for implementing wetland CEPA. One example is the case of Colombia where the National Wetland Committee has a CEPA subgroup that deals and advises on this mater.

146.  On the other hand, in the Neotropics, 17% (5) of the parties (Uruguay, Saint Lucia, Dominican Republic and Belize) have formulated a CEPA National Plan either at the subnational, catchment or local level (indicator 4.4.2) and 26% have partially elaborated (Cuba) or are planning to formulate one (Suriname, Paraguay, Jamaica, Ecuador and Bolivia). Even though the region shows a greater percentage of Parties that have such a plan (17%) in comparison to the global level (14%), for the next triennium it is still necessary for around 52% of the Parties (Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Peru, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Bahamas, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile and Brazil) to progress in this matter, and for 17% (Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Bolivia) to strengthen efforts in communicating and sharing information cross sectorally on wetlands issues amongst relevant ministries, departments and agencies (indicator 4.4.3).

147.  There are 21 (91%) Parties that reported to have carried out activities to celebrate World Wetlands Day (indicator 4.4.5). These actions in the Neotropics region are similar in relation to the global level (88%). These activities are related to workshops, seminars and symposiums, dissemination of materials, field trips, Ramsar sites designations, among others, and are strongly encouraged to continue in the next triennium as a mechanism to raise awareness about the Ramsar Convention and wetlands at national, regional and local levels.

148.  Regarding the establishment of education centers at Ramsar sites and other wetlands (indicator 4.4.6) for COP9, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago reported to have this kind of centers. Currently, 35% of the Parties have made progress in the establishment of education centers in Uruguay, Paraguay, Honduras, Cuba, Costa Rica, Chile and Bahamas and for some sites in Jamaica, Ecuador and Colombia.

149.  In terms of designation of focal points, the Parties are encouraged to inform the Ramsar Secretariat of any changes that may be made in order to maintain the contact data base up to date, but also to have an effective communication in CEPA matters.

150.  In terms of CEPA activities, it is important to highlight that the Neotropic region is very active in the implementation of awareness through campaigns, dissemination material, workshops, training etc. However, one of the main priorities for the next triennium should be how to ensure that these activities are part of a specific CEPA program with clear objectives and impact indicators as well as to make it available for interested stakeholders.

Promote international assistance to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands (Strategy 4.5)

151.  At least 13 (57%) of the Parties (Venezuela, Uruguay, Suriname, Paraguay, Panama, Jamaica, Bahamas, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba and Brazil) in the region have mobilized financial support from development assistance agencies for in-country wetland conservation and management. Contracting Parties in the region have engaged in international cooperation efforts with international organizations and multilateral cooperation agencies in the last triennium such as OPAAL, GEF, United Nations Development Programme – UNDP, JICA - Japan International Cooperation Agency, the German technical cooperation agency (GTZ), DFID – Department For International Development - British Government, IADB – Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, WWF Canadá, Bird Life Internacional, Wildlife Trust, Witley Award Fundation, AECI, USAID, DR-CAFTA, CIDA, Ducks Unlimited, and IADB Dutch funding sources. Some examples of projects are: the sustainable use of forestry resources in low areas in the state of Amapá, Brazil, and the strategy plan for biodiversity protection and sustainable use of Sabana Camaguey in Cuba.

152.  Among the efforts of the Parties in the mobilization of financial support for management and conservation on wetlands, it is clear that the role that the cooperation agencies and multilateral organizations play in the support of the governments’ Ramsar commitments through the support of programs and projects is also relevant.

Provide the financial resources required for the Convention’s governance, mechanism and programmes (Strategy 4.6)

153.  52% (12) of the Parties (Suriname, Panama, Jamaica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Bahamas, Cuba, Colombia, Chile, Belize, Brazil)) reported to having paid their contributions on time (indicator 4.6.1 a) in the last triennium. As of 31 July 2008, around 30% of the Contracting Parties (Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Panamá, Trinidad and Tobago) in the region are up to date with their contributions to the Convention as far as 31 December 2007, and some of these are paid up to 31 December 2009 (Colombia).

