Recommendation 5.4: The relationship between the Ramsar Convention, the Global Environment Facility, and the Convention on Biological Diversity


5th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
Kushiro, Japan
9-16 June 1993

WELCOMING the establishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development;

INFORMED of the numerous projects - many of them concerning wetlands, some of which have been designated by Ramsar Contracting Parties for the Ramsar "List of Wetlands of International Importance" - already supported in the pilot phase (1992-1994) of GEF;

FURTHER INFORMED of initial contacts established between the Convention Bureau, the GEF implementing agencies, and the Office of the Administrator of the GEF;

AWARE that, according to Article 21 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the appropriately restructured GEF shall be the international entity entrusted with the operation of the financial mechanism referred to in Article 11 of that Convention on an interim basis;

FURTHER AWARE that, according to Article 39 on Financial Interim Arrangements of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the GEF, provided it has been fully restructured in accordance with the requirements of Article 21 of that Convention, shall be the institutional structure referred to in Article 21 of that Convention on an interim basis;

EMPHASIZING that the Ramsar Convention, together with other international conventions dealing with the conservation and wise use of natural resources, is already in force and could significantly increase its achievements if GEF were to fund projects relating to wise use and conservation of wetlands, submitted by those Ramsar Contracting Parties which are signatory states to the Convention on Biological Diversity;

FURTHER EMPHASIZING that the experience of the Ramsar Convention and of other conventions dealing with conservation and wise use of natural resources could prove of great value to GEF and to the Conventions on Biological Diversity and Climate Change when the latter come into force;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

CALLS UPON the appropriately restructured Global Environment Facility (GEF) to consider funding projects submitted to the Convention on Biological Diversity, where appropriate via the Convention Bureau, by Ramsar Contracting Parties that are also signatory states to the Convention on Biological Diversity, insofar as these projects are related to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in wetlands;

CALLS UPON the Ramsar Contracting Parties, in their activities as signatory states to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to pay special attention to the major role of wetlands as habitats for a wide range of endangered species;

CONSIDERS that efforts should be made to strengthen the institutional, human and resource capacity for management of wetlands and conservation projects in recipient countries;

WELCOMES the contacts already established by the Convention Bureau with the three implementing agencies regarding project identification and preparation, and with the GEF Administrator's Office; and

INSTRUCTS the Convention Bureau to intensify its contacts with the Interim Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, with a view to:

  • ensuring Ramsar input to the formulation of priorities for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity through the GEF;
  • providing input and relevant guidelines for the financing of projects under the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  • providing input, as appropriate, to the preparation of wetland projects for submission to GEF by Ramsar Contracting Parties which are signatory states to the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  • securing GEF support for such wetland projects in accordance with the eligibility criteria of the GEF and its associated conventions; and

REQUESTS the Bureau to inform the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of Ramsar Contracting Parties of the implementation of the present recommendation.

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