The 6th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties


Technical Session D:
Review of Kushiro Guidelines on Management Planning for Wetlands

Chair: Ing. Roberto Cal Johnson (Uruguay)
Vice-Chair: Mr Antonio Fernandez de Tejada (Spain)
Coordinator: Mr Ashiq Ahmad Khan (WWF-Pakistan)


    Mr Ashiq Ahmad Khan (WWF-Pakistan) recalled Kushiro Resolution 5.7 on the Guidelines on management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands. Mr Khan then reviewed the history and current status of several wetland sites in Pakistan. He identified four major issues affecting wetland management and conservation, and recommended a two stage approach for management plans, involving a preliminary plan based on available data and including suggestions for the acquisition of full data to facilitate the development of a second, comprehensive plan, prepared in accordance with the Kushiro Guidelines. In other suggestions, he stressed the importance of involvement of the local community in the management planning process; the need to provide alternate sources of income and economic incentives to local communities asked to forego existing uses; the identification and use of ways and means to access local knowledge necessary for full management planning; and suggested the establishment of a management authority which should involve all with an interest in the site.

    In response to a question from Chile, Mr Khan emphasised the importance of achieving balance between the needs of local people and the needs of conservation in developing a management plan. Ecuador spoke on the importance of implementation of management plans. Mali and Niger raised issues concerning compensation for local people.

    Mr Frank Alberts (the Netherlands) outlined the history, objectives, structure and activities of the six week International Course on Wetland Management developed by the Wetland Advisory and Training Centre (Lelystad), which is run by the Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment, of the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. The course involves both theoretical and practical elements and is closely based on the basic structure for management planning outlined in the Kushiro Guidelines. Based on their experience after two completed courses to which the Ramsar Bureau made input, Mr Alberts highlighted positive aspects of the Kushiro Guidelines and identified some aspects that could be improved. In a more general context, he suggested that the first priority should be to concentrate on developing management plans, rather than reviewing the Guidelines after only three years.

    A number of participants commended the Netherlands on their initiative in developing and offering this course. Several interventions were made with respect to training. Ecuador suggested a change to the Kushiro Guidelines to highlight separately the development and role of projects, rather than submerging them as part of the overall plan. Jordan supported the suggestion that management planning be a two stage process and also stressed that wetland management plans should extend beyond the specific site to include the whole catchment. Further interventions on management planning were made by the USA and IUCN.

    Mr Victor Pulido (Peru) outlined Peru's experience in the development of a management plan for the Paracas National Reserve, established in September 1975. He noted that this was a process inspired largely by the Kushiro Guidelines and aimed to ensure community participation. A key element was that the methodology used was based on a participatory process involving the local population, users, and local, regional and national authorities. The analysis undertaken in developing the plan considered not just the protected area itself but the whole wetland catchment. The major problems identified by the master plan in managing the reserve were outlined and strategies for addressing them were proposed. Future activities proposed in the master plan were identified. The total cost is $US3.8m over the next 5 years. In conclusion, Mr Pulido expressed the view that while management planning process may take a longer time to complete, a community participation approach will ensure a successful implementation in the future.

    The Wild Bird Society of Japan raised the importance of sharing experiences and suggested that managers of Ramsar sites should provide an annual report to their governments, to be submitted to the Ramsar Bureau and be available to others, on how much they have achieved in implementation of their management plans and what difficulties have been encountered. Australia commended to the STRP a report it had prepared on buffer zones and asked that it be taken into consideration in any review of the Kushiro guidelines. The Australian Wetlands Alliance commended to participants the concept of total catchment management.

    Mr Arnulf Muller-Helmbrecht from the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS Secretariat) presented on behalf of UNEP Freshwater Unit a statement entitled 'Wetland management planning within the framework of integrated river basin management' on its joint project with Wetlands International - Asia Pacific to produce guidelines for integrated river basin management incorporating wetland functions and uses. He stated that management objectives in this regard should also be consistent with the Kushiro Guidelines.

Draft recommendation on the Kushiro guidelines on management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands.

    The Technical Session considered a draft recommendation submitted by Pakistan, and supported by Australia.

    Suggestions for amendments were proposed by the Netherlands, Australian Wetlands Alliance, Sweden and IUCN. Following the discussion, the Vice-Chair noted that the draft recommendation appeared overall to be well drafted and suggested that the draft recommendation be presented at the plenary session with some amendments in the light of discussions.

Rapporteur: Pam Eiser

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