154.  Besides the core budget contributions (indicator 4.6.1a), Venezuela made voluntary contributions for the organization of the V Pan American Meeting in 2007, and Chile (2006), Venezuela (2007) and Colombia (2008) did so for the organization of the High Andean Strategy Meetings. Cuba also made voluntary contributions for the Ramsar Caribbean Subregional Meeting (2008).

155.  The United States has provided USD $652,742 during the last triennium to fund 29 projects in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, through Wetlands for the Future in the Neotropic Region. The fund has proved to have a great impact on the support of training, awareness raising , conservation and management activities for wetlands in the region.

156.  The Small Grants Fund has financed five projects between July 31 of 2005 and July 31 2007 to Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Ecuador, Suriname and Colombia for CHF 177,796. This fund has been very useful in supporting the implementation of technical (management plans, inventories, restoration activities) projects in the region.

157. Encouragingly, some Parties indicated that they have included the financial commitments in their annual budgets to ensure future prompt payment of the contributions.

Ensure that the Conference of the Contracting Parties, Standing Committee, Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and Ramsar Secretariat are operating at a high level of efficiency and effectiveness (Strategy 4.7)

158.  Five (22%) of the Parties (Venezuela, Peru, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bahamas)) have used their previous Ramsar National Reports in monitoring their implementation of the Convention (4.7.1) and 35% have partly used them. Some of them have used them for follow-up of the national wetlands policies, as a baseline for the preparation of national wetland strategies, identification of achievements and gaps in the implementation to redefine the areas that need to be reinforced in the implementation of the Convention, to follow up the implementation of the Convention and coordinate with other MEAs, in linking, planning and prioritizing activities in the country to Ramsar requirements (with emphasis upon WWD and on preparation of regional and COP meetings). However it is highly recommended that all the Parties in the region continue or start to use their NRs as a guideline to assess their progress in the implementation of the Convention but also to define priority areas to work and areas that need further development.

159.  Regarding the STRP as of July 31, 2008, 22 (84%) of all Contracting parties in the Neotropics have designated their STRP focal points: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

160.  In order that the Parties are updated with the work and tasks developed by the STRP as well as to have an active role in making regional contributions in the above mentioned tasks, is highly recommended that they should make their nominations on time for the next triennium.

Develop the capacity within, and promote cooperation among, institutions in Contracting Parties to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands (Strategy 4.8)

161.  Six (26%) Contracting Parties (Jamaica, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Belize and Bahamas) in the Neotropics have reviewed their national institutions related to conservation and wise use of wetlands (indicator 4.8.1). Venezuela, Panama, Argentina, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Chile and Brazil (30%) have partially reviewed their institutions and Uruguay, Ecuador and Bolivia (13%) are in the process of conducting this review. This means that this activity shows a significant progress (69%) for the Neotropics since COP9 (40%) as only 22% (5) countries have not yet fulfilled the review. However, the following steps for the Parties in the region are to complete the reviews and implement the revised arrangements in order to have an impact upon wetland conservation.

162.  Regarding Wetland Committees (indicator 4.8.2), there are currently 13 Contracting Parties (50%) in the Neotropics region (Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago) that have established this mechanism, and nine Parties (34%), Belize, Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Saint Lucia, Uruguay and Suriname, are making progress in establishing their committees. In the case of Antigua and Barbuda and Dominican Republic, they have partially established a similar body (8%), and Barbados and Peru (8%) still need to work in this mechanism. This means that there is an increase of four new national wetland committees in place in the region since COP9 and 9 ongoing.

163.  The role of the wetland/Ramsar committees has many values and represents an important tool for parties in the region to involve different stakeholders and to advise Ramsar Administrative Authorities in the decision-making process in relation to wetland issues. For the next triennium it is important that the Parties continue taking steps in their formation and in some cases in their reinforcement or making them operational.

Maximize the benefits of working with the Convention’s International Organizations Partners (IOPs’)

164.  Fourteen (61%) of the Parties have received assistance from one or more of the Convention’s IOPs in their implementation of the Convention (indicator 4.9.1). The type of assistance has been oriented, in most of the cases, to support projects or programmes related with wetlands wise use and conservation, especially designation of Wetlands of International Importance, but some of the projects have also been implemented directly by the IOPs as part of their programs. The IOPs that have provided support are: Wetlands International, WWF, IUCN and Birdlife; other organizations that are mentioned are Belize Audubon society.

165.  Some examples of the projects are: Birdlife has supported the identification of IBAs in some countries in the region. Wetlands International developed the projects: Developing a strategy for the wise use of peatlands of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina (2007); Building a Paraguay-Paraná system program linking sustainable management of wetlands and poverty reduction (2007); and Improving fishing gears in the Ramsar site ecological reserve Cayapas - Mataje (Ecuador).

166.  WWF-Brazil has contributed in collaboration with the Brazilian government in the diagnostic of wetlands; WWF-Canada supported the project “Strenghtening of Marine Protected Area System in Cuba”;and WWF-Peru a project for the management in the Pastaza river. WWF Guianas is funding yearly the Nature Conservation Division in its law enforcement to protect the marine turtles of the estuarine beaches. WWF has also supported the designation of Ramsar sites in the Northern Andes.

167.  The IUCN Netherlands National Committee has supported various projects in Brazil, many of which are in the Pantanal Region of Mato Grosso and include environmental education activities, ecotourism, territorial development, participation in and organization of seminars, and others, all of which are related to wetlands. Besides this, the IUCN supported a project for the assessment of Terraba Sierpe Ramsar site in Costa Rica and the project ‘Ecosystems, Peoples and Parks’ in cooperation with UNEP/GEF in Cuba.

168.  Ramsar IOPs have supported a variety of activities for wetland conservation and wise use in the Neotropics during the last triennium, some through their headquarters but in most cases through their regional offices. It is also is important to mention that most of them are actively involved in some of the regional initiatives that are ongoing in the Neotropics. For the next triennium it is to be wished that they will continue playing an active role in the implementation of the new “regional initiatives”, as well as in the designation of Ramsar sites and other activities related to wetland management and wise use.

Identify training needs of institutions and individuals (Strategy 4.10)

169.  In the Neotropics, 46% of all the Parties have either carried out complete (Suriname, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, El Salvador, Bahamas) or partial analysis (Saint Lucia, Panama, Argentina, Honduras, Cuba, Belize) of training needs for implementing the Convention (indicator 4.10.2), and 9% are currently making such analyses. In the case of Belize, the Audubon Society has utilized some aspects of the Wise Use Handbook material in developing monitoring standards and other aspects of management. In general terms, the region shows some progress in this regard in comparison to the global level (15%). Also 57% of the Contracting Parties have offered training opportunities to wetland managers through training courses, personnel exchange or other mechanisms.

Goal 5: Membership to the Convention

170.  Since COP9, only Barbados (12/04/06) has become a Contracting Party in the Neotropics as of 31 July 2008. However the Secretariat has made some progress during the triennium with Haiti and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for their accession to the Convention.


Annex

Table 1. Neotropics Sites designated since COP9

 

Country

Site name

Designation date

Area (ha)

Dominant Wetland type

1

Argentina

Parque Provincial El Tromen

02.02.06

30,000

O

2

Argentina

Reserva Natural Otamendi

22.03.08

3,000

Tp

3

Argentina

Melincué

24.07.08

92,000

Q

4

Barbados

Graeme Hall Swamp

12.12.05

33

J

5

Belize

Sarstoon Temash National Park

19.10.05

16,955

Xf

6

Colombia

Sistema Lacustre de Chingaza

24.06.08

4,058

M

7

Colombia

Complejo de Humedales Laguna del Otún

24.06.08

6,579

U (underrepresented)

8

Ecuador

Complejo de Humedales Ñucanchi - Turupamba

05.06.06

12,290

U (underrepresented)

9

Ecuador

Complejo Llanganati

24.06.08

30

U (underrepresented)

10

El Salvador

Bahía de Jiquilisco

31.10.05

63,500

A (underrepresented)

11

El Salvador

Embalse Cerrón Grande

22.11.05

13,500

M

12

Guatemala

Eco-región Lachuá

24.05.06

535

Zk (b) (underrepresented)

13

Guatemala

Parque Nacional Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo

02.02.06

37,160

W, Xf

14

Guatemala

Reserva de Usos Múltiples Río Sarstún

22.03.07

35,202

H

15

Jamaica

Portland Bight Wetlands & Cays

02.02.06

24,542

I (underrepresented)

16

Nicaragua

Sistema Lacustre Las Playitas - Moyua - Tecomapa

 ¿?

1,161

O

17

Peru

Humedal Lucre-Huacarpay

23.09.06

1,979

Q

18

Peru

Las Arreviatadas

15.07.07

1,250

O

19

Peru

Humedales de la Bahía Ite-Tacaná

¿?

1,360

 J

20

Peru

Manglares de San Pedro de Vice

¿?

3,399

H

 

TOTAL

 

 

348,533

 

Key for under-represented wetland types:
Coastal and marine wetlands
A Permanent shallow marine waters, in most cases less than six meters deep at low tide; includes sea bays and straits.
B Marine sub-tidal aquatic beds; includes kelp beds, sea-grass beds, tropical marine meadows   
C Coral reefs.
G Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats.
I Intertidal forested wetlands; includes mangrove swamps, nipah swamps and tidal freshwater swamp forests.
Zk(a) Karst and other subterranean hydrological systems, marine and coastal.

Inland Wetlands
Ts Seasonal/intermittent freshwater marshes/pools on inorganic soils; includes sloughs, potholes, seasonally flooded meadows, sedge marshes.
U Non-forested peatlands; includes shrub or open bogs, swamps, fens
Xp Forested peatlands; peatswamp forests.
Zk(b) Karst and other subterranean hydrological systems, inland.

Human-made wetlands
Zk(c) Karst and other subterranean hydrological systems, human-made.

Table 2. Update Status of Ramsar Information Sheets (RIS) and Maps

Country

Site name

Area (ha)

Last RIS Update

Comments

Argentina

Bahía de Samborombón

243,965

1997 

RIS and map require update

Argentina

Laguna Blanca

11,250

1996

RIS and map require update

Argentina

Laguna de Llancanelo MR

65,000

1995

RIS and map require update

Argentina

Laguna de los Pozuelos

16,224

1996

RIS and map require update

Argentina

Lagunas de Vilama

157,000

2000

RIS and map require update

Argentina

Reserva Costa Atlantica de Tierra del Fuego

28,600

1995

RIS and map require update

Argentina

Jaaukanigás

492,000

2001

RIS and map require update

Bahamas

Inagua National Park

32,600

1998

RIS and map require update

Belize

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

6,637

2000

RIS and map require update

Bolivia

Cuenca de Tajzara

5,500

2000

RIS and map require update

Bolivia

Lago Titicaca (Sector Boliviano)

800,000

1998

RIS and map require update

Bolivia

Laguna Colorada

51,318

1998

RIS and map require update

Bolivia

Bañados de Izozog y el Río Parapetí

615,882

2001

RIS and map require update

Bolivia

Palmar de la Islas y las Salinas de San José

856,754

2001

RIS and map require update

Bolivia

Pantanal Boliviano

3,189,888

2001

RIS and map require update

Brazil

Baixada Maranhense Environmental Protection Area

1,775,036

2000

RIS and map require update

Brazil

Ilha do Bananal

562,312

1998

RIS and map require update

Brazil

Lagoa do Peixe

34,400

1998

RIS and map require update

Brazil

Mamirauá

1,124,000

1998

RIS and map require update

Brazil

Pantanal Matogrossense

135,000

1998

RIS and map require update

Brazil

Parque Estadual Marinho do Parcel Manoel Luís including the Baixios do Mestre Álvaro & Tarol

34,556

2000

RIS and map require update

Brazil

Reentrancias Maranhenses

2,680,911

1998

RIS and map require update

Chile

Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary

4,877

1998

RIS and map require update

Chile

Humedal el Yali

520

1996

RIS and map require update

Chile

Laguna del Negro Francisco y Laguna Santa Rosa

62,460

1996

RIS and map require update

Chile

Salar de Surire

15,858

1996

RIS and map require update

Chile

Salar de Tara

5,443

1996

RIS and map require update

Chile

Salar del Huasco

6,000

1996

RIS and map require update

Chile

Sistema hidrologico de Soncor

5,016

1996

RIS and map require update

Colombia

Laguna de la Cocha

39,000

2001

RIS and map require update

Cuba

Cienaga de Zapata

452,000

2001

RIS and map require update

Ecuador

Abras de Mantequilla

22,500

2000

RIS and map require update

Ecuador

La Segua

1,836

2000

RIS and map require update

Ecuador

Zona Marina Parque Nacional Machalilla

14,430

1997

RIS and map require update

Ecuador

Manglares Churute

35,042

1998

RIS and map require update

Ecuador

Reserva Biológica Limoncocha

4,613

1998

RIS and map require update

El Salvador

Area Natural Protegida Laguna del Jocotal

1,571

1999

RIS and map require update

Guatemala

Manchón-Guamuchal

13,500

2001

RIS and map require update

Guatemala

Parque Nacional Laguna del Tigre MR

335,080

1998

RIS and map require update

Guatemala

Punta de Manabique

132,900

2000

RIS and map require update

Honduras

Barras de Cuero y Salado

13,225

1996

RIS and map require update

Honduras

Parque Nacional Jeanette Kawas

78,150

1996

RIS and map require update

Honduras

Refugio de Vida Silvestre Punta Izopo

11,200

1996

RIS and map require update

Honduras

Sistema de Humedales de la Zona Sur de Honduras

69,711

1999

RIS and map require update

Jamaica

Black River Lower Morass

5,700

1997

RIS and map require update

Nicaragua

Los Guatuzos

43,750

2001

RIS and map require update

Nicaragua

Lago de Apanás - Asturias

5,415

2001

RIS and map require update

Nicaragua

Sistema de Humedales de la Bahía de Bluefields

86,501

2001

RIS and map require update

Nicaragua

Cayos Miskitos y Franja Costera Inmediata

85,000

2001

RIS and map require update

Nicaragua

Deltas del Estero Real y Llanos de Apacunca

81,700

2001

RIS and map require update

Nicaragua

Refugio de Vida Silvestre Río San Juan

43,000

2001

RIS and map require update

Nicaragua

Sistemas Lacustres, Palustres y Riberinos del municipio de San Miguelito

43,475

2001

RIS and map require update

Nicaragua

Sistema Lagunar de Tisma

16,850

2001

RIS and map require update

Panama

Golfo de Montijo

80,765

1990

RIS and map require update

Panama

Punta Patiño

13,805

1993

RIS and map require update

Panama

San San-Pond Sak

16,414

1993

RIS and map require update

Paraguay

Estero Milagro

25,000

1995

RIS and map require update

Paraguay

Lago Ypoá

100,000

1995

RIS and map require update

Paraguay

Río Negro

370,000

1995

RIS and map require update

Paraguay

Tinfunque

280,000

1995

RIS and map require update

Peru

Lago Titicaca (Peruvian sector)

460,000

1996

RIS and map require update

Peru

Pacaya Samiria

2,080,000

1992

RIS and map require update

Peru

Santuario Nacional Lagunas de Mejía

691

2001

RIS and map require update

Peru

Santuario Nacional Los Manglares de Tumbes

2,972

1997

RIS and map require update

Peru

Zona Reservada Los Pantanos de Villa

263

1996

RIS and map require update

Suriname

Coppenamemonding

12,000

1997

RIS and map require update

Trinidad & Tobago

Nariva Swamp

6,234

1997

RIS and map require update

Uruguay

Bañados del Este y Franja Costera MR

407,408

2001

RIS and map require update

Venezuela

Archipiélago Los Roques

213,220

1996

RIS and map require update

Venezuela

Ciénaga de Los Olivitos

26,000

1996

RIS and map require update

Venezuela

Cuare

9,968

1991

RIS and map require update

Venezuela

Laguna de la Restinga

5,248

1996

RIS and map require update

Venezuela

Laguna de Tacarigua

9,200

1996

RIS and map require update

Table 3. Neotropics Summary overview of the evolution between COP8 and COP10

Where indicator questions were reasonably similar, the table compares information provided in the National Reports to COP8 and COP9 with those provided to COP10 in order to assess progress (“significant” “some”, “no progress”, “regress”) during these two triennia, covering the period of Ramsar’s Strategic Plan 2003-2008 adopted through Resolution VIII.25. The table also shows if particular actions reported for COP10 were more (or less) widely addressed throughout the Neotropics compared to the global average; based on the percentages of Contracting Parties having answered positively.

Strategy

Indicator

Affirmative CPs at COP8

Affirmative CPs at COP 9

Affirmative CPs at COP10

Affirmative at COP10 globally

Progress since COP9

1.1

CP has a comprehensive national wetland inventory (1.1.1)

4

4 (15%)

7 (26%)

37%

Some

CP has information on wetland ecological status and trends (1.1.3)

n.a.

2 (13%)

8 (35%)

34%

Significant

1.2

CP has a National Wetland Policy (or equivalent instrument) (1.2.1)

4

5 (33%)

11 (42%)

40%

Significant

1.3

CP conducted Assessment of the ecosystem benefits provided by Ramsar sites (1.3.1)

n.a.

2 (13%)

3 (13%)

13%

No progress

CP has wise use wetland programmes/projects that contribute to poverty alleviation (1.3.2.)

n.a.

1 (6%)

5 (22%)

28%

Significant

1.4

CP has used or applied Ramsar water-related guidance (1.4.1)

5

2 (13%)

5 (22%)

29%

Significant

1.5

CP implemented wetland restoration/rehabilitation programmes (1.5.1)

3

3 (20%)

12 (52%)

66%

Significant

2.1

CP uses the Strategic Framework for Ramsar site designations (2.1.1)

10

4 (15%)

10 (43%)

50%

Significant

2.4

CP has reported all changes or likely changes in the ecological character of Ramsar sites (2.4.2)

8

4 (15%)

5 (22%)

20%

Some

3.2

CP has established networks, nationally or internationally for knowledge sharing and training for wetlands (3.2.1)

7

3 (20%)

8 (35%)

36%

Significant

4.4

CP has an active national CEPA programme task force (4.4.1)

5

2 (13%)

3 (13%)

22%

No progress

CP developed a national (or local) CEPA action plan (4.4.2)

2

1 (6%)

4 (17%)

14%

Significant

4.5

Funding support has been mobilized form development assistance agencies for wetland conservation and management (4.5.2)

14

5 (33%)

13 (57%)

31%

Significant

4.6

CP has paid in full and in a timely manner the Ramsar contributions for the last triennium (4.6.1a)

n.a.

3 (20%)

12 (52%)

60%

Significant

4.8

CP has an operational National Ramsar Committee (4.8.2)

10

2 (13%)

13 (50%)

45%

Significant

For reasons of economy, this document is printed in a limited number, and will not be distributed at the meeting. Delegates are requested to bring their copies to the meeting and not to request additional copies.

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